Honda not so Insight(ful)

Joined
Mar 21, 2006
Messages
10,611
Location
Las Vegas NV
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/driving...offset=0&page=1
 Quote:
So here goes. It’s terrible. Biblically terrible. Possibly the worst new car money can buy. It’s the first car I’ve ever considered crashing into a tree, on purpose, so I didn’t have to drive it any more. The biggest problem, and it’s taken me a while to work this out, because all the other problems are so vast and so cancerous, is the gearbox. For reasons known only to itself, Honda has fitted the Insight with something called constantly variable transmission (CVT). It doesn’t work. Put your foot down in a normal car and the revs climb in tandem with the speed. In a CVT car, the revs spool up quickly and then the speed rises to match them. It feels like the clutch is slipping. It feels horrid. And the sound is worse. The Honda’s petrol engine is a much-shaved, built-for-economy, low-friction 1.3 that, at full chat, makes a noise worse than someone else’s crying baby on an airliner. It’s worse than the sound of your parachute failing to open. Really, to get an idea of how awful it is, you’d have to sit a dog on a ham slicer. So you’re sitting there with the engine screaming its head off, and your ears bleeding, and you’re doing only 23mph because that’s about the top speed, and you’re thinking things can’t get any worse, and then they do because you run over a small piece of grit.
 
Joined
Jan 10, 2008
Messages
4,998
Location
Milwaukee, WI
This was over at the vtec.net site. Some people just can't read a review and put it into the context of who wrote it. If you don't know who Jeremy Clarkson is, then you won't get it (like the review). If you're Al Gore, then you probably think the Insight is great. If you're Jeremy Clarkson I can see why you think it's horrible. Most of us lie somewhere in between. For the life of me, I don't know why people would buy an Insight over a Fit other than image. If Honda had put one-tenth the development cost of the Insight into a new transmission for the Fit...
 
Last edited:

JHZR2

Staff member
Joined
Dec 14, 2002
Messages
46,813
Location
New Jersey
Because the fit gets horrid EPA mileage on paper, and the insight gets honda to where they need to be...
 
Joined
Feb 1, 2009
Messages
8,859
Location
Texas
 Originally Posted By: bepperb
If you're Al Gore, then you probably think the Insight is great. If you're Jeremy Clarkson I can see why you think it's horrible. Most of us lie somewhere in between.
Not me... I'd hate it much more than Clarkson does!
 
Joined
Jul 23, 2005
Messages
1,346
Location
Texas
 Originally Posted By: bepperb
If Honda had put one-tenth the development cost of the Insight into a new transmission for the Fit...
Which transmission bothers you? I drove a 5 speed and it felt like a standard slick shifting manual.
 
Joined
Dec 19, 2004
Messages
7,430
Location
beaver land EH?
Jeremy Clarkson is like Limbaugh to me ears: so full of it. While he's trying hard to make a point, fact of the matter is, driving a Golf diesel isn't gonna make the world any better (still uses fossil fuel, but shifts the tandem towards heavy oil (diesel) instead of light gas (gasoline vehicles). Besides: his snotty attitude is reflective upon his car of choice.....regardless of his rant or rave, personally, I don't give a dime about what he has to say, afterall, he can have anything he wants but my car for he will/can never walk a mile in our shoes, period. Snotty remarks and strictly subjective testimonials indeed. Q.
 
Joined
Nov 15, 2004
Messages
606
Location
essex ontario
Got to take him with a grain of salt ,he either loves you or really really REALLY hates you .Over the top but a element of truth Should of seen his F150 review.
 
Joined
Feb 2, 2009
Messages
1,928
Location
Ohio,USA
 Originally Posted By: hone eagle
Got to take him with a grain of salt ,he either loves you or really really REALLY hates you .Over the top but a element of truth Should of seen his F150 review.
I notice you've got a F-Series. Your family reunions must be something else... Yours truly, Jeremy Clarkson
 
Joined
Mar 6, 2007
Messages
489
Location
your house
 Originally Posted By: hone eagle
Got to take him with a grain of salt ,he either loves you or really really REALLY hates you .Over the top but a element of truth Should of seen his F150 review.
Exactly an element of truth, and mostly show business, I would not take him seriously. The F150 bit, "What do Americans do in trucks mostly incest" that was funny and [censored] me off at the same time.
 
Joined
Apr 5, 2004
Messages
9,427
Location
Pensacola & Vero Beach FL
 Originally Posted By: hone eagle
Got to take him with a grain of salt ,he either loves you or really really REALLY hates you .Over the top but a element of truth Should of seen his F150 review.
I would take that comment with a truckload of salt. CVTs are totally different animals than the vastly more common multi-cog automatics (and manuals for that matter too). For some, it takes a little getting used to. For others, not a problem. I count myself in the latter group. Once you conceptualize and understand what the CVT is actually doing, you come to realize the brilliance of the idea. In oversimplified brevity, it's keeping the rpms and transmission ratio as close as possible to the ideal point throughout the entire acceleration curve. Once you "get it" after having driven it for a while, you suddenly come to see multi-fixed-ratio transmissions, manual or auto, as being hoplessly crude and primitive. They are an early 20th century solution to a problem that today can be much more effectively solved (yes, with a CVT). Yes, yes, I know many can't adjust and will disagree, and that's OK. It's a free country (at least in part...). I actually no longer enjoy driving my wife's much-more-powerful 3.5L Avalon as I find the five-speed auto, as good as it is in comparison to other slushboxes, to be intolerably crude compared to the super-smooth CVT found in the Prius and Camry Hybrid.
 
Joined
Jun 3, 2005
Messages
16,246
Location
Santa Barbara, CA
ive driven cars with CVTs and i cant stand the feel. nothing will replace a manual trans for me, but then i try to see how low i can get my MPG on the Volvo, if i try i can pull off 14mpg, if i dont try i get like 21mpg.
 
Joined
Feb 9, 2008
Messages
6,367
Location
Midwest
I've owned a car with a Jatco JF011E CVT since May of 2007. I guess I just don't see why some people don't care for them-you smoothly press the throttle, the RPM's come up, and you move. No jerking though the gears, no lurch when other automatics would have shifted out of overdrive on a hill, and better fuel mileage than the manual transmission option in the same car. But then I couldn't care less what Mr. Clarkson thinks.
 
Joined
Feb 9, 2006
Messages
6,902
Location
Louisiana
 Originally Posted By: bepperb
This was over at the vtec.net site. Some people just can't read a review and put it into the context of who wrote it. If you don't know who Jeremy Clarkson is, then you won't get it (like the review). If you're Al Gore, then you probably think the Insight is great. If you're Jeremy Clarkson I can see why you think it's horrible. Most of us lie somewhere in between. For the life of me, I don't know why people would buy an Insight over a Fit other than image. If Honda had put one-tenth the development cost of the Insight into a new transmission for the Fit...
Yep, it's on Fitfreak, too, and I imagine they don't have a clue about Clarkeson either. The Fit manual is a bit perplexing but the Fit Auto is not bad. Over 75 mph, I'm just starting to go over 2500 rpm.
 
Joined
Feb 9, 2006
Messages
6,902
Location
Louisiana
 Originally Posted By: Dyoel182
 Originally Posted By: bepperb
If Honda had put one-tenth the development cost of the Insight into a new transmission for the Fit...
Which transmission bothers you? I drove a 5 speed and it felt like a standard slick shifting manual.
At 70 mph, the 5 speed manual tachs at like 3500 rpm or something. It's a bit distressing b/c it almost kept me from buying mine, even though mine's an auto. But once I test drove it out on the freeway, I said "SOLD!"
 
Joined
Feb 9, 2006
Messages
6,902
Location
Louisiana
 Originally Posted By: JHZR2
Because the fit gets horrid EPA mileage on paper, and the insight gets honda to where they need to be...
I admit, the Fit is not the FE champ you'd think it would be, But so far, I've gotten 39.1 as my best tank. Of course, I've heard the in-dash gauge can be as much as 4 mpg too high. But even if it's as low as 35 mpg, I do it without sacrificing driving style and that's fine w/ me.
 
Joined
Jan 10, 2008
Messages
4,998
Location
Milwaukee, WI
The fit comes in two drive ratios. One gets 35 hwy (epa), the other 33. So right there you know that they can get a few more MPG just by gearing it taller. That's my beef with the tranny. I love the Honda manuals, and a 5speed auto in an economy car is fine with me. But the mileage suffers from the compromise. So my assumption is that with a 6speed tranny, say 36mpg hwy wouldn't be difficult to obtain. The manual Fit is actually pretty easy to upgrade to a 6 speed, but there is no OEM gear higher than 5th so there's no point to it. (in the Element there is, so that's a common upgrade there) But the cost is about 150 bucks in parts, assuming Honda could design a taller sixth gear cog. So to me that's a no brainer. For the automatic, well, the Insight probably cost a billion dollars to develop and design process for. That's a lot of Fit tranny development dollars. For 5% of that money, the could license the Toridal from Jatco, get the Fit in the high 30's where it belongs, and the world wouldn't need two independently developed but nearly identical cars. (not that that ever stops any automaker).
 
Top