CVT Automatic Transmission Review: Car Tires and Maintenance  -- Cars Discussion Forum and Review CVT Automatic Transmission Review: Car Tires and Maintenance -- Cars Discussion Forum

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Discussion Boards > Active Subjects > Messages as Posted > Car Tires and Maintenance Forum

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 03-09-2012, 12:11 Post: 182698
DennisCTB

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 CVT Automatic Transmission Review

I test drove couple of new cars with the CVT automatic transmissions that purportedly have 6 speeds with a manual select mode.

The cars I tested were the 2012 Hyundai Elantra and the 2012 Subaru Outback.

What I found on both was a throw back to the first 2 speed automatics of 50 years ago, not a good thing. These new CVT's feel like a single speed transmission, to me they feel anemic, I feel they have been introduced only by a need for higher MPG. The 6 speed thing the auto trade keeps criticizing any mfg that still has a more conventional 5 speed seems ludicrous to me.

What you have is a single cone drive that is no fun to drive, effectively the 6 speeds are only truly there if you want to play around with the manual mode, and if you do that you can kiss your high mpg good bye would be my guess!

Anyone loving the CVT in long term use? Do you eventually learn to love it after longer term use?






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 03-09-2012, 12:48 Post: 182700
auerbach



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 CVT Automatic Transmission Review

It's not simple, Dennis, because there are many kinds. But in brief, the infinite number of ratios gives better economy and performance (especially with smaller engines that do best within a narrow RPM range.)

On the other hand, an experienced driver might not like the different driving feel, or a peculiar noise (esp under acceleration, that can sound like a slipping clutch). Also, their limited torque capacity rules out big engines, and the transmission fluid costs a bit more.






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 03-09-2012, 22:39 Post: 182707
kwschumm



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 CVT Automatic Transmission Review

I don't like 'em much but our next Subaru will probably have one. It's an OK transmission for a daily driver commuter car that racks up the mileage but for weekend driving pleasure I'll be driving something with a stick.






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 03-12-2012, 21:27 Post: 182732
kthompson



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 CVT Automatic Transmission Review

Dennis, I thought about you and your car hunt with Mitt's commercial and their all wheel drive vehicles. Have you looked at those?






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 03-13-2012, 08:48 Post: 182737
hardwood

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 CVT Automatic Transmission Review

With modern lubricants it may not make any differnce or at least it may be a very slight difference but just going to extreme comparisons we'll think about this a bit.
Possibly during acceleration some effeciency cold be gaind with an engine always working in it's most effecient RPM by always changing from one ratio to the next most effecient range but at crusing speed or an extreme comparison being no transmission at all just a direct hookup from the engine to the rear differential. No transmission at all would cause no drag so no loss in horsepowr being consumed by friction. The second extreme being a six or however many speed transmisssion with the torque being transmitted thru it, there being all sorts of tbings turning inside plus the drag of the lubricant in the trasmission case all consuming a bit of the torque along the way to the differential. So I guess what I'm getting around to say is that likely an auto spends 99.9% of its road time in a direct drive situation while also spinning a bunch of other things in the tranny that are doing nothiong but producing drag. Yes, I realize this is not a likely situation having no transmission being a regular gasoline or diesel engine would struggle to get the car moving from a dead stop.

Frank.






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 03-13-2012, 09:24 Post: 182738
greg_g



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 CVT Automatic Transmission Review

Quote:
Originally Posted by DennisCTB | view 182698
Anyone loving the CVT in long term use?Do you eventually learn to love it after longer term use?

Can't comment on long term use, because I'd never own one. Daughter has had it in two successive Muranos, I drove one in a Altima loaner when my Touareg was in for the 10k service. The higher engine RPMs while going through the gears (in either direction) just plain sucks. I can't quite figure how that equates to lower fuel consumption. While we're at it, the Murano can't get more than 26mpg, and I never saw more than 28 out of the Altima.

Those trade types promoting 6 or fewer gears are clearly ignoring the Euro-segment. Seven and eight speeds are becoming the norm. The 8-speed in my Touareg is probably the smoothest tranny I've ever owned. It's got three modes; economy, sport, manual. Then - with the flip of a switch - it reconfigures for off-road, again selectable between economy/sport/manual modes. So literally I guess, that actually makes it a six mode transmission. Plus, I've gotten over 33 mpg with it.

//greg//






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