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  #31 (permalink)  
Old 11-20-2012, 09:40 PM
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If I had driven the 3.5l and fallen in love with it, I would have had to start my entire shopping process all over again, since there were a lot more cars to consider if I raised my price range and lowered my expectations for MPG.

I don't doubt that the 3.5l is really nice to drive, but my 2.5 is nearly making it's own payment in the fuel savings compared to the cars I was driving before.
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  #32 (permalink)  
Old 11-20-2012, 10:49 PM
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I can't fault that argument for the 2.5 one bit.

Consumers Repots got 44mpg hwy and 31 overall "the best of any non-hybrid or diesel family car we've tested". Mine was returning 33mpg in mixed driving and going over 600 miles on a tank. That sort of fuel efficiency is really remarkable in a car the size of the Altima.

Note to fishbone: there's a documented example of the "superior performance" I mentioned but you say doesn't exist.
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  #33 (permalink)  
Old 11-21-2012, 03:01 PM
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Not sure how you are getting those high mileage numbers unless you are driving at or below the speed limit. My numbers for both the 2.5 that I put 3300 miles on before I traded to my new 3.5 with 300 miles on it now, are spot on for the real world numbers on the EPA site - Fuel Economy of 2013 Nissan Altima . I freely admit that I do not drive the speed limit and I like to push a car in both city and highway driving. So I will take a 3 to 4 mpg hit to drive a more refined, quieter, and powerful car.
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  #34 (permalink)  
Old 11-22-2012, 04:01 PM
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i'm a driving enthusiast and have pretty good experiences at track driving; having driven many different cars as I was in car biz for last 5 years and interact with more "avg people" walking into honda/nissan showroom, I noticed "performance" is quite a fake word that you talked to 10 people and they all have their different definitions to it. I very much in love with how this Altima CVT works and bought one for my wife, and secretly enjoyed driving it up to 8/10 of pace. (I liked to momentum drive my cars, and there's quite a joyful experience with the Altima's quiet cabin, yet soft suspension but some respectable speed thru corners.)

Anything more, the all season tires start giving up, the traction control keeps the car on track with where I'm pointing at, but I start to worry if it ever 'gives up'. then the CVT, if you driving it in 10/10 pace, it does require some second guessing on both drivers and the car ecu part.

many "enthusiast" driven some old automatic and may have one or two bad experience when the automatic down/up shift in wrong moment. They are struggling to trust the CVT, because it feels like that's what it would do. It's a feel and feedback thing more than actual performance at this point.



Quote:
Originally Posted by dbc View Post
Here's a link to the second page of an article on the dyno results of the I4/cvt Accord:

The Temple of VTEC - Honda and Acura Enthusiasts Online - Articles - Jeff, do you have the HP vs. mph chart of the 2012/2011 Civic Si?: Video, Conclusions

The Accord is just about as quick as the 2.5 Altima.

The write up confirms what I've been saying all along - its faster when operating as a pure cvt rather than stepping thru the fake "gears".

It's strange to me that the enthusiasts still prefer paddle shifters and gears over the proven superior performance of a transmission that can, when called upon, hold the engine at the absolute best rpm for maximum performance. Or hold the engine in the rpm range for absolute best fuel economy. And, best of all, do BOTH!
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  #35 (permalink)  
Old 11-22-2012, 05:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dbc View Post
Note to fishbone: there's a documented example of the "superior performance" I mentioned but you say doesn't exist.
I am not disputing the documented example, but you are drawing the completely wrong conclusion. I have already explained above.
Have a glance at your favorite car mag comparing sedans in the same class and you will see that the CVT is just about on par with the rest.
The performance argument isn't about preference or "what you are used to", but factual differences between the transmission types.
Motor Trend is as good a start as any. When comparing the numbers, pay close attention to the power/weight ratio.
http://www.motortrend.com/roadtests/...n/viewall.html
For example, vs the Camry, which has a poorer power/weight ratio (heavier, less power), quarter mile diff is .2 and trap time is off by approx 1 mph.
This is the test in which the CVT is supposed to shine: pedal to the floor, hold the revs to peak power. And yet, like you can see for yourself, no noteworthy difference.
And the more you look, the more you see the story is the same when compared to the rest of the pack that are equipped with a 6-speed auto.

OF course I'm not always right and therefore open to the possibility I am missing something entirely; should you have other numbers that clearly show a notable performance difference between a CVT and traditional auto, post up.
Until then, despite the Nissan brochures, the CVT has the advantage of comfort and smoother transition and use of available power when compared to a traditional auto but little else beyond that.
I'm not even seeing a clear advantage in mpg.
Had the CVT had the clear advantage in performance and enthusiast driving, we would have seen it equipped in the 350z, Infiniti G, etc.
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Last edited by fishbone; 11-22-2012 at 05:42 PM.
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  #36 (permalink)  
Old 11-23-2012, 12:12 AM
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I'm glad you mentioned the Motortrend test. Note that the Altima was 1.8 seconds faster than the Camry to 100 mph. That doesn't sound like much but it's over 13 car lengths ahead of the Camry at 100 mph. That's a big difference.

Note also that the Altima and Accord, both with CVT's, were consistently faster than the other 4 comparable cars equipped with step gear automatics.

Documented tests, that you cite, show that the CVT equipped cars are faster. And Consumers Reports documents that the Altima is more fuel efficient.

You keep saying that I'm drawing "the completely wrong conclusion." But the documented tests show that it is the correct conclusion.
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  #37 (permalink)  
Old 11-23-2012, 01:02 AM
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I enjoy a good debate, Fishbone, and will be careful to keep it civil and respectful. I doubt that we're going to convince each other that our position is superior - but we can have fun trying!

I recognize the technical drawbacks to CVT's - especially the belt and pulley variety that currently prevail. But so far they haven't been addressed.

If you were to mention the high internal friction and the limited power handling as drawbacks to the current designs, I would have to agree with you.

Last edited by dbc; 11-23-2012 at 01:04 AM.
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  #38 (permalink)  
Old 11-23-2012, 03:11 AM
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If I buy an Altima, and I plan to, I really don't care so much about the performance other than if it can get on and off of the freeways and that it can handle in emergency situations. I think the majority of buyers of the Altima will feel more like I do on the performance. It is a family car so we don't expect miracles. If I want a performance car it certainly will not have 4 doors.
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  #39 (permalink)  
Old 11-23-2012, 04:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dbc View Post
I'm glad you mentioned the Motortrend test. Note that the Altima was 1.8 seconds faster than the Camry to 100 mph. That doesn't sound like much but it's over 13 car lengths ahead of the Camry at 100 mph. That's a big difference.
That's about the only stat clearly in favor of the Altima. Looks to me like you are cherry picking
The acceleration to 100mph is a result of more power and a lighter chassis in favor of the Altima. How do you explain the negligible difference in pretty much all the other aspects? That fact goes to show that the stat you picked cannot squarely be attributed to the transmission alone.
Quote:
Note also that the Altima and Accord, both with CVT's, were consistently faster than the other 4 comparable cars equipped with step gear automatics.
The difference is minimal once again, and you can't lay the advantage squarely on the transmission since all the other cars, except the Malibu, have a worse power/weight ratio.
Quote:
Documented tests, that you cite, show that the CVT equipped cars are faster. And Consumers Reports documents that the Altima is more fuel efficient.
Not by much. Camry came damn close.
In addition, when my wife and I were shopping for a crossover, the Forester which has a 4EAT gets pretty much the same MPG as the Rogue, which has a CVT. That's just embarrassing.
Quote:
You keep saying that I'm drawing "the completely wrong conclusion." But the documented tests show that it is the correct conclusion.
What documented tests?
Motor Trend doesn't hold, nor does that Honda dyno test.
If the CVT had a clear and undisputed advantage, it would be ahead of the competition by a fair margin.

With respect, but you are refusing to look at the evidence with an objective eye. CVT does not reign supreme, as I said, it's yet another choice out there for drivers, and should come at no surprise to you as to why enthusiasts prefer gears and paddle shifters unless of course you've never autocrossed.
Why doesn't the 370z have a CVT? Infiniti G? How is a CVT better than gears on the twisties? You and I both know that as soon as you let off the gas, the revs drop below the optimal point where you'd need them to be if you're driving like a bat outta hell

Last edited by fishbone; 11-23-2012 at 04:18 AM.
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  #40 (permalink)  
Old 11-23-2012, 12:42 PM
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Again, Fishbone's argument is the vague "I'm refusing to look at the evidence with an objective eye". The road test evidence shows a small, but consistent, advantage with the CVT equipped cars. That's a fact.

Back to the original purpose of this thread, I've really appreciated the adjustable lumbar in the SL which is not available in the SV. And for some reason, the leather seats seem more supportive and comfortable than the cloth ones. I briefly tried the seat heaters but didn't notice the strange behavior others have reported in how they work. They are of limited value here in FL so I'm going to accept them as they are.

The Bose sound system is a nice step up from the standard unit and passengers have commented on its fine sound quality - even in the back seat. The HID headlamps have a wide and even coverage but they're aimed extremely low - moreso than in my other cars with them. I might raise them a little but it appears they don't have the automatic, motor driven levelers that my Lexus has. That car also has the "articulated" lights that swivel in the direction your steering, which is a useful feature on dark, winding roads.

The 3.5 has a vibrating drivers side mirror, a couple of dash buzzes, and minor, less than perfect upholstery work. A couple of the exterior panels have small alignment irregularities. None of these appeared in my very early build 2.5. Seems to me that the assembly quality is not necessarily better with the later cars. But a sample of 2 cars is too small to draw a conclusion.
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  #41 (permalink)  
Old 11-23-2012, 03:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dbc View Post
The road test evidence shows a small
That is what I tried to show you. A small advantage. Which means it's a drivers race and therefore cannot reasonably state without doubt the CVT is leader of the pack.
Quote:
but consistent, advantage with the CVT equipped cars. That's a fact.
The fact is that the advantage is inconsistent.
I've already mentioned in terms of MPG the CVT does not do better than a measly 4-speed automatic Rogue vs Forester.

In terms of performance, Car and Driver put the V6 Altima head to head with the 6-speed Accord. The Accord was faster.
2013 Honda Accord EX-L V6 vs. 2013 Nissan Altima 3.5 SL Track Test - Edmunds.com
In their best seller comparison, they had to say this about the 2.5 CVT
Quote:
That same CVT, though, also helped ensure the Nissan's fourth-place finish. "A deal-breaker," writes Evans. "The essence of rubber-band response: Apply throttle, wait for engine to spin up, surge forward. Drive an Accord to see how it's done properly." Kong concurs: "Excellent in theory, but makes accelerator pedal application a bit of a guessing game. And the CVT's whine is inexcusable. Lots of grinding and gnashing noises coming from the front tunnel area."
http://autos.yahoo.com/news/2012-201....html?page=all

When you make a statement such as the CVT shows a consistent and clear and undisputed advantage in terms of performance and mpg over others, you have the burden of proof.
So far you have failed to met that burden and in fact I was able to show you the reverse is true.
You have still to answer why Nissan will not equip their CVT in their sports cars since it's the clear performance winner in order to support your assessment, which of course would come after the abovementioned burden of proof.
The other take away from MT and C&D is that unfortunately the Altima got beat in the midsize sedan comparison.
I think we are done

Last edited by fishbone; 11-23-2012 at 03:12 PM.
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  #42 (permalink)  
Old 11-23-2012, 04:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fishbone View Post
You have still to answer why Nissan will not equip their CVT in their sports cars...
The Nissan Skyline (JDM version of the Infiniti G35) was available with an optional Extroid-type CVT.

CVT New Zealand: How does the Extroid work

CVT New Zealand: Advantages and Disadvantages of CVT's

Last edited by acesk8er; 11-23-2012 at 04:29 PM.
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  #43 (permalink)  
Old 11-23-2012, 06:19 PM
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As far as I can tell that was mated to the sedan
Also, your second link has a bolded sentence worth noting as well as that excerpt in the disadvantaged category pertinent to this discussion
I saw the V35 in person in 2004 when I was in Tokyo
I did a double take when I saw the Skyline badge on what clearly was a G sedan and thought wtf
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Old 11-24-2012, 03:27 AM
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Point of order, we're talking about Altima's and Accord's here. "Performance" isn't really a deciding factor for these cars for the 4cyl or 6cyl IMO. I personally have the 2.5SL. I chose it for it's MPG and styling compared to the Accord. Fit and finish is nicer, again IMO. It's a 4 door family car that I take clients to lunch in. Everybody that's been in it is truly amazed it's a Nissan and has commented how luxurious it really seems inside and out. This is exactly what I want. As a sales guy, I don't want to pick up clients in a Beamer and have them not give me their business to spite me. This car is impressive, but everybody knows they're somewhat affordable. It's no race car, but I couldn't resist winding it up on the highway to see what it can do. For a little 4cyl, you hit 100 before you know it, it's unbelievably quiet, feels stable and responsive with plenty more power and speed left to boot. You can't go wrong with the 4cyl in the SL. The 3.5's make up less than 10% of Altima sales...As another post previously said in this thread when I look at the cost and MPG's associated with the 3.5 I have to start looking at other vehicles in that price range. I don't know that I'd wind up with a 3.5 at that point. If you want a premium feel, with aggressive (not over the top Kia/Hyundai) styling you can't go wrong with the 2.5 Altima.
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Old 11-24-2012, 04:37 PM
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I agree with everything you just wrote.

We are getting a bit derailed here, the discussion was strictly aimed at whether or not CVT is in fact a better performer in performance-oriented cars.
I've got absolutely nothing against CVT, in fact I favor it over standard autos for cars aimed at getting you from point A to B with no fuss.
The original point of contention was why enthusiasts continue to prefer gears over no gears and we've put that argument to bed.
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