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Old 10th July 2007, 13:44   #1
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Default An AT tranny Comparision : OHC AT v/s NHC CVT

I read the "Automatic transmission" thread. Its nice to see a dedicated thread on AT transmission. The opinions of fellow members on CVT and conventional AT trannys was a very interesting read. So I thought of just putting down a few observations and notes I made after driving two AT cars of the same model but different generations and AT technology:

The NHC CVT and the OHC 4AT

First the NHC CVT



The NHC CVT comes with the new Continuous Variable Transmission technology. This is a belt driven and a new generation AT tranny. In terms of driving it is very smooth and you dont really feel the gears changing. You dont really feel kick down either. If ure looking at hammering the pedal and think it will fly you are wrong. What the CVT gives you is smooth effortless acceleration. The NHC CVT is a perfect family sedan for city driving with total convinience. Its not a car which has performance but it does what it is meant to do very well. From an enthusiasts point of view its a boring car to drive. But then thats not what its purpose is now is it? FE is said to be around 12 to 13 kpl. I cannot comment. Maybe CVT owning members can shed some light on that. For the record the CVT has the 1.5 77 bhp engine.

Now the OHC AT



Comparing this to the NHC was easy since this is my daily driver. The OHC has a conventional 4 speed Auto box with a torque converter. Unlike the CVT, in this you feel every gear when it changes. Honda have an optimum rpm setting for the gear changing intervals. Once you drive it, you know that it is by no means slow. The best part about this box is the kick down shift. Ram the pedal and it kicks down a gear and gives you enough power to shoot forward and overtake. And the engine sound at high rpm is as exciting as you would get it in an OHC Vtec MT. I have myself gone to around 5000 rpm. FE as claimed by many is said to be in single digits but my car has never given me below 10 in everyday city driving 100% AC. Maybe its down to my driving style but I do surprise myself and friends when I tank up. Last tank up it gave me 11.8 to the litre. Highway FE I got last time was 15 to the litre. The OHC AT is by no means a boring car to drive. Its pretty fast for an AT and holds its own. For the record it has the 1.5 100 bhp engine.

The above write up is purely about the driving experience and transmission of both cars and not a full comparision test.

I had primarily gone to TD the Accord V6 and after doing that, I drove the CVT. More on the V6 later. Let me just say I had a wide grin on my face

Last edited by Dippy : 10th July 2007 at 14:14.
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Old 10th July 2007, 13:57   #2
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great job dippy! Being CVT owner I can attest what you say.

Well its not only with "HONDA" CVT & normal AT, but since I've used/driven other AT's (Toyota Corsa diesel N4, Mitsu Challenger, Zen AT, Toyota Marina, Merc E220, Suzuki 1.3 Convertible, Reva, 04 Accord, 88 Accord, 93 Civic, etc) I can say, the above comparision holds true.

Reg the mileage, i hardly look into this. But for the books:
1) city usage: i get arnd 14-14.5 (90% a/c » Summer time, 15%a/c » other seasons of the year in Pune)
2) highways, the car covers 17 km per litre with A/c running all the time

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Old 10th July 2007, 14:06   #3
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Nice review Dippy. You have the acceleration figures for the 1.5 77bhp CVT v/s the OHC 1.5 100bhp AT?

I know its stupid to see acceleration figures for an Auto but I still want to know .
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Old 10th July 2007, 14:48   #4
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Check out the videos:
  1. 0-80Kmph:
  2. 0-100Kmph:
Its approx 8s & 13s respectively.


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Old 10th July 2007, 15:49   #5
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Dippy and CVT owners: any light on maintenance cost for those gearboxes?
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Old 10th July 2007, 17:37   #6
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In thailand the CVT is offered with the L series VTEC motor and comes with a 7 speed paddle shift. That's the one we need.
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Old 10th July 2007, 21:16   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zakaaaaasss View Post
Reg the mileage, i hardly look into this. But for the books:
1) city usage: i get arnd 14-14.5 (90% a/c Summer time, 15%a/c other seasons of the year in Pune)
2) highways, the car covers 17 km per litre with A/c running all the time

Wooow .. 14+ in the city looks a bit too high. I never get more than 10.0 in the city in my CVT. (A/C usage 100% all year). On highways I do get 14.5 to 15. The driving is quite sedate and far from any racer boy types.

May I know secrets to this efficiency. You'd be helping India reduce its import bills and good for my pocket too Please do share.
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Old 11th July 2007, 09:45   #8
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Aaaah... Finally, the CVT owners surface. This is time to rejoice.
Nice comparo Dippy. At least the myth that an AT is no fun to drive is shattered. Of course the technology is important here and no doubt that the OHC AT has a awesome gearbox(If I may call it so).

Its surprising that the NHC CVT doesnt return good acceleration figures. Did you try this in the Sports mode instead of the regular Drive mode? I am only obsessed with the theory of CVT and thats all the knowledge I have, but from the readings, I have heard that the CVT can be just as fast and maybe even faster than an MT. This is because it can keep the engine's RPM constantly at the point of highest HP. Correct me if I am wrong. Maybe Honda is using a more conservative strategy to keep the revs low and at the point of best fuel efficiency. Since thats what matters in India.

Howstuffworks "Cars with CVTs" - Simulated comparision between CVT and non CVT. Also do read the write up on the page.
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Old 11th July 2007, 10:19   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by msdivy View Post
Check out the videos:
  1. 0-80Kmph:
  2. 0-100Kmph:
Its approx 8s & 13s respectively.
I think there is something wrong here. There are noticable gear changes while accelerating. Eg: in the first video, the RPM drops at the 6sec mark. This indicates a gearing change. A CVT shouldnt do this. Does anyone have any idea on how the honda CVT is set up internally. If it is a pure belt-pulley system then you would never hear the RPM drop as you are accelerating.

See this to understand what I mean.

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Old 11th July 2007, 11:22   #10
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i have the cvt for 1.6 yrs now and its far better than corolla at as well city old gen cannot even compare. its a delight to drive very light. have been maintaining it in honda itself its it was a first AT in the family, works well drives well unless people are gonna bore with 77 bhp blah blah. the whole point of the car is CITY. what its name is for does the job very well.
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Old 11th July 2007, 11:48   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by entropy View Post
May I know secrets to this efficiency
there isnt any secret my friend. my city driving is very sedate, light footed one. i endevour to keep the rpm between 1500-2000 mark (max 2500) and not beyond. i strictly follow the service schedule. and yes i use NORMAL petrol. my experience with high octane fuels in NHC is that the mileage drops but engine runs smoother. the HONDA booklet recommends normal one.

Quote:
Originally Posted by herculesksp View Post
I think there is something wrong here. There are noticable gear changes while accelerating. Eg: in the first video, the RPM drops at the 6sec mark. This indicates a gearing change. A CVT shouldnt do this. Does anyone have any idea on how the honda CVT is set up internally. If it is a pure belt-pulley system then you would never hear the RPM drop as you are accelerating.

See this to understand what I mean.

i understand what u saying hercules, but i cannot watch the video as its blocked in my office, hence can't comment. therotically what u saying is correct.
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Old 11th July 2007, 13:05   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jesal View Post
i have the cvt for 1.6 yrs now and its far better than corolla at as well city old gen cannot even compare. its a delight to drive very light. have been maintaining it in honda itself its it was a first AT in the family, works well drives well unless people are gonna bore with 77 bhp blah blah. the whole point of the car is CITY. what its name is for does the job very well.
Nobody buys a 8 Lac car to restrict themselves to the city.

Nice report dippy, eagerly awaiting the V6 Accord report.
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Old 11th July 2007, 13:27   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BUSA View Post
Nobody buys a 8 Lac car to restrict themselves to the city....
Not everybody. My dad has 2 yr old Accent which has never gone out of Bangalore. For going out of city, either he hires a cab or uses different mode of transport.

Also, my uncle's Indica has never gone out of Bangalore.

PS: Though these cars don't cost 8L, even if they had 8L cars the usage would be same.

Last edited by msdivy : 11th July 2007 at 13:31.
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Old 11th July 2007, 14:24   #14
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Cool Ever heard of Hypermiling

Quote:
Originally Posted by entropy View Post
Wooow .. 14+ in the city looks a bit too high. I never get more than 10.0 in the city in my CVT. (A/C usage 100% all year). On highways I do get 14.5 to 15. The driving is quite sedate and far from any racer boy types. May I know secrets to this efficiency. You'd be helping India reduce its import bills and good for my pocket too Please do share.
This is one agressive but safe & legal mileage tip.
Well I dont own a CVt but a Mt 1.5 NHC, must work for CVT's too .
Try coasting whenever possible in neutral. I read somewhere that if you were deft you could get away with as much as 20% of your travel kms coasting. This works when coasting down a flyover, rolling to a stop in taffic lights, and toll booths, and anticipating traffic congestion.

I was keen and I tried it. My avg. gas mileage jumped up from a 11 kmpl to a whopping 15 kmpl , both figuire with 100% city driving and with the AC on.
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