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I read a lot of reviews of the CVT on the Crosstrek before buying mine. Most people hated it but I find once I got the feel for how to manage the throttle that it is as good as a 5/6 speed automatic transmission. Anyone else love/hate the CVT?
 

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Sincerely i hated automatic transmission and even more when i first tried the CVT i did not like the feeling. Now i have the new XV with CVT transmission and i love it. Once you start to understand how it works, you realize it is a magnificient innovation and then begin to understand how manage the throttle and the Paddle shift.
 

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i havent logged onto the forum for a while but i came back to make a post about autos/cvt's and i saw this one! it seems like it's almost perfectly split down the middle 50/50. Half of the articles I read say CVT is by far the choice and the other half say manual is by far the way to go.

did you guys drive both the CVT and the auto before buying yoru Crosstrek?
 

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CouchPotato said:
did you guys drive both the CVT and the auto before buying yoru Crosstrek?
The choices are manual and CVT. They did not have a manual when I bought mine to test drive. Plus I wanted the Limited which only comes with CVT. The CVT on paper gets better MPG. I dirve a lot in LA traffic and spent last 6 years with a manual so was time to treat my left leg to some much needed rest.
 

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jascha said:
CouchPotato said:
did you guys drive both the CVT and the auto before buying yoru Crosstrek?
I dirve a lot in LA traffic and spent last 6 years with a manual so was time to treat my left leg to some much needed rest.
I'm with you there. I live in LA (been in NC working for past 11 months, though) and I couldn't imagine having a manual out there as my DD. The dealer at the local NC Subaru doesn't having any Crosstreks still but I am hoping when I get back to LA (January, FINALLY) I can hop into one. Definitely leaning CVT.
 

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Lol. I was just thinking yesterday that my cars are always sticks and wondering why I was still punishing myself. Must be getting old.
 

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The CVT IMO is better for a car with this power level. My 2012 Outback with CVT fully loaded for vacation never lost 1 MPH in the mountains this summer. The infinite ratios really keep the car in the sweet spot. I would get the CVT in the Crosstrek. If it came with a 6 speed manual, then maybe, but 5 gears just leaves too many holes in the power band for a car with under 150 hp. I drive an EVO X GSR as my daily driver which has a 5 speed but it puts down 330hp at the wheels, so never an issue. I want something smooth, quiet and better MPG with GREAT all weather and terrain ability so I am shopping the XV as my next vehicle.
 

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Got said:
Well I wish I had bought the CVT now. I have the MT which I like but the CVT sounds like more fun. I drove a friend's Corvette the other day which has paddle shifters or whatever they are called. I could get to like that. Oh well, next time around.
At first I was 100% CVT but lately have been thinking about the manual as a better option, but this post makes me think I should stick to CVT. What don't you like about manual now that you've had it for a while?
 

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I drove both when I was doing my test drives. I figured I would like the manual better since I was coming from a Corvette with a six-speed manual. Nope. The long throws on the shifter really put me off, and while I'm sure I would have gotten used to it, I felt like the CVT was much peppier. No regrets about choosing the CVT.
 

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Moonray13 said:
I drove both when I was doing my test drives. I figured I would like the manual better since I was coming from a Corvette with a six-speed manual. Nope. The long throws on the shifter really put me off, and while I'm sure I would have gotten used to it, I felt like the CVT was much peppier. No regrets about choosing the CVT.
How was that coming from a corvette to the Crosstrek? Did it seem waaaaay slower?
 

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dboz said:
The CVT IMO is better for a car with this power level. My 2012 Outback with CVT fully loaded for vacation never lost 1 MPH in the mountains this summer. The infinite ratios really keep the car in the sweet spot. I would get the CVT in the Crosstrek. If it came with a 6 speed manual, then maybe, but 5 gears just leaves too many holes in the power band for a car with under 150 hp. I drive an EVO X GSR as my daily driver which has a 5 speed but it puts down 330hp at the wheels, so never an issue. I want something smooth, quiet and better MPG with GREAT all weather and terrain ability so I am shopping the XV as my next vehicle.
I know a guy on the fence because of mountain driving and power issues. Hopefully he reads this!
 

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I did a little commuting in my old Civic after I sold the Corvette, so it wasn't that drastic for me. Still, any time you go from 430+ horsepower down to 148, it's quite a change. ::)
 

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I'm planning on buying a Crosstrek but I'm also torn between manual and CVT. I have test driven the CVT and am unlikely to use the paddle shifters. I enjoy driving manual transmission (just got back from a trip to Europe where the rental was manual) and currently drive a Toyota Prius which only has a CVT.

There are a few things that are unclear to me when comparing CVT vs. manual:
1. all-wheel drive system - I get the sense it's different for the two transmissions
2. control - I don't mind revving the engine higher to get better performance
3. performance in snow - does manual give you more control?
 

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mklenk said:
I'm planning on buying a Crosstrek but I'm also torn between manual and CVT. I have test driven the CVT and am unlikely to use the paddle shifters. I enjoy driving manual transmission (just got back from a trip to Europe where the rental was manual) and currently drive a Toyota Prius which only has a CVT.

There are a few things that are unclear to me when comparing CVT vs. manual:
1. all-wheel drive system - I get the sense it's different for the two transmissions
2. control - I don't mind revving the engine higher to get better performance
3. performance in snow - does manual give you more control?
Hi there. First off, I will say that I love driving a manual as well, but in Los Angeles traffic it is just not an option for me but I have learned to love the CVT on my Crosstrek. The more I learn how to drive it, the better and better it gets. I never touch the paddle shifters because I feel the Crosstrek's CVT us smarter than me ;). What I mean is, it knows when to rev and when to chill out. I have found that flooring it and shifting gears with the paddles, much like you might do in a manual car, gets worse results than easing into the gas with the CVT. That said, I will try to answer your questions:

1. I believe the CVT has a 60/40 front/rear power distribution whereas the manual has an even 50/50 distribution. How that affects anything, I am not too sure, but we have some very smart members that know a lot about it who I am sure will chime in.
2. I feel the CVT is very responsive and holds the RPMs where they need to be very well. Will it give you as much control as a manual? Probably not, but I haven't experienced a time yet where I felt I needed to shift up/down any faster than the CVT did.
3. I don't know much about this one, but I feel manual/CVT would preform about the same in the snow. I just drove cross-country, party of which was in a snow storm, and my CVT performed amazingly. However, this was a fresh blanket of snow, maybe 1-2" deep, so I don't know how it would do in deeper snow.

That's my 2 cents on everything, though remember I own and have only driven the CVT so I am only speaking from my experiences. Hope that helps some!
 

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That's definitely helpful - thanks.

One other thing I wonder about is how reliability and servicing the two different types of transmissions will differ. Maybe it's too early to tell since it's a new model.
 

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mklenk said:
I'm planning on buying a Crosstrek but I'm also torn between manual and CVT. I have test driven the CVT and am unlikely to use the paddle shifters. I enjoy driving manual transmission (just got back from a trip to Europe where the rental was manual) and currently drive a Toyota Prius which only has a CVT.

There are a few things that are unclear to me when comparing CVT vs. manual:
1. all-wheel drive system - I get the sense it's different for the two transmissions
2. control - I don't mind revving the engine higher to get better performance
3. performance in snow - does manual give you more control?
As our site founder said, the AWD systems are different between the different transmissions.


Personally, this is how I feel regarding the two:
Manual transmission with Continuous AWD
*more predictable under sporty driving due to 50:50 front-to-rear distribution.

CVT Lineartronic with Active AWD
*more stable under slick conditions due to 60:40 front-to-rear distribution.


For control, as said, there are manual paddles that have pre-set ratios that the CVT goes to. The paddle shifters come into play primarily for engine braking, otherwise, they're there for the "feel" of manual control.
If you REALLY love the control of a clutch pedal and shifting your own gears genuinely, go for the manual. But if you want to go with fuel-efficiency, you can sacrifice the full-on control of a manual with the CVT. It's optimized for maximum fuel efficiency, and when you need engine braking, that's when the paddle shifters will show their use.


As I said above, the CVT with the Active AWD is most likely better for slick conditions.


My advice is to be taken with a grain of salt, as those who have actually driven both the relevant Subaru AWD systems (Active AWD for CVT/AT, Continuous AWD for manual) in a variety of conditions can give a genuine opinion with experience.
 
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