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2014 Forester Premiun 6MT 6MT
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102 Posts

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2002 Forester L
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89 Posts
There are a lot of good reasons to choose an auto but having driven a lot of miles with both (in early 2000s era Legacys), I much prefer the manual in snow conditions. The direct link to the wheels give far better control, I think. The auto can shift when you might not necessarily want it to which you could overcome by some degree using the D2/1 position but it's just ain't the same...
 

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2015 Forester Manu;
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285 Posts
There are a lot of good reasons to choose an auto but having driven a lot of miles with both (in early 2000s era Legacys), I much prefer the manual in snow conditions. The direct link to the wheels give far better control, I think. The auto can shift when you might not necessarily want it to which you could overcome by some degree using the D2/1 position but it's just ain't the same...
The new CVT transmissions actually can do a much better/safer job of shifting in slippery conditions. The problem I always found with automatic transmissions in slippery conditions, is when you're trying to give it just a bit more power to accelerate, then it suddenly downshifts, dumps a whole ton of power at the wheels, and tries to murder you. That won't happen with a CVT.

However, I agree that the manual will still offer greater control. One of the techniques you typically use in an MT to keep your wheel spin under control, is overshifting. This reduces the torque variation available at that speed so that it becomes difficult or impossible to get more torque to the ground than it is able to hold.
 

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2015 Forester Manu;
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285 Posts
I love a nice shifting well matched to engine and car manual transmission for anything short of stop and go traffic.

However I am not Feeling any love. It is a shame, as the Forester has a lot going for it.

See my post. page 4 at:
http://www.subaruforester.org/vbulletin/f89/14-forester-6mt-guys-tell-me-about-your-new-transmission-189169/index4.html
I notice that you are focusing on the gear spacing. I actually find the 1-4 gear spacing to be pretty good. 1st could be lower, since that is the "get rolling" gear, not the maximum acceleration gear (2nd). My beef with it is the overdrive ratios for 5 and 6. 5th gear is basically pointless on this transmission, since it is so so so close to 6th. It really doesn't offer enough extra torque to be useful. When you're going to a quick pass, you don't even use 4th --> you jump to 3rd to jump your speed up quickly. If you're climbing a moderate hill that 6th won't handle, 5 won't either, you go to 4th.

The part that really gets me, is that the engine can handle a higher gear ratio, yet they intentionally keep it lower to give a false impression of being more powerful.

The CVT (in simulated manual mode) has a "6th gear" ratio of 0.618, and a final drive ratio of 3.7. That makes for a total of 2.29:1.

The MT has a 6th gear ratio of 0.695 and a final drive ratio of 4.44. That makes for a total of 3.09.

Your charts on page 4 are showing 26 mph per 1000 rpm in 6th gear. So 70 mph will have the engine spinning just under 2700 rpm on the MT. The AT will only be turning 2000 rpm.

The engine is the same, the car is the same, it can handle the lower rpm's just fine. Want to be nice to us? Ditch the useless 5th gear ratio, move the existing 6th into 5th, and give us a 6th gear with a ratio close to 0.5. Find a hill? I can downshift. If I'm too lazy to downshift, I can just leave it in 5th.
 

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2004 Toyota
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2 Posts
Hey guys,
As you can see I am a new member but not new to car forums(Yes, I will definitely search when the necessity arises), awd, and certainly not new to Subaru, or turbo for that matter.

Well I must say that I am glad I came across this thread trying to search for a question I have been meaning to ask, since after all, I have been doing more reading than posting here. My question is towards 4EAT/5EAT more so than the proverbial MT vs an AUTO Tranny. I know this may be subjective to some more than others but, Is the 4EAT ( Say in the SH FXT) stronger than in the 5EAT( As in the case of the OB XT) ?

Looking at it from a Cobb (OTS) stage 1/2 perspective.

I know the OB XT as well as the Legacy GT (05+) come in a MT, while the SH FI does not. The reason for looking at/wanting an Auto is because I am older 40+ and have a bad back/knees.

I started reading backwards lol from pg 21 and am now at 13(I will continue to read on).
Thanks in advance.
 

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2016 Forester
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1 Posts
Here's my experience and opinion re: auto vs manual... I purchased a 2015 Forester 2.5i Premium CVT in April 2015. I was really impressed with the near-seamless shifting of the CVT at lower speeds and adequacy at highway passing speeds. I was really, really impressed by the mpg. The Subaru CVT is a perfect match to the model I bought. However, I've driven manual all my life and after a few months I couldn't stand feeling "disconnected" from the driving experience. Clearly, I needed therapy and probably medication. However, it was easier to trade my 2015 in on a 2016 2.5i Premium MT... now I'm a very happy camper. I find that it performs well in town and I like the connected feeling I have when negotiating rough dirt roads. MPG for me is 24.0 city, 28.7 highway. "Off road" is a bit less as it is with any vehicle. I can compare the ride, feel, and mpg to the first generation Toyota RAV4 ('96-00): solid, basic, but with more hp.

Here's my opinion... if you do 90% of your driving in city traffic, get the CVT. However, if you enjoy a MT and live in a rural area or in urban areas where traffic is generally light, then the manual trans is for you. Of course, you can't get the MT in the models above mine which is a shame, but that's the trend with all brands.

Regarding the 5th gear issue someone raised earlier: I agree, it seems pointless. I skip it a lot, but I do use it in light city driving and some rural situations where 4th is too much and 6th is too little.
 

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2004 FXT MT
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346 Posts
I have both. An 04 Fxt MT and an 05 Fxt AT. The 5sp feels faster after initial launch and it starts reving. The auto feels torquier when starting from a stop.
 

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2019 Outback 3.6R ..... 98 Forester S - Atl, GA
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6,858 Posts
Torquier is a great way to describe it. Webster needs to add that word to the dictionary
 

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2015 Forester 2.5 Premium CVT
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1,068 Posts
^^^^Or, as one of my hilarious, former colleagues from about 45-years ago would have said, "More torquier than."
 
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