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A CVT I Can Recommend - 2016 Honda Civic Long-Term Road Test

Edmunds.comEdmunds.com Posts: 9,857
edited April 2016 in Honda
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A CVT I Can Recommend - 2016 Honda Civic Long-Term Road Test

Continuously variable transmissions, or CVTs, generally get low marks from our editors for driving enjoyment, but the 2016 Honda Civic Touring's CVT is an exception.

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Comments

  • kirkhilles1kirkhilles1 Posts: 826
    That's great to hear. A lot of earlier CVTs were just drone-sounding machines. It's great to hear that its "smarter" to be more like an Automatic transmission.
  • lvgtilvgti Posts: 8
    This is a little off topic, but worth mentioning...I recently discovered that the 1.5 turbo Civic has DUAL EXHAUSTS! Their not easy to spot, need to get down on one knee. The vehicle I saw was at Honda West in Las Vegas.
  • Honda usually does not jump on new technology quickly. Just started phasing in widespread use of direct injection and turbo charging. Yes they had a CVT years ago but never across the board on multiple models as the main automatic transmission. This time they waited and studied others (guessing there were a lot of Nissans in R and D) to come up with the CVT they are using today. Same with the 8 speed DSG. The biggest weakness is low speed driving. The solution was to use a torque converter. Best of both worlds. Slow speed smoothness and fast gear changes at higher speeds.
  • I think torque has everything to do with a CVT. That's why I think Nissans are generally well liked as far a CVTs go at least when bolted to the V6 or the larger 4 cylinder which have more torque. When there is not enough torque CVT's have to wind up to much.
  • schen72schen72 Posts: 433

    Honda usually does not jump on new technology quickly. Just started phasing in widespread use of direct injection and turbo charging. Yes they had a CVT years ago but never across the board on multiple models as the main automatic transmission. This time they waited and studied others (guessing there were a lot of Nissans in R and D) to come up with the CVT they are using today. Same with the 8 speed DSG. The biggest weakness is low speed driving. The solution was to use a torque converter. Best of both worlds. Slow speed smoothness and fast gear changes at higher speeds.

    Honda's 8DCT is really quite good. I have a '16 Acura ILX and I love shifting that thing. Shifts are so fast and exact. And downshifting is always perfect, with rev-matching. After driving a DCT and then returning to a regular automatic makes me realize the regular auto is just so slushy and slow.

    I've also test-driven the Civic 1.5T and the CVT was also pretty good. Not as enjoyable as the 8DCT but with economy in mind, it works well.
  • dfcars8dfcars8 Posts: 1
    So the question then is, why continue to use CVT transmissions if the goal is engineer them to act like a traditional automatic? There are traditional automatics (Mazda) that get better mileage than CVTs. In my opinion, automatics will always be more engaging to drive than a CVT, no questions asked.
  • 5vzfe5vzfe Posts: 160
    dfcars8 said:

    So the question then is, why continue to use CVT transmissions if the goal is engineer them to act like a traditional automatic? There are traditional automatics (Mazda) that get better mileage than CVTs. In my opinion, automatics will always be more engaging to drive than a CVT, no questions asked.

    I think CVTs generally have fewer moving parts, so they can make them smaller and lighter. I'm not an engineer, but they seem less complicated if you look at diagrams of their internals. Theoretically they have an infinite number of gear ratios, and are supposed to boost fuel economy as well so if I were manufacturing a car I'd be sold on the idea too.
  • allthingshondaallthingshonda Posts: 878
    edited April 2016
    dfcars8 said:

    So the question then is, why continue to use CVT transmissions if the goal is engineer them to act like a traditional automatic? There are traditional automatics (Mazda) that get better mileage than CVTs. In my opinion, automatics will always be more engaging to drive than a CVT, no questions asked.

    The "shifting" in a CVT is trick of computer software for passenger comfort. And I will take a CVT over the horrible 9 speed ZF automatic Honda is now using in V6 applications any day.
  • How does this CVT deal with winding roads where, with a paddle shifter/DSG setup like my 2006 A3, I can downshift and take corners on winding roads with a bit more speed. This has been my concern with pure auto and CVT's in the past. I prefer the ability to rev up a bit and hold the corner better. Granted, there are very few roads like this, but the few that still exist are a joy to drive.
  • The new Civic hatchback has the CVT available with dual paddle shifters. My guess is that the SI will also be available with that same CVT and paddle shifters for a more sporty drive.
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