Mitsubishi Lancer and Lancer Sportback Newer to the United States, the Lancer line offers a sporty compact sedan, with all of the fine styling of the performance minded Evolution.

Lancer CVT downshifting

  #1  
Old 12-31-2011, 06:33 PM
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Default Lancer CVT downshifting

I'm the happy owner of a 2011 Sportback ES with about 2,000 miles on it. It's a great car - styling, interior room, fit and finish, value...

The one thing that I think needs improvement is the CVT. The car won't coast. When you take your foot off the gas it seems to continuously downshift to keep rpms constant until it gets to about 3 mph. So you have to keep your foot slightly on the gas to get up to a stop sign, for example. Same thing on slight downgrades in town. Other cars will just roll, but the cvt needs a little gas to keep going 20.

Does anyone else notice this? The mileage is pretty good, but I think it would have to get even better if it was reprogrammed to coast instead of downshift when your foot is off the gas.
 
  #2  
Old 01-10-2012, 09:35 AM
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Originally Posted by AndyL View Post
I'm the happy owner of a 2011 Sportback ES with about 2,000 miles on it. It's a great car - styling, interior room, fit and finish, value...

The one thing that I think needs improvement is the CVT. The car won't coast. When you take your foot off the gas it seems to continuously downshift to keep rpms constant until it gets to about 3 mph. So you have to keep your foot slightly on the gas to get up to a stop sign, for example. Same thing on slight downgrades in town. Other cars will just roll, but the cvt needs a little gas to keep going 20.

Does anyone else notice this? The mileage is pretty good, but I think it would have to get even better if it was reprogrammed to coast instead of downshift when your foot is off the gas.
Yeah this was the way it was designed. I remember reading about it in the manual. The good thing about it is that it knows to downshift early or later depending on the conditions of your road. If you're going downhill, it down shifts earlier to give you some engine braking and vice versa.
In terms of coasting, I've found that if you just tap the accelerator occasionally (at the appropriate speed you want) it'll prevent it from downshifting automatically. I'm assuming it'll save more gas than if you kept your foot on it the whole time.
 
  #3  
Old 01-10-2012, 10:05 AM
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That's because it's engine braking (normal). You aren't using a fluid coupler like a torque converter in a conventional automatic, the CVT is a mechanical link from the engine to the transmission. Which is why when you let off the gas, the car doesn't just coast like an automatic, it'll use the engine RPM to slow down. This is better for fuel economy and drivability.
 
  #4  
Old 01-15-2012, 02:34 PM
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Thanks for the responses. Sebba, I have to disagree. Braking when you don't want it does not improve drivability or mileage. I generally like the CVT. It's smooth and cool, but at low speeds in city driving I think it doesn't perform as well as a standard automatic.
 
  #5  
Old 05-18-2012, 03:16 PM
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Update: After a few more miles of wear-in on the CVT, the downshifting is much less noticible. It's not just that I'm used to it. I can now get down the same slight grade near my house without using the gas pedal. I noticed that one of Consumer Reports few complaints about the new Subaru Impreza is excessive engine braking from the CVT, so this is not unique to Mitsubishi.

Still love the car. The interior space with the rear seats folded is huge for a small car. I looked at the 2012 Suburu before buying my Lancer, but thought it was really homely looking in comparison.
 
  #6  
Old 11-07-2012, 02:32 PM
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When I first got my GTS I was also concerned that there was an unusual amount of engine braking. I believe that when the car is in motion and there's no throttle input the ECU will stop or severely limit fuel delivery. This happens until the vehicle is too slow to support idle rpm. Long story short, there's fuel savings because the ECU doesn't idle the engine when you are coasting like cars in the past did.
 
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