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2019 Crosstrek 2018 XT
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I can't say I've been looking at the tachometer when I've floored it and gotten up there....
But why would it be awesome in the XT to push it to redline...? If peak hp and torque come in as below ....
  • 2014-2018 USDM Subaru Forester XT:
    • Power: 250 hp at 5,600 RPM
    • Torque: 258 lb⋅ft at 2,000-4,800 RPM
... then what's the point of hitting redline...? Power drops off from those peaks so by going above 5600 rpm you gain nothing ..
Actually it shifts about 5900. And as a practical matter..the more accelerator pedal you give it the more gas. It would be almost impossible to get it to shift at 5600rpm WOT.

If you owned one you would admit it is indeed "awesome"..lol
 

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2018 Forester
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219 Posts
The only complaint I have about my '18 Forester is that 2-3 second pause between reverse and drive. I guess just something to get used to.
 

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2018 Forester Manual
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348 Posts
I don't think the JATCO issue is the fluid, but the basic design using very thin metal bands to hold the ~400 metal elements which make up the band together. Subaru uses a metal chain which seems to be almost bullet proof. I can't recall any posts here claiming a break. The main issue with the Subaru CVT seems to be the solenoids which were also in the 4/5EAT automatics. These are now readily available and replacing them is relatively easy:
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The solenoids and the valve body are problematic on the Subaru units. Which are (more or less) user replaceable. The transmission doesn't have to come out or apart to replace the valve body. Knowing what I know now, I 100% would have went with the cvt Forester and just installed a cooler. And with a cooler, they don't derate as easy.
 

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2019 Forester Touring
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661 Posts
Are you accusing me of being "reluctant to change"? I loved riding those scooters with the CVT, they were simple and easy to maintain. Couple of hours every few years to change the belt, it is a simple DIY project changing the belt.. I just don't want to be on the bleeding edge of a lot of the (untested) technology that's being pushed down to the consumers. Subaru in general has done a great job with CVT, but still in my book too soon for my personal taste. Just like I don't and will not at this time buy any vehicle that uses GDI engines.
How many years of widespread market exposure has to pass for a product or technology before it is no longer on the “bleeding edge”?

Vehicles had had CVTs for over 20 years now, so I’d say it’s no longer experimental (pretty much the same goes for direct injected engines). Granted, the first attempts didn’t perform so well... but there have been many revisions and redesigns to improve reliability and performance in that time frame.

Frankly, I bet you could find quite a few late model Ford Focus and Fiesta owners with Ford’s “defective by design” dual-clutch automatics that would love to have a CVT now. In fact, Ford would probably like that, too, seeing the future costs to the company from lawsuits and such...


The point here is not to single out Ford or any other manufacturer, but to demonstrate that ANY product can be designed poorly. One should evaluate exactly what’s being offered in a prospective vehicle purchase, instead of buying into the general opinion of the entire marketplace offering.
 

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2001 Forester
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1,310 Posts
When I compare the 4EAT to the CVT, I find the CVT coming up short in certain areas and 4EAT comes up short in other areas. But I make my decisions based on what is important to me.

The 4EAT is just a very reliable transmission. Takes a lot of punishment but yet keeps going (towed 3300 lb trailer). What are it's short comings? Not enough gears for both city and hwy driving, always found it was in the wrong gear in the city and not enough overdrive for the highway.

CVT's you gain a a little bit in terms of MPG. I just compared on fueleconomy.gov my 2001 with the 2020 Forester. I save $250/year with the CVT vs 4EAT. I give up decent towing capacity, I give up some reliability compared to the 4EAT. With the CVT I gain better gearing in both city and hwy.

For my usage and the pricing required for a new vehicle with CVT. I'll stick with the 2001. I like and want great towing capability, simple and easy to maintain. Not willing to give up the towing capability for not much dollar saved per year on fuel economy. If the CVT saved me $1000/year I would consider jumping on the bandwagon, but for $250 and that is based on 15,000 annual miles. My Subaru only sees 5000-7000 miles per year, so I save even less per year than the $250 by switching to the CVT capable vehicle.
 

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2015 Forester CVT
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664 Posts
I constantly read negatives re CVT trans. How many have actually driven a car with one? Being a mature, enthusiast driver, CAMS licence holder, I was put off buying a Forester XT by so called "expert" road testers. Crap, I can't detect any droning or other negatives. In Sports + & manual 8 speed - see you Europe. Testers don't live long term with the cars. Long term Mercedes owner, sits very nicely with my C series.
I don't think the negative reviews relate to the whole population of user experiences. If anything there may be a bias because people like to gripe.

GD
 

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5 Posts
Discussion Starter #27
Just as an aside, William F1 team ,some 20 years ago, introduced a CVT but I believe was banned by the FIA because it was two efficient.
 

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2001 Forester
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1,310 Posts
The point here is not to single out Ford or any other manufacturer, but to demonstrate that ANY product can be designed poorly. One should evaluate exactly what’s being offered in a prospective vehicle purchase, instead of buying into the general opinion of the entire marketplace offering.
Don't get me wrong I don't deny the benefits and advantages of CVT. I do believe that the implementation of various "newer" technology in the last 10 years have been questionable at best, ie carbon build with GDI from BMW, Audio/VW, and CVT with Nissan, Ford and their Dual Clutch. Whereas I drove a DCT with my VW Jetta TDI, which I loved it just worked and had snappy shifting.
 

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2018 Forester
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219 Posts
All the engineering and work for at least 60 yrs to make AT's shift smooth and now some want hard shifts!! Subaru had to program in CVT shifts because some thought it was too smooth.
 

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2001 Forester
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1,310 Posts
@ol' stonebreaker Define smooth shifting? AT have never "shifted smoothly". Some driver don't even want to feel the AT actually shift hence they like CVT. Other's like myself have always preferred to feel the shift occur. Back when cars had V8 engine, owners would go out of their way to install "Shift Kits" into the transmission, these increased the hydraulic pressure and made for a very "hard" shift and you could feel it and in some cases hear when the tires chirped. These shift kits helped extend the life of the clutches in the automatic transmission by reducing the slipping during gear changes. However there are drivers out there that hated them, they just did not want to know the transmission even shifted

I used to own a scooter from 2007 until 2013. That scooter had a CVT, had no complaints about it. It just worked. Need a new belt every once in a while. And the odd clutch had to be replaced. But they worked and were very very reliable.
 

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2014 2.5i Limited CVT
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1,141 Posts
Many automatic transmissions can shift smoothly - where you don't feel a change at all. It all is how you drive it. Same with the CVT - push it hard and the programming will "shift" to designated static ratios. Drive at a slower pace and you will never feel it.

My old Chrysler minivan was the same with the 4 speed auto "ultradrive" transmission - if I pushed, I would feel it; if I didn't, I wouldn't. Not feeling the shifting (that mechanical action) is a HUGE selling point in many luxury branded automobiles (think Rolls, Bentley, Mercedes "Maybach" and others).
 

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2013/14 2.5i-L CVT
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752 Posts
Subaru had to program in CVT shifts because some thought it was too smooth.
We humans are contrary creatures! The one that really had me shaking my head was Tesla having to reprogram how its cars behave while stopped to have them creep forward when the brakes are released because so many customers were spooked by the car remaining stationary until the accelerated accelerator was pressed.
 

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2001 Forester
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1,310 Posts
Not feeling the shifting (that mechanical action) is a HUGE selling point in many luxury branded automobiles (think Rolls, Bentley, Mercedes "Maybach" and others).
LOL, my ML 350 Bluetec is certainly not "smooth"/not feeling shift type transmission!! But you would be correct if I drive it slow/glacially the shifts are "smooth"!!!
 
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