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2014 Subaru Forester 2.5i Premium
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71 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
How do you guys like the driving with CVT? ive only driven another cvt in a nissan rogue or juke or something. I think it feels weird. Although there is no gear shift change, there is a sort of kick to it and the engine doesn't really slow down the car by itself like a normal transmission would. Also I notice at lower speeds (driving in the city), the cvt revs up or tries to maintain a 2000 rpm when it really doesn't need to. I dont know maybe its just the way I drive...I like to just use momentum to drive me instead of constantly pedalling the gas. Its very sensitive.

Also, what do you think about the braking? The initial tap doesn't really stop the car, maybe slows it down a little, but I usually have to brake hard to really stop...
 

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'21 ISM Crosstrek Limited
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1,182 Posts
While the FXT and 2.5i have different CVT transmissions and different driving experiences, BOTH provide the most invisible transmission experience I've ever known... bar none.

Manuals require the foot and hand dance, and almost regardless of skill an uneven forward motion.

Automatics, of every nature, are also evident in the driving process, providing a muted but stitched-together forward process.

The CVT-equipped Subarus I have just get me there, without fanfare or obvious acceleration artifacts. They are the future, as much a measure of evolutionary excellence as hands-free dialing compared to a rotary telephone.
 

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2014 Forester CVT
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286 Posts
I have 1500 miles on mine now and the light bucking I was getting when the car was cold is pretty much gone. I really like the CVT so far with the exception of starting out from a stop. It takes off initially very well then seems to hit a lag area around 15 mph. Maybe I just need to adjust my driving style and give it a bit more gas. Around town I usually try to drive with my foot in "ECO mode" though.
 

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2014 Forester Ltd. CVT
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1,779 Posts
I'm so-so on it. Like Douglas I've learned to adjust. Probably not saving money because I tend to rev it up to 40% accel opening when I hit that dead spot at 15 mph. It's fine... For me I find it a bit unpredictable: sometimes it gives me power, sometimes the computer thinks I'm unworthy.
 

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2018 2.5 Premium CVT
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26 Posts
So far, I've been delighted with the CVT in my 2014 2.5i Forester. I read so many reports, and watched so many YouTube video reviews, complaining about sluggishness, noise, etc. with CVTs, including the Subaru Forester, that I nearly bought a Mazda CX-5 (and would have if it hadn't been for the Forester's far better rear and rear-side visibility). I haven't noticed any hesitation or sluggishness in my Forester's CVT and it's incredibly quiet. Nor have I noticed any "revving at lower speeds." I had to go on an Interstate and deliberately floor the accelerator to get the noise some reviewers falsely claimed was normal in routine driving with a Forester CVT. I still miss having a genuine first gear and the CVT's long-term reliability is a concern, but so far Subaru's CVT has been a very pleasant surprise for me.

As far as braking, I don't find the Forester to be any better, or any worse, than most other vehicles I've driven. I certainly don't have to "brake hard to really stop."
 

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'21 ISM Crosstrek Limited
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1,182 Posts
I think too many are still accustomed to the sensory feedback, and conditioning, of other transmissions and other cars. That is, they are listening... to engine noise as a measure of what's going on, and feeling seat-of-the-pants thrust. But that will not work with a CVT. There is a different dynamic enabled by the engine and transmission actively working together to provide what the driver's right foot is asking.

With a Subaru CVT Forster you're best off with cotton in your ears, or letting go of the audible engine. It's easier to differentiate with the FXT due to its much greater power, where what's happening is better gauged by the speedometer than the tachometer or other inputs. With the FXT it is clearly obvious that your half-throttle mash of the pedal has suddenly propelled you to illegal speeds in the blink of an eye. You don't have time to evaluate all the sounds and butt inputs. The engine and CVT have answered your foot's call... in the inimitable manner this new system provides.

With the 2.5i Forester you have time... time to dwell on what you are sensing. That is time you are not dwelling on the traffic, btw. It's time you're turned inwards, comparing. But these new machines cannot be compared... except in bottom lines: adherence to throttle demand (road speed), time-to-speed (get up and go), and miles-per-gallon (economy), for example. How they accomplish these things IS DIFFERENT, otherwise their results would be the same. Going up an incline will likely show the inquisitive driver the engine revs going up but the road speed staying the same, or gong down an incline lower revs but the same road speed again. This is counter-intuitive to people conditioned by older systems, where the engine and transmission have separate duties. But, the NEW Forester is just maximizing its resources to provide what you have requested... a certain road speed, at the best miles-per-gallon possible.
 

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1999 Dodge Automatic
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22 Posts
I have been driving CVT's since 2008 and I am a spirited driver. Not only do I have no complaint about CVT, I like them for high speed passing. For most normal six-speed transmission, there is no gear that will give you high revs at 70. So when you floor the pedal at 70 (or higher), it has to shift out of OD, and go into high rev. Problem is that that the lower gear is not suitable for high speed. So you get high revs, but not high speed. With CVT, it just has to change the ratio a little to get the right rev for the power needed.

In my test driving, the Subaru CVT is just as good. The high revs and noise are a function of low HP on 2.5i. Not transmissions fault.
 

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2014 Subaru CVT
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88 Posts
I'm hoping for the CVT to smooth out like Goodenough says. I feel the bucking on acceleration and deceleration, but mostly on acceleration. It picks up, then hesitates, then goes up to speed with a few little wiggles. Or, if I accelerate and then lift off the gas when I'm in traffic, it gives a few more little wiggles. It makes me dizzy.

So I visited the dealer and the technician said it should smooth out after 1,000 miles as the computer learns how to match engine and transmission. If they need to match, why doesn't Subaru test a bunch of systems, let them learn, and then replicate that learning in the new car computers?

I love it on the highway. It cruises along so nicely, and when I want to pass, I can choose the mellow ramp up or the stomp-it and dust-em. And it really improves the mileage.

And it does take some getting used to, after driving sticks and an automatic Jeep with definite shift points. You learn to anticipate the shifts, feel them, adjust your body to them. But I haven't adjusted to this, and hope the car adjusts and smooths out. I'll report back in a few weeks as I get over a thousand miles or so.
 

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2014 2014 CVT
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8 Posts
The driving experience with the CVT is excellent and was very easy to get used to. I was considering a few other vehicles (Mainly a 2008-2010 Acura MDX) and recall several salespeople at dealerships trash talking the CVT. So ignorant. I'm glad I didn't listen to them and went with the 2014 2.0 XT. The only thing I've noticed is a slight delay when I shift from R to D... seems to take a split second longer to get in gear and move forward. No biggie. It is a wicked machine and anyone that trash talks to the CVT can suck it!! Haha
 

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2015 2015 XT Touring CVT
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11 Posts
I have just over 3000 miles on my 2014, 2.5 with CVT. I've grown to really enjoy the transission. The smoothness, lack of shift, just feels right. The trans never seems to be in the wrong ratio and I find it will kick down in ratio quickly as the speed demands. There is no real sportiness in driving the 2.5 with CVT but as a comfortable, quiet and responsive daily driver in my opinion it is just fine. I am so pleased I made this choice and also that I chose a Subaru as a new vehicle. Wish I had done so years ago. Dan
 

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2014 2.0 XT yes
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2,752 Posts
It's not popular to say, but in many ways, the transmission performs better than high-spec 7-9 speed stepped automatics.

You'd think the press would be delivering a brutal beat-down on the new CVT-equipped WRX, but everyone comes off surprised that it's pretty good. Of course, the 6 MT is the right box for that car, but the fact that the CVT didn't get savaged by the press is remarkable.

Classic autos are still tough to get right. Make them shift smoothly and they feel like mush. Too crisp, and they are harsh. Do any of them not hunt around madly on a hill?
 

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2014 forester cvt
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109 Posts
My wife has a Nissan Rogue with a CVT and I have never been a fan of it. So I was skeptical about the CVT in the Forester. But after a test drive I was much happier with the Subaru CVT. It just functions better. I have only had my Forester 3 weeks and already dont even notice the CVT. That is as good as you can hope for. As far as the brakes I have noticed that the brakes stop fine but you have to press harder on the peddle than I am used to. I think it is just an adjustment on my part.
 

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2014 Forester 2.5i CVT
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320 Posts
I wrote many times how much I like CVT. Unfortunately 2.5i does not have S or S# which I think would provide more predictable acceleration when merging into traffic. I find 2.5i CVT programming unpredictable, sometimes fast enough and other times reving past 4000 RPMs with weak acceleration.
 

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2014 2.0 XT yes
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4,000 RPM is right near peak torque for the FB25. That's where it should be for good acceleration.
 

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2014 Forester 2.5i CVT
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320 Posts
4,000 RPM is right near peak torque for the FB25. That's where it should be for good acceleration.
The problem is that engine revs above 4000RPMs but CVT keeps ratio high (or torque converter slips?) so in result car growls but doesn't go.
 

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2002 ES300
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4,412 Posts
I drove one and found it good, except for under any type of quick acceleration scenario. Seems that engine and/or tranny revs, make noise, bogs/lags, and then decides to get going. It's as good as cvt as any, but doesn't mean I'm a fan. I wish they would invest in dual clutch automatics like VW/Audi/Porsche did.
 

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2018 2.0 FXT-Touring CVT
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3,116 Posts
I've got a CVT on my Legacy, and I really like it. in 2.5 years I've yet to experience any problems with it. Only concern I would have it that the premium lacks a "manual shift" mode. I think that might be an issue in deep snow/mud or on ice.
 

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2014 Forrester Auto
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84 Posts
The problem is that engine revs above 4000RPMs but CVT keeps ratio high (or torque converter slips?) so in result car growls but doesn't go.


I find its the opposite.... the CVT immediately puts the engine in the prime spot to accelerate the car in relation to throttle position...Drive a equally weighted and powered car with a regular auto and this Subaru CVT feels far more responsive and powerful, its not even a contest........This is exactly how the clutches work in a Snowmobile....maybe I am more used to what to expect from a CVT as I grew up riding sleds.. by no means does this CVT impede the performance of the 2.5 Forrester....If anything the CVT wrings every last ounce of useable power from the 2.5 that there is to give........

At the end of the day we are driving a box on wheels that weights 3400 lbs, is AWD and only has 180 HP......There is just only so much that can be expected..from everything I have test drove so far, including the new V6 Jeep Cherokee the Forester has the most responsive feeling throttle of them all........

Now I have a Canadian 2.5 that comes with the paddle shifters..so maybe our CVT is tuned differently then the US models....But I hate to admit, but if I ended up with a STI I wouldn't think twice about it being a CVT.....
 

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2014 forester premium cvt
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26 Posts
I just have one complaint about the cvt engine,and that is... going from reverse to drive there is a delay. When backing out of a parking spot into a street with oncoming traffic,you just want to get going and the engine woun't let you...unnerving at times.
 

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2014 2.0 XT yes
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2,752 Posts
I've measured it to be about 1.5 seconds. Throttle inputs are ignored during this time. Plan accordingly.
 
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