I'm still in full control of the vehicle, far more so than someone distracted by a cell phone at any rate. It doesn't take an appreciable amount of time for me to bump or key start the engine when need arises. It wasn't something that took an inordinate amount of practice to learn either on a smallish car with a stick shift.
I'm not against it, I'm just not sure it's legal. of course if a cop would somehow know you could just say "the car stalled." With small, stick cars with no power steering it's very seamless to drive with the engine off. I was surprised how seamless it was. I can't tell when the engine is on or off--there's no difference in how the car performs (except that it doesn't go when you hit the gas). So today as I was driving my "new" VX around I'd just kill the engine down hills and then pop the clutch -- sometimes at slow speeds it would slow down while trying to start, but when jumping into 5th it is pretty seamless. If you do it at stop lights (and I did several times) just gotta pay attention to the lights and the traffic so you don't hold up traffic starting the car.
I'm pretty sure that it's driving without the car being in gear that is, or should be illeagle if any of it is, if driving with the engine off was illeagle hybrids would have some fancy hoops to jump thru, I can turn my engine off, and as I'm coasting up a hill bump start it and run for a few seconds, and the only way to tell is that the oil presure and battery light come on when the engine is off, and they go off again when I start it.
the varrying throttle in my expearince is the o2 sensor, but going thru and doing a tune up might make it go away as well, make sure your EGR valve is working properly too, as I was told by the dealer mecanice that if that is not working right that it can sometimes have the same affect, to check that simply pull the vaccum hose off the EGR valve and plug it with a pencel.
My VX has the same sensation around that speed on the highway...I wonder if there is something wrong with it too.
I've done all maintence to the engine that constitutes a tune-up other than replacing the 02 sensor (though I was told it was replaced just a few months ago), maybe upgrading some grounds that are looking like they need it, and cleaning out the EGR.
Maybe those things will make the car run smoother and get better than the 38-45 mpg average it was giving me.
On the never-ending quest for better gas mileage...