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Discussion Starter #1
Hi XV fanciers.

I regularly need to get along greasy, hilly bush tracks, sometimes with a load of wood on a trailer. In my 2000 Forester with the dual range manual gearbox, I never had a problem. I'm considering updating to an XV, and this is a very important criteria. Any one have experience in these matters?
Cheers
Brendan
 

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My vote would be for the CVT, and pretty strongly so. Since the XV doesn't have a low-range gearbox, slow-speed driving on difficult roads with a MT would require a lot of clutch work, frustrating for the driver and hard on the vehicle. With the CVT, that's not a worry ... and the paddle shifters let you manually select a preferred gear range, so you essentially have the capability of a manual, as well.

I do a lot of summertime driving on 4WD tracks out here, and have been very happy with the CVT in those situations. Putting the CVT in its manual mode works great, and no burning clutch!
 

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This is a topic that, in true 4WD, offroad groups, generates plenty of heated discussion. In general, it seems to come down to personal preference.

However, specific applications can tilt the advantage one way or another. And if the Oz version of the XV has the dual-range gearbox, that would also make a difference.

I think that rock-crawling-type offroad use works better with automatic transmissions (i.e., the CVT in this case) but that mud calls for a manual so that there's no slippage and associated loss of momentum. HPH
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for the feedback.

From these and other threads I've looked at, the CVT looks like the better transmission. However is it durable? (Or more durable than a carefully driven manual)? Does a CVT require extra maintenance? I've always been a manual driver, so it's all a bit of a mystery. Thanks Brendan
 

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Thanks for the feedback.

From these and other threads I've looked at, the CVT looks like the better transmission. However is it durable? (Or more durable than a carefully driven manual)? Does a CVT require extra maintenance? I've always been a manual driver, so it's all a bit of a mystery. Thanks Brendan
I think it's hard to say. The only 10+ year old cvt I know of was in the honda civic hybrid. It's hard to gauge longevity on a transmission deism that's on it's fairly early stages. Just recently a lot of companies are adapting to them. There are also different designs. Like chain vs belt driven.
I'm really not sure how they handle torque.


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in the Jeep community, the consensus was Auto is what you wanted for real offroading, the manual added more complications and no additional strength. But they had strong auto transmissions and pretty much since Chryco took over the auto was actually stronger than the manual, until Jeep brought out the NV3550 in their TJ's in 2002. The CVT would have to be put though it's paces to see how well it would last offroad, but the thought of the smooth curve of a CVT as opposed to the more jerky regular auto or manual sounds like a plus in theory
 

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As a manual owner, I'd say if you're planning to use this car for a lot of off-road driving, get the CVT. The clutch in these cars is weak and will start burning in no time.
We just experienced this while 'froading yesterday. My vote is for CVT. Remember you can use paddle shifters with it for more control. Best of both worlds IMHO.
 

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For the Manual AWD it is always locked at 50 front 50 back and this was the seller for me doing more off road in this thing. More clutch work but you can really feel that ratio. In the CVT it varies and not always to what it should be for the situation. No brainer really. You can only burn out the clutch if you don't know how to use it properly which is for any manual.

I know the CVT is generally more popular on this forum and it is awesome but for offroading the manual any day for me.
 

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To have a torque converter instead of a clutch is a blessing off road. The XV with CVT is also 50/50 in power distribution between front and rear. But, it can vary to 10/90 and 90/10, if required. Cheers.
 

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For the Manual AWD it is always locked at 50 front 50 back...
Unless Subaru uses a unique manual transmission in Crosstreks (or perhaps in Oz), this is incorrect.

The default ratio in the MT5 is 50/50 but the viscous center diff adjusts the distribution according to wheel slippage. Subaru does not use locking differentials (front, center, or rear), as far as I know. HPH
 

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Unless Subaru uses a unique manual transmission in Crosstreks (or perhaps in Oz), this is incorrect.

The default ratio in the MT5 is 50/50 but the viscous center diff adjusts the distribution according to wheel slippage. Subaru does not use locking differentials (front, center, or rear), as far as I know. HPH
Yep. On the M/T cars, the power distribution initially defaults to 50/50, but it doesn't stay there -- the viscous center differential adjusts the power distribution as needed depending on traction conditions.

The system on the CVT is different, and uses newer tech, relying on an electronically-controlled multi-plate clutch. It's supposedly able to adjust the power distribution more rapidly than the older M/T system, which at least theoretically would be an advantage in some situations.

But the main point is, neither transmission has a fixed power distribution ratio.
 

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Thanks for the feedback.

From these and other threads I've looked at, the CVT looks like the better transmission. However is it durable? (Or more durable than a carefully driven manual)? Does a CVT require extra maintenance? I've always been a manual driver, so it's all a bit of a mystery. Thanks Brendan
I vote for the manual, I think the current version of the CVT is about two years old.
 

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To have a torque converter instead of a clutch is a blessing off road. The XV with CVT is also 50/50 in power distribution between front and rear. But, it can vary to 10/90 and 90/10, if required. Cheers.
CVT default is 60/40, manual default is 50/50.
 

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My vote would be for the CVT, and pretty strongly so. Since the XV doesn't have a low-range gearbox, slow-speed driving on difficult roads with a MT would require a lot of clutch work, frustrating for the driver and hard on the vehicle. With the CVT, that's not a worry ... and the paddle shifters let you manually select a preferred gear range, so you essentially have the capability of a manual, as well.

I do a lot of summertime driving on 4WD tracks out here, and have been very happy with the CVT in those situations. Putting the CVT in its manual mode works great, and no burning clutch!
I used to work as an off road Jeep tour driver and never had to do clutch work, or found it frustrating or burned a clutch. Put it in gear and go. The most frustrating car I've ever owned was the Impreza with CVT. If you're burning clutches and getting frustrated, you're doing something wrong.
 

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I used to work as an off road Jeep tour driver and never had to do clutch work, or found it frustrating or burned a clutch. Put it in gear and go. The most frustrating car I've ever owned was the Impreza with CVT. If you're burning clutches and getting frustrated, you're doing something wrong.
Those tour jeeps have a low-range transfer case that the XV could never match ... if the XV's M/T had a low range, it would make it more practical for off-highway driving.

The first car I ever drove was a '47 Willys, and I officially learned how to drive in a '65 Travelall with the squirrellest M/T ever. Until I bought the XV, I hadn't owned a non-M/T car since the 80s, and I've put close to 800,000 miles on cars since then. I'm pretty sure I'm not doing anything wrong. Instead, I'm embracing an advance in technology.
 

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... I'm embracing an advance in technology.
Exactly.

My Xterra (Pro-4x), with the AT5, has a real transfer case with a low range; my experience with true off-road situations puts me, personally, squarely in the AT camp on all this. When the going gets really tough, it's just a lot easier not to have to screw around with the shifter and clutch -- for one thing, it's nice to be able to hold on with both hands to the steering wheel all the time and to brace your left foot on the dead-pedal instead of having to use it on the clutch.

More importantly, the built-in lag of the torque converter (and this is even more pronounced with the CVT) allows smoother transfers of power when needed to surmount big rocks and ledges and so on.

Downhill is a different matter. Without an automated downhill control system (which my truck has), an AT doesn't do as good a job of controlling speed as does an MT. But all-in-all, I'd go with the CVT in the Crosstrek for offroad travel. (Also, I wouldn't ever take our Crosstrek into challenging offroad circumstances.) Although that's just my personal preference, it's one that's based on considerable experience at this point. HPH
 
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