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My 2020 Ascent will not automatically shift into eighth gear, even at 80 MPH. It will shift manually into eighth gear without a problem. Heavy or light load doesn't matter. After manually shifting into eighth gear, when I shift back to automatic mode it always downshifts to seventh gear. Speedometer maintains 80 but the tachometer RPM's increase. Is this a common condition?

Also no significant change in fuel mileage between the two gears at 70 - 80 MPH.

I'll check the transmission fluid, if someone will tell me where the dipstick is located.
 

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When the CVT is in automatic mode, there are no set "gears" (or, more correctly, no set pulley ratios). I've found that the CVT will never shift into the 8th ratio when you put it in manual mode...it'll choose 7th at the highest...probably because it presumes you want a little more oomph when you do move it to manual mode.

If you do some data logging with the Active ODB app on an Android phone and a Bluetooth OBD reader, you'll see that the transmission will use the lowest numerical pulley ratio (also corresponding to the 8th ratio in manual mode) in automatic mode when the conditions are right, but it will very rarely stay there precisely when maintaining speed out on the road...because it's always balancing a mix of fuel economy, engine load, etc.

As you've correctly noted, there really isn't a change in fuel consumption with a change in engine speed. If you lock it into 8th, the car will continue to maintain speed, but engine load is higher, the turbo is pressurizing the intake, and spark timing is retarded. If you lock it into 7th, the engine is spinning faster, but engine load is a little lower, the turbo is most likely NOT pressurizing the intake, and spark timing is more advanced. In both scenarios, it's using about the same amount of fuel to keep you going, but the engine's working a little harder at the lower RPM to do that.
 

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2019 Ascent Touring (CWP)
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My 2020 Ascent will not automatically shift into eighth gear, even at 80 MPH. It will shift manually into eighth gear without a problem.
The is no "8th gear" in a CVT, per se...it's a continuously variable ratio that's optimized by the vehicle computer along with the engine RPM. As has been noted elsewhere in the forum. the optimal RPM and ratio may not be what you think it might be. When you use manual mode, you are simulating a transmission with 8 fixed gear ratios. When you switch from automatic operation to manual, the selector will pick whatever simulated "gear" is closest to current operating conditions.
 
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My 2020 Ascent will not automatically shift into eighth gear, even at 80 MPH. It will shift manually into eighth gear without a problem. Heavy or light load doesn't matter. After manually shifting into eighth gear, when I shift back to automatic mode it always downshifts to seventh gear. Speedometer maintains 80 but the tachometer RPM's increase. Is this a common condition?

Also no significant change in fuel mileage between the two gears at 70 - 80 MPH.

I'll check the transmission fluid, if someone will tell me where the dipstick is located.
Are you in cruise control while doing this? If so, its normal FYI....no dip stick....
 

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The Ascent decides what ratio along the available continuum is optimum based on many factors and sensors. In this regard, it knows better than I do.
 
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