Thread: CVT in 2018 CRV
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Old 09-08-2018, 07:53 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Gaptooth (retired) - '00 Honda Insight
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A lot of the point of pulse and glide is removed with a sufficiently good CVT. With a manual or conventional auto, the engine is invariably at less than 100% load most of the time. By pulsing with 100% load, then shutting the engine off and gliding, you can maintain a roughly constant average speed while getting the benefits of 100% load. A CVT with a sufficiently tall final drive on the other hand can always keep the engine fully loaded, by microscopically adjusting RPM to get the correct power output, rather than throttling the engine.

The G1 Insight had a 5MT and a CVT option. The 5MT offered considerably better economy, but I speculate two major reasons for this:
1) The CVT did not have lean burn. Those who have swapped lean burn ECUs into their CVTs have seen significantly improved economy.
2) The Insight's CVT was a very early one, and did not have a wide enough gear ratio range, resulting in the engine running at lower than optimal load on the highway - the CVT's tallest ratio was only slightly taller than 4th gear in the 5MT. Most new CVTs have much wider ratio spreads than conventional autos or manuals.

The best way to drive with a CVT is to just let it do its thing. Accelerate gently, giving the engine no reason to rev up.

I think very highly of CVTs and their potential for great fuel economy. I had a rental CVT Corolla not long ago in which I was getting near 60mpg on the highway with door placard tire pressure... during winter. My reason for avoiding them is entirely do to my perception of their long-term reliability.
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