2016 Honda HR-V - To cruise or not to

We had a 1981 Dodge van with a 6. If you went up a hill manually, it’d downshift and do just fine, at least until you got to really high altitudes. If you went up a hill with cruise control, it wouldn’t give it any more throttle as the speed dropped.

I remember mom used to get furious about this because dad was of the mentality that if he has an automated system, he will by-God use it, so we would be going up fairly gentle (straight) grades on the interstate at 40mph-and-falling because he refused to take over manually.

That was also the van that freaked my grandpa out. Right after my folks bought it we went out across Texas to visit the grandparents. Mom was telling him about all the features on the van (and being the 80’s they were pretty much “it has air conditioning and shoulder belts”).

When she got to cruise control, Grandpa got very upset and told her to be sure to keep her hands on the wheel no matter what and “don’t be taking naps when the @#$@ thing’s moving.” He thought “cruise control” meant “autopilot.” He’d be apoplectic if you showed him a Tesla today.


No they’re not. And just as dangerous too. You want to hyper-mill…Do it when there’s no other cars on the road. This type of driving is a danger to everyone on the road.


I would add that there are other things to consider regarding cruise control. From my personal “what were you thinking - or were you?” file, I had a 2005 Dodge Dakota. I had the cruise control on while driving on a rural 2 lane road. There was a slough with a bridge across it, with the ends of the bridge built on a levee. The levee was about 15’ - 20’ higher than the rest of the highway and the uphill part of the road was fairly abrupt. I was doing 55 mph. I ran the upslope leading to the bridge and when I got to bridge level I got a little air (about 1/2 a seconds worth). The sudden unloading of the rear tires cause the cruise control to redline the engine and when I landed the sudden decrease in speed of the rear wheels and subsequent change in speed in the rest of the drive line totally lunched the torque converter (the truck was under warranty and somehow the dealer convinced the manufacturer that it was partially a warranty issue, so I only had to pay $100.00 for the fix).

As a kind of extension to that, do not, ever, use cruise control on wet roads. In some cases it may cause sudden acceleration if the drive tires lose traction, but in other cases, as in my 2015 Jeep Cherokee, the computer thinks the sudden loss of traction is catastrophic and slams on the brakes. That happened to me also; only once. No cruise control on wet roads now for me.

Disagree. This is contextually dependent on the terrain in which you are driving.

My sampling is far less than every cruise control system in every vehicle, but I have not yet met a CC system that knows how long and steep the hill ahead of you is, and that will not flog your engine to death to maintain speed up an incline where any sane driver would give up and accept dropping a few MPH.

If CC is forcing downshifts and increased RPM to maintain speed, where you, instead would have chosen to crest the hill slightly slower, it is increasing wear on both the transmission and engine compared to what you would have accomplished under foot-control.

The OP has a 2016 HR-V, not a 70s Pinto or 80s K car, Cruise will hold the speed without flogging the engine.


I very rarely use cruise control. Most of my current driving is city (not needed) and state highways where flow of traffic speed varies.