Driver with their hand on the gear shift inside a car

What is a Continuously Variable Transmission?

How Does a CVT Work?

If you have shopped for a vehicle recently, you would have found different transmission options. Automatic transmissions are most common with manual transmissions a close second. However, you may have noticed that a third transmission type is available: the CVT. The CVT, or Continuously Variable Transmission, is a transmission that has been around for decades but has recently been making a comeback with modern versions being offered in recent models. At U.S. Auto Sales, we will help you determine if a CVT is right for you by detailing how this transmission works and the benefits you can expect.

[ READ MORE: Differences Between Manual and Automatic Transmissions ]

Close up of a CVT transmission knob inside a vehicle

Advantages of Driving a Vehicle with CVT

Unlike automatic and manual transmissions, the CVT is completely gearless. Instead, CVTs use cone-shaped pulleys and are connected by a steel or composite belt. Depending on what the vehicle requires at a given moment, these pulleys adjusts their diameters to change its “gear” ratio.

Due to how the CVT is engineered, transitions between high ratios can feel seamless as there are no extra steps in between. The CVT is great at making the engine run at peak performance. As a result, the CVT is often found with vehicles that have a 4-cylinder engine or hybrid powertrain. Not only that, but the lack of gears means vehicles equipped with a CVT may even offer better fuel economy, helping drivers save gas and lowering emissions.

Manufacturers that Offer CVT

As CVTs gain popularity, more and more manufacturers are offering these transmissions for their vehicles. Nissan, Honda, Subaru, Toyota, and Mitsubishi have all embraced the benefits of CVTs and have incorporated the transmission in their modern models.

[ Shop for a Pre-Owned Vehicle with CVT ]

Wondering if the CVT is right for you? Looking for a vehicle that fits your needs and budget? Contact us at U.S. Auto Sales and we will be happy to help you find your match.