CVT vs Automatic: Which is Right for You?

Cars nowadays are a necessary thing we buy. Millions of them are getting bought, whether used or the latest models. But are you familiar with some important parts of the car? Maybe yes, maybe not. Being just a car owner or an avid car enthusiast, both should have some rough knowledge about the car. Especially about the engine, specifically the transmission or gearboxes being used. So let us take a brief review about these transmissions that are now often used in the latest car models.


Having a car makes you know of some parts of the vehicle. Because of this, you consider what transmission you want for your car. Is it the old manual transmission or automatic transmission? Or is it the new transmission that is being used today, the CVT transmission? The Continuously VariableTransmission, which is in the same category of automatic transmission that is now being preferred to use in some small and luxurious cars. But is it more fuel efficient, reliable, and cheaper than the traditional automatic transmission?

What is a CVT Transmission?

The Continuously Variable Transmission or CVT is a type of automatic transmission and is now one of the gearboxes you see often in some newest cars, usually in small cars. It doesn’t have any fixed gears but instead a pulley or a belt to transfer power from the engine. The two cone-shaped belts or pulleys are attached to the engine, while the other is joined to the wheels. When the engine revs, the cone moves to the amount of power asked for. While the other adjusts so that the drive belt maintains the same tension, and this controls how the car accelerates. As the two cones move independently no set gear ratios you would find in normal auto or manual, in effect, the CVT is a single-speed unit with infinite gear ratios available.

The Pros & Cons of CVT Transmission

A CVT offers a vast range of advantages as well as disadvantages. The CVT has much to offer, whether it is good or bad is something every driver must understand. Here are some of the pros and cons of CVT transmission:

Pros of CVT Transmission

  • The CVT offers a much lighter engine and better fuel efficiency.
  • Driving uphill in terrain or mountains with CVT is easier because it provides seamless power without much shifting.
  • The CVT gives a quicker response resulting in smooth driving and acceleration at any speed without any jerkiness.

Cons of CVT Transmission

  • The CVT transmissions are more expensive than any gearboxes, as well as the repair and maintenance costs.
  • he CVT doesn’t generally last as long as, unlike the traditional transmission that can last twice up to that.
  • The CVT is not designed for high-speed performance. So don’t go looking for CVT on your sports coupes and performance cars.
  • When doing hard acceleration, the CVT is inclined to make loud noises.

The Pros & Cons of Automatic Transmission

Like the CVT, the automatic transmissions also offer some advantages and disadvantages, and being able to understand them helps you to know what transmission you would like to use in your car.

Pros of Automatic Transmission

  • The automatic transmissions are more connected to the engine and acceleration of the car.
  • Using automatic transmissions helps the driver to have better control with gear ratios.
  • The automatic transmissions are much cheaper to maintain and repair.
  • The automatic transmission can offer a more fun driving experience with its high speed performance.

Cons of Automatic Transmission

  • Unlike CVT, they don’t offer a much better fuel economy.
  • Automatic cars produce more carbon emissions compared to CVT.
  • Drivers using automatic transmission will have a much harder time when climbing hills or terrains.

CVT vs. Automatic Transmission: Which is Right For You?

Choosing between CVT and Automatic Transmission depends on the car you want to buy. If you want a car with much better fuel economy, lighter, and smooth handling then CVT is right for you. You can usually see CVT transmission in some small yet luxury cars. But if you want a car with good high speed performance, less expensive to maintain, and want much better control then an automatic transmission is your good choice. You can enjoy automatic transmission in some sports car models if you prefer a good exciting ride.

Arguing which transmission type is right or better will remain to be seen because both gearboxes have some good and bad qualities to them. CVT cars may be more fuel efficient but that doesn’t mean automatic cars are not. And you can’t say that the former is more reliable than the latter. It still all depends on what kind of car you want. So don’t go around asking what is the right transmission, it is better to have a good understanding of what car you want to buy. There’s nothing wrong with picking both, at the end of the day, it’s your car, and the wants to buy the right car will prevail.



Written by: Esther Abranilla

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