Subaru Ascent Forum banner

1 - 14 of 14 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
39 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm down with the apparent lack of fake shift points on the Ascents CVT.

I discovered the paddle shifters quite by accident as my last ride had a media control at that same location.

Is it even safe for the long term health of the CVT to use them like a Jake brake?

My first thought is no.

Casual testing showed about zero net performance gain at any RPM's using the paddle shifters. Also while obviously stressing the CVT.

Am I missing something?
 

·
Super Moderator
2019 Ascent Touring (CWP)
Joined
·
3,263 Posts
If they stressed the CVT as you surmise, they wouldn't be on the vehicle. The CVT doesn't care if it's locked at a ratio by the paddle shifters...it just does what software tells it to do. In fact, the factory programming has "fake shift points" on the Ascent...something a huge number of folks have a bone to pick with.

No worries on this.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Robert.Mauro

·
Registered
2020 CWP Touring
Joined
·
941 Posts
I'm down with the apparent lack of fake shift points on the Ascents CVT.
At throttle openings of less than about 50-55%, the CVT will continuously vary the two pulley ratios to keep the engine at a consistent speed as the vehicle accelerates, yes. At heavier throttle inputs (higher than about 55% or so), then the CVT will move into a "simulated shifts" regime where it will hold specific pulley ratios to give the driver the sensation the transmission is shifting through gears. The CVT is completely agnostic to the shifting schedule the software is commanding -- it doesn't care.

Is it even safe for the long term health of the CVT to use them like a Jake brake?
If you mean manually downshifting to help hold your speed on a hill or something -- sure -- this is no problem at all. In fact, you may see the adaptive cruise control do the same thing. On longer hills, the computer may adjust the pulley ratios to raise the engine speed to get a little more engine braking.

Casual testing showed about zero net performance gain at any RPM's using the paddle shifters. Also while obviously stressing the CVT.
There will not be any "performance gain" using the paddle shifters, though it's definitely not stressing the transmission, either. You are free to use the paddle shifters while in Manual mode, or you can never touch them and leave the selector in Drive mode all the time. I'm in manual mode probably half the time I'm driving it. I often just prefer a little more control over the engine speed and like the ability to "click through the [virtual] gears". Other times, I prefer the completely sedate and serene experience of the CVT smoothly adjusting and keeping the engine loafing around just above idle as we drive.

It's 100% personal preference in terms of how you drive the car.
 

·
Registered
2021 Ascent Limited Abyss Blue Pearl
Joined
·
116 Posts
the factory programming has "fake shift points" on the Ascent...something a huge number of folks have a bone to pick with.

No worries on this.
It’s not really a bone I pick, but I’d rather the pseudo shifts weren’t programmed into the CVT.

That said, I do like using the paddle shifters to help hold my speed on downhill grades. We drive in the mountains of Arizona and Colorado fairly often so this is something I do appreciate. It shouldn’t hurt the CVT unless you over rev the engine, then bad things could happen.
 

·
Super Moderator
2019 Ascent Touring (CWP)
Joined
·
3,263 Posts
It’s not really a bone I pick, but I’d rather the pseudo shifts weren’t programmed into the CVT.
I think that's an accurate thing for many of us. I don't like the fake shifts at all. But then again, I also rarely even notice them at this point...

The extensive discussion that's here and elsewhere on this subject seems to indicate that at least having the ability to choose would satisfy pretty much everyone. Those who like the feel of "shifting" can retain it and those who want the CVT to be allowed to "just be a CVT" will also be happy with that feature disengaged. But back to the OP's concerns, neither the fake shifting or the paddle shifters pose any real risk to the transmission. If they did, those features wouldn't be made available.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
993 Posts
I tend to cruise in full auto 99.9% of the time. If I remember correclty, I don' think the Ascent will let you shift if the computer deems it as inappropriate. You paddle input is merely a suggestion and the computer is the gatekeeper.

I've come to be at peace with the fake shift points. Drive calmly, and the CVT will behave suitably. If you 'send it' then you'll get a more performance oriented feeling with the fake shifts. I can appreciate that. It's that middle ground where if you don't fully commit to hard acceleration, then things get a little wonky. It's like the car gets tripped up on what the driver actually wants to do.
 

·
Registered
2019 Ascent Limited
Joined
·
766 Posts
I use the downshift paddle frequently to slow down a bit quicker than just coasting in Drive, especially as speed ebbs and flows in light traffic. I don't use the upshift paddle.

Pretty much never get fake shifting any more even when keeping up with traffic after a stop light.

I'd vote for a driver selectable fake shift option since it isn't very popular as is.
 

·
Registered
2021 Ascent Limited Abyss Blue Pearl
Joined
·
116 Posts
I don' think the Ascent will let you shift if the computer deems it as inappropriate.
That is probably true! My usage is probably similar to yours. I bet 95% of the time I'm using one or the other sorts of cruise control and Eye Site features. It would not surprise me if the car protected itself in those situations.

On twisty, turny mountain roads Adaptive Cruise Control, and to a lesser extent Lane Keep Assist if cruise control is off, are features that I can't or don't use, not even being recommended by the manufacturer. In those cases, Eye Sight will turn off anyway because it gets confused on the turns. The paddle shifters are available and will allow me to downshift for maintaining speed on down grades. I've deliberately tried to not downshift too far, so I don't know if the car would protect itself near the red zone or not.

I hope to never find out!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,141 Posts
My main beef with the paddle shifters is they're not bidirectional. Each is only one way, you can't push it to shift in the other direction.
 

·
Registered
2020 CWP Touring
Joined
·
941 Posts
If I remember correclty, I don' think the Ascent will let you shift if the computer deems it as inappropriate. You paddle input is merely a suggestion and the computer is the gatekeeper.
You are correct -- the computer won't let you over-rev or lug the engine. There are small up/down arrows shown next to the numerical virtual gear chosen on the dash display. If you are at an engine speed where you can shift up to the next virtual gear without lugging the engine, there will be a small up arrow indicating this. And then a pull of the right paddle will instantly shift the CVT. Likewise with downshifts. Response to the paddle shifters is impressively quick in my opinion.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
39 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks all!
I won't be using them, save for the very occasional downshift (with CC off first and no foot on the gas pedal).

Disclaimer:
I am involved in the manufacturing of automotive engines and related components. I do not work for Subaru.
 

·
Registered
2020 Ascent Limited
Joined
·
16 Posts
Just a comment - I use the paddle shifter when travelling through mountain roads. Being a manual shifter for years, it allows me to adjust for the curves. I detest riding my brakes when compression can do the same thing. I wonder though whether the brake lights activate when slowing down as they do with the adaptive cruise control.
 

·
Registered
2020 CWP Touring
Joined
·
941 Posts
I wonder though whether the brake lights activate when slowing down as they do with the adaptive cruise control.
The brake lights illuminate only if the braking system is activated, either by you or by EyeSight/cruise control. When you see the brake lights come on when using cruise control, the car has determined that it needs more deceleration than engine braking alone can provide and it actually does apply the brakes.
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
10,206 Posts
That will be visible on the driver's display car on the LCD between the speedometer and tachometer, or (where equipped) on the full color center display above the head unit.
 
1 - 14 of 14 Posts
Top