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Hello all
I'm seriously thinking of a Crosstrek, I have 5k of a pretty muddy road (often wet with deep ruts) to get into my camp once a month or so. I'm thinking I can do it, I can get a 2 inch lift with mud tires if its really needed.
I want a manual which is optioned BUT... I'll loose Xmode.
I feel if I pass on Xmode I will loose traction in dicey areas.
Does it seriously help and it worth a CVT when you want a manual?
 

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Vancouver, BC, Canada CGK 2018 Ltd EyeSight
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Where X-Mode really helps is on very steep grades (both up and down). On the flats, regular AWD should be good enough (low end power) to get you through mud and slippery parts.
 

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Thanks R P, I was hoping that's the case.
When I do my limited research I'm told the sensitivity is increased in Xmode, a bit worried that I'm sacrificing the ability for traction to move from tire to tire while crawling through mud by choosing my manual option.
 

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I thought I may have wished I went with the CVT w X mode in Michigan winters rather than with the classic 6-Speed Premium. With 50-50 trq split and the ability to feel what the drivetrain is doing through the manual, I honestly can say I kept up with the Salt trucks and often blew past them in our 18” blizzard in Jan-March. I took it out around 10 pm, 0 cars on the road and I had 1-way 4-lane lane streets with turnarounds to drive on. Very few police on the roads, a bad storm. The balanced handling of the crosstrek around corners at 20mph kept it securely locked into usable feedback at the wheel. I drifted in parking lots past snowplows that were thumbs up to me, an old coot scooting around. With 3400 miles on the ode today I ran each gear to redline on the freeway and twice at traffic lights in minimal traffic. As it was I came up to a Dodge Ram Hemi( Detroit here) Could tell they didn’t expect Mr. Grey hair to do a 0-60 (75:smileyvault-stop:) test. The next light he floored it off the line, sounded sweet. BTW the engine climbs right up to the rev limiter without a serious break in torque. The engine did not sound strained at all, the ratios were perfectly engineered for both low speed- hi mpg and Hoonigan territory driving situations. After waiting for a descent break in period of 3400 miles (4 months) I had to see what it felt/sounded like @ redline pull through all gears just once. The Crosstrek manual was the correct choice for me. I have to say I’m going to miss the 2006 Audi A3 Hatch 6-speed I’m selling to my son next month. Although I’m happy it’s him as he will drive and take care of it in the weather of Oakland /San Francisco Ca. I like being connected to the road just enough to make it enjoyable as a daily driver and for sprinting around town. Plenty of power to weight ratio with the manual. I’m sure the CVT in manual mode is descent as my wife has a 2017 Legacy sedan with excellent snappy shift points on its manual mode.
 

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X Mode basically allows the CVT to have a lower "crawl gear". On descents, the X Mode controls the wheel rotation with braking to hold the car back. Despite the paddle shifters on the column and the manual mode on the floor shifter, the CVT does not have separate gears. For some reason it does try to mimic shifting action. But, it is not actually able to hold a gear. The manual does not need that because you can choose your gear. The Symmetrical AWD is the strength of this car.
 

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PS: The manuals 1rst gear is very low. Granny gear like. 2nds is also relatively low. Third gets longer. So for quick acceleration the tranny is set very well. Also slow best mpg is nice once you learn the best shift points and clutch release. Takes a bit of practice but is worth the long term exploration to maximize this vehicles inherently excellent dynamics.
 

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Just saying, for all of those purists who love their manual transmissions and think there is nothing else in the world that competes with "the feel of the road" ... there are also lots of us who love our CVT's. We love the adaptive cruise control that only a CVT offers, and our EyeSight that has our backs covered and makes our time on the road safer and more relaxing. We like the comfortable driving in traffic without having to keep quite as busy constantly shifting. Although you make it sound like MT is the only way to go, there are many who think CVT is the way to go as well. So go on enjoying your MT's, and we'll continue enjoying our CVT's. Not putting down the MT's, but there is also more choices in life. And many think they are every bit as good.
 

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You can’t go wrong either way as it’s really just a personal choice. The Eyesight features didn’t even register to me when I shopped. Now I wouldn’t want to do without. I drove my 17 Ridgeline on a 2 hour one way day trip last week. I really missed the adaptive cruise control. I’m lifted with 15 inch wheels and Ko2’s. I don’t think there is anyplace around here that will get me in trouble that I would likely attempt.
 

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If you're gonna be off road or in the snow a lot, get the XMODE.
I also figured out that you can hit the brakes a little and it will slow down even more. So if you start at the max 12mph and you feel a little uncomfortable, you can just apply the brakes a little and change your speed to say 9mph. XMODE will stay engaged, but now your descent is at 9mph and so on.
 

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As for snowy hill climbs. XMODE!!! Here's an example, but I did so much gnarlier stuff during our week of snow covered world this last Winter. I have been 4 wheeling Subarus for 20 years and none of my lifted baddass machines can match up to it.

 

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Well...I'm not sure about that. I've driven both and honestly, either one will get you there. XMode does help a little, but it wasn't really a night and day difference except going down steep inclines. XMode did help a little there. But some of that is mitigated by leaving the manual in a lower gear and letting engine braking help keep the speed in check. For the most part, Subaru has such a good all wheel drive system you can really just point it where you want to go and it'll get you there. I regularly camp in mine and the further off the beaten path, the better. I've never had an issue getting where I wanted to go with one exception. I misjudged a small mud hole that turned out to be very deep. Got myself out with a pulley. But that wasn't really the cars fault. ;)
 

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I've got a place in the mountains with a very steep driveway. When there is snow, Xmode makes a noticeable difference in the ascent. Under some conditions, I simply can't make it up a certain section of the driveway without Xmode being engaged.

I find it less useful when descending, but I can see how Xmode would be useful for long descents on snow where keeping the car under control manually would get tiring.
 

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Hey Jerel! Any chance you've pulled the trigger on one of these yet? You really can't go wrong with either trans IMO.

I can only speak to my limited experience but my '18 CVT with the traction control turned off and tires at 18 psi is incredible in the deep loose sand in my region. I only manipulate the traction control via the button, as I've hear pulling the fuse can get funky in the newer models but I haven't tried so take that with a grain of salt.

I haven't needed Xmode yet though I would imagine that it could be a last ditch effort to try pulling yourself out before having to get out of the car and start a recovery. But seriously I have yet to have any fear of getting stuck in some seriously deep sand. While the proper AWD is the meat and potatoes of the Subaru, its the low weight that makes it a dream to drive in sand and mud. While larger, heavier rigs sink the Subaru just floats right through more like a boat than car.

I will say that when I test drove a manual at the dealer I just wasn't impressed with the on road feel. I just felt that both 1st and 2nd were too short for my preferences and 3rd is too long. I much prefer how the CVT can place the engine in the ideal power band for the given throttle demand. That is TOTALLY opinionated and you should totally test drive both to see which is right for you but I wanted to add my 2 cents.

You already made the right choice by picking Subaru. Get the trans that will make you happy. Maintain momentum, try not to break stuff, have fun.

Cheers,
Dan
 

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X Mode basically allows the CVT to have a lower "crawl gear". On descents, the X Mode controls the wheel rotation with braking to hold the car back. Despite the paddle shifters on the column and the manual mode on the floor shifter, the CVT does not have separate gears. For some reason it does try to mimic shifting action. But, it is not actually able to hold a gear. The manual does not need that because you can choose your gear. The Symmetrical AWD is the strength of this car.

X-Mode engages engine braking to help manage downhill speed.
 

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I was reading this article and it sounds like the manual is like having a center diff lock vs. single wheel control of X Mode. I think I heard a Youtube reviewer make the same comment. Am I interpreting the article correctly?

saint 😇
 
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