CVT Transmission vs. Automatic: What’s the Difference?

CVT Transmission vs. Automatic

Transmission cross-section
You might have run across the term Continuously Variable Transmission or “CVT transmission” while looking for a new car, but you might not understand how a CVT works or why it might be a better or worse choice for you than a traditional automatic transmission. We’re here to help you understand how each transmission can affect your Katy or Spring commute.


What is a CVT Transmission?

So, what’s a CVT transmission? Traditional automatic transmissions change between a set number of gears, so the number of ratios the vehicle has access to will be determined by that number. A hydraulic system will respond to driving conditions by making gear changes as appropriate. Now, how does a CVT transmission work? It uses a system of pulleys and rollers instead of set gears. One pulley connects to the engine and another to the transmission, so they’re always adjusting to stay in the optimal range.

What is an Automatic Transmission?

When it comes to traditional automatic transmissions, these provide additional benefits to drivers as its changes gears on its own when needed as the vehicle continues to move. This makes switching gears that much more safer and efficient for drivers so they don’t have to do it manually. The switching of gears can occur hydraulically and electronically depending on the configuration of your choice.


CVT Transmission vs Automatic

Traditional automatic transmissions change between a set number of gears, so the number of ratios the vehicle has access to will be determined by that number. A hydraulic system will respond to driving conditions by making gear changes as appropriate.

So, how does a CVT transmission work? It uses a system of pulleys and rollers instead of set gears. One pulley connects to the engine and another to the transmission, so they’re always adjusting to stay in the optimal range.


The Benefits of Continuously Variable Transmission

Compare CVT vs. automatic around Sugarland and you’ll quickly hear about the benefits of CVT. They include:

  • Improved Efficiency: CVTs can adjust gear ratios instantaneously and have an unlimited range, so they tend to be the most efficient option, even outpacing manual transmissions.
  • Faster Takeoffs: The lack of gearing means an easier time maintaining the ideal torque ratio, which leads to easier takeoffs.
  • Smoother Ride: Because CVTs never actually shift, most people find their drive significantly smoother with no drops in power.
2020 Acura TLX on the road

The Drawbacks of Continuously Variable Transmission

Of course, CVTs aren’t perfect. Just a few common drawbacks include:

  • Not feeling the same as a traditional vehicle with changing gears.
  • Droning sound during acceleration instead of the traditional vroom.
  • Harder for most mechanics to work on than conventional transmissions.
  • More expensive to make and therefore more expensive as part of your new vehicle.


We’ll Help You Choose Between CVT and Automatic

So, CVT transmission: good or bad? It really depends on your own needs, so why not visit us today to experience a CVT and then test drive a traditional automatic to see which feels best? You can also learn more about OEM vs. aftermarket parts or how long an oil change takes. For any further assistance, don’t hesitate to contact us today.


Our Service Specials

Complimentary Battery Check
Complimentary Battery Check

Get a complimentary battery check when you service you vehicle at John Eagle Acura.

Valid only at John Eagle Acura. Must be presented at time of write-up. Not to be combined with any other offers or in-store specials. Not retroactive. See dealer for details.

Complimentary Tire Repair
Complimentary Tire Repair

Get free tire repair when you service your vehicle at John Eagle Acura.

Valid only at John Eagle Acura. Must be presented at time of write-up. Not to be combined with any other offers or in-store specials. Not retroactive. See dealer for details.

Complimentary Multi-Point Inspection and Carwash
Complimentary Multi-Point Inspection and Carwash

Get a complimentary multi-point inspection and free car wash when you service your car here at John Eagle Acura.

Valid only at John Eagle Acura. Must be presented at time of write-up. Not to be combined with any other offers or in-store specials. Not retroactive. See dealer for details.


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John Eagle Acura

16015 Katy Freeway Houston, TX

Phone: (281)-589-0600

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John Eagle Acura 29.783618, -95.66552.