Doug's Credit Center Blog

Is a CVT Transmission a Good Choice for your Next Vehicle?


Today there are so many different electric vehicles driving around the streets along with various other hybrids that provide so many cost and fuel saving options it can be hard to stay up to speed in the current marketplace. The automotive landscape is changing faster than some of us have ever seen before. Between the types of engines, transmissions, and entirely new automotive fuel sources the vehicles of today have started to become far more complex than the vehicles from years past. Just jumping into any auto loan may not just be the best decision.

This leads us to the topic of transmissions and why exactly the old (and still very useful) traditional automatic transmission has recently got a makeover to create a more efficient option for some car buyers. But as with any renovation, this new (CVT) transmission also has its drawbacks to go along with it’s newly added benefits.

Benefits:

  • Decreases the amount of fuel used in the shifting process, allowing for higher MPG (such as in most hybrid vehicles including the Prius models)
  • During an up-hill drive is where this transmission soars above its manual and automatic competition because of its capability to seamlessly provide power without the need to shift.
  • With the upcoming requirements to reduce emissions and raise over all fuel economy the CVT transmission can do wonders for the environment (as proven by many of Nissan’s new models).

Drawbacks:

  • A common complaint amongst many car “enthusiasts” is the lack of performance in the CVT transmission compared to its tried and true counterparts in terms of responsiveness.
  • Like any new technology there are going to be some growing pains and resistance to change, especially when using a pulley system for seamless shifting compared to a clutch making the engine rev “wildly”.
  • These transmissions are also less likely to be paired with higher horsepower/torque engines.
  • These modern transmission are not yet fully equipped to handling the additional load of towing.

All new technology comes with it’s own set of pro’s and con’s so you need to decide if the additional ~5-20 MPG increase is worth investing is such a new technology that lacks a “sport” feel. Something to consider is that Nissan has openly and widely supported the use and development of this transmission while now offering up to an recently unheard of 10 year/120,000 mile warranty. There are many car available with CVT transmission, you can even apply online for an auto loan to start reducing your own carbon footprint on the world.


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