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Old 01-25-2014, 02:53 PM   #1
Kirkus8
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Default cvt vs. 5 speed

calling all new subaru impreza n/a owners! I am torn here. I cannot decided between the automatic (CVT) or the 5 speed.

Things to consider:
5 speed about $1,000 cheaper
5 speed about a second and a half faster 0-60
5 speed will pair with "modding" a little better
cvt better mpg by about 3 mpg
cvt easier to drive in the mountains/traffic
cvt easier to find at dealerships, especially with what i want


What do yall think!? Any good/bad first hand experience!?

this will be my third car, first subaru, and first brand new car. My other two cars were fords both manual 5 speeds. The $1000 cheaper is definatly a plus to me because I do not make a lot of money damn military pay
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Old 01-25-2014, 02:59 PM   #2
MO_sisu
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I think you have a short pro/con list. Personally I think it comes down to personal preference.
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Old 01-25-2014, 03:15 PM   #3
Dirt Bringer
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kirkus8 View Post
calling all new subaru impreza n/a owners! I am torn here. I cannot decided between the automatic (CVT) or the 5 speed.

Things to consider:
5 speed about $1,000 cheaper
5 speed about a second and a half faster 0-60
5 speed will pair with "modding" a little better
cvt better mpg by about 3 mpg
cvt easier to drive in the mountains/traffic
cvt easier to find at dealerships, especially with what i want


What do yall think!? Any good/bad first hand experience!?

this will be my third car, first subaru, and first brand new car. My other two cars were fords both manual 5 speeds. The $1000 cheaper is definatly a plus to me because I do not make a lot of money damn military pay
You forgot that the 5sp is more fun. Not only is it actually faster, but it FEELS much faster. This is mainly because first gear has a lot more torque than a cvt can ever hope to produce. It might not be a big difference overall, but in terms of fun factor, it's another dimension.
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Old 01-25-2014, 03:33 PM   #4
Kirkus8
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did you test drive both?
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Old 01-25-2014, 04:14 PM   #5
Dirt Bringer
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kirkus8 View Post
did you test drive both?
Yes I did.
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Old 01-25-2014, 05:20 PM   #6
cherryfan
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As the owner of a CVT Impreza, I would point out that real-world mpg differences between the CVT and manual are minimal—certainly less than the EPA's 3 mpg. Also, it takes some time to figure out just how to use the accelerator, and how/when to use cruise control and the paddle shifters, to get the best mpg with the CVT.

I find the biggest advantage is driving up into the mountains, where the CVT can choose the best gearing for any grade. That's also when the CVT delivers its greatest mpg advantage, too, I'd bet.

Either way you go, you can't lose. The Impreza is a fine car.
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Old 01-25-2014, 05:49 PM   #7
sgoldste01
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In my opinion, any car worth driving has a clutch. But I'll admit that I'm fanatical about that, so take it for what it's worth. I have this on my Impreza:

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Old 01-25-2014, 06:23 PM   #8
G2Spfld
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I drive an auto for most everyday cars, but I've always been a manual guy for the control factor in my fun cars. I bought the cvt for use as a work car. Its a sport and I've found it decent on curves for a factory car. Saying this, I actually like paddles more when driving curves, and a stick more when street rac....... I mean driving ;-)
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Old 01-25-2014, 06:36 PM   #9
Kirkus8
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i totally agree with having a 5 speed to actually "drive" the car. like i said all ive owned have been 5 speeds. I actually wanted the wrx but cant afford the insurance, the car or the bad mpg lol. Thought about the Ford Focus ST as well but I want the AWD for where Im getting stationed next (spokane WA). I have a white 2014 subaru impreza sport premium CVT reserved under my name back in WA for when I get home. I still have a little time to decide on the CVT or not. I test drove the CVT last time I was home and didnt think it was that underpowered considering. I really would like to test drive the 5 speed. The cvt is a better choice for mountains and real world every day driving.
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Old 01-25-2014, 06:42 PM   #10
sgoldste01
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kirkus8 View Post
The cvt is a better choice for mountains and real world every day driving.
Meh.
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Old 01-25-2014, 06:43 PM   #11
Dirt Bringer
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kirkus8 View Post
i totally agree with having a 5 speed to actually "drive" the car. like i said all ive owned have been 5 speeds. I actually wanted the wrx but cant afford the insurance, the car or the bad mpg lol. Thought about the Ford Focus ST as well but I want the AWD for where Im getting stationed next (spokane WA). I have a white 2014 subaru impreza sport premium CVT reserved under my name back in WA for when I get home. I still have a little time to decide on the CVT or not. I test drove the CVT last time I was home and didnt think it was that underpowered considering. I really would like to test drive the 5 speed. The cvt is a better choice for mountains and real world every day driving.
It's not really underpowered, just different. As you know, you can rev-launch with a manual. The benefit on a subaru is that the engines produce all their torque higher in the rev range (around 4k), so with an automatic, it takes a while to get there. With the manual, you can start there. Also, the automatic makes a 40/60 torque split front to rear with electronic vectoring. The manual has a 50/50 torque split with a mechanical viscous limited slip center differential.

If you ever want to completely disable the stability/trac/abs/hill start controls for whatever reason (I disable them in the snow for obvious reasons), the CVT requires one extra step to get it to function.

The CVT is about 100lbs heavier. However, it also technically can simulate a low range better than a manual due to the torque converter. While this won't help with acceleration at all of course, it does do better at really really low speeds (such as off road), unless you want to play games with your clutch a lot.

You win some, you lose some.
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Old 01-25-2014, 06:56 PM   #12
snuck
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Default Driving my CVT

I find that the CVT accelerates better when I use my paddleshifters. I discovered that you don't have to be in M to paddleshift, but can do it in D. So if I need to pick up speed, I force the downshift. Hope this is by design and I'm not doing something awkward with my car. .

Cheers
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Old 01-25-2014, 07:23 PM   #13
G2Spfld
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I'm not sure of the Tq split in the cvt, other than its not 50/50. I think I'd like the 50/50 better, but I have heard that the cvt's elec clutch ( acting in lieu of the center diff) responds quicker than the viscous in the 5mt. I read that on this site, but since I have no experience with it I can't say. I can say the M mode works well, and with it you have that option and the full auto option (D) whereas the 5mt is just that. I don't think that's a selling point per SE, just saying its there.
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Old 01-25-2014, 10:05 PM   #14
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If you don't care about leather interior, get the 5speed.

I have cvt and I like it for commuting, but in general 5 speed would give a better driving experience overall.

MPGs are closer then 3mpg difference.

But CVT is very easy to drive, very predictable and safe.

Good luck.
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Old 01-26-2014, 12:42 AM   #15
john_coctostan
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The CVT gets a bad rap. I dig it, and I have a long history with manual transmission cars and trucks. Its advantages definitely lie at speeds above 30mph in terms of performance, IMO.
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Old 01-26-2014, 01:20 AM   #16
CalTech87
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Theres only a couple reasons not to get a manual transmission:

Will I be starting and stopping a lot? (traffic)
Is my left knee a POS? (POS knee)
Do I even have a left leg? (no left leg)

Really though, I sit in traffic every work day and still prefer the 5MT, because one day I know I wont live in the city. I know plenty of people who've gone to automatic as traffic being the only reason. Sad.
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Old 01-26-2014, 06:08 AM   #17
sgoldste01
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CalTech87 View Post
Theres only a couple reasons not to get a manual transmission:

Will I be starting and stopping a lot? (traffic)
Is my left knee a POS? (POS knee)
Do I even have a left leg? (no left leg)

Really though, I sit in traffic every work day and still prefer the 5MT, because one day I know I wont live in the city. I know plenty of people who've gone to automatic as traffic being the only reason. Sad.
Your post made me chuckle because I just had ACL reconstruction surgery in my left knee on 12/17/2013. This was a concern for me: When/will I be able to drive my 5MT again?

Two weeks after the surgery, I was clutching again and happy to be doing it!

I get stuck in traffic a lot during my morning/evening commutes (the bad weather we've been having only makes this worse). I never even think about how inconvenient clutching and shifting is during these traffic jams. The clutch in the Impreza is very light and, well, I just enjoy shifting, so it's never a problem to me.
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Old 01-26-2014, 07:03 AM   #18
KC
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In the snow? 5MT hands down.

The clutch is the lightest clutch I've ever had and even in and the stall speed/idle is such that you don't have to clutch in until around 800 rpms. You can actually use the brake in stop and go traffic without having to clutch in.

--kC
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Old 01-26-2014, 07:34 AM   #19
flyboy1100
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5MT for the win!
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Old 01-26-2014, 01:32 PM   #20
Kirkus8
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i am having a very hard time even finding a 5sp in my area...and my area is like subaru capitol! I searched every dealer i know of in the pacific northwest and found only one subaru impreza sport premium with a 5 speed. It does have the rear roof spoiler which is a must for me so thats good but its silver. I want white the most. I have a white cvt on reserve for me now at my local dealer but them and me are both on the lookout for a 5 speed. i need to test drive the 5 speed. I know my fiance prefers the automatic...
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Old 01-26-2014, 01:34 PM   #21
TRSAndrew
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CVT feels better to drive in this car because the gearing of the 5M is crap, but I still wish mine was a manual in hindsight.
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Old 01-26-2014, 01:36 PM   #22
kinger37
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TRSandrew, why are you selling yours?
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Old 01-26-2014, 01:37 PM   #23
Kirkus8
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thats funny...saying the gearing is crap yet you still want the manual tranny lol
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Old 01-26-2014, 01:40 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kinger37 View Post
TRSandrew, why are you selling yours?
I've had 29 cars. There's never a good answer.
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Old 01-26-2014, 01:40 PM   #25
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Quote:
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I've had 29 cars. There's never a good answer.
Hahaha, fair enough
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