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Do y’all like the CVT?

  • Like the CVT

  • Hate the CVT

  • Manual is way better


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2008 n/a 5 speed manual outback
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92 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I think the cvt is a great transmission. It is efficient and can keep the Rpms in the power band for more efficient power delivery. However with the new Cvts with the Fake simulated “gears,” the whole purpose of a cvt is defeated. As an absolute car junkie and enthusiast, I really prefer the manuals over the cvt. (I have driven both extensively) but that’s because I like “feeling connected to the car.” For getting those who don’t care as much about feeling connected to the car, but care more about just usingthe car to get from point a to b the cvt works great!
 

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'15 Outback 2.5i Premium
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2,347 Posts
I voted for manual because I much prefer a MT to an automatic of any type and regret that such was not available on the car I otherwise like a lot. The handwriting is on the wall, though... in the USA, at least, manual transmissions will soon be a thing of the past except perhaps on some exotic cars. Period. Because of this, the number of mechanics skilled in working on them and associated systems like clutches will also diminish to near zero.

As to the CVT variant of automatic transmission in particular, I have mixed feelings about it; any time a radically different technology comes in and replaces an existing, well-proven technology, one should expect issues. In principle, the CVT has some advantages, but the current inability to get them repaired in the field is a disadvantage.
 

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'17 Outback Limited 3.6R in Venetian Red.
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400 Posts
If you drive the car as intended it feels like a regular automatic. I have no gripes against it and I've had my OB for almost 4 years.
 

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2008 n/a 5 speed manual outback
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92 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
I have driven a 2008 mt outback and a 2013 cvt. As a car enthusiast the manual is a must. However the CvT is great for others who aren’t looking for driving experience, and it is more efficient. My only issue with it vs other autos is the long throttle response.
 

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I simply cannot abide useless people.
2006 2.5i and 2002 3.0 wagons.
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12,276 Posts
Hmmm, if the Subaru CVT behaved like a CVT and didn't have or you could turn off the fake "shift points" I would prefer it to the older 4 and 5 speed autos hands down.

As it stands, I still prefer the 5EAT which is no longer available post 2014 in the Outback. But I would still take a CVT over a MT simply because most of my driving is city and my knees aren't what or where they used to be.
 

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2011 Outback Limited 2.5
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173 Posts
I love and voted for MT's and will always want to have at least one of my cars to have one, I first hated the CVT but I'm okay with it now and have gotten used to it. It doesn't behave like how i'd like an auto such as the shutters between shifting from P to D or R but I can get over that. It has also been more costly for me since I've had to replace the Control Valve Body and all the fluid and such than any other autos I've owned.

Lucky I have one of each; a MT, AT, and, CVT in my fleet so I can choose which I wanna drive that day :ROFLMAO:
 

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2017 2.5i Premium Lapis Blue
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3,530 Posts
If you drive the car as intended it feels like a regular automatic. I have no gripes against it and I've had my OB for almost 4 years.
My biggest complaint is that they tried to make it feel like a regular automatic. I would like the option to have my CVT perform like a CVT.
 

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2012 Outback Ltd 3.6r
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413 Posts
My wife has a CVT in her Trek, I have the 5EAT in my Outback. Other than trying to briskly accelerate from a complete stop, or stomp on the throttle to pass, the CVT may be the smoother and better operator. Different reasons for each scenario though.

From a stop, the CVT chain isn't under pressure, and there's a whole lot of torque management until the chain becomes taught, to prevent slip and premature wear. - That's why initially off the line, the CVT feels slow, it needs that second or so to bring the pressures up, tighten the change between the pulleys, before you can apply any amount of torque. (One of the Subaru engineers went over their operation in depth in an interview).

When passing, they tend to jump to max hp/tq rpms quickly and stay there, and with the smaller engines (2.0/2.5), that means additional noise, but it does work. Again, if you get on them too quickly, the torque nanny might kick in a bit.

Under both scenarios, I've learned with my wife's Crosstrek, and loaners or rentals, that a somewhat slower application of throttle is best for the CVT equipped vehicles. Just perform a smooth progressive push of the go-pedal, which works much better than punching it to the floor. On the traditional auto, that quick punch drops the pre-requisite gear(s) and away you go, running through the gear changes.

Can't beat the CVT for mileage though, even the 3.6 is rated a few higher with the CVT than the older 5EAT.
 

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2019 2.5i Premium w/Eyesight, "Wilderness Green Metallic"
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562 Posts
If I had known I was going to be the sole driver, I would probably have got something with a manual transmission instead. As it is, I'm kinda afraid that the CVT is going to fail once the car is out of warranty and I'll be on the hook for enough money that I could buy another car.
 

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'14 Premium Mileage=97K
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66 Posts
I hate it. I drove MTs for 25 years. Since I'm a Subie diehard, I immediately bought another outback when my 04 died (251K). If I had it to do all over again, I would have gone for the MT and told me knee to shut up.

As it stands, I've been looking to replace it but can't find anything I want. I'm afraid the CVT is going to crash and burn and then I'll have to sync $ I don't want to into it and be forced to keep driving.

That said, I'll never own another CVT car. As soon as I'm not upside down on this one, I'm selling and getting a 2009 or earlier model for cheap and mod it how I've always wanted too.

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2016 Outback 3.6R Limited w/ EyeSight
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232 Posts
8 months into my first CVT

I don't feel any difference 90% of the time. As others have stated, the CVT feels like a regular ol' automatic transmission driving around.

The fake shifts are kinda weird in a WOT or more spirited driving. It feels like my old Toyota Cressida when the transmission was going out.... slipping, not shifting, shifting too soon or not at all, wouldn't downshift to 1st gear, only 2nd. Rofl. That's the best I can compare it to.

So I don't hate it per se. But it does feel awkward.
 

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2010 Outback 3.6R 2014 Legacy 2.5i 2003 Legacy L special edition (retired to backup)
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710 Posts
Subaru are like any other car, get to B from A. CVT is nice as it is very smooth in how it operates under normal conditions. I couldn't care less about how the transmission operates overall.. Like it or not, due to emissions ever so tightening stranglehold, the manual is going the way of the dodo bird.
 

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'14 Premium Mileage=97K
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66 Posts
Subaru are like any other car, get to B from A. CVT is nice as it is very smooth in how it operates under normal conditions. I couldn't care less about how the transmission operates overall.. Like it or not, due to emissions ever so tightening stranglehold, the manual is going the way of the dodo bird.
True, but I hope some manufacturers never go to the CVT and that their sales increase so others like Subie will eventually stop the CVT madness.

And don't get me started on the whole gov't mandated crap.

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2017 2.5i Premium Lapis Blue
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True, but I hope some manufacturers never go to the CVT and that their sales increase so others like Subie will eventually stop the CVT madness.
In the time it would take for that scenario to play out and have the CVT work its way out of existence we will be up to our armpits in electric vehicles and all transmissions will be a piece of history.
 

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Brucey
'17 3.6 Limited
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10,507 Posts
I like my CVT (High Torque TR690) as much as any other Subaru automatic I've owned.

4EAT, 5EAT, TR680, HT-TR690.
 

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'14 Premium Mileage=97K
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66 Posts
In the time it would take for that scenario to play out and have the CVT work its way out of existence we will be up to our armpits in electric vehicles and all transmissions will be a piece of history.
Something else I refuse to own...an electric car. To each their own...

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2017 2.5i Premium Lapis Blue
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3,530 Posts
Something else I refuse to own...an electric car. To each their own...
Unless you are old enough that you plan to die before electric is all that is available I hope you have lots of money.
Eventually we will be punished for the privilege of driving cars with combustion engines.

I will be okay with the transition to electric whenever they get to the point where they can function well enough for all types of driving. But at some point I'm afraid that the ability to still run gasoline engines will be severely limited through taxes and regulations.
 
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