Author Doug Demuro of "The Truth About Cars" wrote, in this article: In Defense Of: The CVT Automatic (Yes, I
"Car enthusiasts, as a whole, hate the CVT..." which accounts for some of the opinions we find here. But then he goes on to use an Impreza as a prop that salves that hate.
The article is one of many available if Google is asked: "Is the CVT the transmission of the future?" (https://www.google.com/search?q=si+t...ddress&ie=&oe=
) There doesn't seem to be any question that it is, in one form or another THE transmission of the future. Further, it is also clear that the Manual Transmission will continue to decline as an option in its purest form, to be transformed into one form of automated gearbox or another.
The fact is, CVTs are
better than either a manual or automatic transmission at delivering the world's current priorities. They accomplish this because they have gone beyond the duality of the former answers, and have become a synergistic partner with the engine. They not only interpret engine output, process it and output the results to the rest of the drivetrain, they now perform some of the functions that were heretofore only controlled by the engine's ECU. Where the engine ECU once had the sole duty of adjusting to varying atmospheric conditions, loads, and fuel, the CANBus-coupled microprocessors of the transmission, engine, and body now work together to provide a far higher degree of output acuity than ever before. Included in the resulting advantages are power delivery, gas mileage, low emissions, and unequalled traction and vehicular control, all while ensuring the safe running of the equipment.
In other words, the vehicle no longer suffers an output from a committee. Its various microprocessors, that previously communicated together but controlled separate entities, have become melded together with a transmission that has the ability to seamlessly adjust its behavior in concert with the engine. Together
the engine and CVT adjust to driver input, gasoline quality, atomospheric influences, load demands, and, working with the differentials and braking system, traction demands. All this is accomplished far faster and far better than any driver using themself as an interface with the separate systems, or any other transmission.
Sometimes all does not go smoothly. When the vehicle's systems find they must suddenly contend with large adjustments, the result can be perceptible changes in vehicle behavior... as opposed to the normal fluid progress of the CVT. Some conditions include gasoline quality or inadequate octane for throttle input, or where requested loads exceed the safe timing for the gearing present at that throttle input. Then, not only will the ECU adjust timing and boost, the TCU will also adjust the CVT's gearing. Other ECU/TCU handshaking mixes RPM with ratio selection to optimize output. Sometimes, when the discrepancies are large enough, that will result in less than a seamless flow of power and the operator will sense the overall changes to the mechanism. Most of the time, however, the system's adjustments are invisible and provide a seamless flow of energy to the wheels.
But even when the system isn't dealing with an operator's input or the engine's issues, and is working precisely as designed, the operator will sense a variety of mechanical control inputs that are anything but seamless... except in overall intention, or result. Here I refer specifically to X-Mode and its collection of operational oddities. Other systems that cause perceptible mechanical behavior are the TCU and VDC systems, which will cause the operator to sense changes in the controls and in the vehicles physical behivior. And, there is the braking system and the definite and harsh results of the ABS in operation.
A vehicle of old, without ABS, would not cause the unitiated driver to cringe from the noise and behavior that system brings. The simple hydraulic brake system's pedal will quietly spin the car out of control and still be fully depressed when the sliding tires encounter the unavoidable object. A carbureted engine will not shut down power nor throw a CEL and go into limp-mode because of octane limitations. No RPM limiter will interfere, to cut the engine off to save the rods and bearings. And a manual transmission will allow the operator to load the engine any way they want and provide no feedback whatsoever... when the engine burns holes in their pistons and eats their valves. The incautious driver of yesteryear's car, on a bad road and in a bad curve, will not have to experience the mechanical interference from the TCU or VDC, but wil fail to correct the slide and end up in the trees. The mechanically dumb four wheel drive system will labor smoothly, but never negotiate the snow and mud the Subaru in X-Mode can. Regardless of skill, no effort from yesterday's machines can equal the fuel mileage of the sometimes quirky CVT-equipped cars of today.
Subaru's 2014 Forester is not a perfect vehicle, and there are some tradeoffs to its very desirable array of electromechanical systems. But it is a far better vehicle than those without its modern systems, including its controversial CVT... imperfections, quirks, and all. But, if these most-often subtle awarenesses amount to something more, then as said by lwerring,
I've never experienced the bucking and jiving that others have so I feel that if you have it, something is wrong, whether mechanical or logical. It can't be normal...
Others have posed rational explanations for occasional and transitional characteristics of the CVT, such as TC behavior, throttle mapping, temperature, and terrain, among others, and I'll add octane to this mix. These owners' observations embrace the general reality experienced by the vast majority, with tolerance for an overall great performing machine.
The bottom line for many, including me, was said well by ScoobyLTD... (owners of the 6MT, cover your ears)
I love. My CVT in my ...
Best gearbox Subaru has made
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