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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
Offroad downhill is one of the places where the CVT paddle shifters really prove their usefulness. Drop the CVT into "1" with the paddle shifters, and you've got a controlled descent with essentially the same speed control as 1st gear in a manual, but without having to deal with a clutch.
 

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^^ Yeah, true -- except that's not as low a gear as 1st with a low-range transfer box. Still, it's pretty effective. HPH
 

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I just wanted to update this thread with a recent experience - I ran through an OHV park in Kentucky a couple weeks ago. This was my first time doing "legit" offroading in the xtrek - steep hill climbs. lots of mud, some pretty deep ruts and rocky areas, etc. I have the 5MT and pretty much just left it in 1st gear the whole time. Working the clutch wasn't an issue at all. The car handled everything surprisingly well.
 

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The XV is in fact sold with a dual-range manual gearbox in certain markets with the FB16 engine. I'm surprised hardly anyone mentions this:
SUBARU | SUBARU XV | Specifications


However, as long_road just mentioned, the XV can do fine with proper modulation of the clutch. I've done the same and went to a local SVRA (a state OHV park), and the XV, though not the highest-riding vehicle in the park, did pretty well for what it is.

It's the more difficult stuff where the CVT or dual-range manual gearbox would help significantly, such as steep slippery conditions, large rocks, etc.
 

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I've done rock crawling in heavily modded Jeeps before, and I can agree with the sentiment that automatic would be "easier" and better to use in those situations, but honestly, if you find yourself in that sort of situation in your XV, you're in a lot of trouble regardless of your transmission choice. I have indeed done some technical driving with my XV; I'm got it on two wheels a few times. But there is only one time that I got myself into a situation where I wished that I had the CVT. And the manual is a whole lot of fun offroad. Like, a crazy amount of fun. This car might be underpowered, and it might have a weak clutch, but it has a lot of spirit despite all that. The manual gearbox really brings it out to play.
 

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As a positive aside, the manual transmission won't overheat with the VDC fuse pulled. That means no worrying that you're on borrowed time when you're sideways through a wash.
 

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Disclaimer. This thread is based on opinions, this is only my opinion.


I'm about 20 years into off roading. You can see how I spent my first few years here, check out the gallery. -->> HatchPatrol.com
I'm in most of the photos or I took them. I saw lots of clutches get burned out, saw more get dirt in the throw out bearing and toast the clutch.As others have boasted, I never burned up any of my clutches. But there were several times I was hanging on a ledge and wishing I didn't have to work a clutch to keep from slipping back too far before moving forwards again.

I wheeled my Toyota for about 10 years before buying my Rubicon. I only smelled clutch one time, that same clutch is the one I put in it 12 years ago. ( I sold it to my brother, who stores it at my house, he goes out wheeling with me in my jeep) Below is a video of me going up the same hill as another video below where I'm in my Jeep. At the point where I let off the gas and hit the clutch and brake, the truck lurches back and that was a serious pucker moment. The second vid shows a little better how steep it is.



My Automatic Jeep. Note how easy it is to start again from a stop on the slope, just how slow I can creep along. When I wanna stop, I just press on the brake with my left foot, and release it when I wanna go. I'll never go back to a manual transmission after being spoiled by this AT. It friggin' scoots off the line while on road too.




For the XV? Definitely a CVT. Why dance around with a clutch when you can just push the go pedal and let the car do the rest? These will never see true "off roading" That TERRRRIBLE approach angle will prevent it from ever needing enough power to push over a big obstacle. They will never truly do any "rock crawling".

If you lift it and add bigger tires, you just drain the power by killing the gear ratio. <<-- truth, not opinion.
 

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Disclaimer. This thread is based on opinions, this is only my opinion.


I'm about 20 years into off roading. You can see how I spent my first few years here, check out the gallery. -->> HatchPatrol.com
I'm in most of the photos or I took them. I saw lots of clutches get burned out, saw more get dirt in the throw out bearing and toast the clutch.As others have boasted, I never burned up any of my clutches. But there were several times I was hanging on a ledge and wishing I didn't have to work a clutch to keep from slipping back too far before moving forwards again.

I wheeled my Toyota for about 10 years before buying my Rubicon. I only smelled clutch one time, that same clutch is the one I put in it 12 years ago. ( I sold it to my brother, who stores it at my house, he goes out wheeling with me in my jeep) Below is a video of me going up the same hill as another video below where I'm in my Jeep. At the point where I let off the gas and hit the clutch and brake, the truck lurches back and that was a serious pucker moment. The second vid shows a little better how steep it is.



My Automatic Jeep. Note how easy it is to start again from a stop on the slope, just how slow I can creep along. When I wanna stop, I just press on the brake with my left foot, and release it when I wanna go. I'll never go back to a manual transmission after being spoiled by this AT. It friggin' scoots off the line while on road too.




For the XV? Definitely a CVT. Why dance around with a clutch when you can just push the go pedal and let the car do the rest? These will never see true "off roading" That TERRRRIBLE approach angle will prevent it from ever needing enough power to push over a big obstacle. They will never truly do any "rock crawling".

If you lift it and add bigger tires, you just drain the power by killing the gear ratio. <<-- truth, not opinion.
FWIW the XV has hill assist and will not roll back with a manual or CVT.
 

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Indeed, AFTER you push in the brake and clutch. But you'll note how much I slipped back from just letting off the gas and hitting the clutch/brake. :)
 

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Can't flat tow a CVT.
Can't dolly tow a CVT.
Ain't buying a trailer to tow a car.
Started off roading with a motorcycle, moved on to a lifted Samurai.
Neither one with an automatic or CVT.
Admittedly both had really low gear ratios.
I'll like manual and I'll limit where I drive the wife's Crosstrek - it ain't a Samurai.
I also wouldn't take a 1,000 mile trip in the Samurai.
 

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CVT default is 60/40, manual default is 50/50.
Which in my mind makes the CVT's initial default actually superior, since the engine is up front so the wheels/tires with the most weight (and presumably traction potential) are initially getting slightly more power. As with anything though, I'm sure there are specific circumstances where this would be more of a liability, but I'd imagine it was done this way because most of the time the 60/40 would be better for traction.
 

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Being a Jeep owner and off roader, manual and auto, I will say I prefer the manual offroad in the more techincal stuff, which is most of what we have.
That said, if the CVT was an option for a Jeep, I would jump at it for off road use.
Also, for an XV like my wife has, the CVT is rhe perfect match for slippery slush and slick mud conditions due to the smooth power application and the low power engine. I've had 6 jeeps, 2 quattros (one with rhe lockable center diff) and 1 eagle talon tsi (awd turbo), and my wife has had 4 Subarus. This little xv is the best of them so far, and for on road dirt or muddy dirt roads (not soupy off road quagmire) I would choose it every time.
If the quag though, 4wd with low range os far better in the overall drivetrain.

Sent from my SM-N910V using Tapatalk
 

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I have the 6MT and I would recommend getting the CVT for off-roading unless you like the smell of burnt clutch. The CVT helps with the engine being underpowered too.
 

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Been driving a clutch for 40+ years. Still own a vehicle with a MT. Why I prefer CVT:
- Two foot driving. Learned how to do it for rock crawling and fast fire-roading in my jeep and it's my preferred driving style now. The Crosstrek brake and accelerator pedal spacing is perfect for two foot driving.
- No risk of burning out a clutch in sand or snow
- Sweet in D.C. rush hour traffic especially with cruise control assist.
- You can still control gear selection and keep the R's up with the paddles and manual mode when you feel like driving race kar.
 

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I'm pretty sure the pro off roaders contend that an automatic and hence a CVT is more effective the gnarlier
the trail becomes. But 99% of Crosstek owners are not going rock crawling and will only face very light trails if at all.
So the CVT vs stick question should really only come down to preference.

I would prefer to see some discussion about the relative advantages of stick vs CVT when facing
snow and ice cover roads. And trying to get up snowy icy hills. These are conditions that
perhaps 50% of Crosstrek owners will face rather than rock crawling.

I ask because I love a manual trans and just can't bring myself to buy a CVT.
 

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I'm pretty sure the pro off roaders contend that an automatic and hence a CVT is more effective the gnarlier
the trail becomes. But 99% of Crosstek owners are not going rock crawling and will only face very light trails if at all.
So the CVT vs stick question should really only come down to preference.

I would prefer to see some discussion about the relative advantages of stick vs CVT when facing
snow and ice cover roads. And trying to get up snowy icy hills. These are conditions that
perhaps 50% of Crosstrek owners will face rather than rock crawling.

I ask because I love a manual trans and just can't bring myself to buy a CVT.
Well, the title of this thread refers to off-road... :D

There are some other threads about this. Most of my cars have been manual but I'm loving the CVT in LA traffic (sans snow and ice).
 

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Well. I live 4 miles down an unplowed near 'cart trail' that sees 4 months of winter every year, I'd call that off road.
Not everyone interested in a car's relative 'off road' ability is necessarily referring to the car's ability in that infantile past time engaged in by
kids with too much money who beat the crap out of expensive cars driving them where they don't belong. :) ie: the 'wheeling' scene. ugh!
 

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Well. I live 4 miles down an unplowed near 'cart trail' that sees 4 months of winter every year, I'd call that off road.
Not everyone interested in a car's relative 'off road' ability is necessarily referring to the car's ability in that infantile past time engaged in by
kids with too much money who beat the crap out of expensive cars driving them where they don't belong. :)
Yikes, yes, that qualifies as seriously off the beaten path! It reminds me of some of the more rural places I lived in the UK but I can't be of much help now...
 
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