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Discussion Starter #1
I personally like a transmission that locks the gears. Which do you think will last longer? Was the 5EAT discontinued for fuel mileage purposes, or for other reasons?
 

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Mileage yes and archaic technology. The cvt locks the Torque Converter at 12mph and its stays locked till you drop below 12mph again the 5eat didn’t do that.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Mileage yes and archaic technology. The cvt locks the Torque Converter at 12mph and its stays locked till you drop below 12mph again the 5eat didn’t do that.
Which last longer under normal driving conditions?
 

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Discussion Starter #6
How long do you keep your cars?
CVT transmissions are far far less complex than 6+speed traditional automatics. The taxi I rode in yesterday had 310,000 miles on its original cvt.
I typically drive them until they fall apart.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I'm a white male so I'm afraid of things that are different along with being terrified of change.

I'm a huge fan of the 5EAT.
I have seen a lot of CVTs go bad early. I drove cabs with CVTs and they were always breaking down. They were Prius' however. I've always like traditional transmissions. I too, like for something to be well seasoned before change.
 

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2013 3.6R Limited
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My research throughout 2015 regarding the best bang-for-the-buck AWD SUV for our particular needs pointed to the 3.6R / 5EAT combination. I found and purchased a well-cared-for 2013 model in early November 2015 at 25,500 miles. It is now approaching 40,000 miles and has done everything we have asked it to do with nothing more than routine maintenance from me. As an extra measure of transmission insurance, I do ATF drain-and-fills every 30,000 miles using the recommended Subaru HP ATF. Takes all of 20 minutes with about $35 worth of fresh fluid. A no-brainer as far as I'm concerned.

This has been a solid and capable vehicle regardless of the weather conditions thus far. We remain very satisfied with it.
 

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2019 Subaru Forester Premium, Crystal Black Silica, Pkg 15
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I love the CVT in my car - and when I'm looking for more spirited driving, I use the paddles to lock in the ratios to mimic the traditional 5EAT (in this case I guess it would be a 6EAT, because it has 6 pre-set ratios)

The concern I have about the CVT is the long-term unknowns. I know at this point I'm making a bigger deal out of this than I normally should, but the car has been and continues to be fine.

People are suggesting a 60k mile drain-and-fill interval for the CVT. Personally, I haven't done that yet, and I'm a little over 85k miles.

If I could go back in time I would have bought the 3.6R anyway, which had the 5EAT - but I wouldn't specifically pick the 3.6R to get the 5EAT, if you understand my meaning. I want the 3.6 engine, and I would take whatever was offered with it.

The 2018 Outback 3.6R is super smooth with the CVT and the MPG's are pretty impressive considering the engine and weight of the car.

Unfortunately the maintenance on the 3.6R with CVT is a little more convoluted - and it's impossible to find the High Torque CVT fluid in anything other than the giant bucket that the dealerships get (for now - the C-30 and CVT-II was the same way)...

I'm wrestling with a few ideas:
Do I keep my 2.5i and drive it into the dirt? Should I start doing D&F's of the CVTF?
Do I get a "fun" car like a BRZ 6MT to keep as a backup for when I want a little fun?
Do I trade the 2.5i and get the 2018 3.6R and just do D&F's at a 60k interval?

I'm torn back and forth. I know the 2011's Torque Converter is a documented problem and issue (TSB) but they only repair it if it's a problem, and only if you're under 10y/100k miles. So, if it's not a problem for someone, they won't just go in and fix it.

If they did fix my converter to the new style, I'd probably keep driving my 2011.
 

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I'm not sure if this question is comparing a gen 4 with a CVT to a gen 4 with a 5eat because that comes with a 2.5 vs 3.6 question.
In this comparison, the CVT does a better job with the small engine delivering a smooth drive and great mpg. However, the 3.6 models are an upgrade pretty universally so if you are okay spending the extra or get lucky and find a 3.6, it's going to be preferred by most people.

OR Comparing a gen 4 3.6 with 5eat vs gen 5 3.6 with CVT.
This turns into a gen 4 vs gen 5. I'd choose a gen5 with CVT over the gen4 with CVT just because I like the gen better.



It's too soon to tell if the issues in the CVT were resolved. Subaru extended the warranty and revised parts and changed models a few times, the older cars were running into the issues. New cars really haven't been around long enough to prove themselves and Subaru has not been very transparent about the problems / fixes.
 

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Brucey
'17 3.6
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I'm not sure if this question is comparing a gen 4 with a CVT to a gen 4 with a 5eat because that comes with a 2.5 vs 3.6 question.
In this comparison, the CVT does a better job with the small engine delivering a smooth drive and great mpg. However, the 3.6 models are an upgrade pretty universally so if you are okay spending the extra or get lucky and find a 3.6, it's going to be preferred by most people.

OR Comparing a gen 4 3.6 with 5eat vs gen 5 3.6 with CVT.
This turns into a gen 4 vs gen 5. I'd choose a gen5 with CVT over the gen4 with CVT just because I like the gen 4 better.



It's too soon to tell if the issues in the CVT were resolved. Subaru extended the warranty and revised parts and changed models a few times, the older cars were running into the issues. New cars really haven't been around long enough to prove themselves and Subaru has not been very transparent about the problems / fixes.
This is the entire thread, really.
 

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Tough call. The 5EAT is a very smooth operator in normal driving, as far as traditional automatics go. It's also established, and had been used in much larger vehicles. - Tribeca and Nissan Armada, yes basically the same trans hauled that monster around, so in a lightweight Outback it should be bulletproof with care.

The new CVT is smooth, almost too smooth, and works well. My wife's 18 Crosstrek is Lexus smooth and refined feeling, just with a bit more road noise, which could be the tires. Time will tell, although it is a lease. Her prior Nissan CVT vehicles quite frankly didn't drive as well, and the 3.5 had an odd feeling that didn't feel right after a few thousand, was glad to see that one go, before it failed. - The Crosstrek feels and drives better, and without the raspy waah sound her prior car with the 2.5 sounded like. (I don't like the Nissan 2.5 / CVT combo, the boxer sounds much better to me).

My conundrum is whether to keep my 4th gen 3.6/5EAT once the 7 year CPO warranty is done, or look at a 5th Gen or new Forester (19 or leftover 18 XT) come December. I'll only be around 63k, so hopefully no major failures ahead. - Keeping might have a lift in the equation. ?
 

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2011 Outback Limited. White, Sunroof, 2.5, CVT. Bought 2/15/11. Love it! Broke 109K, 2/20.
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My feeling is that Subaru has been using the CVT for far longer than any other manufacturer, and while the version made in 1999 as an example is not the same as the one made last week, I think Subie is far more experienced in their begin and manufacture. That was one reason I got the Outback in '11. Seeing stories about some of the newer multi speed electronic shifting automatics in other brands I'm more comfortable with my Subaru. I did recently acquire a '14 RAM CPO but I spent the extra for a factory lifetime warranty. Maybe if I had thought about it and it was available, I would have done the same with the Subaru when I got it. This Outback is my first experience with Subaru beyond the arms length admiration I had for the brand going back to the 360! But since I'm also a 7 time owner of Fiats over 45 years I suppose I'm a tad off kilter anyway!
 

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I simply cannot abide useless people.
2006 2.5i and 2002 3.0 wagons.
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Yes.
 

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Brucey
'17 3.6
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I have seen a lot of CVTs go bad early. I drove cabs with CVTs and they were always breaking down. They were Prius' however. I've always like traditional transmissions. I too, like for something to be well seasoned before change.
How is your transmission holding up?

:smile2:
 

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Lawn ornament XT
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I've owned a Subaru with a 5EAT for over 8 years, and last year we added a Prius with the Toyota power split device.

I love them both for different reasons. I expect the Toyota to last longer.

The 5EAT transfers mechanical power through the ATF and has 4 or 5 separate friction clutches which will eventually wear out, and if not caught soon enough they will wear through other parts. The 5EAT has had some issues with its center differential bearings in high-power applications. I put a reinforcement kit in mine but never got around to tuning for high power. It shifted well to begin with, and I was able to modify it to shift even better. It also had some problems with parts availability, there were a couple of sensors that Subaru never made available individually- they made you buy a big expensive assembly instead.

The Toyota power split requires two separate torque inputs, and one of them must be capable of reversing direction. So it is best left to gas/electric hybrids. Advantages- no clutches at all so the ATF stays cleaner longer. Fluid never bears the torque, so the ATF lasts much, much longer. No gears ever mechanically engage or disengage- it's permanently locked, and there are far fewer parts in there. The basic design has remained the same for... 21 years now? Proven. The downside is that electric means it needs a big expensive battery, and those seem to tap out after 10-15 years regardless of miles driven.

I don't know if any other car still uses the 5EAT. Initially several Nissans and Infinitis used them, and I suspect that the additional component demand helped lower the price for Subaru's use. But those cars have moved on to 7-speeds and the like, and Subaru went straight to their CVT.

The Subaru CVT does depend on some friction parts and the fluid does bear the torque. I've only driven a couple of these short term, dealer loaners for the day, that sort of thing. They seemed reasonably smooth but I am skeptical that they will last as long as either the 5EAT or the Toyota hybrid setup.

There's no way for me to know Subaru's motivation for changing to CVT, though it is pretty obvious that it unlocked a huge MPG gain. Subaru has historically used a strategy of making the 2.5 qualify for a lot of EPA credits. They used some of those credits to offset their own 3.6 model, and sold the rest on the exchange market to help keep the prices low on the 2.5 models.

I've got my eye on the new Crosstrek Hybrid. It's got the Toyota power split transmission driving a Subaru AWD system. Best of both worlds as far as I'm concerned. With fuel so cheap these days I don't especially care that it is a hybrid, I just see two extremely durable mechanical systems in a reasonable wagon-ish hatchback package.
 

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2019 Subaru Forester Premium, Crystal Black Silica, Pkg 15
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You’re saying the Crosstrek CVT is the Toyota system that has less wear and tear on the CVT and fluid?
@rasterman
 

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Lawn ornament XT
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You’re saying the Crosstrek CVT is the Toyota system that has less wear and tear on the CVT and fluid?
@rasterman
Close.

I'm saying the 2019 Crosstrek Hybrid uses the Toyota system that is (IMO) less prone to wear than any of the Subaru CVTs.

Note that these cars are being made in very limited numbers and I haven't even seen evidence of one in the USA, despite being announced for sale in the USA as a 2019 model.
 
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