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Re: “Gear shifter”, time for it to go?

Posted: Thu Jun 28, 2012 4:32 pm
by eclecticflower
I must agree with skippycoyote and the comfort of the armrest/hand resting near the shift knob. It's placement feels natural, it's easier for us 5'4" avg women to reach and I like the blue on the puck (complements my blue console). The parking brake is in the same location as the Grand Vitara LTD I sold and it's even better that it's small/compact (not a giant handle to yank up). I like the clever button for Park, too. To me the whole arrangement is sleek and futuristic. Perhaps those who dislike these features have just lost their joy... :)

Re: “Gear shifter”, time for it to go?

Posted: Thu Jun 28, 2012 4:45 pm
by mkjayakumar
It felt a little funny and strange the first few days, but I have now come to LOVE the gear shifter. Way cool and simple.

Re: “Gear shifter”, time for it to go?

Posted: Thu Jun 28, 2012 5:30 pm
by planet4ever
I'm with HoustonFlyer. Put the shift mechanism on the dash, move the brake somewhere else, and give me a BIG console compartment. For me the brake is the worst. Three times I've had a passenger pull it while on the freeway thinking they were unlatching that tiny console compartment. Fortunately it just drops you into neutral for a couple of seconds, but it's still a bit scary if you aren't expecting it. And I think our Prius does the shift the right way. I can reach out with my fingertips and drop it into "B" without even taking my hand off the steering wheel. That's rather useful if you are going downhill on a twisty mountain road.

General principle: Driving controls should be on the driver's side of the car, not where they are equally accessible to passengers.

Ray

Re: “Gear shifter”, time for it to go?

Posted: Thu Jun 28, 2012 5:48 pm
by davewill
planet4ever wrote:I'm with HoustonFlyer. Put the shift mechanism on the dash, move the brake somewhere else, and give me a BIG console compartment. For me the brake is the worst. Three times I've had a passenger pull it while on the freeway thinking they were unlatching that tiny console compartment. ...
It has never bothered me, but it sounds like a third party mod opportunity. Since the controls are all electric, it should be easy enough to create either a whole new center console, or just a new top for that part that relocates those controls and gives more storage space.

Re: “Gear shifter”, time for it to go?

Posted: Wed Jul 04, 2012 4:12 am
by leafydragon
The puck-shifter and electric parking brake have OK ergonomics, but I too would prefer the center console freed up for storing stuff.

The electric parking brake feels a lot more "premium" than the puck shifter.
I just don't like the lack of immediate feedback...

The puck shifter has cheap-feeling, cheap-looking plastic - the seams and the outside edges.

The Prius ('06) shifter is nice (no stretching forward needed), but hitting "P" might be a slight stretch.

Re: “Gear shifter”, time for it to go?

Posted: Wed Jul 04, 2012 1:42 pm
by TomT
+1!
eclecticflower wrote:I must agree with skippycoyote and the comfort of the armrest/hand resting near the shift knob. It's placement feels natural, it's easier for us 5'4" avg women to reach and I like the blue on the puck (complements my blue console). The parking brake is in the same location as the Grand Vitara LTD I sold and it's even better that it's small/compact (not a giant handle to yank up). I like the clever button for Park, too. To me the whole arrangement is sleek and futuristic. Perhaps those who dislike these features have just lost their joy... :)

Re: “Gear shifter”, time for it to go?

Posted: Wed Jul 04, 2012 7:42 pm
by leafydragon
eclecticflower wrote:To me the whole arrangement is sleek and futuristic. Perhaps those who dislike these features have just lost their joy... :)
Perhaps. I agree the ergonomics are OK, it is just pragmatism, that I don't want them taking up valuable space that could be used for storing stuff.

Re: “Gear shifter”, time for it to go?

Posted: Wed Jul 04, 2012 9:12 pm
by KeiJidosha
The Puck is a waste of valuable interior real estate, as is the parking brake. A sensible location when mechanically attached to a transmission and rear brake drum actuator, but unnecessary for the simple electrical switch that they have become. Also, operation is not intuitive. Pulling what looks to be a parking brake release sets the parking brake ??? And the puck ruins the PRNDL convention that is the standard subconscious expectation. Pulling the puck to R or D will give you neutral if held too long. Pulling to N gives you… Park ? The position of the Puck and Parking brake tells you nothing, there is no tactile feedback. You need to look at the dashboard to know if/what gear the LEAF is in, and if the parking brake is on or released. Both are distracting.

At the Fit EV introduction, drivers got into the Fit EV and drove off. An ignition key you could twist, a drive selector and parking brake that operated as expected, needed no instruction. Two drivers needed assistance to get underway in the LEAF that Honda provided for comparison in the short time I was there. 5 days and 600 miles into driving the LEAF myself, it is still a conscious effort to get underway, and this from a MINI driver. Sure, drivers eventually get the hang of it, as I did. But I can blame the quirky nature of the MINI on an effort to evoke the original Mini’s retro driving experience. The LEAF was a blank slate. An opportunity to make it better or make it intuitive. Instead, the LEAF drive select and parking brake seem to have shunned convention for the pure novelty, at the expense of driving and interior utility.

Re: “Gear shifter”, time for it to go?

Posted: Thu Jul 05, 2012 12:20 am
by planet4ever
KeiJidosha wrote:The Puck is a waste of valuable interior real estate, as is the parking brake. A sensible location when mechanically attached to a transmission and rear brake drum actuator, but unnecessary for the simple electrical switch that they have become. Also, operation is not intuitive.
<snip>
The LEAF was a blank slate. An opportunity to make it better or make it intuitive. Instead, the LEAF drive select and parking brake seem to have shunned convention for the pure novelty, at the expense of driving and interior utility.
I agree with nearly everything you said in your post, but not your "pure novelty" accusation in the case of the shifter. For those of us who came to the LEAF from a Prius, the positions and behavior are very familiar. My suspicion is that they were specifically targeting Prius drivers, and intentionally mimicked its shifter behavior.

Ray

Re: “Gear shifter”, time for it to go?

Posted: Thu Jul 05, 2012 4:51 am
by coqui
I like the hockeypuck. And I like the centre console; holds a lot of miscellaneous "stuff" (car charger for the smartphone, a soft cloth to clean my sunglasses now and then, and the little card issued by ChargePoint for public charging stations, etc).