In Partial Defense of the CVT - 2014 Nissan Rogue SL AWD Long-Term Road Test

Edmunds.comEdmunds.com Member, Administrator, Moderator Posts: 10,237
edited November 2014 in Nissan
imageIn Partial Defense of the CVT - 2014 Nissan Rogue SL AWD Long-Term Road Test

The CVT in our 2014 Nissan Rogue has garnered some negative commentary so far. But it might not be as bad as it seems, depending on how you drive.

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Comments

  • yellowbalyellowbal Member Posts: 234
    For people that keep their cars longer than 7 years or for people that like to buy used cars: CVTs don't get repaired by normal transmission shops, they usually get swapped as a rebuilt/used/or new unit. Dual clutch may be the same way but at least they generally feel good while driving.
  • zimtheinvaderzimtheinvader Member Posts: 580
    edited November 2014
    The days of shops that rebuild transmissions in house may be near the end. I'm sure there are still some top notch specialty shops but most shops I've talked to just install reman units. Reman units can be had so inexpensively and quickly by comparison anymore and even the non-CVT transmissions are getting very complex. The large scale rebuilders do so many they keep the costs down and they come with nationwide warranties.
    Take your car to the dealer in or out of warranty and they will swap in a reman.
    Don't get me wrong, I love a good talented specialty repair shop but they are getting to be more and more rare.
  • agentorangeagentorange Member Posts: 893
    I also find that CVT cars make for nicer travel on roads with rolling hills. For example, when on cruise control a CVT will gently up the revs to maintain speed. A GM programmed conventional transmission will wait until the speed has dropped by 8 MPH then bang in a downshift or two to catch up the speed again. REALLY annoying, especially on older cars with 4-speeds and big ratio gaps.
  • thecardoc3thecardoc3 Member Posts: 5,535
    edited November 2014
    Zim wrote "Don't get me wrong, I love a good talented specialty repair shop but they are getting to be more and more rare"

    And they will continue to do so until they are gone. It's cheaper to employ someone who can change assemblies than it is to have someone trained and equipped to repair them. With all of the pressure to be cheaper then the shop down the street the only logical end to the race to the bottom is that they all eventually fail. Right now there is no shortage of shops and people who can do the easiest work, in fact there are too many fighting for the same shrinking pool of work. The impact of that has broken the career track to take a new technician and grow him/her into being the technician that you need to diagnose and repair the more complicated systems. This culture has really been in place for the last twenty to thirty years and as the senior technicians leave, there isn't a generation behind them to replace them. To make matters worse it takes decades to grow that new technician, so even if all of the other problems went away tomorrow it would be fifteen to twenty years before the next generation of techs are truly service ready. But the wage and benefits issues aren't going to go away until the trade fails to the point that outside intervention becomes the only solution.
  • chol92594chol92594 Member Posts: 208
    I've gotta say that CVTs have come a long way. They're much smoother than they used to be and cars equipped with them have become more enjoyable to drive as a result. That being said, I still don't think that even the best CVTs are as preferable as the better/best auto gearboxes out there. A friend of mine just picked up a 2010 Sentra and I drove it recently. Around town and when you're not really getting into the throttle, it's nice that there aren't really any perceptible gear changes. That being said, I don't think many modern autos have gear changes that are perceptible enough under normal driving to be noteworthy. When I took it on the highway or had to pass someone, the CVT definitely exhibited a fair bit of lag. I'd gun the throttle, the revs would climb, and after a moment, I would start to feel some pull. It's nothing terrible, but I don't think CVTs are quite to the level of refinement that'll make drivers who actually care about driving prefer them to conventional automatics. IMO, dual-clutch or at least 7-8 speed gearboxes are the way to go, but I can see the benefits of a CVT in your typical econobox or family hauler, as long as it's been well-engineered and paired well to the engine it's equipped with.
  • agent0090agent0090 Member Posts: 26
    I don't have any experience with the CVT on the Rogue, but I recently rented an Altima with a CVT that was fantastic in all circumstances, including "full-whack acceleration." Sounds like maybe Nissan needs to be a little more generous with the Altima's CVT special sauce.
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