MY EXPERIENCE WITH CVT TRANSMISSION

The CVT transmission of the Honda HR-V provices a silky smooth performancce

I had driven a multitudinous car with a different transmission. My first car is Proton Iswara, which has a manual transmission that is slowly but surely will be defunct and obsolete in the future. The next I drove was Proton Pesona’s first generation which had an automatic transmission. The transition from manual to automatic had eliminated the need to constantly press on the clutch pedal, which can be tiresome, especially when I had been stuck in terrible traffic conjunction. From 2 Malaysian cars, I moved to Ford Focus S+, which has a dual-clutch automatic transmission. The acceleration from the dual-clutch transmission is pure joy and ecstatic; nonetheless, it also had its fair share of complications. Once the transmission had some problem as the gearbox made some abnormal noise, and since the car is still under Ford warranties, I was forced to send the car to their service centre. They took nearly 5 days to resolve, and the abnormal noise had been non-existent thenceforth.  

After 3 years of using Ford, I had decided to sell the car due to its very high maintenance, and then I decided to buy the Honda HRV, which had been the most in-demand car model. The Honda HRV has a CVT transmission. The CVT transmission is a deviation from the standard automatic transmissions as its works with a pulley chain and does not have a gear ratio. Honda advertised their CVT transmission as a 7-speed transmission a computerized gear ratio. The CVT does not have a gear ratio as they had been built to such a degree that they have the least moving parts in the gearbox. The CVT transmission is a transmission that can create a bone of contention among automobile enthusiasts as some loathe it while some have a liking for it. The CVT transmission’s strong proponent mostly comes from the Japanese car makers barring Mazda. It is not surprising that the best CVT transmission maker is Toyota and Honda, and they are also a strong proponent of this transmission.  

To begin with my experience with the CVT transmission, as someone who had experienced using the manual transmission, automatic transmission, and dual-clutch transmission, I immediately noticed the deviated design of the transmission. The CVT transmission absence on gear ration is noticeable when I had revved up after paying the toll. There are no sudden gear changes and oscillating of the odometer in the automatic transmission to indicate gear changes. In the CVT gearbox, the odometer will go upwards and hit 4 instantly before coming down again. After experiencing it immediately, I realized the valid reason behind the execrate for this transmission.  

The non-existent gear changes had entirely become a new experience for me. Apart from the non–existent gear changes, the ride experience on highways also is different. The exhilarating Ford dual-clutch transmission was replaced with a smooth ride. The best word to describe the smoothness is as flat as a pancake. The smoothness is too extreme that I feel the absence of thrill, and some unusual boredness had crept into me that I did not experience with the non-CVT transmission that I had used before. These can be said to be the demerits of the CVT, but I do wonder if they must be a reason for Honda and Toyota not to abandon the CVT transmission and keep on improving it. Volkswagen once had come up with a suggestion to make a 10-speed DSG transmission; however, they had abandoned it due to many complications. Honda and Toyota do not ditch the CVT transmission even though they are many automobile fans hate it.

After using it for many months barring the abnormal experience, I had encountered; first, I started to understand why Honda and Toyota keep on improving the CVT transmission to a level where they had become the best CVT makers. CVT transmission had significant advantages compared to non-CVT transmission. It reduced fuel consumption. The non-CVT transmission is an excellent transmission to provide a great ride and extreme thrill. Still, when it comes to urban drive, especially with excessive traffic congestion, it eats up some fuel contrary, to a CVT transmission, which does not eat up so much fuel during urban driving. The CVT transmission also does not consume a lot of fuel on the highway, as most car lovers can get up to 600km. The CVT advantages are noticeable on the urban drive and highway in terms of fuel consumption.

Another tremendous advantage of CVT transmission is that it does not have many moving parts like the non-CVT transmission and uses a pulley chain similar to the timing belt. Due to these, the CVT transmission is less complicated to be built than the non-CVT transmission. The number of gears also can be added electronically without adding any moving parts, and it also does not consume a lot of space in the car. However, the CVT transmission must be handled with caution as it is also delicate compared to the non-CVT transmission.

Automobile lovers using a CVT transmission must ensure that the transmission fluid is replaced before the manufacturer recommended interval to avoid any mishap in the transmission. Non-adherence to these crucial replacements can lead to the desecration of the pulley belt, which can derail the gearbox altogether, causing the user to fork in an enormous amount to replace the gearbox. And it is also advisable to use the manufacturer CVT fluid as it is made specifically for their transmission.

After 3 years of using the CVT transmission, I can say it is the best transmission for reducing fuel consumption compared to the non-CVT transmission. I stopped revving up the car, pressing the accelerator delicately, and letting the CVT pully belt take the car of the process. The CVT transmission can give a good performance; however, since the absence of gear shifting and flat pancake-like smoothness, the performance increase is non-noticeable. Nevertheless, the CVT transmission does provide a good driving experience on the fuel consumption and smooth drive once the car lovers had to get used to it. In simple terms, it is an excellent transmission.  

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