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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Noticed on the highway when passing at WOT, there's a moment where it seems like the CVT wants to act like a CVT with revs climbing slowly as speed builds, THEN it decides to give the fake downshift a go with the jump in RPMs, and it is only at that point speed begins to build quickly.

What's the best way to get the quickest acceleration out of the Ascent in the 60 to 80 mph range? Manually shift down as you floor it? Assume if there's time, manually shift down first to an appropriate gear that the CVT will hold when floored (given there appears to be just a couple of seconds in a specific gear before the transmission reverts if in 'D')? Roll on the throttle versus just jabbing it?

Thanks!
 

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I have found that rolling or jabbing is not as effective or smooth as tapping the paddle shift while simultaneously giving 3/4 throttle. Passing mode as intended.
 

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This package seems to respond better to smoothly-but-quickly rolling into the throttle instead of just suddenly wide open. That may be due to CVT programming, may be due to turbo response, may be due to something else, or a combination of all, etc. But it does seem to respond better when "rolled into" rather than "jammed wide open".
 

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As auto manufactures focus on fuel economy you'll find this behavior common to other automotive brands. I don't think it's just a CVT problem as my vehicle has an eight speed and it suffers from this slight delay as well. I think you can get after market solutions like pedal commander that take that delay out.
 

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It’ll also hesitate to speed up if it thinks you’re going to run into the car in front of you, so leave plenty of room when you make a pass. I’m guilty of this often, likely annoying the person in the passing lane when I can’t speed up as quickly as I’d like.
Also the CVT does some pretty random things when using the paddles to override the gear in D. Moving the lever over to M, shifting to the gear in the rpm range you desire, then rolling into the throttle yields a decent response for me. Once you get it going in a lower gear then shift up a gear it feels really quick for an SUV!
 

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It’ll also hesitate to speed up if it thinks you’re going to run into the car in front of you, so leave plenty of room when you make a pass. I’m guilty of this often, likely annoying the person in the passing lane when I can’t speed up as quickly as I’d like.
Hate when this happens! It's definitely a little disconcerting the first few times you experience it.

The acceleration is a little "quirky" with the Ascent for lack of better term. It's probably one of the few cars I have driven where I've had to really "learn" how to make it behave predictably when it comes to accelerating, stop-and-go, etc.; could be CVT, could be size, could be power/tq related...? Once you figure it out though, it's not bad at all.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Good to know that downshifting while gear selector is in 'D' invokes the randomness gods. I'll try rolling on the throttle or full manual a go next time. Thanks!
 

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tapping the paddle shift while simultaneously giving 3/4 throttle.
On our '21 I have not noticed any quirky or random outcomes of this sequence. In D not M at 55 or 60mph it provides a predictable, instant 4000rpm of HP and torque awesomeness. It will fake shift back to 3400ish rpm's depending on how far the pedal is pushed. It works great for what seems like endless Forester's going 1 mph under the posted speed limit;)
 

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The combination of cvt and a turbo can lead to some odd acceleration and deceleration quirks. You get used to and learn how to avoid it after the first couple times. Kinda weird on a new vehicle, all my old carbureted vehicles did similar things. My friend couldn’t figure out how I could spin the tires on my old 1/2 ton any time I wanted, from a stop or already moving but it was just knowing how to hit the throttle. He’d get in and just mash it and she’d bog out and sputter.
 

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Yeah, I find the throttle non linear. IDK if it's the CVT or turbo lag or just crappy programming. I lot of newer vehicles have lazy throttles. It's probably a safety/lawyer inspired feature.
 

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The combination of cvt and a turbo can lead to some odd acceleration and deceleration quirks. You get used to and learn how to avoid it after the first couple times. Kinda weird on a new vehicle, all my old carbureted vehicles did similar things. My friend couldn’t figure out how I could spin the tires on my old 1/2 ton any time I wanted, from a stop or already moving but it was just knowing how to hit the throttle. He’d get in and just mash it and she’d bog out and sputter.
Your truck needed a little work.
 

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Your truck needed a little work.
Nah. That's every carbureted vehicle I've ever driven - farm truck, Oldsmobile, motorcycle, everything. Wicking it WFO* would flood them but a smooth roll-on did the trick.

Anyway, I've never had a problem with freeway acceleration. I think I've only tried the flappy paddles like once in over two years. Haven't seen the benefit.
 

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Nah. That's every carbureted vehicle I've ever driven - farm truck, Oldsmobile, motorcycle, everything. Wicking it WFO* would flood them but a smooth roll-on did the trick.

Anyway, I've never had a problem with freeway acceleration. I think I've only tried the flappy paddles like once in over two years. Haven't seen the benefit.
Exactly, there were no fancy computers to control everything back then. I had her running a real low idle otherwise she’d use even more fuel. Was only getting 8 mpg. If you hammered the gas she’d flood, you could even stall out if you stayed on it like that.
Folks these days don’t even know you used to have to press the gas pedal to start your car, and practically have to tap dance on it in a -40celcius morning start, lol! I remember 1car I had to have two window scraper/brushes. One to wedge on the gas pedal to keep her from stalling out out while I used the other to actually clear the foot of snow and layer of ice off!
 

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My first car was an '84 Olds Cutlass with the 307 V-8. It had a computer controlled Rochester Q-jet carburetor, which worked surprisingly well for how complicated that hybrid electronic/mechanical system was. It had an accelerator pump that you needed to use on a cold start. And the choke was vacuum-controlled as I recall. But there was a mixture control solenoid that received instructions from the computer from oxygen sensor data (it had a pretty basic non-heated oxygen sensor in the passenger side exhaust manifold). That M/C solenoid would control how rich or lean the engine would run by manipulating the rods on the primary side.

For all the electronic wizardry that was added to it, it still had the good ol' Quadrajet secondaries. Like everyone back in the day, I flipped my air cleaner lid, and that meager 150 hp V-8 would make quite a roar when those secondary butterflies would come open.

Memories...
 

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We pass a lot on two lane highways and I guess I've just naturally adapted because I haven't noticed the behavior you describe. I just get speed. Seems to accelerate better than my RDX, so I seldom go WOT, probably 3/4 roll.

I feel very comfortable passing at typical highway speeds in our Ascent.
 

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Nah. That's every carbureted vehicle I've ever driven - farm truck, Oldsmobile, motorcycle, everything. Wicking it WFO* would flood them but a smooth roll-on did the trick.

Anyway, I've never had a problem with freeway acceleration. I think I've only tried the flappy paddles like once in over two years. Haven't seen the benefit.
I've been able to tune it out. I learned a lot about quadrajets over the years. Rebuilt many.
 
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