Last year we had our first extended cruise control experience with a Suburban on the 401 travelling between Toronto and Montreal. Yes...we all have our own misgivings about what an "adaptive cruise control" will do in various situations. As expected we will always be on the cautious side of things and override the cruise control. Although you should let it work by itself. Agreed...there is a ton of technology at play.
We had an opportunity to spend a few days with a Civic Touring, we had an oppportunity to go on a brief road trip on a few 400 series highways. To make it interesting, yes at prime time with a level of congestion. Is there a 400 series highway around the GTA that is not congested?
Here is the deal...going.
Going we drove the car, congestion, open road, slower traffic, the individual that should be in the middle or right lane, the other individual that is taking an eternity to pass an 18 wheeler. Did we forget the individual that is in a hurry.
Anything and everything that a prime time drive on a few 400 series will throw at you on a morning drive.
Depending on your personality you will remain absolutely calm, to a little agitated, and everything else in between. Its not a pleasant time to drive, or a pleasant environment.
Going, we activated lane departure which is cool, the steering "twitches" when the system thinks you are departing a lane. Yes...you need to get used to it...its a little unsettling on the first occurrence.
This 2016 Civic Touring has a 1.5 liter turbocharged 4 cylinder with 174 HP, and a CVT transmission. A reasonable level of power, but surely not over the top.
On the return trip we used the adaptive cruise control, and again the lane departure. Suddenly the same highways become a cool relaxing experience.
Set the cruise at whatever speed, and distance your prefer, and there is no need to touch the accelerator or brake pedal. You can vary the speed with the steering controls, the car will brake by itself.
There is a level of aggressivity in the driving mode on 400 series highways that you blend in when you are driving, but you stand out when the cruise control is engaged. An example...the car slows down to deal with a slower vehicle in front, then its 174 HP and a CVT. Be assured someone will get aggressive behind you since you are not gaining speed as per their preference.
You can adjust the distance, and this is where you need absolute trust in the adaptive cruise control. Leave an additional car length, yes...someone will get into that space, and back to the 174 HP with a CVT, and some sort of "utility" on the rear bumper.
- Dramatically more relaxing dealing with 400 series highways around the GTA with an adaptive cruise control.
- Not only is it more relaxing, it seems faster too. Must be a human thing of being less aggravated behind the wheel.
- By now you know that fuel economy is not a priority for us. But...this Civic was marginally more economical with the adaptive cruise control.
- You need absolute, unequivocal trust in the system to have a relaxing drive.
- Do you still need to drive...absolutely.
- Is it perfect? Its a radar system...curves on the highway with a car in front, and an 18 wheeler in the right lane...it all gets picked up by the radar.
Much easier to let the adaptive cruise in the Civic deal with 150 kilometres of 400 series highways, than you having to deal with it.
This Civic reinforced our enthusiasm for "adaptive cruise control" on any vehicle, especially for congested urban highways.