2012 Subaru Impreza: Manual Mode Override
November 05, 2012
Here's a nice feature of the Subaru's CVT that I've found myself using frequently in the last few weeks. Its paddle shifters have veto power over the tranny when you need it most.
Grabbing the downshift paddle while in Drive (assuming you're at an appropriate vehicle speed) gives you a simulated shift which, if nothing else, is more satisfying than slamming your foot down and waiting. It feels a little quicker than waiting for the CVT to think when you need speed immediately.
Certainly you're still at the mercy of the ever-slipping transmission, but I'd wager that grabbing the paddle gets you down the road a little sooner. Anyway, leaving it in Drive means the engine returns to a normal speed fairly quickly (usually a matter of seconds) without any stick shaking or paddle tapping. Accompany all of this, of course, is the gear display showing a swap into whatever simulated gear the tranny selected and then a corresponing swap back to "D."
It beats slipping the stick into "M" if all you're doing is dispatching a freeway doddler.
Josh Jacquot, Senior editor