Trip Report

Discussion in 'Clarity' started by jdonalds, Jun 17, 2018.

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  1. jdonalds

    jdonalds Well-Known Member

    We took a vacation from Redding CA to Forest Falls CA, a total round-trip distance of 1258.9 miles.

    I must say the trip was greatly enhanced by the comfort of the Clarity, and the use of both the ACC and LKAS. The weight of the Clarity, coupled with the suspension design, keeps the road effect on the car to a minimum. The quiet of the interior also helps. The seats are comfortable and the power seats allow for small comfort adjustments on a 600 mile one day trip. We have driven that same route many times over the years but never felt as rested as we did after this trip.

    The Adaptive Cruise Control is great with a few caveats.
    1) It has a tendency to brake too hard when not needed.
    2) It is painfully slow to resume the set speed when the way ahead is clear.
    3) It sometimes applies the brakes when we can't see the cause or reason.

    ACC was particularly great when we were caught in slow-and-go traffic for about 45 minutes in Southern California. It really takes the tension out of the act of following slow moving vehicles with speeds that vary from zero to 40 mph (in a 70 speed zone) while averaging more like 5 mph.

    Lane Keep Assist works so good on the long straight and flat miles of the California Central Valley. The valley is 400 miles top to bottom and in places straight as an arrow for many miles. It was easy just to rest my hand on the bottom of the steering wheel and let LKS do almost all of the steering. It wouldn't complain even though I wasn't applying any significant force. This is relaxing on the hands and arms. It was more like I was the assistant rather than the LKS. There are few curves in the road that are beyond the capability of the weak Honda torque. How I wished for it to be just a bit more capable.

    The combination of the flat straight road, ACC, and LKS made the trip much easier. I normally pay strict attention to the cars ahead making sure I have ample space to apply the brakes if needed. With the ACC it really does a fine job of braking when needed; although it is a bit too aggressive in my opinion. With ACC and LKS I'm able to look away from straight ahead which is much more restful on my eyes. I'm quite comfortable, under those conditions, to take my hands off the steering wheel for 10 seconds at a time if needed (such as eating a sandwich).

    I do believe, and always have, that cruise control isn't as gas efficient as driving manually can be. I think the Clarity is particularly bad in this respect because it brakes when it could just slow down. This will likely be the cause of replacing the brakes much sooner than if I were driving un-assisted. We sold our 2008 Prius with over 150K miles still with the original brakes which had many miles left.

    After the first 5 miles on EV we switched to HV and the car didn't decrease the battery charge level. Here is a snap after the first 227 miles and the battery is still nearly full.[​IMG]

    Once on the trip we forgot to reset HV mode after stopping for gas and the battery was soon drained. I really wish Honda would retain the previous setting when the car is restarted.

    Aside from the broken HV range value we found the gas gauge to be quite accurate.

    With almost 10,000 miles on the car we finally experienced angry bees on this trip. It occurred on a flat road, going 75 mph, with the battery more than 50% charged. It lasted for a minute or so, then the engine sound level reduced to a more reasonable level. While climbing over the GrapeVine, which goes from near sea-level to over 4,000 ft, the engine worked hard but kept the car at 70 mph and the charge level constant.

    Our car had two adults and a child, and a trunk fully stuffed with our gear for a week. We averaged 44.27 miles per gallon over the entire 1258.9 miles. I think, if I drove unassisted by ACC, I could achieve more like 48 mpg. However as my wife and I discussed it the small gas cost difference is easily overwhelmed by the choice of a food item at lunch.
    lorem101, Kestrel, Sandroad and 7 others like this.
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  3. AnthonyW

    AnthonyW Well-Known Member

    1:) Agreed. Try extending the car distance range. It makes things slightly better.

    2:) Try turning Econ off when resuming or using Low Speed Follow. That makes it decently bearable. Switching to Sport mode makes it very responsive.

    Agree that you can drive much more efficient than cruise control.

    On long trips I have gotten used to the layout of the drive mode buttons without having to look. Recently on a trip across all of Nebraska I got adept at engaging “TurboBoost” which is a reference to the show Knight Rider and is simply Sport Mode. Engage that when passing cars on long desolate 2 lane roads. Much more responsive than flooring it in Econ HV mode or regular HV mode. My 4 year old son absolutely loves it but he doesn’t know the word turbo so he thinks I am saying “TurtleBoost”. :)

    Sent from my iPhone using Inside EVs
    leehinde, lorem101 and Johnhaydev like this.
  4. jdonalds

    jdonalds Well-Known Member

    When I checked the MPG for the trip, according to the car, it shows 48mpg. I don't believe it though. My results were from miles driven and gallons at the pump.
  5. Great tips!

    Recently, it seemed to me that the "overbreaking" feel was lessened when ECON mode was off. I wonder if the Regen level is greater when ECON mode is ON.
  6. loomis2

    loomis2 Well-Known Member

    I have a feeling if it remembered your previous hv setting then we would instead have people complaining that they used a half tank of gas without realizing they weren't in ev mode. Most people only use hv mode on rare long trips so I think Honda made the right design choice with this one.
    lordsutch likes this.
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