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If he's worried about the CVT transmission, I think he should hear both sides to it. What got me hooked was the idea that the CVT provides more useable power, better fuel economy, and a smoother driving experience than a traditional automatic.
"Engines do not develop constant power at all speeds; they have specific speeds where torque (pulling power), horsepower (speed power) or fuel efficiency are at their highest levels. Because there are no gears to tie a given road speed directly to a given engine speed, the CVT can vary the engine speed as needed to access maximum power as well as maximum fuel efficiency. This allows the CVT to provide quicker acceleration than a conventional automatic or manual transmission while delivering superior fuel economy."
Courtesy of the wonderful world of NissanClub review, compilation.
"The CVT's biggest problem has been user acceptance. Because the CVT allows the engine to rev at any speed, the noises coming from under the hood sound odd to ears accustomed to conventional manual and automatic transmissions. The gradual changes in engine note sound like a sliding transmission or a slipping clutch -- signs of trouble with a conventional transmission, but perfectly normal for a CVT. Flooring an automatic car brings a lurch and a sudden burst of power, whereas CVTs provide a smooth, rapid increase to maximum power. To some drivers this makes the car feel slower, when in fact a CVT will generally out-accelerate an automatic.
Automakers have gone to great lengths to make the CVT feel more like a conventional transmission. Most CVTs are set up to creep forward when the driver takes his or her foot off the brake. This provides a similar feel to a conventional automatic, and serves as an indicator that the car is in gear. Other CVTs offer a "manual" mode that simulates manual gear changes.
Because early automotive CVTs were limited as to how much horsepower they could handle, there has been some concern about the long-term reliability of the CVT. Advanced technology has made the CVT much more robust. Nissan has more than a million CVTs in service around the world and uses them in powerful cars such as the 290 horsepower Maxima, and says their long-term reliability is comparable to conventional transmissions."
Still, in the right situation, CVT's advantages outweigh its disadvantages. Less complexity and fewer moving parts theoretically mean fewer things to go wrong and maintain.
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