Is my 2020 Honda my 2019 Toyota's "dimwitted" cousin?

As I mentioned in the other posting “Toyota and Honda’s Magical Locks” I have a 2019 Toyota Corolla SE Hatchback and a 2020 Honda Fit. Both have a keyless entry and some measure of Accident Avoidance System. However, when considering these two cars, I consider the Honda to be the Toyota’s “dimwitted” cousin.

For example on the Keyless Entry: considering the Toyota, as soon as I grasp the handle, the door unlocks. However, on the Honda, when I grasp the handle and I pull on the handle, I almost always find the door still locked and I may even have let go of the handle and pull a second time before the Honda “wakes up” and unlocks the door. The dealer blew me off with the explanation that this was a “safety feature” to prevent the doors from accidently opening…

As for the Accident Avoidance System on these two makes; the Toyota’s Lane Departure Alert warns me that I am about to depart my lane (if I did not use my signals to change lanes or I am drifting too close to the center line or the shoulder of the road). As for the Honda’s Lane Departure Alert, it lets me know that I have departed my lane after the fact. As for getting too close to the shoulder, I assume it will let me know I have driven into a ditch…

And finally, there is the Pre-Collision System to consider. I cannot say how the Toyota’s or Honda’s system would work in a life-or-death situation, but I have some “near-death” examples. There is a country road I often drive and there is one stretch with a long right-hand curve. When a car approaches from the other direction, it is momentarily directly in front of me on the curve (even though we are both in our proper lanes…). In this situation, the Toyota responds immediately (while the other car is still in front of me…). The warning flashes on the dash and the brakes are even applied. However, on the Honda, the other car has actually passed before the warning sounds and the brakes may or may not be applied…

Now, I’ve been told I always have to say something nice. The hatchback of the Toyota is so shallow, you cannot put a full-size paper grocery bag under the hatch cover. The Honda’s hatch area is probably twice as large and easily holds a full-size paper grocery bag under the cover. On both cars, the rear seat’s backs fold down; however, on the Honda, the sitting part of the rear seat fold up (sort of like a lawn chair…) and gives you enough room to carry a couple of bicycles (with the front wheel removed…) back there. And finally, the Honda also has a passenger side camera that comes on with the Right-Directional to show the right-side “blind-spot” when changing lanes…

The actions of each car is the choice of the engineers who “tune” the systems. They tune to provide value and reduce annoyance trips. Toyota’s choice is a bit different than Honda’s.

The computing power in each car is likely very similar… so each is as “smart” as the other and both are smarter than some of their drivers. Which is why these lane keeping, auto lock and auto-stop systems were installed.

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I’m just so glad my car (2017 base trim Tucson) doesn’t have any of this stuff.
Mind you, I do like ABS, electric windows and keyless entry by buttons on a fob.
I just don’t trust the car to hit the brakes or yank the steering wheel on its own.
I’ll pay attention when driving, I promise. :owl:


I have a 2017 Accord, and I have to leave my hands on the inside of the door handle for a second or two before it unlocks the door. If I grab and pull in one motion, the door won’t unlock. It’s a minor issue and it doesn’t bother me. I do not have lane departure warning on my 2017.

I don’t want it to interfere when I am driving in a normal fashion at all. If that system reacted as the OP described their Honda and Toyota did, I’d disable the system.

These systems should be transparent until the driver does dumb things. If I haven’t done a dumb thing and it goes off, that is unacceptable.


I want to thank everyone who responded to my posting. I am a retired computer programmer/systems analysis so I understand the programming of the computer systems that control the door locks as well as the Accident Avoidance System. I know an “engineers” (or as I call them, the “loose nuts on the keyboard…”) set up the systems and they made a “judgement call” when setting the criteria on these cars. But like all decisions, some decisions are good and some decisions are bad… As you all probably know, Honda has decided to stop the sale of the Honda Fit in the U.S. Perhaps some of the blame to the reduced sales can be placed directly on the shoulders of those engineers…

I know I can adjust the sensitivity or even shut the systems down while driving from the steering wheel, but I leave them on their highest settings. There are just too many distractions for me and the other drivers around me. It’s really scary to have the car driving alongside you drift into your lane and you look over and see the driver sending a text message or updating their Facebook…

So I decided to share some of the “personalities” of my cars with you…

I like anthropomorphise (attribute human characteristics or behavior to an inanimate object…) my “stuff” and as a matter of fact, I’ve even named my cars. The Toyota is named “You-too-Bad” (license plate starts with UTB), and the Honda is named Eugene (license plate starts with UGN…).

And as you might have noticed, after making fun of Eugene (“dimwitted” cousin"), I said good things about “him” by complimenting his storage and carrying capacity… I do not want Eugene’s feeling to be hurt…

I also posted this as a light-hearted story for all to enjoy and allow you all to “trip” down memory lane remembering cars that you have or have had that acted in some peculiar manner, as if they had their own distinct personality…

Once again, thanks for the quick responses and post your cars strange behaviors…


It is not often we get someone succinct and loquacious. Hope you hang around, and the only times I have named my cars is when they misbehave.

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I don’t like any of this stuff. Especially the Big Brother technology. I want a car with no power windows/locks/seats, no alarm/security system, no touchscreen gizmos, no ABS, and definitely no remote communications systems or “driver assist” features. I do not trust the idea of electric power steering, or an electronic throttle body, either. The old-fashioned mechanical connection offers much better reliability and safety.

In short, I like the technology and features which were common on cars from the 1990s, when we had the benefits of fuel injection and reliable computer controls, without all the B.S. features which have become common today.

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Part of the difference is that the Corolla is part of a new generation and most likely has improvements to the technology that Honda just hasn’t offered with the Fit.

Electric power steering is simply mechanical steering with electric assist… it is not drive by wire. If the power dies, steering is still there. The only difference between it and hydraulic power steering is the method of assist. As for reliability, I’ve never had problems with either system.

As for drive by wire… it is arguably safer since there is no cable to hang-up and cause a wide open throttle condition. If the cars ECU dies, so does the engine. If there is an errant command to go full throttle and the driver has the brake applied, the throttle closes. Essentially, there are multiple fail-safe built into the system. Reliability has been proven to be pretty darn good considering drive by wire has been around for about 20 years now with few issues.


Wrong again . Cables can gum up and stick or the spring connectors can break and the whole mechanism can fail . Key locks are more prone to problems than remote entry .

Why are you so against things that actually work and most people want . When you install the Heat and air systems ( As I think that is your job ) do you tell customers that the internet connected thermostats ( we have that and it works great ) should come with Aluminum Hats ?

That’s funny. While it’s not a “safety feature,” it just means that Honda went with the slower unlock system. There’s nothing wrong with it. Other cars have the same delay.

That’s a little surprising. Admittedly I have no experience with the Honda-branded safety suite, but I’ve driven a '19 RDX quite a bit, and that thing is a little more sensitive to lane departures than my '16 Lexus. Of course, Honda does tend to put heavier emphasis on separating Honda from Acura on cars that share platforms, while Lexus just tends to add sound deadening and other luxo touches while keeping many of the underlying systems the same. So that could explain it.

There is something wrong there. The pre collision system on my Lexus does not do that, and if it did I would have taken it to the dealership and told them to fix it. You do not want it hitting the brakes when there is no danger of a front-end collision. That’s a good way to get rear-ended.

It should be working with the lane monitoring system, which is smart enough to know when the lane is curving. If you’re in a curve, the system understands that the oncoming vehicle isn’t in your lane even when it’s directly in front of you.

I had the ‘pleasure’ of driving a rental 2020 Accord from Banff to Calgary in an early snowstorm. I could tell the lane departure and anti-skid (no winter tires) systems were kicking in and out, but with no lanes to be seen and precious little traction, I think I would have been better off without them, relying on my AK driving habits. Spooky.

I think lane assist is really fantastic technology, but I don’t like it. I’ve test driven a lot of 2020 models, and each model displayed different behaviors. One of the reasons I don’t like it is because it rightfully pulls you for correction. Some too soon some too late for my liking. Most of the time I’m thinking I have alignment problems. Same with brake assist. I think it’s cool, but I treat it like it’s a toy. I get in the habit of observing how it stops behind another vehicle. And when I play I have my foot above the brake without touching it. It’s much more comfortable with my foot on the brake while brakes are being used. Plus I could just see myself getting in my van to play with brake assist and forget that this van doesn’t have it and I’d smack the car ahead of me. Oops.

I doubt it. Toyota discontinued the Yaris in the US market after 2019, and then they were selling leftover 2018 models. What engineering errors led to Toyota’s end to the Yaris? BTW, the Yaris and Fit continue in other markets, just not the US market. It was poor sales that led to their demise here.

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It’s all about sales figures in a particular market.

There just is not a market in the US for small vehicles . The Ford Fiesta has also bit the dust and I still like our 2018 .

And, the market for sedans of any size is growing smaller by the year.
IIRC, Ford is also discontinuing the Fusion and the Taurus. GM has discontinued the Impala and will reportedly discontinue the Malibu next year.

It’s all about sales figures, and sedans just don’t sell in sufficient numbers at this point for some/most of them to stay in production.

Back to the electronics. I’ve felt that Toyota and Honda have subtle but definite differences in their approach to product development. Toyota seems to favor luxury and management, leaning toward the “car as appliance” thinking, while Honda gives their engineering staff a stronger influence on the product, giving the driver the tools to make the decisions. Both make excellent products, but I lean toward Honda. It’s really a personal choice, not a value judgment.

Reactive hating of these inventions makes me feel like a cranky old man, and I’m cranky and old enough already about lots of things, so I try to embrace the safety electronics. Maybe they will keep me independent for more years.

My 2011 Outback Limited has ~110k miles, burns no oil, looks like it just rolled out of the showroom, and is in excellent condition. However, I plan to replace it w/in the next year or so, just to be able to avail myself of some significant safety enhancements that didn’t exist 10 years ago.

I recently drove my friend’s 2021 Forester, and even though it is a cheaper vehicle than an Outback, it has an incredible number of safety enhancements that mine lacks. Like my friend, I would disable the annoying auto stop/start (he found by trial and error that it only improved his gas mileage by ~ .3 mpg) , but I really want to have rear cross-traffic warning, blind spot warning, and automatic emergency braking. The lane departure feature is something that I could do without, but I would tolerate it in order to have the other safety enhancements.