Consumer Reports (CR) has released their latest reliability findings and a new emerging trend is causing many automakers to drop in the reliability ratings. The report says for the Japanese brands, Subaru was in the top five for reliability along with Toyota and Mazda. The new emerging trend has to do with increased troubles with new Continuously Variable Transmissions that are being used to increase fuel efficiency.
The findings are based on the CR’s 2015 Annual Auto Reliability Survey that takes into account data from more than 740,000 vehicles. “We’ve seen a number of brands struggle with new transmission technology,” said Jake Fisher, Consumer Reports’ Director of Automotive Testing. “Many vehicles require repair and replacements because of rough shifting among the gears and slipping CVT belts.”
Subaru has not experienced issues with their new CVT automatics that come in their all-wheel-drive vehicles like the 2016 Outback, Forester, Crosstrek and Impreza models. Subaru redesigned their Lineartronic CVT to elevate efficiency of the Boxer engine and Symmetrical AWD systems used in their vehicles. Their new CVT features a reinforced transmission case and new torque converter.
While many people don’t like the CVT because it seems to endlessly wind up under exceleration, the advantage of the CVT is that it allows the engine to operate longer at a lower speed than conventional automatic transmission systems. A lower engine speed means better fuel economy and it’s why most automakers are using them.
Subaru uses a 6-speed Lineartronic CVT with 6-speed manual mode and paddle shifters on the 2016 Outback, Crosstrek, Impreza and Legacy and Lineartronic CVT with low mode (2.5i Forester models) or 6- and 8-speed manual shift modes and paddle shifters (2.0XT Forester models). The 2016 Subaru WRX gets a Sport Lineartronic CVT transmission with paddle shifters and 6- and 8-speed manual modes.
Subaru engineers have done a good job of blending fuel-efficiency and sporty driving dynamics with their Continuously Variable Transmissions. The new emerging trend that is causing many automakers to drop in the reliability ratings, has not effected Subaru as they are in the top five for reliability in CR’s 2015 Annual Auto Reliability Survey.
Media source: Consumer Reports