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Old 06-20-2014, 10:26 AM   #1
BlastFX
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Default 2015 WRX - CVT - SI Drive - Do & Do Nots

Loving my 2015 WRX CVT...a real pleasure to drive, and over the last month now I've gotten to know the SI-Drive:

I'm finding that 'I' is best for tooling around locally

Sport drive I like best for commuting (NYC Tri State area)...I do lots of accelerating, braking, and heavy merging....

Sport#- Good for wide open roads

But I'm being super careful changing between modes because naturally I don't want to put undue wear on the CVT. Basically I only change drive type when at low low speeds or from a standstill

The manual doesn't speak to what's safe as far as changing the modes....like I would love to know that changing from I to S# can be done at any speed whenever I feel like it. Anybody know of what NOT to do?

Hoping to get ten years out of it like I did my 2004 WRX.

Cheers!
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Old 06-20-2014, 10:44 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BlastFX View Post
Loving my 2015 WRX CVT...a real pleasure to drive, and over the last month now I've gotten to know the SI-Drive:

I'm finding that 'I' is best for tooling around locally

Sport drive I like best for commuting (NYC Tri State area)...I do lots of accelerating, braking, and heavy merging....

Sport#- Good for wide open roads

But I'm being super careful changing between modes because naturally I don't want to put undue wear on the CVT. Basically I only change drive type when at low low speeds or from a standstill

The manual doesn't speak to what's safe as far as changing the modes....like I would love to know that changing from I to S# can be done at any speed whenever I feel like it. Anybody know of what NOT to do?

Hoping to get ten years out of it like I did my 2004 WRX.

Cheers!
Disclaimer: This following is purely an opinion and based on no facts whatsoever. It should not be taken as fact, nor to be used as evidence in a court of warranty law if damage is to occur.

Why would changing the SI drive while driving cause issues? It's an electronic control that tells the CVT how to "shift". It does not change anything physical. Nor does it remap the vehicle. You should, in theory and by my opinion, be able to switch around the SI drive settings while doing 140 and the motor won't care. If it was changing the ECU around other than the preset parameters of the SI drive, the manual would tell you that the car should be on but not running while changing modes. Just like if you were remapping using an Accessport. But since the manual doesn't say anything, I see no reason why changing modes at 100mph should be any different than at 10mph. You know, besides the illegal part.
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Old 06-20-2014, 11:07 AM   #3
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Your car, in stock form, will not do anything to itself that will hurt itself.

Don't believe me? Try using your paddle shifter to select '1' ratio when doing 90 MPH. That beep you hear is your car telling you that you're stupid for trying.

Remember that SI drive is primarily for throttle response. The six range vs eight range selection in the CVT doesn't add any ratios - they are already there.

In short:

DO - drive normally.

DON'T - drive like an asshat.
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Old 06-20-2014, 12:04 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BlastFX View Post
Loving my 2015 WRX CVT...a real pleasure to drive, and over the last month now I've gotten to know the SI-Drive:

I'm finding that 'I' is best for tooling around locally

Sport drive I like best for commuting (NYC Tri State area)...I do lots of accelerating, braking, and heavy merging....

Sport#- Good for wide open roads

But I'm being super careful changing between modes because naturally I don't want to put undue wear on the CVT. Basically I only change drive type when at low low speeds or from a standstill

The manual doesn't speak to what's safe as far as changing the modes....like I would love to know that changing from I to S# can be done at any speed whenever I feel like it. Anybody know of what NOT to do?

Hoping to get ten years out of it like I did my 2004 WRX.

Cheers!
I don't have a problem switching modes at any point in time sometimes switching to I then back to S# to let the engine upshift if it gets caught in the higher RPM range when I don't want it there... It's just a throttle map and the car is smart enough not to hurt itself... don't worry about when to switch the modes do it whenever you want... I tend to switch to S# 2 secs before I WOT to get on it for a while then go to S or I when I start to cruise again... no lurching or weird noises or anything... just RPMs dropping as it auto upshifts...
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Old 06-20-2014, 12:12 PM   #5
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Did everyone get the CVT?
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Old 06-20-2014, 12:18 PM   #6
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I asked the service advisor; he said no problem - change away.

I have largely settled for S# for all non freeway driving, go into "I" as soon as I hit cruising speed and leave it until I exit. It is all working quite well for me. I go to Colorado next week - am thinking I will average between 31 and 32MPG using the "I" mode most of the trip. The MPG capability of the I mode has been a pleasant surprise.

So far, manual shifting has been fun to play with, but can't get used to the paddles rotating - probably won't use much.

A question: when I start the car, it always goes into S mode regardless what I was in. I thought it was supposed to remember. Is this the same for all/
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Old 06-20-2014, 12:19 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by OldTexan View Post
I asked the service advisor; he said no problem - change away.

I have largely settled for S# for all non freeway driving, go into "I" as soon as I hit cruising speed and leave it until I exit. It is all working quite well for me. I go to Colorado next week - am thinking I will average between 31 and 32MPG using the "I" mode most of the trip. The MPG capability of the I mode has been a pleasant surprise.

So far, manual shifting has been fun to play with, but can't get used to the paddles rotating - probably won't use much.

A question: when I start the car, it always goes into S mode regardless what I was in. I thought it was supposed to remember. Is this the same for all/
Mine remembers the last mode... weird... anyone else?
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Old 06-20-2014, 12:29 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by stevesnow View Post
Mine remembers the last mode... weird... anyone else?
I wish! I love the super sensitive throttle response that S# provides. Because of that I switch the car to S# and rear diff to "(-) Auto" every time I start up the car. I wish it would just remember those settings as it seems to be the perfect combo for daily driving. Though, I suppose my daily driving may differ from most as it includes a lot of mountain twisty roads with little amounts of traffic and stop lights.

I rarely put the car in S unless I have a few people in the car and want shift transitioning to be smoother. I've used "I" mode maybe 2 or 3 times and absolutely hate it. It feels unbelievably sluggish and doesn't work well for me in any condition of driving.


...
OP, do not worry about putting extra wear on the transmission due to changing drive modes on the fly. As others have mentioned, it was designed to be able to switch modes on the fly with no issues. I think people who are nervous about this are comparing it in their heads to switching from 2wd to 4wd in a truck or SUV on the fly, which traditionally has not been good for the mechanical parts. But this is nothing like that.
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Old 06-20-2014, 12:32 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by sc00ter View Post
I wish! I love the super sensitive throttle response that S# provides. Because of that I switch the car to S# and rear diff to "(-) Auto" every time I start up the car. I wish it would just remember those settings as it seems to be the perfect combo for daily driving. Though, I suppose my daily driving may differ from most as it includes a lot of mountain twisty roads with little amounts of traffic and stop lights.

I rarely put the car in S unless I have a few people in the car and want shift transitioning to be smoother. I've used "I" mode maybe 2 or 3 times and absolutely hate it. It feels unbelievably sluggish and doesn't work well for me in any condition of driving.


...
OP, do not worry about putting extra wear on the transmission due to changing drive modes on the fly. As others have mentioned, it was designed to be able to switch modes on the fly with no issues. I think people are comparing this to switching from 2wd to 4wd in a truck or SUV on the fly, which traditionally has not been good for the mechanical parts. But this is nothing like that.
Were talking about CVT Tranny modes not STI car modes...
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Old 06-20-2014, 02:55 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by stevesnow View Post
Mine remembers the last mode... weird... anyone else?
It stays in S#? I wish my Forester XT would do that. Defaults to "I" until the blue temp light goes out. I can select 'S", but not S#. Is the WRX different in this way?
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Old 06-20-2014, 05:53 PM   #11
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Were talking about CVT Tranny modes not STI car modes...
Why would it matter? Changing the SI drive is adjusting the tuning within the ECU. It doesn't matter what the transmission is. Unless I'm missing something here?

EDIT: I sure was missing something. I was unaware that the SI drive modes affected the way in which the CVT transmission mimics different transmission types. Reading up on it now. Very interesting...
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Old 06-20-2014, 06:11 PM   #12
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Did everyone get the CVT?
Of course all of the Intelligent mode drivers did.....

Flame away.......
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Old 06-20-2014, 09:48 PM   #13
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lmfao. u cvt guys are a special breed. so happy with your "sports car' that has a tranny that is the farthest thing to do with sport. isn't it exciting to change your settings from trash to sport trash

I vote cvt forum to keep these herbage down from the herbs.

nothing wrong with getting an auto performance car but the cvt is hilarious. I would rock a ctsv an auto all day, its performance minded. there is no performance mindedness with the cvt wrx...it changes gears for what? to make it seem like you are being coolp? IMHO the best thing about cvt's is the ability to hold the rpms at peak power non stop, but hey, We like to shift our cvts instead, because race car.

It would have been nice to see suby make a nice performance auto 6/7spd if not a dsg like the car should have.
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Old 06-20-2014, 10:04 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by turtleb00st View Post
lmfao. u cvt guys are a special breed. so happy with your "sports car' that has a tranny that is the farthest thing to do with sport. isn't it exciting to change your settings from trash to sport trash

I vote cvt forum to keep these herbage down from the herbs.

nothing wrong with getting an auto performance car but the cvt is hilarious. I would rock a ctsv an auto all day, its performance minded. there is no performance mindedness with the cvt wrx...it changes gears for what? to make it seem like you are being coolp? IMHO the best thing about cvt's is the ability to hold the rpms at peak power non stop, but hey, We like to shift our cvts instead, because race car.

It would have been nice to see suby make a nice performance auto 6/7spd if not a dsg like the car should have.
I knew the kiddos would hijack any thread of folks discussing the CVT; it is actually quite hilarious to read the silly comments focused only on which transmission can launch best and the heresy of Subaru for not realizing that fact; regardless of cost, regardless of reliability; regardless of fuel efficiency; regardless that their implementation of the CVT actually might enhance the overall drivability of the car.
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Old 06-20-2014, 10:18 PM   #15
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All you're doing is feeding the troll lol
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Old 06-20-2014, 10:34 PM   #16
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All you're doing is feeding the troll lol
I know and agree; just got back from dinner, too much wine - my bad. Somehow on this forum, the trolls never seem to go away.
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Old 06-20-2014, 10:49 PM   #17
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To much wine is impossible lol
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Old 06-20-2014, 11:02 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by XIEmperoriX View Post
To much wine is impossible lol
I agree. I am just quoting my wife as she was taking my keys away. It is actually nice that I now have a car she can drive. So far, she has not complained that it is a CVT rather than a DCT.
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Old 06-20-2014, 11:12 PM   #19
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honestly is there any measuable difference of any cvt test where "shifting" the cvt helps please let me know
like i said the whole great idea of a cvt is it can keep the engine in it's prime power area without shifts. why would you want to shift it besides because it's "cool"? how silly does that sound?

you want to be cool with your sports car with sport modes, take it to the local autocross. Otherwise who honestly cares what mode you drive in for diff driving situations

nothing wrong with an auto like i said, i would rock one any day, i'm just curious as to why suby would use this tranny in any "sport aplication" instead of just a regular auto or a dsg. it makes the owners feel cool about the fact they can use a fake shift function to mkae them feel more involved in the disconnected non driving experiene they are experiencing. I have driven a few dsg's, highly moded vw's, smg bmws ect and they are enjoyable. as much as i'm an purist i understand times are changin and dsg's are getting better and better by the day, this cvt stuff is a joke and geeks eat it up to brag to their geek friends about their sub par tranmission.

I don't know how i'v managed to drive nothing but manual cars my whole life, not to mention driving big brown trucks in a metro area with a stupid heavy clutch for 50 yours a week, yet this new age of guys can't handle a 30 mile commute to their job that involves gasp...using your left foot and hand to shift gears in a performance car. whats wrong with people?

Last edited by turtleb00st; 06-20-2014 at 11:23 PM.
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Old 06-20-2014, 11:26 PM   #20
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Well. I will give you a few reasons from my perspective.

Most of my driving time is cruising with traffic on freeways, the "I" mode is programmed for fuel efficiency; I get better than 30MPG - much better than prior manuals or. I bet, DCT's.

The CVT is also quite smooth which my wife likes.

I enjoy winding road driving. S# has been a great setting for that keeping me in the band I want; standard autos I have had did not do that; I have not had a DCT so wouldn't know there.

The bottom line is the CVT is providing me what I want in a non-manual environment and I think is well matched for the car.
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Old 06-20-2014, 11:33 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by OldTexan View Post
Well. I will give you a few reasons from my perspective.

Most of my driving time is cruising with traffic on freeways, the "I" mode is programmed for fuel efficiency; I get better than 30MPG - much better than prior manuals or. I bet, DCT's.

The CVT is also quite smooth which my wife likes.

I enjoy winding road driving. S# has been a great setting for that keeping me in the band I want; standard autos I have had did not do that; I have not had a DCT so wouldn't know there.

The bottom line is the CVT is providing me what I want in a non-manual environment and I think is well matched for the car.
as long as you enjoy your car man.

i recomend you take a spin in a same price ranged dct vehicle. they are amazing especially the vw unit. the vw units actually uses a "antilag" type of system that plays with timing and a/f ratios to keep the turbo spooled. You can hear them pop when shifting if they are moded. people will talk about serivce of the vw dct but who cares, it's an amazing unit. do the maintenance and they last a long time. Than if you get into the more lux cars dct's ie pdk, smg, and the r35 unit, it's light years ahead of cvts.

the idea of the cvt is great, hold the engine at either
a. best load/rpm for good fuel millage
b. best rpm for max hp and torque

there is no need to use fake gears to accomplish this, it defeats the whole purpose of the cvt logic
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Old 06-21-2014, 07:14 AM   #22
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Originally Posted by turtleb00st View Post
as long as you enjoy your car man.

i recomend you take a spin in a same price ranged dct vehicle. they are amazing especially the vw unit. the vw units actually uses a "antilag" type of system that plays with timing and a/f ratios to keep the turbo spooled. You can hear them pop when shifting if they are moded. people will talk about serivce of the vw dct but who cares, it's an amazing unit. do the maintenance and they last a long time. Than if you get into the more lux cars dct's ie pdk, smg, and the r35 unit, it's light years ahead of cvts.

the idea of the cvt is great, hold the engine at either
a. best load/rpm for good fuel millage
b. best rpm for max hp and torque

there is no need to use fake gears to accomplish this, it defeats the whole purpose of the cvt logic
Could Subaru have put a DCT or even a better CVT in the car? Certainly they could have, given time and money, and will do so in the next generations.

However, it is what it is for 2015 and realistically it accomplishes two important requirements. In the I mode, I believe it is set up for optimum fuel efficiency or pretty close. My last tank was 29MPG in Dallas freeway / mixed driving. For highway cruising, it is great - lowers the engine speed by about 25%. I was never close to that in my 2007 manual in same conditions.

My fun is cornering and handling. The S# meets those requirements; so far has never surprise shifted.

I don't do WOT launches, so being slightly slower is not an issue - nor would it be for the targeted buyer of the CVT model.

The bottom line is Subaru has done a great job IMHO of mating the CVT with the intent of this car - a spirited AWD sport sedan for the daily driver.

Last edited by OldTexan; 06-21-2014 at 07:37 AM.
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Old 06-21-2014, 07:27 AM   #23
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Back to the intent of this thread.

My CVT always defaults to S mode when I start regardless of what I was in. Stevesnow reported that his remembers and defaults to that setting. Can others respond as to their experience?

Also, does anyone actually use the paddle shifters except for play? If so, how do you use them effectively for right hand turns from a stop? Very awkward for me with the paddle on the Steering wheel.
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Old 06-21-2014, 07:32 AM   #24
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Originally Posted by turtleb00st View Post
lmfao. u cvt guys are a special breed. so happy with your "sports car' that has a tranny that is the farthest thing to do with sport. isn't it exciting to change your settings from trash to sport trash

I vote cvt forum to keep these herbage down from the herbs.

nothing wrong with getting an auto performance car but the cvt is hilarious. I would rock a ctsv an auto all day, its performance minded. there is no performance mindedness with the cvt wrx...it changes gears for what? to make it seem like you are being coolp? IMHO the best thing about cvt's is the ability to hold the rpms at peak power non stop, but hey, We like to shift our cvts instead, because race car.

It would have been nice to see suby make a nice performance auto 6/7spd if not a dsg like the car should have.
There could and should be a forum for 'CVT's', so I agree with you there.

But, be honest, you would still be spilling your drool on your keyboard trolling it, just like you did this one that is titled:

2015 WRX - CVT - SI Drive - Do & Do Nots

See how that works, a CVT thread that you could not wait to jump in so you could pontificate, to CVT owners, why you think their car sucks (it should be in its own forum, where it won't offend you, and you won't troll it?).

Figure it out, read the title, move on, but don't pretend you don't want to troll CVT threads...

Last edited by Zeeper; 06-21-2014 at 07:37 AM.
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Old 06-21-2014, 08:30 AM   #25
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Trolling cvt threads is the new great american past time. Baseball... Enh not so much
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