I think during your test drive the different transmissions may make it hard to compare. Sure the 3.6 will be more powerfull but if you have never driven a cvt it can be disconcerting the way the engine revs up to get you up to speed. Try to get a good drive in on the highway and check out how the 2.5 performs, get it up to speed then back out of the gas a bit and the smoothness of the powertrain shows its stuff. If you only do a stop and go test drive the cvt may put you off. So far the 2.5 has been plenty for us and enjoyed mpg around 30 on a recent road trip to Florida at 70mph avg. Good luck.