2019 Outback Limited, 3.6R, Abyss Blue
Wow - 15 days into this forum, and we have an expert on CVTs. Fascinating.There is very little histori data to support that claim. Traditional transmissions give me much more confidence.
The cvt data is not in abundance for the latest version. That’s my concern.Anyone that reads my posts, knows I am not a Subaru fanboy.....but....Subaru has been using CVT's since the 1989 Justy. One of the first American cars to use a CVT. They have quite a bit of historical data to work with.
I am not an expert, just someone that is pragmatic. Your not an expert either. I take my 4runner places I expect to return from, not get stuck.Wow - 15 days into this forum, and we have an expert on CVTs. Fascinating.
For all of the CVT haters that troll here, YouTube, etc., and swear that they'll never own a car with a CVT:
Like it or not, CVTs are being used more and more in contemporary vehicles by almost all manufacturers, whether we want them or not.
Don't think so? You're not paying attention to what is happening in the automotive world, or don't choose to.
Within five years, I'll estimate that at least 60% of all cars/crossovers will be using some form of CVT. It's all about the CAFE numbers.
And, for the record, I don't really care one way or the other.
Subaru has been refining the same LuK pull-chain CVT transmissions for years. It's not a new transmission. There have been small changes made to increase reliability and improve fuel efficiency, like newly formulated fluids.The cvt data is not in abundance for the latest version. That’s my concern.
Great post. I often keep my vehicles 10 years or beyond to benefit from no payment and knowing that vehicles are still very capable when properly serviced, but the cvt has me concerned once I reach a certain number of years or miles. As you mentioned it’s a crap shoot with the cvt when a traditional transmission would not be a concern. Perhaps daily grocery getters fair better, but I don’t use my vehicles that way regularl. Despite their cvt changes for the good, I am still concerne.@foxman350
I'd like to add my two cents if you haven't made a decision yet. The cars obviously drive differently. The competitor for the RAV4 is more the Forester instead of the Outback.
That being said, there's a few benefits to the Outback. I've owned the Forester, Legacy, and Outback and I've seriously looked at the RAV4 (Hybrid, specifically.)
There's truth to the Boxer engine's lower center of gravity helping handling, agility, and stability. This does NOT mean that the Toyota's aren't stable, but I did notice a difference when I did a test drive of the RAV4. (And, for the record, I've driven every single current-model Subaru out there except for the STI.)
To sum up, basically my impression was that the Subaru fleet in general has more personality. They are larger cars but don't feel that way when you drive them.
Again, I don't want to downplay the Toyotas here - I actually like their approach with the planetary CVT they use in their hybrids, I like their direct drive transmission design in their newer Corollas to avoid extra wear and tear on the transmissions, and I love their dual fuel injector setup that prevents carbon buildup from direction injection. I also appreciate that Toyota's actually offering some hybrids in general, not counting the Crosstrek.
But, I also notice that the Toyota models tend to be more expensive. You can easily push a RAV4 Hybrid Limited trim with technology packages and weather packages above $40,000 MSRP - and they're in demand, so negotiations tend to be lackluster. Subaru's option packages are pretty short and sweet and to the point.
Toyota's RAV4 has also had some issues with filling the fuel tank among other things.
Now, the thing to remember is that if - and it's a big if - you have the misfortune of a CVT problem somewhere after 100,000 miles of ownership, you'd probably be on the hook. In the past, Subaru corporate has offered goodwill discounts and such towards the repair. So, if it was a $5000 repair bill for a new CVT, you as the owner might only actually pay $2000 out of pocket. And, for what it's worth, comping the 4EAT to the CVT's fuel economy, you're probably "ahead" in the long run with the fuel savings over the decade or two of ownership if you choose to keep it that long.
For my personal experience with Outback and Forester:
Forester is easier to park, it's 10 inches shorter. The rear cargo area is good for taller, weirdly shaped things. The panoramic moonroof is amazing and probably one of my favorite features. Steering is tight and responsive. It feels more agile than my Outback was. The CVT is tuned well and provides great pep around town. I use Sport Mode on highways but otherwise keep it in "I" for around town. This tends to keep the revs higher at the expense of wear and tear (2000 rpm's vs. 1500 rpm's over time) and fuel economy.
Outback is smoother. The wider wheelbase and the lower seating position makes it drive more like a limo instead of an SUV. Bumps don't get amplified and jostle me around as much. Like the Forester, I find the CVT to be good around town. My biggest criticism of the CVT is that the fluid has no change interval and you have to be really really aggressive about a dealer changing it out. The transmission costs $9000, so I don't want a quick-lube place changing it by mistake and denying any warranty coverages that happen years down the road. Also, in my experience, the CVT tends to drone above 40+ when accelerating quickly. The XT kind of just takes care of business.
I like the cargo layout of the Outback better. It's longer. It's easier for me to put luggage and bags in and boogie boards and beach chairs compared to the Forester where it's "higher" but "not as deep."
At the end of the day you're looking at two really good Subaru cars to choose from. If you have a desire for towing or a more exciting drive, your option is Outback right now for the XT engine.
Note: You're losing a rated 3 mpg for city and highway with the XT engine. That's pretty good, all things considered.
If Subaru offered a Forester Hybrid or PHEV in the US market, that would probably be my first choice. But, they don't. So, I'll go for an XT Outback of some kind, but not sure if I want to push for a Limited or Touring at this point.
The difference in maintenance over the long run is very minimal compared to the cost of buying a brand new car. If you're happy, you stick with it. There's a reason we're on our third-fourth-fifth or more Subies... They work...
Since you persist with false and misleading information:Great post. I often keep my vehicles 10 years or beyond to benefit from no payment and knowing that vehicles are still very capable when properly serviced, but the cvt has me concerned once I reach a certain number of years or miles. As you mentioned it’s a crap shoot with the cvt when a traditional transmission would not be a concern. Perhaps daily grocery getters fair better, but I don’t use my vehicles that way regularl. Despite their cvt changes for the good, I am still concerne.
Yep...... it’s what I referenced earlier in the thread...... now, about 10k RAVs need a whole front end rebuild...... Toyota is still living on its laurels but, in fact, their quality is nowhere near it used to Be.....instead running ahead of the quality pack....they’re running with the pack.... No better or worse that SubaruSince you persist with false and misleading information:
Any “refinement“ makes it a different version than the previous one. I would trust one that has been used for many years and has logged many miles without any “refinements”.Subaru has been refining the same LuK pull-chain CVT transmissions for years. It's not a new transmission. There have been small changes made to increase reliability and improve fuel efficiency, like newly formulated fluids.
The transmissions are the high torque TR690, first introduced in 2010, and the lighter, lower torque TR580 from 2012.
A PDF describing the transmissions: https://atracom.blob.core.windows.net/webinars/import/subaru_lineartronic_cvt_introduction.pdf
I don't know if you're trying to be argumentative for its own sake or not, but it's not logical to think that a high mileage transmission with known weak points that have been improved in later production runs, is better.
That's a ludicrous argument. By that thinking pretty much any regular automatic transmission would be unacceptable to you as well as those get constantly tweaked and upgraded on a regular basis as well. This is starting to sound more like a trolling thing than a serious discussion.
Yet you can go to any large city and find automatic transmission shops that have been in business for decades. A couple near me have been in business for 50+ years.Great post. I often keep my vehicles 10 years or beyond to benefit from no payment and knowing that vehicles are still very capable when properly serviced, but the cvt has me concerned once I reach a certain number of years or miles. As you mentioned it’s a crap shoot with the cvt when a traditional transmission would not be a concern. Perhaps daily grocery getters fair better, but I don’t use my vehicles that way regularl. Despite their cvt changes for the good, I am still concerne.
The cvt data is not in abundance for the latest version. That’s my concern.
Could be is an instinct that protects you from a poor decisio.Hi @Reggiefred
I have to say I disagree with avoiding the CVT because of what “could be”. There are millions of Subarus on the road with CVT’s and only a small percentage have had a problem. In fact, the Subaru TechTips newsletter geared towards factory technicians actually mentions at one point that the CVT has LESS PROBLEMS than the 4EAT that it replaced which also needed transmission fluid changes every 30k miles.
If you are concerned about your CVT here are some things I’ve learned along the way since my 2011 that I bought new also had one:
Subaru Canada requires a fluid change of the CVT at 100k kilometers or 60k miles.
So, if you’re like me and you don’t believe fluids last a lifetime, you can insist that you have the fluid changed at your 60k service. It’s expensive but it’s about the same cost as 2 of those 30k ATF changes at the dealer anyway.
Don’t make mountains out of molehills. Don’t let what “could be” deter you from an otherwise excellent vehicle purchase.