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Not many manufacturers left without these transmissions. Why are automakers obsessed with these CVT'S? Are they cheap to develop ??
 

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Soon I hope. I refuse to buy any vehicle with a CVT. Some are obsessed because they were able to squeeze our an extra 1 or 2 mpg on their vehicles and use it as marketing point. They also were enamored with them because they were cheaper at the time than the 6-10 speed transmissions that are now becoming mainstream.

I don't know if the higher numbered gear transmissions will be any more reliable than CVTs, they certainly can't be any worse but, time will tell.
 

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Count me in the minority, then. I liked the one CVT vehicle (2005 Freestyle) we had in our family. At times I wished there were more vehicles with them.
 

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Why are automakers obsessed with these CVT'S?
  • More fuel efficient (the all-important CAFE targets, as well as marketing appeal); when well-designed they do a better job of keeping the engine in its optimal fuel-consumption vs load-demand operating condition.
  • Less expensive to produce.
  • Accepted by the mass-consuming market. Many folks, granted not all, actually prefer the 'smooth and shiftless' feel; with better noise management they aren't disturbed by or even conscious of the 'different' rev characteristics that bother a few.
When the weight of enough of the above advantages changes, you can expect manufactures to respond accordingly.

You gotta grow to acknowledge that the preferences of enthusiasts, which is the typical automotive forum population, is decidedly not representative of the mass automotive consumer population in many if not most respects. It's the latter that keeps manufacturers in business; some do cater to some degree to the less-significant enthusiast niche, but with niche vehicle models.
 

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Count me in the minority, then. I liked the one CVT vehicle (2005 Freestyle) we had in our family. At times I wished there were more vehicles with them.
Me too,

I had a 2006 Freestyle with the CVT. I put over 200,000 miles on it and loved it. It also had the Haldex All-Wheel Drive which I also loved. My daily commute is around 180 miles and the CVT made it super smooth. I remember watching the speed stay the same while the RPMs adjusted up and down depending on the terrain. No noise, no pauses between gears, no weird downshifts. It was also nice in DC traffic Jams. It had the usual Ford transmission problems. There was a manufacturing defect on the input shaft that caused it to wear out the o-ring seal and caused the dreaded wrench light to come on. Ford finally figured it out and fixed it. It was also a 4,200 pound car with a 3.0 six cylinder. The trick was knowing where your peak torque was in the RPM band and keeping the RPMs there when you needed to move out quick.
 

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It also had the Haldex All-Wheel Drive
Just wondering if you ever had service performed on that system? To put 200,000 miles on the Haldex AWD without service would be incredible.
 

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After having several vehicles that had noticeable (read: annoying) up/down shifts, I for one very much enjoy the CVT in my Fusion Hybrid.
 

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Me too,

I had a 2006 Freestyle with the CVT. I put over 200,000 miles on it and loved it. It also had the Haldex All-Wheel Drive which I also loved. My daily commute is around 180 miles and the CVT made it super smooth. I remember watching the speed stay the same while the RPMs adjusted up and down depending on the terrain. No noise, no pauses between gears, no weird downshifts. It was also nice in DC traffic Jams. It had the usual Ford transmission problems. There was a manufacturing defect on the input shaft that caused it to wear out the o-ring seal and caused the dreaded wrench light to come on. Ford finally figured it out and fixed it. It was also a 4,200 pound car with a 3.0 six cylinder. The trick was knowing where your peak torque was in the RPM band and keeping the RPMs there when you needed to move out quick.
I think ours was a front-wheel drive. Kept it for 11 years...only issues were squeaky rear bushings and a leaky power steering pump. To the best of my knowledge, the transmission was never serviced, with at least 140k on the clock. Still not totally sure why my dad ever got rid of it, other than getting sick of my uncle nagging him for keeping such an "old" car. There wasn't even a spec of rust on it, which was amazing given Ford's reputation, being in an area that is liberal in the salt usage, and the extremely minimal effort put into keeping it clean.
 

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My previous daily beater was an 06 Escape hybrid that I bought used and the CVT operated just fine. The only reason I left it go was the High Voltage battery was past it's service life and living in Western PA the body was too rusted to make a battery replacement cost effective. When I drove the car every day the battery would limp along, but after I retired and it would set for several days or even a week it would be dead. All in all I really liked the car and the way it operated, especially when I first got it and the traction battery had some life in it.
 

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Suzuki had CVT's in their models back in the 1980's. (I'm sure they weren't the first.)

It's interesting most of them today seem to be programmed to simulate a conventional automatic with fixed gears. It sort of defeats the purpose IMHO.
 

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My previous daily beater was an 06 Escape hybrid that I bought used and the CVT operated just fine.
the escape hybrid uses a system same as the prius, which is to say it is an e-CVT, which is a planetary gear set, like an conventional automatic, and electric motors. completely different than a conventional CVT.
interesting tidbit. Ford developed their hybrid system independently of Toyota, but found that it too similar when they got to the end. so they just paid Toyota a royalty for each vehicle to avoid legal issues.
 

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the escape hybrid uses a system same as the prius, which is to say it is an e-CVT, which is a planetary gear set, like an conventional automatic, and electric motors. completely different than a conventional CVT.
So that's to say it uses a planetary gearset for a fixed-ratio step-down, but doesn't have any variable ratio 'transmission' at all - just relies on the varying RPM of the electric motor and it's significant torque like most all-electric vehicles - is that correct?

(just on the curiosity learning curve here ;) )
 

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This is the best explanation of the system I have been able to find. I bought mine used at 130,000 mile and the traction battery in my opinion was close to its life end. the best mileage i would get local driving mainly was about 21 MPG and with the battery power lacking power at times was also lacking. Believe me it had some very strange operational quirks and would go unto a strange driving mode for a couple days when the battery dropped to a low state of charge. I will say it only left me down one, and that was at the end of my driveway, although a few times it left me wondering. I will say that I would never purchase another hybrid vehicle and wouldn't even get in a line of two people if they were giving them away. That's just me. It was dirt cheap and physically in nice shape so I drove it to it had no life in it. Here is the link. I might add, The 2013 makes me feel like I died and went to heaven!!!
 

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from dead stop to low speed. the electric motor M2 drives the ring gear (and the wheels). the planet carrier (engine) is stopped, the sun gear (motor/generator M1) freewheels backwards.
at mid speeds, or when more power is needed, the gas engine fires up, which overdrive the ring gear (and wheels). for lower speeds you need to let the sun gear M1 turn backwards (can also be used to charge batteries). as vehicle speed increases, m1 slows down to some point on the hwy where it could be stopped. If you need more power you can feed power back into M2. If you need to charge the battery, speed up the gas engine, which will let you spin m1 to charge. one quirk of the system is that it always needs the electric motors to drive. so if you have a dead battery pack. the car is dead. (as opposed to parallel hybrids, where the electric motors are supplemental)
 

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To this I can add when the veh. Gets old and the battery is weak it creates havic in the system. The car runs from engine only until certain parameters are reached, which makes the car very lacking in power, also no dynamic braking. And if the battery is too cold to warm or other parameters, it will not charge. This is why a perfectly good car becomes junk. Way too expensive to fix for the blue of the car. This is why the book value drops so drastically when the car warranty expires.
 
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