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  #1  
Unread 29th March 2018, 11:32 PM
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Default To CVT or not CVT - AKA Tweaksta's Future Ride?

With Subaru recently saying that they are going 100% CVT in the near future I might have to bite the bullet and accept that my next Subaru will have a CVT....or else just go and get a Pajero Sport already.

Can anyone provide some figures regarding lowest ratios? I am currently driving an MY2000 Forester GT with manual trans.....it has fairly long legs and really could do with a dual range gearbox - especially running 65s instead of 60s.

What I'd like to know is if I bought a 2015 XT with CVT, will the CVT be able to provide a lower crawling ratio that the GT has? ....and how would a CVT cope with fitting larger diameter wheels (probably just the next size up).
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Unread 30th March 2018, 01:37 AM
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Worse, Subaru is dropping the turbo from the Forester lineup in 2019. Hope it is not true but it seems to be, at least in the US.

I'd say that if you find yourself restricted by things like crawl ratios and angles, you will be better off just going to a 4x4. Conversely, if you prefer high-speed dirt driving and your offroad is mostly dirt and sand, then the CVT, especially the stronger one on H6 Outbacks and turbo Foresters, should be just fine (but do monitor the fluid temps because it overheats more easily than in the EATs).

But if you do go 4x4, you will probably want to go with one that has it all and is not just an average 4x4; if the floor of the 4x4 is higher than the ceiling of the Subaru, then it is worth it for me. Otherwise, it is not. By that I mean that if the stock 4x4 can do what a lifted Subaru cannot, or if it can do it with a lot less work, then it is worth it. If it is just for having a bit more control via low range on an occasional hill or moderately better angles, then I would just stick with the Subaru.
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Unread 30th March 2018, 10:57 PM
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An SF manual in 1st low has a total reduction of 21.1 (Low range 1.447 X first gear 3.55 X final drive 4.11)
An SF auto in 1st has a total reduction of 13.5 (First gear 3.03 X final drive 4.44)
Yet auto Foresters are way better at crawling offroad then manuals. With out going into super critical rock crawling the gear ratios are not that important in an auto as you are able to drive with a slipping torque converter without getting that clutch smell.

Yes there is a time when you want at least a 2.5:1 low range in your auto. But for anything you've been doing in your Forester, gear ratios in a CVT aren't that important.

XT CVT has a final drive of 4.11 and lowest ratio of 3.505. This gives a total reduction of 14.4. Which is near enough to an SF auto.

Driving a 2016 XT CVT and my SG manual with SF low range, both in gear with out touching accelerator or brake on level ground, the SG feels slower. I don't have accurate enough speedos to compare. So this would be the ratios at work. But riding the brake or going up a hill the CVT can go much slower.

If you look at other cars, either go independent suspension front and rear for good clearance, like a Pajero, Land Rover, ML Mercedes, or go solid axles front and rear for articulation. IFS and solid rear as found in most 4wds, including Pajero Sport is the worst combination.
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Unread 30th March 2018, 11:08 PM
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IFS and solid rear may be hypothetically worse, I get the logic, but not so in practice, at least not in Toyota's cases over the last decade or so.
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Unread 31st March 2018, 12:07 AM
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Toyota's still made some capable IFS cars. But not as capable as a fully solid axle Rubicon or fully independent Land Rover. I agree with your comment on if Tweaksta wants something more capable then a kitted out XT with CVT he should get something substantially better since he's compromising road handling anyway.
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Unread 31st March 2018, 12:29 AM
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There is nothing as capable as a Rubicon in severe rock crawling applications but my impression is that Australian off-roading is not like that.

As for the Land Rover...is it even a thing? I like them but they are just as unreliable as Jeeps except they are also very hard and pricey to fix. The only Land Rovers on trail here are 10+ years old and even those are extremely rare.

I have never seen a video of a Land Rover crawling the hardcore Jeep trails here; but that is crazy terrain, we are talking Rubicons with big lifts on 37s and even 40s. That is a sport; those trails tend to be short and a goal in themselves.
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Unread 31st March 2018, 12:40 AM
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But, yes, in principle a highly capable rig with a fully independent suspension, like the new Discovery, would be the best of all worlds. Just that there are serious issues both with the Land Rovers and the Jeep Grand Cherokee. I cannot think of another fully independent, capable vehicle here.

There may be more options in Australia.
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Unread 31st March 2018, 02:35 AM
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I've never seen a Land Rover pushed to it's limits, but I have seen them make more modified Land Cruisers look silly. I've seen a Patriot that impressed me offroad. But both are unreliable.
ML Mercedes are another under used offroad weapon. Not Rubicon level, but still have 2.6:1 low range, great drive system and not bad approach angles. Y62 Patrol's look like they'll be another weapon, but haven't been out long.

Pajero's would be by far the most used fully independent suspension 4wd offroad in Australia and I'd rate them over the Pajero Sport and other IFS solid rear 4wd's both offroad and onroad.
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Unread 31st March 2018, 07:57 AM
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I would have thought without doubt the Mercedes G Wagon and the Unimog are the most capable 4wds you can get. But having said that I seem to be able to get around some serious tracks in the Victorian High Country.
I note Subaru has released the new Forester. Whilst it has x-mode I still have serious reservations with the CVT.
I'm sticking with my SG for as long as I can rebuild it!
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Unread 31st March 2018, 08:10 AM
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^ Unimogs can climb brick walls I think; my son has one and it is awesome!

This is it:

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