CVT Transmission

#1
I am considering purchasing a new car that is fitted with a CVT Transmission.
It is a 3000cc hybrid, and I have never had any experience with CVT so any advice or comments would be welcome.
There is no point saying buy a manual, as the particular model only comes with the CVT.
Thanks in advance.
 
#2
They are claimed to be better than a traditional "auto" insofar the tranny will deal with inclines etc without hunting by avoiding irritating throttle response change ups/downs. By default supposed to be always in the right "gear"
Out of warranty due to their fiendish complexity...potentially a nightmare to fix ( if indeed worth fixing) or replace. Nothing new about variable transmissions. Your new car discounts that threat though.

Here is a horrendously crude ( just for a laugh!) DAF car tranny from Noah's Ark days. It worked well enough though

Just imagine the infinately more refined version in a modern enclosed 'box and you can see what can go wrong..will go wrong. Their complexities mean more to fail potentially...just like those devil-clutches aka DSGs.
However, I imagine in conjunction with hybrid technology supplementing the power train, and given modern technology + testing-to-destuction & refinment it would be a hoot to drive and hopefully bullet proof within the warranty period. I do not think reliablity will an issue these days. They'd not sell well if they had a bad reputation.

Should You Buy a Car with a CVT Transmission? » AutoGuide.com News

I would definately investigate owners' real life experiences in terms of reliability & driving...plus real life mpg figures, and try to get straight answers from whatever Dealer Service Manager the car comes from re warranty claims etc.
Forget brochure/blob chart claims. They lie...they have to. An extended test drive would be good.

Hope this helps...from a rabid & certifiable "petrol-head!"
 
Last edited:

Joshua Slocum

LE
Book Reviewer
#3
Most scooters have CVT, and its reliable enough given teenagers use them, although the car ones are more complex, make sure it has a warranty
if its Japanese it will probably last for ever providing the car has been serviced correctly
 
#5
Had a Mitsubishi Outlander with CVT. I’d say by default it was always in the wrong gear! It always seemed to slur between its preset gears. Not a fan

That said, tech has moved on massively.
 
#6
Honda have been using CV-T for years, as have Toyota etc.

Lots of people saying expensive to fix if it goes wrong...agreed, but so is every other bloody gearbox these days.

In reality, they don't actually go wrong that often. You'd be pretty unlucky for one to fail on you. CV-T is pretty reliable.

One thing you would need to get used to is that they always, in my experience, tend to sit a little high on the rev range, you think that you'd like to be in a higher gear, but the gearbox really does work it all out.

It is an "infinite" range of gears between the lowest and the highest ensuring that you are, as has already been said, always in the "correct" gear for your road speed.

for my money, I simply wouldn't worry about the nay sayers, Just do it. Once you are used to it, you'll wonder why all gearboxes aren't like it?
 
#7
I had the latest model Nissan X Trail fitted with CVT.
Nissans version is engineered to give "steps" that imitate gear changes, seven steps in all. It has a manual mode where you select what "gear" it's in. In manual mode the box will go to seventh gear but in auto mode it will only go to sixth gear. On a run such as a motorway you have to go to manual to get seventh gear if you want to run the engine at the lowest revs for best economy which defeats having an auto box!
When I first got it (new) after about 500 miles in auto mode the gearbox would hunt for it's setting causing the revs to fluctuate by 500 rpm with a subsequent variation in speed.
This was initially cured by a software upgrade but came back again at 24,000 miles. This time the dealer said the drive belts were slipping and it required a new gearbox! This was fitted but at 35,000 miles the rpm/speed variation was back.
The car was changed soon after.
Would I buy another CVT? No, definitely not after my experiences with the Nissan version.
 
#8
....
It is an "infinite" range of gears between the lowest and the highest ensuring that you are, as has already been said, always in the "correct" gear for your road speed....

for my money, I simply wouldn't worry about the nay sayers, Just do it. Once you are used to it, you'll wonder why all gearboxes aren't like it?
I might be completely wrong, but I guess CVT would be ideal for an electric drive car, letting the motor run at a more or less constant speed.
 
#10
Audi have been using CVT for years, as above OK if under warranty as they can be very expensive to fix.
I am not bothered about the expense to repair as the car comes with a 5 year warranty, and I generally flick them after 5 years so anything that may go wrong is under the warranty.
 
#13
And that's why the electric car manufacturers fit them. Also, it allows the power to be delivered smoothly.
No they don’t. There’s no need for a transmission on a pure electric because the electric motors deliver maximum torque at low speed. A Tesla has a single, fixed reduction gear to take motor speed down to axle speed. There’s no way any of the current CVTs could be used in a Tesla which develops about 1200Nm of torque; the maximum torque rating of an Audi Multitronic was 400Nm which is I believe the highest rated CVT.

Most hybrids use a power sharing transmission, sometimes refered to as an Electric Variable Transmission. This uses an epicyclic gearbox; it isn’t a CVT. A few use (Outlander PHEV, BMW i2 & GKN’s e-Transmission which is an electronically controlled gearbox not a CVT.

All of which makes me wonder what hybrid the OP is proposing to buy with a CVT? With a 3 litre engine, it is presumably a mild hybrid.
 
Last edited:
#14
Had a Nissan Primera a few years ago with CVT, and was not a fan. Was OK 90% of the time, but lacked the kickdown a conventional automatic has. Stamping on the throttle would result in increased noise but little in the way of acceleration, similar to a slipping clutch on a manual. But that was 6 years ago .......
 
#15
Daughter had a CVT Dodge Caliber. Horrid to drive, and made a whiny noise. Ok for a first car, but the 3-speed in my 1978 Merc was considerably more satisfying to drive than the Caliber. Kickdown in the Merc (or any other stepped auto) drops you quickly into the torque band, where the CVT just changes the frequency of the whine a few Hz and you slowly build speed.

Not for me.
 
#16
No they don’t. There’s no need for a transmission on a pure electric because the electric motors deliver maximum torque at low speed. A Tesla has a single, fixed reduction gear to take motor speed down to axle speed. There’s no way any of the current CVTs could be used in a Tesla which develops about 1200Nm of torque; the maximum torque rating of an Audi Multitronic was 400Nm which is I believe the highest rated CVT.

Most hybrids use a power sharing transmission, sometimes refered to as an Electric Variable Transmission. This uses an epicyclic gearbox; it isn’t a CVT. A few use (Outlander PHEV, BMW i2 & GKN’s e-Transmission which is an electronically controlled gearbox not a CVT.

All of which makes me wonder what hybrid the OP is proposing to buy with a CVT? With a 3 litre engine, it is presumably a mild hybrid.
I stand corrected....thank you.

As for what? The only thing of that sort of engine size that I can think of is the Lexus 450H?
 
#20
Audi have been using CVT for years, as above OK if under warranty as they can be very expensive to fix.
They have been slowly getting rid of it, and changing to DCT in its place, across the marque over the last 4 years.
 

Similar threads


New Posts

Top