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2014 2.5i Limited CVT
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No real surprises there and a decent write up in mainstream media auto mags... Interesting that's the Wilderness (and the stock Forester) is a tick or three faster to 60 vs the RAV4 in their testing - outside of the figure-8 test... which what real-world driving maneuver uses this?
 

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2022 Forester Wilderness
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70 Posts
I love how they bash it throughout but then say how fun it was to drive. Also from what I have seen in real-world tests on youtube, the FW embarrasses the RAV4 TRD on the trail so I wouldn't call it a competitor performance-wise.
 

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2017 Forester 2.5 Premium CVT
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303 Posts
Actually it is geared lower, not higher. Lower gearing = higher rpm's for a given speed.
More power off the line and worse gas mileage on the highway, especially.
I'm expecting a Wilderness. Something I still don't understand is why that model's gearing variation changes the mpg at high way speeds. My very limited understanding of how the CVT works is that it can create a virtually infinite number of gearing ratios. So why doesn't Subaru just program it so that it starts with a lower gearing for more oopmh on the trail, but goes up to a very high gearing on the highway for better mileage? It appears as if the gearing as a whole can either be lowered or heightened, but why not both, depending on the scenario? Who can enlighten me?
 

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2014 2.5i Limited CVT
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It has to do with the final drive ratio - that's what is changed.

From a Car & Driver online -

That might be because its final drive ratio is a short 4.11:1 instead of the regular Forester's 3.70:1 gearing. Oct 25, 2021

The FDR impacts the number of times the driveline (engine output through the transmission) vs the number of times the tire rotates. A lower ratio means less torque to the wheels but a potentially higher speed. A higher ratio puts more torque to the wheel. With that higher drive ratio, the engine works more to spin the tires a single rotation.

In the case of our Forester drive ratios, it means the engine/transmission spins 3.7 times to turn the tires once, the Wilderness takes 4.1 turns to spin the tires once. Engine works harder to make the tires turn. This is regardless of the gear ratio the CVT is using at the time.

Read this article and watch the video for more information. But gist is better acceleration because of the higher drive ratio means the engine works harder and - therefore - less MPGs.

 

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2012 Forester X Auto
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It has to do with the final drive ratio - that's what is changed.
Engine works harder to make the tires turn. This is regardless of the gear ratio the CVT is using at the time.
Yep - But actually, the engine is not working harder, it is just turning faster and therefore using more fuel for a given speed.
Think about a bicycle example. Are you working harder when you are in first gear or 10th gear?...

In first, more rotations but much easier to pedal when going uphill.
You use the same power (your legs) but your speed is slower, although it is easier to pedal because you are using more power per unit of distance.

While the lower ratio is nice for starting up and climbing, it is a liability at highway speeds, because more rpms mean lower mileage.

As was pointed out somewhere, unfortunately the Subaru CVT's available ratios would require a redesign in order to accommodate a significantly wider ratio range.
 

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2022 Wilderness Geyser Blue
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I don't know how they got that low with the 0-60, but that has not been my experience. Probably just ideal conditions. Also, my MPG has been pretty bad too. Hard to get much better than 25 MPG, and that is with mostly highway driving. However, my experience has either been in the cold or the high winds of Oklahoma's spring.
 

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2022 Forester Wilderness
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I don't know how they got that low with the 0-60, but that has not been my experience. Probably just ideal conditions. Also, my MPG has been pretty bad too. Hard to get much better than 25 MPG, and that is with mostly highway driving. However, my experience has either been in the cold or the high winds of Oklahoma's spring.
In California, I have had the same experience. that is UNTIL I got a scan gauge 2. I have calibrated it and have been using it to improve my gas mileage by using the instant mpg and average mpg gauges, but for off-road/Overlanding, the transmission temp, voltage, and actual gear ratio have been helpful. it might be worth a try to help understand how to drive to maximize your MPG. In the second tank with the scan gauge, I have increased my average to 29 mpg steady with a lot of mixed driving. not saying it will work for everyone but it has worked for me.

i was originally get 30 mpg but for whatever reason< probably my wife and daughter driving it, it was down in the 19s for a bit. hahaha.
 
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