2015 Subaru WRX Manual Vs. CVT: Tips To Help You Choose Page 2

May 12, 2014
2015 Subaru WRX - shift lever with CVT

2015 Subaru WRX - shift lever with CVT

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Here are three good reasons to choose the CVT:

Fakes an eight-speed automatic pretty well. Anyone who gets into the 2015 Subaru WRX can’t afford to miss the steering-wheel buttons that toggle between Intelligent (I), Sport (S), and Sport Sharp (S#). While those modes make some difference to accelerator sensitivity (and how quickly the turbo spools up) whether you get the manual or the CVT, the latter is where they bring a full-on personality change. As well as ’S’ works on the road, it’s a ‘point and shoot’ mode, as we see it, and if you want predictable reproducible behavior for the track or mountain roads, you should click over to S#. Shifts are a little slurred in the lower gears, if you want a quick shift for a hairpin, but as you get into the upper gears it’s downright snappy and could be mistaken for an eight-speed automatic.

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2015 Subaru WRX - drive mode buttons

2015 Subaru WRX - drive mode buttons

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Less driveline noise than the manual. We’ve now spent time in manual and CVT versions on some of the same stretches of road and, as in a number of other models that offer a choice between a manual and a CVT (like the Honda Fit, for example), we’ve noticed considerably more noise in the manual vehicle. While some of that might be road noise, there’s definitely less of a direct attachment from the shift knob to the rotating pieces in the transmission, and that keeps CVTs quieter. One other factor is likely that Subaru uses a different all-wheel drive system—one that sends an equal power split to the front and rear wheels through a viscous coupling, while CVT versions have a system using electronically controlled clutches.

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