3.6 CVT vs auto

Posts specific to the 3.0 litre NA H6 engine

3.6 CVT vs auto

Postby Havewemet » Sat Feb 15, 2020 10:40 am

G'day,
I'm wondering who has driven the 3.6 liberty in both the CVT and 5 speed auto? I would like to know your thoughts?

My current drive is a 2013 forester and I hate the CVT! Looking at selling the Forester and buying a Liberty.
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Re: 3.6 CVT vs auto

Postby HyRax » Sun May 31, 2020 9:12 pm

This is a very late reply, but here's my thoughts on the CVT: It's excellent.

There's nothing wrong with it. It's infinitely better than the 4EAT box IMO. My comparison is between the 2008 Gen3 3.0 auto Outback vs 2019 Gen5 3.6R CVT Outback.

When in Sports Sharp mode, the car leaps off the line, feels spirited, and can pull hard, especially in impromptu overtaking situations (put your foot down and you're off instantly). It's comfortable to drive and only feels slightly laggy in Intelligent mode (you put your foot down to overtake and there's a half second of nothing and then a ratio change and off you go), but it's doing that to save fuel too (and my god, it SAVES FUEL in Intelligent mode!).

Except for a slight ratio change near redline, the CVT just winds up without any ratio changes - almost like an electric motor, while the auto obviously loses some acceleration with each gear change. Even flappy paddle mode can be fun, with near-instant ratio changes for each fake gear.

Now, compared to the 2.5i CVT, it feels a bit more sedate, but Sports mode (no Sports Sharp mode) feels OK. It's certainly not a bad drive, but it's the engine capacities that are making the greater difference in this case.
I was going to procrastinate, but I put it off...
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