One of the most recent yet notable additions to the modern vehicle's growing suite of fuel-saving technologies is the humble start-stop system. It's rather simple - when the vehicle is stopped, the engine shuts off. It then fires back up when the driver starts to take his foot off the brake or step on the clutch. For one of the most important fuel sippers of the year, though, start-stop tech is a no-go.

Honda will not be offering the system on the North American-spec, non-hybrid Fit despite it being a standard item on both the hybrid (pictured above) and gas-only Japanese domestic models. According to Honda, it's ostensibly due to the momentary lag, that occurs when the gas engine re-fires and power is available. The start-stop-equipped Fits "will lose at stoplights to V6s," Nobuhiko Shishido, the lead powertrain engineer for the Fit, told Automotive News. This is just an observation on our part, but unless the new Fit turns up with dramatically more than the current car's 117 horsepower, it'll "lose at stoplights" regardless of whatever fuel-saving features are fitted.

The other issue Honda sees is more realistic. In the world of the EPA, stop-start systems are not taken into account in fuel economy testing. That makes the cost-adding technology a tough sell for US consumers who are forced to take a dealer's word on real-world economy gains over the milage numbers on the window sticker. That said, wouldn't it at least make sense to offer start-stop as an option? Have your say in the Comments below.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 142 Comments
      edselfanboy
      • 1 Year Ago
      Last year I got a 2012 BMW 328 for my wife with a stop/start feature. This feature was so intrusive, shudders and shakes, that I complained to BMW's main office. Recently BMW sent me a note saying mine wasn't the only complaint and to come in for a fix. The fix is that they defeat the computer and you must press a button now to activate the system. I have a friend with a Prius and his stop/start is seamless. Depends on who is making the system. Now we get slightly less mileage, but a smoother car.
        Jono
        • 1 Year Ago
        @edselfanboy
        The prius system is seamless because the electric motor got the car going before re-starting the engine. That way you don't feel the jerk of it starting. Personally I strongly dislike stop-start. I drove an Audi A1 with stop-start, and the jerk when it restarts is very uncomfortable. Plus the lag between stepping on the throttle to actually going, was annoying me so much. I ultimately turned it off every time I got in that car.
      Jason
      • 1 Year Ago
      The bigger letdown is that we won't get the hybrid version.
      btc909
      • 3 Months Ago

      You need a 48V electrical system, a 48V electric AC compressor, and a capacitor or ultra-capacitor.  The expensive starter is still an issue.  Using an electric motor to turn the crank probably wouldn't be very efficient.

      Comments

      A 12V electric AC compressor sucks.

      Current Star Stop systems shut off the AC compressor.

      A Start Stop Starter is not cheap.

      "shuttering" is a comment complaint with Start / Stop systems.

      Start / Stop is generally defaulted to "On" when the vehicle is started.

      superchan7
      • 1 Year Ago
      So the new Fit without start/stop will be able to match a V6 Accord acceleration? Got it.
        costeau
        • 1 Year Ago
        @superchan7
        If the Accord does have start/stop, just maybe… ;)
      Camaroman101
      • 1 Year Ago
      "will lose at stoplights to V6s," most ridiculous reason i've ever heard
      • 1 Year Ago
      [blocked]
        merlot066
        • 1 Year Ago
        1) Nobody is going to click on your stupid links for your stupider website 2) The Fiesta has been doing just fine with its 2014 refresh and EcoBoost option. 3) Earth Dremas continues to be the most pathetic marketing name to come out of any company for any product ever.
          • 1 Year Ago
          @merlot066
          [blocked]
          • 1 Year Ago
          @merlot066
          [blocked]
      • 1 Year Ago
      [blocked]
        Will
        • 1 Year Ago
        I'm prety sure Ford is tied for first place with Hyundai/Kia when it comes to misstating MPG. My 2010 Fit is rated 33 Hwy and I get 36. Not sure where you get your information since you admit to driving a beater Ford.
          b.rn
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Will
          Will, Ford had one validated issue with one car. Hyundai had issues with every single car they released over a multi-year period. Big difference. My 2013 Ford easily exceeds it's EPA rated mpg.
          789dm
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Will
          Same here i drove my boss older fit it get extra 2 to 3 mpg over the EPA. Even my bread box element got 1 to 2 mpg extra on hilly highways. Honda made many cars that exceeds the EPA numbers but like everything else in this life, they too made mistakes in engineering or designs cuz nothing is perfect.
      PeterScott
      • 1 Year Ago
      "In the world of the EPA, stop-start systems are not taken into account in fuel economy testing." Is Autoblog ever going to stop repeating this myth. http://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/fe_test_schedules.shtml The EPA city test does 23 stop in 11 miles, and spends a full 18% of the test idling. A car with stop-start could turn off the engine whiled stopped during those idle events. That is likely a bigger time spent idling than most people do on their commute. So EPA test will show benefit for stat/stop, by turning off the engine during those stops. But lets be clear. It won't be a large exaggerated effect than some manufactures would like to see. More like 1-2 MPG city, 0 MPG Highway. Which is likely what you would get in the real world, unless you have the commute from hell.
        • 1 Year Ago
        @PeterScott
        [blocked]
          PeterScott
          • 1 Year Ago
          You do realize they are driven, but it is on a treadmill. Which changes essentially nothing with regards to stop/start and hybrid technology.
        Alfonso T. Alvarez
        • 1 Year Ago
        @PeterScott
        Except that the EPA test procedure doesn't allow the engine to stop during the idle periods - hence the fact that they don't accommodate for this feature. We can always hope that they will do so in the future, but as of now, it just isn't factored in. So when are you going to acknowledge this fact, instead of your erroneous interpretation?
          PeterScott
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Alfonso T. Alvarez
          That is absurd nonsense. How would the EPA force the engine to keep running? Magic?
      creamwobbly
      • 1 Year Ago
      So the EPA doesn't measure savings on start/stop? What part of "city driving" does the EPA not get?
        foxtrot685
        • 1 Year Ago
        @creamwobbly
        The EPA doesn't take it into account because the system only works when a vehicle is stationary, and the EPA only factors in systems that work while moving.
      jl7503
      • 1 Year Ago
      If you are seriously THAT concerned about saving fuel, you really have to ask yourself, "should I be driving a car at all?" I for one refuse to let my life be ruled by the price of gasoline. IF it gets too dear, park the car 2 days a week and ride the bus to work. Drive less.
        CoolWaters
        • 1 Year Ago
        @jl7503
        That's a great idea. You meet people too. Single? it's a good way to get a date.
        Alfonso T. Alvarez
        • 1 Year Ago
        @jl7503
        Cool!! Except - there are way too many commutes that don't offer the option of taking a bus, you know?? 'Your mileage may vary' is not just a disclaimer on the window sticker - there are just too many different types of commutes in this country to make such a comment!!
      Merc1
      • 1 Year Ago
      Good, it is an annoying feature that no one wants. Seems like to me it would cause a lot of wear and tear on the starter and other components over time. I turn it off every time I drive my car and that in itself is a pain in the arse. M
        willied
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Merc1
        Cars with start-stop generally come with a heavier duty starter, but it'll probably still cause more wear in the end.
        BipDBo
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Merc1
        Not to mention extra fatigue due to cyclical thermal changes and friction due to low lubrication pressure during each start. It's just not good for any machine, including a car engine to turn it off and on repeatedly. A good example is the world record for the longest running light bulb, which is still running. It has a fancy surge suppression system and backup power to keep the flow of electricity steady. If someone switched it off, it probably wouldn't switch back on again.
          Alfonso T. Alvarez
          • 1 Year Ago
          @BipDBo
          Wrong, and you clearly are not knowledgeable in the way engines work. Oil pressure doesn't just disappear when an engine is shut down for a few seconds at a stop. And thermal changes? WTH?? Seriously, you shouldn't comment about things that you are clueless about!!
          Ele Truk
          • 1 Year Ago
          @BipDBo
          The data belies that theory, as the Toyota Prius is one of the most reliable cars out there, and it uses start/stop. The motor/generator arrangement is probably different than in a non-hybrid start-stop car, and I would expect more wear and tear on a standard starter/flywheel system. But the engines do not suffer from start/stop usage, since the stop time isn't really long enough for the engine to cool down or drain down enough to see the issues you mentioned.
        disngaj
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Merc1
        +1 Virtually every review that I've read of a car equipped with this feature describes it as an annoyance. It might work well someday, but for now, for a gain of maybe 1 mpg, it is basically worthless on a car that already gets 30+ mpg.
          Samuel Look
          • 1 Year Ago
          @disngaj
          Probably because every reviewer secretly thinks they are Mario Andretti...
      ermoldaker
      • 1 Year Ago
      I am a powertrain engineer in a European car manufacturer and the biggest customer feedback we get about stop start from the US is 'how do you turn it off', with a request for it to be in a normally off position with the option to select it. I think Honda are dead on the money with this one, probably from similar experiences.
        Alfonso T. Alvarez
        • 1 Year Ago
        @ermoldaker
        Really? Because GM seems to have been able to do this without having any 'comfort' issues (FYI to all of those not in the industry - in European parlance, 'comfort' is refinement for the driver). I have read many, many reviews that confirm this fact - maybe you need to get better at being a 'powertrain engineer' and not make excuses??
        ermoldaker
        • 1 Year Ago
        @ermoldaker
        See comment below...
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