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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
1. What happened to engine braking? With no "low" gears as on my 2007 Altima, all you have to brake with the engine is to turn overdrive off?
2. What is the practical use of turning overdrive off? Get greater response? Don't you get that by just pushing harder on the gas pedal?
3. What is the use of Ds? More powerful response, with higher ratio & reduced gas mileage? Tuned differently throughout zero to 60 taking into consideration speed, gas pedal, hill or flat, etc?
4. How does Ds vary from turning off overdrive? No overdrive changes the D ratio by the same amount throughout vs. Ds making variations?

Just guessing . . .

Sorry if this has been posted before--I'm new here. Googling the web didn't find much. Are these features new to 2016?

Thanks!
 

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1. Yes, unless you put it into Ds mode, which holds RPMs when you let off the gas.

2. Slowing down the car when going downhill continuously (e.g. driving in the mountains). Same as turning overdrive off in any other car. Note: there is no overdrive, so this is just forced engine braking, which you seem to want.

3. Artificial feel of having gears, and holding RPMs if you let off the brake. It shouldn't be faster, and in fact is contrary to the point of a CVT.

4. Turning off overdrive holds a higher RPM for engine braking. Ds creates the feeling of having gears by (inefficiently) revving the engine through the RPM range repeatedly during acceleration.

These are not new features, and are unchanged since 2013. Your best bet is to put it in Drive and not worry about it unless you find yourself going downhill for a mile or more, in which case turning off overdrive (even though there is no overdrive) will help you slow down.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
Thanks!

Thanks for the info. Seems like such info should be in the manual . . ..

Also seems, to me anyway, that the controls of the CVT in my 2007 Altima made more sense--you have multiple (although fake) gears for downhill breaking control.

Sounds like Ds is a silly vanity thing for those who miss the sensation of the transmision having separate gears and thus less efficiency and removing the smoothness of CVT. And, wasn't smoothness of multiple-geared auto transmissions a goal that engineers tried to improve upon over the decades?

Plus adding more and more gears for smoothness and efficiency, so now we need to fake an old style transmission by adding Ds to a transmission that improved upon 2 main goals of multi-geard automatics? I wonder how popular Ds is and how many miss the "gears" my 2007 had, convenient for braking.

I'd suppose Ds sells more cars than multiple "gears" since probably most people don't use engine braking & more people feel better listening to the traditional engine revving through it's fake gears.

Interesting! Thanks again.
 

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Yes, Ds is a waste of time and inefficient, but it wouldn't be there if people didn't want/expect it.

My transmission does tend to increase engine RPMs to attempt to hold the car at speed if I let off the gas pedal when going downhill. This happens in regular old "Drive", and some people flipped out a bit when first discovering this because it seems like something might be wrong the first time it happens.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
You raise another interesting point. Driving my 2006 with CVT I often wondered how it was designed to react when coasting. Sometimes it seemed to let the engine revs go up thereby slowing the car & other times it seemed to allow free coasting. I was trying to figure out what was triggering the different behaviors or was it my imagination . . .

The new 2016 I haven't had enough driving experience yet to notice any what seem to be differences when coasting--or maybe this CVT works differently. Obviously the computer control of the transmission can make big differences in it's behavior.
 
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