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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.
I don't think there are any advantages to the manual, and I have a manual. I think the Subaru AWD will sort things out on snow or ice covered roads. X-Mode might come in handy on the CVT models. In your scenario, real snow tires and patience are all you need. I bought the manual because I enjoy rowing through the gears. But even for me, I think the CVT is the right choice in almost any situation.
 

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I don't think there are any advantages to the manual, and I have a manual. I think the Subaru AWD will sort things out on snow or ice covered roads. X-Mode might come in handy on the CVT models. In your scenario, real snow tires and patience are all you need. I bought the manual because I enjoy rowing through the gears. But even for me, I think the CVT is the right choice in almost any situation.
Agree. I mean if I really want to shift then I just use the paddles. Just seems like the best of both worlds or am I missing something here?
 

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Hi, new to the XV but not new to off-roading.

When I first moved to Borneo and could finally unleash my joy at off-road biking I went nutz... However the last few years I also do 4 wheels. I intend getting an old Landcruiser for adventures, with the XV for my daily driver. I too was thinking of a manual, but my experience with my current truck, a Ford Ranger, is that autos are way easier.

Yes we have the hill start thing but only for a few seconds and only if you bring it to a complete halt to engage it - something you'll be trying to NOT do when getting up the steep stuff.

Really, the only reason I bought an auto truck was so my wife could drive it, but having used it off road I came to realize it's better than messing with a clutch and levers while trying to gently moderate power delivery. As for clutches, I have indeed burnt out the clutch on a bike off-road. I was able to ride it home on the road - after 3 hard, sweaty hours of pushing it up hills that it couldn't make by itself. I really wouldn't want to push an XV up a muddy hill.
 

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I recently bought a 14 crosstrek CVT. after 20+ years of owning MT vehicles. It took moving to California and becoming a father to get me to even consider an AT. I've taken her off road quite a few times and my first thoughts was that I made a huge mistake buying the CVT model.

Which leads me to some questions.
*Is it really better to slip the CVT belt than it is to slip a clutch? I know they just extended the warranty to 100k but it isn't exactly a wear item like a clutch is.
*How much stress are you guys putting on your CVT transmission's vs the MT models? mild, moderate or heavy?
*If the cvt is better, how do you guys compensate for lack of power when crawling out of, or up things that are at the vehicles limit? For instance, when you bog down in a MT you can clutch kick and get the rpm's up, then work the throttle and get the car moving. What I've found in the CVT is that once u bog, your done. I haven't cut my bumpers up yet (waiting until after my wheels and tires arrive) so my approach speed is limited due to ground clearance.
 

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Let me share my experience. Last month with members of Subaru Poland team we were driving through Balkan maountains. There were different Subarus there, including one XV CVT and my XV 6MT. All were doing fine but on one very steep and stony road I needed to repeat climbing due to lack of low rpm power. I burnt a clutch and had to go down to more flat part for acceleration. With second aproach using a lot of momentum (honestly speaking to much considering rough surface) I managed to climb. A colleague with CVT was climbing slowly, but with no stopping. He complained many times about CVT "disrupting" the connection between his right pedal and engine response but summary on this steepy climb CVT was definitely better than my MT. Other vehicles with CVT (Forester XT, OBK) were also doing fine. 3 other cars had a MT but either with low-gear case (old Forester) either had turbo (old Forester) or turbodiesel (Forester) and were also doing well.
 

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I recently bought a 14 crosstrek CVT. after 20+ years of owning MT vehicles. It took moving to California and becoming a father to get me to even consider an AT. I've taken her off road quite a few times and my first thoughts was that I made a huge mistake buying the CVT model.

Which leads me to some questions.
*Is it really better to slip the CVT belt than it is to slip a clutch? I know they just extended the warranty to 100k but it isn't exactly a wear item like a clutch is.
*How much stress are you guys putting on your CVT transmission's vs the MT models? mild, moderate or heavy?
*If the cvt is better, how do you guys compensate for lack of power when crawling out of, or up things that are at the vehicles limit? For instance, when you bog down in a MT you can clutch kick and get the rpm's up, then work the throttle and get the car moving. What I've found in the CVT is that once u bog, your done. I haven't cut my bumpers up yet (waiting until after my wheels and tires arrive) so my approach speed is limited due to ground clearance.
I couldn't handle the thought of the cvt belt slipping as much as I anticipate I'll be slipping the clutch. I saw charts indicating I would need to service the cvt every 15k miles given the use it will see.

After searching 4 months for a 6mt in cool grey khaki locally (+-400miles) I ordered one. Now to wait.

I will say that after test driving the cvt I was impressed. The resistance braking and paddle shift controls were cool.
 

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I couldn't handle the thought of the cvt belt slipping as much as I anticipate I'll be slipping the clutch. I saw charts indicating I would need to service the cvt every 15k miles given the use it will see.

After searching 4 months for a 6mt in cool grey khaki locally (+-400miles) I ordered one. Now to wait.

I will say that after test driving the cvt I was impressed. The resistance braking and paddle shift controls were cool.
Subaru's CVT is chain driven, not belt. Like other auto-trans, it has a torque converter to absorb low speed slippage. A traditional auto doesn't just grind gear when stopped or moving slowly so why assume Subaru engineers ignored what is conventional wisdom when designing their CVT? Where did you see needing to service the CVT every 15k? You should inspect it for leaks every 15k but even the most intense service schedules I have read say to replace fluid every 30k in extreme operating conditions. Allegedly, under normal conditions the CVT fluid should last the life of the car. I will likely flush mine around 50k-60k just to be on the safe side as I hope to own this vehicle well into 200k.

Don't take any of this in malice, I just want to correct misinformation. Including trans, cars are all about what your prefer! Congrats on the new car, you’re gonna love it!
 

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Subaru's CVT is chain driven, not belt. Like other auto-trans, it has a torque converter to absorb low speed slippage. A traditional auto doesn't just grind gear when stopped or moving slowly so why assume Subaru engineers ignored what is conventional wisdom when designing their CVT? Where did you see needing to service the CVT every 15k? You should inspect it for leaks every 15k but even the most intense service schedules I have read say to replace fluid every 30k in extreme operating conditions. Allegedly, under normal conditions the CVT fluid should last the life of the car. I will likely flush mine around 50k-60k just to be on the safe side as I hope to own this vehicle well into 200k.

Don't take any of this in malice, I just want to correct misinformation. Including trans, cars are all about what your prefer! Congrats on the new car, you’re gonna love it!
Either way you look at it, something is slipping in the transmission and generating heat. If you apply enough torque, the torque converter is going to apply more power to the cvt, potentially causing slippage and more heat. Unfortunately all my sources are transmission cooler companies or users. This video really influenced my choice. I know there are going to be times I'm hard on the clutch, I hoping the fact that I'm operating clutch pedal, will lead me to be less abusive.

 

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Either way you look at it, something is slipping in the transmission and generating heat. If you apply enough torque, the torque converter is going to apply more power to the cvt, potentially causing slippage and more heat. Unfortunately all my sources are transmission cooler companies or users. This video really influenced my choice. I know there are going to be times I'm hard on the clutch, I hoping the fact that I'm operating clutch pedal, will lead me to be less abusive.

First off,there will be no slipping of the CVT.The tires will slip well before the chain in the CVT does.All the slipping is done by the torque converter.Yes,this will generate heat just as slipping the clutch will.Every time you depress and release the clutch you're slipping it to some extent.When offroading,you often have to proceed very slowly.To do this with a manual trans,you have no choice but to slip the clutch which will eventually burn it up.Hopefully,not out in the middle of nowhere.A torque converter can withstand far more abuse than the clutch in a manual trans can because the torque converter can slip without burning and has it's own cooling system.That's why you often hear of worn/burnt out clutches that need replaced and only hear of torque converters needing replaced if it's defective from the factory.They don't burn when slipping like a clutch so they don't wear out like a clutch.The worst case scenario with the CVT or any auto trans is that you will need to change the trans fluid when you get home.Not IF you get home when your clutch burns out.It's certainly much easier and much cheaper to replace fluid than replacing a clutch.

As for the video.Were these guys experienced enough to disable the traction control?It sure looked like it was on to me.That one guy asked if the brakes were on because they were.It couldn't make it because it didn't have enough power to climb that steep of incline while trying to overcome the force of the brakes being applied by the traction control and the TC also cutting power from the engine to reduce wheel spin.The CVT wasn't slipping.It was the torque converter slipping because the the engine wasn't producing enough power due to TC cutting power from the engine.It wasn't because the CVT couldn't transfer the power.That power just wasn't there to transfer.The 4EAT didn't have TC so full power was available and it didn't have to fight the brakes either.Also,the CVT hesitated before it started moving because,once again,the brakes were on because they didn't disable the hill start assist.That was the first thing I did to my '16 with CVT.
 

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As some have noted, with a CVT, drop it in Manual and use the first gear...will get you out of a lot of sticky situations!
 

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After 12 years in a manual Outback, the new CVT Crosstrek kills it in every scenario on or off road for us. The Crosstrek has been more places than the outback could ever hope to go. Manual trans Outback just didn't have the power down low to handle steep inclines and would slip the clutch far too easy or just didn't have the grunt to get it done. Crosstrek will do it with a tire in the air and has actually got me to my elk hunting location which the Outback never could despite multiple attempts. I'm pretty impressed with the CVT in the Crosstrek. X-Mode is pretty sweet too for what it is.

Best of Luck,

Mike
 
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