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My 2022 RL is in shop due to brake noise. Tech is unsure what is wrong. So, i have a loaner…2022 Honda HRV. MRSP is $25k.

The car is OK. Noisy. Suspension too firm for my taste. Bad seating. Tons of road noise! I would not buy it for sure.

But damn, the throttle is perfect. The powertrain moves to my right foot perfectly. No lag. No rubber necking because your body expect something and your car does not respond. No hesitation. Smooth. Mid corner throttle or braking? No problem.

And this is on ECO mode!!! Oh, no crappy auto-start/stop to ruin the experience. No need for Sport/Sequential mode either because throttle response is perfect. Surprisingly, the HRV’s CVT is well-behaved. (Note, i have not off-roaded the HRV or tow etc. to comment on CVT in those situations.)

Why is it that Honda got the throttle so right on HRV and yet so wrong on the fancy Ridgeline?? RL’s engine is great i am sure. But the throttle tuning and ZF 9-speed are just a disaster IMHO. ECO mode on RL is useless...might as well put a pillow behind the gas pedal. The fancy ZF shifting is pure crap. Sport/Sequential mode is too aggressive for daily driving. Non-S mode makes the engine into a non-boosted 3-cylinder slow poke. It is sad when I have to use S-mode just to merge onto highway ramp! A simple task as accelerating from stop is painfully slow because ZF starts in 2nd gear! And then you add in the useless auto-start/stop crap that damages engines apparently!

I love the RL. One of the best cars i have ever owned. Extremely practical. But the powertrain tuning and/or transmission leave A LOT to be desired.

Sorry for rant.
Well put. Same exact thing with a Passport. A lot is lost with that trans and its tuning. It feels like it's sacrificing so much for the MPG's. Considering it's a 9 speed it should have responsiveness all over the place but it's asleep. It's gets a little old when a silky smooth and refined 280 hp engine usually requires a downshift with the slightest push of the gas pedal and even that takes forever. I've been spoiled by Hybrids with their lighting quick responses to pedal input. You don't need paddle shifters or trickery, just control everything with your right foot. Other similar pairings have similar issues but IMO the Toyota 8 speed is better but not in the league of an E-CVT. It just shows how important a good mating of an engine and transmission is to the overall driving experience.

Ever notice how those HRV's seem to always be passing cars on the highway and you wonder how it can do that with a motorcycle sized engine and slow 0-60 times. There is a big difference between real world driving and 0-60 instrumented tests.

Hopefully the 10 speed will make this a non-issue but it's 2022 this is 2015 tech that will be around for another generation.
 

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Posters on this forum are quick to provide cover for the RL's shortcomings and attack the poster who raises a problem/issue. Nothing new.

Honda has got the 9 speed to the point where it can last while hitting internal targets at the expense of the drive. At first, I thought the 9 speed was much more consistent than the 6 speed, no mushy shifts but the downshifts with the paddles were a disappointment. Increasing speed with downshifts because of a dog clutch gear is ridiculous. It does the job but I expect more from a Honda. The Passport was the last Honda I wanted to try (I had a CVT fail on a CRV and wasn't interested in turbo) I knew about the 9 speed could be an issue and if it was a dud I'd junk it. There's lots of stuff to like with the PP and Honda addressed a few wants with the PP that it hasn't with the RL yet but I did find it to be slow/slug like. It sometimes has dead spots in power delivery which should not be the case with 9 ratios. I thought that was due to its weight and being high up in the wind. Only until after I drove other vehicles did I realize the real issue is throttle response. You have to get it over 4k to show how good it can be. The Honda V6 deserves a better match. Hopefully the 10 speed will solve this without creating other issues. The only Honda auto trans I liked was the 5 speed in an Odyssey but the best car I had was the Accord V6 even with it's jerky 6 speed, It was always effortless and could be smooth if you drove it right.
 

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You will never go wrong with a Sprint Booster or Pedal Commander. I just like the design and operation of the PC better but, in the end, they do the same thing.
My gripes have been lazy throttle response and downshifts that take forever which make for a slow driving experience.
So the booster/commander livens up the throttle but what about downshifts? Or is a more responsive throttle enough to make you forget about the long time to downshift? I wouldn't be looking for more speed or power just to make it more immediate to inputs from my foot.
 

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That sounds like a parts issue with the rear brakes in this supply constrained world. They got it right in the past so it sounds like something is not to spec.

I don't think S mode does anything for throttle response, it just keeps the revs up with the transmission.

From a stop with any throttle position, it works great and moves through the gears with no mushy shifts. This is where it shines. Starting off in 2nd can feel a little anemic on inclines.

However, when cruising along in the highest gear that the transmission selects, press the throttle up to halfway and it gives you very little. Even in S mode with the revs up it should give you more IMO. It should have enough power to hold a gear and propel the vehicle forward a little bit but when you lean on it just slightly, it bogs down and downshifts. Floor it and the beast comes alive. On hills it's more pronounced. It's also quick to upshift. I think it is apples to apples, throttle response is throttle response but the programming in the ECU is where the laggy feel comes from if you ask me. On flats and when cruising it not a big deal but when you want to pass or get some forward progress quickly it's asleep.

At first I thought maybe it's to heavy and the torque is high up in the rev range but then I drive a gas RAV4 and it holds gears better and has a little to give. Try a hybrid with an E-CVT and it's just a better execution of utilizing the power that the engine and battery provide.

I know sand mode can make it feel jerky but I'll try to see how it reacts to some throttle when cruising along is this mode. If it moves then I know it's not about a lack of power.

So these devices sounds like they will help but I hope they don't make for a jerky feeling. Some cars have a better secret sauce than others, the proof is in the pudding, not the recipe.
 

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Ok. I just got my PC today. Install was about 5 minutes because my big hands really don't fit above the throttle pedal but I didn't draw any blood.
In my short test drive it does what y'all said it would. I only tried city and sport both with the gain turned up to three and my nearest comparison is that its like driving with the throttle response of the transmission being in S but with the shift points of D.
I will experiment a little more in the morning when traffic is lighter. Its still the tail end of rush hour here.
Thanks for sharing. So I guess, the excess pedal travel to get some propulsion is reduced but is it jerky even at a low setting? I don't think it can do anything for the trans though because mechanically it going to take the same amount of time to downshift or upshift but with the reduced pedal travel it may make it feel like it's all happening quicker which helps.. I tried normal driving in sand mode and although the response was better I didn't find it to be smooth.
 
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