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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi Cubers, my second post. I realize this may belong in a technical thread, but I wanted to get more eyes on it. I'm driving an '06 Civic Coupe with manual transmission, and I'm looking at getting something else in the next year. The more I look at your little Cubes, the more I like them. Unfortunately, the 1.8SL I'm interested in only comes with the CVT. I like manuals. I'd like to hear y'all's impressions on the CVT. Does it "act funny" and get on your nerves (like my Prius did), or does it just go about its business unnoticeably? Thanks, everybody.
 

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Hi joeremi,

I was of the opinion that I would not buy another car with an automatic transmission. The CVT in the Cube has totally changed my opinion the first time I test drove it. In a traditional automatic I always feel disconnected from the wheels somewhat. The engine always had to rev up a bit before any change in speed occurred. In the CVT Cube there is a better more connected feel to the car. Sometimes, if I accelerate gently, I can accelerate without the engine changing rpms at all! To explain what I mean by this:

From what I can tell the philosophy of the accelerator pedal seems to work differently then in other cars. Instead of controlling the engine the accelerator actually controls the transmission... This means if you drive carefully you can keep the car at 1200 RPM from 0MPH to about 40MPH after that the revs will rise to about 2000 at around 55MPH (and keep rising as you increase in freeway speed from there)

If you desire to accelerate quicker then snail speed you can of course press down more on the pedal. The engine RPMs will rise to give you more power, and if you hold your foot steady, the engine will hold at that rpm as you steadily accelerate. More pedal = faster acceleration, but without the shifting you would normally expierience in an automatic transmission. It reminds me of a really powerful snowmobile, or a boat.

I absolutely love it!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I hear ya about slushboxes. I had one in my Toyota Echo that sucked. Depress pedal...wait. But my Porsche Boxster S (there's a dichotomy in cars) had a great one. It had Tiptronic, buttons on the wheel for "manual" shifts, that I used infrequently. It turned out that auto shifted just as well as I could. In other words, the car was better than me. :)
 

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Just doing some adding, I've driven 306,000 miles in my own cars since I got my drivers license. Not including the 12,000 miles in the Cube; only 11,000 miles of that was in an automatic equipped vehicle.

I never thought I would own another automatic transmission equipped vehicle. But I test drove my CVT Cube anyway and fell in love.

In my opinion, this type of transmission should be in all underpowered vehicles like the Cube. The biggest benefit is hills. On the freeway with the cruise control set at 70 mph; I have zero problems climbing some very steep hills. It is really funny because I pass so many other cars at these times. My Cube engine just smoothly revs to the appropriate RPM and my speed stays steady.

Something else beneficial is of course the gas mileage. Compare it to the 6 speed manual and you'll see the difference.

That whole 120,000 mile ten year CVT warranty that they just changed is something that is just a little bit nice TOO!

The only thing I am not a big fan of is that the engine is really buzzy inside the cabin when under full throttle acceleration. I don't mind it a whole lot, but passengers do notice it.
 

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I like it, it takes some getting used to to get the right balance of performance and fuel economy.

If you are a spirited driver I would not recommend it for you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
ChristineK said:
I like it, it takes some getting used to to get the right balance of performance and fuel economy.

If you are a spirited driver I would not recommend it for you.
That's an interesting POV, Christine. My style of driving is hard to peg. We have a twisty mountain road here I like to attack, but I also do a lot of mellow low-rev short-shifting driving. You mentioned before that the Fit might be a better car for my needs. I haven't driven either yet, so there's still a lot to learn. I'm mystified at Nissan's reluctance to put the 6-speed in the SL and Krom.
 

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Definitely do your research and find the right vehicle for you. I love both vehicles (Cube & Fit) for different reasons. I love my Titan due to it can tow 10,000 LBS (my boat) so you can see how a need makes for a choice or decision maker on the car lot.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
ChristineK said:
Definitely do your research and find the right vehicle for you. I love both vehicles (Cube & Fit) for different reasons. I love my Titan due to it can tow 10,000 LBS (my boat) so you can see how a need makes for a choice or decision maker on the car lot.
Of course you have a boat, too, Christine. Quite the gearhead, you are. A motorcycle, too, I presume..
 

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I actually like the CVT for performance driving. It's kind of novel to floor it & keep the RPM's pegged at 6k while the speedometer climbs. No shifting, just smooth power :)
 

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Something I haven't seen on this page is about the CVT's cool engine braking. The first big difference I noticed driving my Cube was that it didn't take off down a hill near my house, like most conventional automatics would. If you're going down a hill at around 35 mph the revs will go up to 3,000 (depending on the severity of the hill), and then when the land levels out, they'll drop back down to 1,300 or so--all so that the car maintains the same speed. If you hit the gas it just shifts to let you roll down faster--so hip! It was really convenient when I lived in a hilly area, so it might be nice for going down that twisty mountain road you mentioned.

It doesn't do much under thirty, though. It will also let the car eventually cruise on up going down hill for a long time on the freeway, so you do have to use the O/D off button then. BTW, overdrive off--what a joke in a cvt!
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
My Prius had a sort-of OD-off position. You shifted into B for more engine braking. If left in Drive, that sucker would sail like the wind down a hill. Of course, the gas engine actually being off may have had something to do with that. :)
 

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I've only had mine for a day but I've really noticed the CVT when coming to a slow rolling stop. It will engine brake but once you've gotten slow enough and the rpm's are low enough the CVT uncouples and suddenly you are free coasting, requiring you to adjust your braking.
 

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none said:
I actually like the CVT for performance driving. It's kind of novel to floor it & keep the RPM's pegged at 6k while the speedometer climbs. No shifting, just smooth power :)
An interesting concept, but at the same time, all that swirling fluid translates into heat generation -- which means power loss. I can appreciate the concept of throttle position relating more to vehicle acceleration than speed, but I don't easily see it as more economical. For conveniece though, I definitely vote for automatic over manual :).
 

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HI,

I'm new to the forums and am looking at the Cube for my new car.

I was in LA for work earlier this year and the rental car company had a Cube S so I grabbed it. I liked it a lot, but the CVT was so pedestrian I don't know if I can deal with it. Being a newcomer to LA, I didn't mind putting along and let the dbags pass my just to meet them at the next stoplight :eek: , so the CVT was fine. I had it for about 2 months and the longer I had it, the less I liked the CVT - mostly because I love the control you have with a manual trans and just didn't feel that the CVT suited my style of driving. I totally understand how it works, so don't try to convince me that it is better than a manual transmission for sportier driving, especially at this lower level of a car.

I was looking at the xB because they do have a manual and don't have the tiered levels (base, S, SL etc) which leave you getting a package that includes some stuff you don't want and just increases profits for the company, but there you are comparing the manual to a 4speed auto, so it's a no brainer for sure.

Now that the 2010 Cubes are out, I noticed that they have shifted the tiers so that the S has more standard equipment and they are offering the manual trans with the S so it is back on my purchasing radar :-\ .

My question is, who has a Cube with the manual trans that can give his/her input on the manual trans in the car? In the past when I would go to the dealer, they wouldn't have any Base models with manual in or just no Base models at all, so I have not been able to drive it yet. I hope to find an S to drive soon

I am not planning on entering any SCCA races with it -- but still, with the proper performance mods, it should be very entertaining to drive.

Thanks
 

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In case it helps, the 2009 S also has the manual transmission option. It's the SL that is CVT only (I believe the Krom is also CVT only). My personal interest was always the S, thanks to the manual tranny option and a pretty small price increment for the few factory options that interest me.

PS. Welcome to the site -- you may want to post on "New Members Corner" so the others have a chance to say "HI" :)!

http://www.nissancubelife.com/forum/index.php?board=1.0

PPS. You may also want to start your own thread in "Cube Talk" for your manual transmission question. Piggybacking off a CVT thread may not work too well.
 

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Interesting posts; here's my impression coming from driving manual for most of my driving years.

CVT cube = VERY easy to drive, very smooth, and very pleasant. In general, I DO love it...

HOWEVER....

in a situation, for example I'm in the left lane and the car in front of me decides to start signalling to turn left and I have to merge into the right/middle lane and pick up speed fairly quickly (where on a manual car I would downshift a gear, or on an auto car I would step the gas pedal enough where the tranny will downshift for acceleration) I have NO faith at ALL in the cube's CVT....it is very slow to respond; usually I've switched lanes and straightened out in the new lane, THEN it picks up...(I have since stopped doing that)

Though in a Sentra courtesy car that I had it was very responsive.....
 
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