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The Official CVT vs Manual Transmission Thread

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The Official CVT vs Manual Transmission Thread

Old 03-29-2009, 10:41 AM
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Your opinions on Maxima CVT tranny ?

curious to everyone thoughts on the cvt tranny i know there are many skeptics out there that say its the worst tranny built and they only last about 60k . My friend who has been a transmission mechanic for 20 yrs had a seminar and was told that the cvt tranny was being discontinued due to issues . ive heard alot of good things about this new redesign tho..

So how many miles do you guys have on your Maxima's ?? and transmission issues ??


thanks
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Old 03-29-2009, 04:47 PM
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No problems at all with mine. Love it. As far as discontinuing? Hahaha, not likely. More and more car manu's are putting them in their cars today and I suspect it'll be one day soon it'll be rare to find a non CVT car. The future is being shoved down your throats whether you like it or not.
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Old 03-29-2009, 05:59 PM
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I doubt they will put a cvt on a rwd sports sedan for now, they might but i doubt it, for a fwd its the way to go tho.
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Old 03-29-2009, 06:22 PM
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Overall I didn't like CVT's for a while. I previously owned an 07 Maxima and felt the cvt was a bit sluggish, and definatly not for the sporty driving enthusiast. This cvt in the 09 maxima feels improved overall, and responds quickly to shifts, especially in "manual mode". It actually shifts quicker with its paddle shifters than my dad's 08 Subaru Legacy GT with its own paddle shifters. But the Legacy has more pull to it I think.

In the end, its probably the best cvt I have tried so far, but Im not praising it thats for sure. If they stuck some kinds of GTR's dual clutch transmission in it, then I would be.
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Old 03-29-2009, 06:57 PM
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I love the new Maxima, I personally own a 95 Maxima SE w/ the Power Pkg. Even though it is an automatic I live to chirp 2nd and 3rd gear, lol. I think that CVT is an option best set aside for the older crowd. I drove an 08 SE w/ the tech package not to long ago, mind you the CVT was responsive, IT WAS BORING, just 0-60 in 5.5 wwwhhhrrrs. it was awful. wwwwwhhhhhhrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr, clear to 120. if it wasn't for the manual mode i would've gone crazy, with it's false gears...
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Old 03-29-2009, 07:00 PM
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BTW, 6200 rpm rev limiter, Puh-Leeze...Damn thing just sounds tired...
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Old 03-29-2009, 07:54 PM
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I like the CVT. Its great for a smooth quiet car like the Maxima...very nice fit. Now if this was a Corvette...or something with V8 power I'd say no go.
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Old 03-30-2009, 01:24 AM
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This '09 Maxima CVT is the best (and most efficient) tranny I have ever driven. Those who find it boring are just not paying attention to the very fine nuances this tranny goes through with each tiny change of pressure on the acellerator pedal. I love to check the RPMs at all speeds in all driving conditions with varying pedal pressure. If we pay very close attention to exactly what this CVT is doing, we can match our pedal pressure in a way that improves the gas mileage noticably (and I'm not talking 'eggshell' pressure, either).

Those who say this tranny is for 'old folks' are just not paying close enough attention to their car. There was a time and place for manual trannys, but just being able to push down a clutch pedal and move a lever does not require great intelligence, attention or ability. I was very good at that back in the 1940s, and drove manuals as late as 1984. But with the traffic we have in many areas these days, the manual in a FWD family vehicle is now essentially an ego-boosting play-thing.

Many CVT beraters think that driving a CVT equipped car means simply slipping the shift in 'D' and pushing the pedal. But that is a very primitive and ineffective way to handle this CVT. Driving this CVT optimally requires close attention to detail, especially the gauges. Best of all, when my wife or children drive this car, they don't end up grinding or jamming my manual tranny, because I don't have one.
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Old 03-30-2009, 06:29 AM
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To: Light

The guy who said that this is for "Old People" is driving a 95 Maxima, that is why he said it, he doesn't even own an 09 Maxima.

To: All else,

You will find that the people who despise the CVT are those who come mostly from the "I Row My Own Gears" crowd, they like nothing more than a Manual/Stick in their cars and doesn't like the idea of a computer doing the job for them. (maybe it is just a "Control Issue"). <<LOL!

The CVT works fine for me, it shifts when I need it to and it just simply lofts at very low RPMs when cruising at speeds of 80-85mph which is great for gas economy, if I want to drive it in manual I just use my shifter and I still have the control of rowing the gears by simply hitting my stick without having to use my feet to depress the clutch.

The CVT is great for me.
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Old 03-30-2009, 08:50 AM
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Originally Posted by mls277 View Post
I like the CVT. Its great for a smooth quiet car like the Maxima...very nice fit. Now if this was a Corvette...or something with V8 power I'd say no go.
+1

I think CVT will be the way of the future for cars like the Maxima.
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Old 03-30-2009, 12:21 PM
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Not to sound harsh but I think the CVT fans on here are dillusional. I see no indication the luxury and sport segments of the market adopting CVT; even though you have a few exceptions such as the low powered FWD Audi. Other than a few exceptions CVT is NOT the future. Maybe the future for FWD sub 300hp nissans but that's about it.

Everyone else is going to 7 and 8 speed autos or dual clutch.
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Old 03-30-2009, 12:46 PM
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Maybe not for "high end" sports cars, but for mainstream cars, it's the future.

Maxima, Altima, Insight, Lancer, Versa, Civic, A4, Escape, Sentra, Fit, Murano, Prius, Smart, Yaris, Mini Cooper, Kia Rio, Camry, Cobalt, Aveo, Freestyle, Caliber....

That's just a short list.

Delusional or not, CVT offerings are available from just about every carmaker and in the next 5-10 years I suspect it'll be alot more.

Esp given that the US Gov't is looking to increase the MPG of production cars to 31.6 by 2015 and 36mpg by 2020. I suspect one of the cheapest ways of doing that is the CVT, unless they force all their models to hybrid, but then again most of the hybrid styles use CVT now.

Fact is, people just don't like "change". I've let several naysayers drive my car, and every one of them has been quite pleasantly surprised with it.
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Old 03-30-2009, 01:38 PM
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There's little doubt that the newer generation of CVTs, like the one in the current Maxima, are much improved. When allowed to use their own complex software to shift, they are very efficient indeed. but put one into 'DS' mode and it obligingly keeps the engine in the powerband where you want it. Has anyone noticed the crisp lockup at speed? For cars like the Maxima, the CVT engineered for it works very well, indeed.

Other markets have customers who demand manuals, 7-speed trannys or twin clutch systems. In some cases, those applications make perfect sense and in others, it's what sells. One thing I have not heard of, is any mechanical "issues" that would have CVTs being discontinued. The only practical limitation is torque transmission, so we won't see CVTs employed in big trucks with V-8s for the time being.
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Old 03-30-2009, 02:11 PM
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I think in about a year when nissan decides to put the 3.7VQ in the max the cvt will be gone.7 speed maybe?
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Old 03-30-2009, 02:48 PM
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I highly doubt that the CVT will be gone as "Freezerboy" stated, I agree with Compusmurf and I was about to post something similar to his to show how many models are currently using a CVT.

I do not see the CVT going anywhere, there will be further improvements to it as it grows older to make it more efficient and able to handle more power while still being cheap to manufacturer and maintain.

CVTs are here to stay.
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Old 03-30-2009, 03:19 PM
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350z cvt

they have didnt they put cvt on the 350z?? thats wat my friend told me

Originally Posted by a33i30 View Post
I doubt they will put a cvt on a rwd sports sedan for now, they might but i doubt it, for a fwd its the way to go tho.
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Old 03-30-2009, 04:05 PM
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I think the maxima has the best cvt in the industry but Dual clutch is the future not cvt.

AUBURN HILLS, Mich., March 11 /PRNewswire/ -- During the seventh International Car Training Institute (CTI) Symposium for Innovative Automotive Transmissions in Berlin, over 40% of participants responding to an on-site survey predicted dual-clutch technology will be the leading transmission by the year 2020. Other transmission technologies, including conventional step-ratio automatic, continuously variable, manual/automated manual, and completely new systems only rated 10% - 15% each among participants. Approximately 1,000 transmission experts from around the world participated in the symposium.


Interest in dual-clutch transmissions is particularly strong among OEMs in Europe and major growth markets in Asia, China in particular. Worldwide, BorgWarner projects production of dual-clutch transmissions to grow an average of 42% year-over-year, from approximately 600,000 transmissions in 2008 to five million in 2014. BorgWarner also expects to supply DualTronic(R) controls technology, dual-clutch technology or both in over 80% of the dual-clutch transmissions produced worldwide in the next six years.
http://www.internetautoguide.com/aut...045/index.html

Last edited by maxger; 03-30-2009 at 04:07 PM.
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Old 03-30-2009, 04:59 PM
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Originally Posted by eccentrichiphop View Post
they have didnt they put cvt on the 350z?? thats wat my friend told me
No, the Z has never had a cvt, Nissan never put it in any rwd car.
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Old 03-30-2009, 06:18 PM
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Originally Posted by eccentrichiphop View Post
they have didnt they put cvt on the 350z?? thats wat my friend told me
No, you're friend is wrong, the Z has what is known as a SynchoRev transmission and it has an Auto-Defeat button on it to override that mode.
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Old 03-30-2009, 08:42 PM
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Maybe they replaced the 5sp auto in the Max w/ CVT cuz they were having so many tranny problems.
CVT sounds horrible in auto mode IMO, like light said, u can just play around with how hard u wanna squeeze the pedal but u dont feel or hear the gears shift. Almost sounds like a droan in the cabin.
BUT it gives better hwy mpg and no shift shock...ideal for the elder crowd
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Old 03-30-2009, 11:47 PM
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Originally Posted by BLACKNESS MONSTA View Post
BUT it gives better hwy mpg and no shift shock...ideal for the elder crowd

'Elder crowd' my foot. Talk about unmitigated prejudice.

The CVT is ideal for ANY person of ANY AGE who wants the most efficient tranny available for his FWD vehicle, is using his vehicle for enjoyable, trouble-free family transportation, and no longer needs the ego-boost many misguided and wasteful folks OF ANY AGE get from a manual tranny. Mature persons of ANY AGE understand that shifting gears manually does not make one a more accomplished driver.

Many 'elder crowd' drivers such as myself have driven half a million miles or more with manual trannies, and understand very well how antiquated and impractical they really are in in a FWD vehicle in today's miserable stop-and-go creepy-crawl traffic. And when we get out away from congestion, the CVT easily beats manual and automatic trannies in MPG. The CVT is so practical for a FWD vehicle that it disappoints me that there are those who still need the ego boost of playing with a manual in a FWD family sedan in the third millenium.

Those folks should go buy a RWD thingie and waste as much money and energy as they want.
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Old 03-31-2009, 12:16 AM
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Originally Posted by lightonthehill View Post
'Elder crowd' my foot. Talk about unmitigated prejudice.

The CVT is ideal for ANY person of ANY AGE who wants the most efficient tranny available for his FWD vehicle, is using his vehicle for enjoyable, trouble-free family transportation, and no longer needs the ego-boost many misguided and wasteful folks OF ANY AGE get from a manual tranny. Mature persons of ANY AGE understand that shifting gears manually does not make one a more accomplished driver.

Many 'elder crowd' drivers such as myself have driven half a million miles or more with manual trannies, and understand very well how antiquated and impractical they really are in in a FWD vehicle in today's miserable stop-and-go creepy-crawl traffic. And when we get out away from congestion, the CVT easily beats manual and automatic trannies in MPG. The CVT is so practical for a FWD vehicle that it disappoints me that there are those who still need the ego boost of playing with a manual in a FWD family sedan in the third millenium.

Those folks should go buy a RWD thingie and waste as much money and energy as they want.
I think the CVT is pointless, IMO. I don't care how quick it shifts or how efficient it is, you lose the feel of driving. Much like VW's DSG technology in their transmissions - yeah, it's faster than a stick but it doesn't drive like a manual does. Porsche's and Vette's are great cars but they have to offer them in Autos because it's hard enough for the elder crowd to get hard, let alone have to work a clutch.

I don't even think about driving stick at all unless I'm really trying to move. Stop and go traffic shouldn't be a problem unless you have an upgraded clutch, than it sucks. Trust me, I speak from experience.

Last edited by viperboy; 03-31-2009 at 12:21 AM.
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Old 03-31-2009, 02:29 AM
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What's with all of this "elder crowd" stuff? As others mentioned above, that has nothing to do with anything. Keep in mind, you will all get older someday too, and you'll see that comments like that are foolish.

Anyway, I thought this thread was about the transmission and not about someones age.
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Old 03-31-2009, 04:54 AM
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Young or old, you cerainly can find a sweet spot in using the cvt,yes it can be mundane for some who feel that they need to be more connected,but this transmission is so efficient in it's delivery that by leaving it in normal mode it actually performs better.I have been riding snowmobiles for over 25 yrs and there is no better feeling then pinning the throttle and having virtually no lag,as such in the Max.Comparison aside the Max does everything reasonably well.

As far as the older generation is concerned,this car is appealing to any age group,and if I feel a need for speed I'll take out my 4th gen SS with stick in hand and row thru the gears.
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Old 03-31-2009, 06:17 AM
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Originally Posted by BLACKNESS MONSTA View Post
Maybe they replaced the 5sp auto in the Max w/ CVT cuz they were having so many tranny problems.
CVT sounds horrible in auto mode IMO, like light said, u can just play around with how hard u wanna squeeze the pedal but u dont feel or hear the gears shift. Almost sounds like a droan in the cabin.
BUT it gives better hwy mpg and no shift shock...ideal for the elder crowd

HTML Code:
but u dont feel or hear the gears shift.
That's because there are "NO GEARS"!!

You do hear the "Sound Generator" placed in the Cabin to make it sound as though the CVT is actually shifting and this was placed there because the CVT is so smooth you wouldn't hear a thing from it had not Nissan decided to add the Sound Generator.

Obviously for kids like yourself, you feel the need to row the gears yourself and you need that control to make you feel connected to your car for whatever reason but for us "old folks" we prefer to know that we are still driving our cars and getting the best gas mileage possible plus we have the option whenever we want to feed our Control Demon to drop the CVT into Manual Mode and pull the tranny selector shift back so we can feel as though we are connected.

But hey, whatever rows your boat!!
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Old 03-31-2009, 08:03 AM
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When I first test drove my Maxima I was preconcerned with the responsiveness and sensativity of the CVT. Pulling out of the dealership I gave it a little gas and feathered the pedal to gauge... Sluggish, soft, VERY lazy, and extremely disappointing...

I told my Dad, "Well, so much for that. Let's bring it back." lol

I took the next street to head back, got caught by a train, and started to think... "I wonder if the trans fluid has to warm up or something? Because this is ridiculous."

Sure enough, about 10 minutes later, the train passed and I made my turn...

I laid into it and said, "DAMN! Now THAT'S what I like to see!" The car got right up and the paddle response was very impressive. Haha! I've loved the CVT ever since.

I also agree with the above regarding the sensativity and complexity of this transmission. Only those who are extremely observant and mechanically inclined may appreciate it, but I am definitely one of those people.

Props!

Last edited by Alpha; 03-31-2009 at 08:46 AM.
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Old 03-31-2009, 08:37 AM
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A lot of the CVT detractors are talking out of their rears because they don't own one, maybe have ridden in one, maybe. Anyway, their qualifications to speak about a CVT are completely lacking. Still have a WORST tank of 23.2 with over 4k miles on it. It isn't perfect but closer than anything else out there.

Don't be so cocky, youngsters..while you are replacing another clutch..the old guys may be taking care of what you are neglecting.
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Old 03-31-2009, 01:19 PM
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To light and bk2k3kmax:

First of all i wasnt trying to hate on the 09. Its powerful, luxurious and quite all at the same time.

But like it or not the CVT is controversial. Ever since they started putting them on the Max it has turned away alot of potential buyers. Like it or not MOST of the younger buyers do not like the idea of driving a CVT for fun. Just because u have driven tons of manual cars and are now bored with them doesnt mean all of us want to do that. I dont think the world of sports sedans will ever fully accept the CVT.

On the other hand I agree w/ light that for a FWD drive sedan for city traffic and optimal fuel efficiency the CVT works very well.

I believe you said u had the 04 sl before this? Well ofcourse ur gonna think its more sporty and fun to drive. This one has more power and better handling and even better seating position. And I hate to compare to a G35 but if that was ur previous car then u wouldnt have thought the 09 Max was more sporty or more fun to drive. ( i know rwd vs fwd but the G is the closest thing price and options wise)

To conclude: the previous gen maxima was a love it or hate it CAR. the 09 however only has one item that is love it or hate it; the CVT

Last edited by BLACKNESS MONSTA; 04-03-2009 at 04:33 PM.
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Old 03-31-2009, 02:19 PM
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CVT is a decent tranny, I just donot like the top end pull with it. Overall its ok.
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Old 03-31-2009, 04:16 PM
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Originally Posted by MONTE 01&97 SE View Post
CVT is a decent tranny, I just donot like the top end pull with it. Overall its ok.


MONTE - You may have a little glitch or something in your '09. The CVTs in the '07 and '08 did seem to drop off somewhat as the speedo passed 85. But my '09 is still acellerating very well as I sail right by 95 MPH. I won't be taking it over 100 until I have another thousand or so miles on it (I use a longer breakin than most folks), but I hope it won't 'pull a wimp' as I pass 100.

A dropoff at 110 would not bother me in the least, as I almost never go past 105; there just aren't roads around where I live that are safe at high speed (too much traffic). I didn't buy this Maxima as a race car anyhow.
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Old 03-31-2009, 06:48 PM
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I have no problems yet with mine. I just turned 3000 miles, so for so good. If i was planning on racing I would have bought a different car. I wanted something sporty, good performance, good gas mileage, four doors and can give me 200,000 miles. So I picked the 09 Maxima!!
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Old 03-31-2009, 07:19 PM
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This is a fun discussion, keep it up. Everyone's viewpoints differ and that's fine.

But do keep this within the forum rules. No discussing or posting videos of street racing, etc, no flaming others (brutally anyway) for their opinions.

Now, back to your regularly scheduled CVT discussion.

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Old 03-31-2009, 07:56 PM
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Originally Posted by BLACKNESS MONSTA View Post
To light and bk2k3kmax:

First of all i wasnt trying to hate on the 09. The 09 is like the Maybach of FWD sedans. Its powerful, luxurious and quite all at the same time.

But like it or not the CVT is controversial. Ever since they started putting them on the Max it has turned away alot of potential buyers. Like it or not MOST of the younger buyers do not like the idea of driving a CVT for fun. Just because u have driven tons of manual cars and are now bored with them doesnt mean all of us want to do that. I dont think the world of sports sedans will ever fully accept the CVT.

On the other hand I agree w/ light that for a FWD drive sedan for city traffic and optimal fuel efficiency the CVT works very well.

I believe you said u had the 04 sl before this? Well ofcourse ur gonna think its more sporty and fun to drive. This one has more power and better handling and even better seating position. And I hate to compare to a G35 but if that was ur previous car then u wouldnt have thought the 09 Max was more sporty or more fun to drive. ( i know rwd vs fwd but the G is the closest thing price and options wise)

To conclude: the previous gen maxima was a love it or hate it CAR. the 09 however only has one item that is love it or hate it; the CVT

Monsta, no need to explain, we know that you weren't trying to Hate on the car and that you're simply voicing your opinion as we are ours. It's cool, you're entitled to not like the CVT, some people prefer apples and others prefer oranges.

If I want fun, I still have my 03 Max if I feel the need to stay connected to a car but I do prefer my CVT because it performs exactly the way I want it to and as Light said "I didn't buy this to be a Racecar".
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Old 04-03-2009, 01:49 PM
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I'm happy with the CVT. This is my first non-manual car and I was skeptical, but I have no regrets. I love the car. I would've bought a Z if I wanted to be Speed Racer and row my own.

My buddy just got back from Germany and drove an A Class Benz with a CVT in it. Took him about an hour to realize it too. As he is a non-believer, he likes to joke "I can't get it out of first gear!"
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Old 04-04-2009, 05:02 AM
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the cvt is flawless, smooth and comfortable. I was travelling with my boss the last several days and he loves the car!
It takes alittle getting used to the rpm drone under acceleration, but its nice!

Has anyone noticed the slight whine when stopped? like a turbine winding down?
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Old 04-04-2009, 01:50 PM
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Originally Posted by Blulytes View Post
Has anyone noticed the slight whine when stopped? like a turbine winding down?
Yep, I was not sure what it was but I figured it probably was the CVT.
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Old 04-04-2009, 07:28 PM
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Originally Posted by Blulytes View Post
the cvt is flawless, smooth and comfortable. I was travelling with my boss the last several days and he loves the car!
It takes alittle getting used to the rpm drone under acceleration, but its nice!

Has anyone noticed the slight whine when stopped? like a turbine winding down?


Love that 'Wind-down'! Sounds like the SR71 Blackbird spy plane coming to rest; sort of a 'mission accomplished' pronouncement.
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Old 04-04-2009, 10:14 PM
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WOW!

Just got my car, At first I thought the tranny was slipping but now that I have gotten used to it, I think it's fabulous!!!


Originally Posted by whit View Post
curious to everyone thoughts on the cvt tranny i know there are many skeptics out there that say its the worst tranny built and they only last about 60k . My friend who has been a transmission mechanic for 20 yrs had a seminar and was told that the cvt tranny was being discontinued due to issues . ive heard alot of good things about this new redesign tho..

So how many miles do you guys have on your Maxima's ?? and transmission issues ??


thanks
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Old 04-18-2009, 02:20 PM
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ill add that i heart manuals and dual clutches please.......cvts arent bad but idk....i drove my friends maxima and switched to padals for a bit....and quickly got tired of it.....no drive input........idk...nothing like a manual still in my book......just connects u to the car better
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Old 04-18-2009, 03:02 PM
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The CVT is unconventional to say the least. But it delivers on torque, mpg, and quick shifts. The issue seems to be it's idiosyncratic driving experience. A normal manual starts low in the rpm band and revs higher. The CVT starts high in the band and goes lower. It sounds almost like a slipping automatic tranny. It's off-putting and you may think you're driving a ricer.

But no, it is working just fine and does a wonderful job.

I got to learn more about these double clutch trannies.
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