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Car: Sentra CVT
Old 07-23-2007, 05:43 PM   #1
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Car: Sentra CVT

I test drove a 07 Sentra with the CVT last saturday. I was very impressed. The CVT performed just as I expected. Smooth, quiet, and very efficient.

At 66mph on flat road, the rpm is 2,000. That's 33miles/1,000rpm on a 2.0 liter engine. As I climbed a 5% grade while maintaining the same speed (cruise control), the rpm gradually increased to 2,300. I could not hear the difference in engine speed, I could not detect any jerking motion at all. The only indication of change is the needle on the tachometer. I'm sold!

Too bad, I don't like the seating position, I don't like the interior.
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Old 07-23-2007, 06:16 PM   #2
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I saw the commercials saying the Altima coupe had CVT. The Sentra does, too? I am intrigued. How is it implemented? Is it a sliding belt like Subaru's CVT or an electric motor thingy like the Toyota Synergy hybrid drive?

Part of what intrigues me about the Toyota hybrids is that I believe the CVT will make life a lot easier on the gas motor, so the Nissan CVT is catching my interest now.
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Old 07-23-2007, 06:22 PM   #3
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Well other than safety a Sentra is a great car.

Along those lines, We just heard today that a co-worker was killed after being rear ended while riding as a passenger in a Civic. The other occupants of the car were air-lifted to a hospital.

No car is without risk, but those compact cars just don't stand up in a collision regardless of how many airbags you have.

Safety should be paramount when choosing a car (in my opinion).
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Old 07-23-2007, 06:35 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by BigMoneyJim View Post
I saw the commercials saying the Altima coupe had CVT. The Sentra does, too? I am intrigued. How is it implemented?
Yes, Nissan is going all the way with CVT. It's also available with the Maxima.

I read about Nissan CVT's innards a few years ago, but can't recall the specifics now.
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Old 07-23-2007, 08:31 PM   #5
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look it up on wikipedia. explains the diff between cvtg and toyota's hybrid deal

i JUST googled CVT an hour ago cuz of an ad i saw...ironic
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Old 07-24-2007, 12:41 PM   #6
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WTF? How am I supposed to get a second-gear scratch if the tranny doesn't shift!?!?!
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Old 07-24-2007, 01:18 PM   #7
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If CVT is the "greatest thing since sliced bread",how come Honda and Toyota don't offer it?

I think Nissan is getting better, but they still have more reliability issues than Honda and Toyota, and maybe Subaru should be included with that group.........
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Old 07-24-2007, 01:24 PM   #8
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I'm visiting up in NY and I've been driving my son's 2008 Altima 6cyl with the CVT. Works great, no problems.
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Old 07-24-2007, 02:21 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sam View Post
At 66mph on flat road, the rpm is 2,000. That's 33miles/1,000rpm on a 2.0 liter engine. As I climbed a 5% grade while maintaining the same speed (cruise control), the rpm gradually increased to 2,300. I could not hear the difference in engine speed, I could not detect any jerking motion at all. The only indication of change is the needle on the tachometer. I'm sold!
I forgot to mention acceleration. It's excellent, response is instantaneous. As soon as the gas pedal is floored, the engine speed jumps almost to the red line, while speed builds. It's a totally new and different experience.

Deceleration is supposed to be different too, but I was not paying attention to it.
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Old 07-24-2007, 03:54 PM   #10
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More than you want to know:

Continuously variable transmission - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

here is my favorite part though:

Quote:
CVTs have much smoother operation. This can give a perception of low power, because many drivers expect a jerk when they begin to move the vehicle. The satisfying jerk of a non-CVT can be emulated by CVT control software though, eliminating this marketing problem.
-ERD50
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Old 07-24-2007, 05:51 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ERD50 View Post
More than you want to know:

Continuously variable transmission - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

here is my favorite part though:

-ERD50
I saw that, too. Having to program an uneven jerk where unnecessary? Nutty, but that's marketing.

I also read the Altimas have several preset ratios you can manually select; I gather it's like the automatic sport shifters, except in this car there is absolutely no reason to pin yourself at one gear ratio. Well, maybe if you want to lay a scratch....
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Old 07-24-2007, 06:07 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by BigMoneyJim View Post
I saw that, too. Having to program an uneven jerk where unnecessary? Nutty, but that's marketing.
Apparently our kid will never learn how to:
- steer with her hands at the 10 o'clock & 2 o'clock positions,
- shift gears,
- pop a clutch,
- pump the brakes,
- dial a phone,
- change a lightbulb,
- or touch the dial on a TV!

I guess that my dad despaired of my ever learning how to milk a cow or shoe a horse, so it's not really a change...
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Old 07-24-2007, 06:23 PM   #13
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We own a car with CVT - a Ford Freestyle. Model year 2005 apparently had some problems. Model year 2006 appears decent.

When I test drove the car, the salesman was telling me, "See how nice and smooth and quiet it is." I was particularly unimpressed since my Lexus shifted more smoothly and was quieter. So regular automatic transmissions can be smooth and give a quiet ride.

Anyways, CVT ain't nothing special. The Ford seems to run at higher rpm than other cars that I drive and does not get the promised gas mileage either.
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Old 07-24-2007, 06:26 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nords View Post
Apparently our kid will never learn how to:
- steer with her hands at the 10 o'clock & 2 o'clock positions,
- shift gears,
- pop a clutch,
- pump the brakes,
- dial a phone,
- change a lightbulb,
- or touch the dial on a TV!

I guess that my dad despaired of my ever learning how to milk a cow or shoe a horse, so it's not really a change...
We have an intern at work and I keep hearing "old-guy" stuff come out of my mouth. Like he was registering for fall classes online, and I told him how that was just getting implemented when I graduated and told him how they split up registration groups by name and had long lines and instructors at desks to register people for classes. He was aghast at the thought.

I also found myself describing to him how TVs used to fade into a glowing dot before turning off. (He had just replaced a computer monitor that showed nothing but a bright horizontal line across the screen; obviously the vertical control was out.) He hadn't seen a TV like that. Hell, I think I still have one.
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Old 07-24-2007, 09:28 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by LOL! View Post
We own a car with CVT - a Ford Freestyle. Model year 2005 apparently had some problems. Model year 2006 appears decent.

When I test drove the car, the salesman was telling me, "See how nice and smooth and quiet it is." I was particularly unimpressed since my Lexus shifted more smoothly and was quieter. So regular automatic transmissions can be smooth and give a quiet ride.

Anyways, CVT ain't nothing special. The Ford seems to run at higher rpm than other cars that I drive and does not get the promised gas mileage either.
Hmm... So, the CVT is not special, because Ford did not get it right on the Freestyle?

FWIW, the Nissan Murano CVT wasn't that great when introduced a couple years ago. But it's much improved today.
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Old 07-24-2007, 10:01 PM   #16
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Hmm... So, the CVT is not special, because Ford did not get it right on the Freestyle?
No, it ain't special because regular automatic transmissions have improved tremendously themselves in the last decade.
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Old 07-24-2007, 10:22 PM   #17
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Automatic transmissions have improved a lot, but will never be comparable to CVT. Totally different technologies, and one is far superior than the other. 10 years from now, I doubt you'd be able to find a new car with an automatic transmission.
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Old 07-24-2007, 11:18 PM   #18
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Makes me wonder about resale value if buying new. Will not having a CVT make the car quaint in 10 years, or will having it make it so?

I agree it sounds like CVT makes too much sense, but we're still in the "hype" and "new" phases I think. Kinda like the hybrids. But at the moment I think both technologies will be around for a good long while.
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Old 07-25-2007, 08:52 AM   #19
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It will take a while for people to realize the financial benefits of CVTs:

Simplicity, thus cheap to produce and cheap to maintain.
Efficiency, all things being equal, gas mileage is better than manual transmissions, never mind the automatics.

The non-financial benefit is even more compelling, at least to the enthusiasts: Performance.

The only thing in question at this moment is durability, it would take at least 5 more years to determine that. But because of its simplicity, repair/replacement should still be cheaper than current transmissions.

The only negative thing about CVTs in relation to manual transmissions - to me - is the inability to push start. I wish the manufacturers come up with an optional manual clutch (instead of the automatic).
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Old 07-25-2007, 10:08 AM   #20
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CVT's have been around for a LONG time. However, much like ABS, side curtain airbags, traction control,etc, until the MASSES yammer for it, we'renot going to see it.

Hmmmm........a transmission that is simpler, easier to fix and maintain, and gets better mileage? AIN'T NO WAY Exxon and Mobil are promoting that!!
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