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8 Reasons To Buy A Car With CVT Automatic

If you are out in the market looking to buy a set of 4 wheels and automatic transmission is the necessity, typically you have 4 choices. Expanding the types, a car with automatic transmission can either have a CVT, DCT and a torque converter with the likes of AMT trailing behind. That said, each of the transmissions has its own USPs, so today we are after the most criticised automatic transmission, CVT. CVT or the continuously variable transmission is among the well-engineered gearbox best suited for everyday drive. So, before talking further times, let’s have a look at 8 reasons why you should buy a car with a CVT automatic.

Maruti Suzuki CVT
Maruti Suzuki CVT

What’s a CVT Automatic?

Before explaining the positives of the CVT gearbox, let’s start with the basics. What is a CVT and how it works?

CVT side view
CVT side view
  • Starting with the basic components of a CVT automatic, it has very few moving parts, 3 to be exact. Unlike a conventional automatic or manual transmission, CVT uses a combination of pulleys and a belt to transmit power to the wheels.
  • Well, one of these V-shaped pulleys is connected to the engine and the other is attached to the wheels, via the half shafts.
  • Now, as the engine speed is increased, the shape of the pulleys change. This is done while maintaining the same tension in the belt. Now, both the pulleys are independent of their movement, hence there are no set gear ratios in the transmission. This is the case with a typical CVT automatic.
  • However, the case is a little different in some cars, as they use a step CVT gearbox. Step CVT is solely for the purpose of defining some of the generations, to have a normal driving experience.
  • But a person not so familiar with cars will find that it’s difficult to make out the difference between automatics when sitting inside.
Different CVT ratios
Different CVT ratios

That was the gist of the working of the CVT automatic. But if you want to know more about its working… CLICK HERE!

Here is why CVTs are awesome!

A CVT (Continuously Variable Transmission)
  1. Better fuel efficiency

    Fuel efficiency with an automatic transmission does not go together. But, that said, it is the CVT autobox that delivers the best fuel efficiency amongst all the other automatic transmissions.

    Using the pulleys the TCU (Transmission Control Unit) precisely alters the gear ratios to extract the maximum energy from the given amount of fuel. One of the ways to do this is by keeping the engine at a certain constant RPM. This also depends on the driver’s throttle input.

  2. Smaller size and lightweight

    This has to do with the components of the CVT automatic. This type of transmission has limited moving parts, unlike other conventional transmissions. This allows this transmission to have a small form factor. In addition to that, a small form factor means it is lighter when compared to the other automatic transmission.

  3. Linear Accelerations

    2020 Honda City TPMS
    2020 Honda City

    Next, a car with a CVT transmission has a linear and smooth acceleration. As the driver depresses the throttle pedal, the TCU precisely selects the gear ratio to keep the engine in a particular RPM band.

    Let’s consider a scenario, where the driver floors the throttle pedal (100% throttle input). Now, to full fill the driver’s demand the TCU will keep the engine in its maximum powerband. And this allows for a linear and a constant acceleration of the vehicle just like a locomotive. (another aspect depicting that a CVT is fuel efficient)

  4. Low Maintenance cost

    Most users want their vehicle to have low maintenance costs. So, talking about automatics, CVT is among the gearboxes to have a low maintenance cost. Well, the maintenance cost is directly proportional to the number of moving parts in a machine. As the CVT has limited moving parts, naturally the cost of maintaining that transmission will be a lot less when compared to the other automatic transmissions.
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  5. Can be driven on hills

    Night Driving Tips

    A CVT Box has a unique way of operating which helps the transmission to have multiple pros. Another plus about CVT is also related to how it functions. Well, when climbing a hill all you need is constant power. Now, this automatic transmission is programmed to do exactly that.

    When climbing the hills, it maintains the RPMs keeping the car in its comfort zone, henceforth it can easily climb the slopes. Another aspect is the in a typical CVT there are no fixed gear rations, hence the problem of being in the wrong gear is out through the window.

  6. Less power transmission losses

    In a conventional automatic transmission or a manual gearbox, there are many moving parts. These moving parts include all the gears, countershafts, input shaft, output shaft and more, which drives the weight by quite a lot. But when it comes to CVT, due to the limited parts involved in transmitting the power from the engine to the wheels, the losses are less. But this is where we are not filtering the losses due to the belt drive.

  7. Smooth shifts, (only in step CVT)

    Honda City CVT Transmission
    Honda City CVT Transmission

    To sell the CVT automatic transmission to its customers, the automakers have started providing step CVTs. Essentially, these are selective groves on the pullies that help in fixing the gear ratios of the gearbox. Nevertheless, this is something that is definitely not necessary. On the contrary, it defeats the overall purpose of a CVT box.

    But still, even though the cars come with step CVT in city condition, you’ll not witness any jerk as the transmission shifts between the steps. Hence it overall gives a pleasant and plush driving experience.

Also read: 5 Problems New Driver Face With A CVT Automatic Car

Let us know in the comment section below, what do YOU think of the CVT automatic. Is it perfect for the city? or one should avoid it together?

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Utkarsh Bhardwaj
Utkarsh Bhardwaj
Technical Content Strategist at GoMechanic | Big Time Petrolhead with the passion for building cars and driving those beauties.


  1. Cvt repairing cost is high.It failure more quickly.Too much Nissan and Honda failure due to cvt.That’s why most popular brands do want use in their must wrote with proof(some view data).

    • Hi,
      Taking the repair costs of all the automatic transmissions into consideration, CVT has the lowest repair cost. Also, almost all the brand’s sub ₹20 Lakh use CVT at least in one vehicle if not more. Stay Pinned! 🙂

  2. Good day, I own a Toyota Corolla 1.6 Prestige 2016 CVT. Since buying it a few years ago, I had a gearbox change 20 months ago and is currently at Toyota again for a similar problem I experienced then. As it is they cannot pinpoint the problem and awaiting Toyota South Africa to analyze and find the problem. Great car to drive but are getting less and less confident of the CVT transmission of the car.


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