Road noise

How do Subarus compare in road noise to other car models of similar size and class? I am driving an older Accord that I like in most respects but
in road noise.
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On 5/13/2018 8:41 PM, cameo wrote:

Very difficult to answer unless someone has managed to ride in scores of different vehicles, preferably carrying a sound meter. I'm sure even among Subaru models there will variations. From my own experience my 2018 Outback 3.6R Touring is admirably quiet. Subaru has been making incremental improvements in sound control over the last decade with more sound absorbent materials, better seals, better aerodynamic, and thicker glass. There are any number of articles searchable online about noise and various Subaru vehicles of various ages. Why not just go and take a test drive to see what _you_ think?
https://www.edmunds.com/subaru/outback/2018/consumer-reviews/review-1220676397722738688/
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John McGaw wrote:

Test drives are often too short and don't encounter all the roads you will drive upon. With a totally new vehicle, you may not recognize some sounds that will pester you later, like how much wind noise the door mirrors generate at highway speeds after driving for 10 minutes, or more, so you can tell from where the noise originates.
Rather than a test drive, ask if you can "rent" the car for week. We've done that with Subaru dealers. They'll take down all the same info as a rental agency; however, we didn't have to put anything down. Test drives lasting only maybe an hour don't show as much interest as does renting or getting a loaner for a week. They know you're interested in their brand and perhaps a model, or two. We didn't use the car for driving to and from work but just during the mid-days or evenings to run errands. We would make up errands to drive it twice per day, plus we wanted to be driving outside of rush hour so we could focus on the car rather than on the traffic. We would change up who would drive and who would be the passenger (in the front and rear seats).
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On 5/13/18 8:41 PM, cameo wrote:

I had an '07 six-cylinder Accord. Engine and tire noise was minimal but wind noise at highway speed was disappointing- and about the only thing I disliked about the car. I recall Consumer Reports dinged them for that too.
My wife has a '17 Forester that's pretty quiet for an SUV. She's very happy with it.
But I don't like driving a CVT which knocked Subaru off the prospect list for my new ride. The CVT is becoming much more prevalent among many manufacturers. I'm thinking I may end up needing to back to a stick shift;-)
--
The fastest way to stop a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.

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What don't you like about CVTs?
Patty
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On 5/14/2018 2:14 PM, Patty Winter wrote:

I like my CVT and my Forester gets much better mileage and I need less braking. Mags like "Car and Driver" don't like it perhaps because it is not made for speed demons.
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On 2018-05-14 2:14 PM, Patty Winter wrote:

I had a Ford Escape as a rental last fall. Hated the CVT. Reminded me a bit of an elastic band when you started from a stop. The engine would begin to rev and after a bit the car would start to move.
Once you were rolling, I had nothing bad to say about the CVT. But I hated it around town with all the stop and go.
I seem to recall that Subaru got good marks for their implementation of the CVT, so perhaps I'd feel more charitable towards one of their cars with that transmission. The old Imprezza just keeps trucking on, so unless I get a Subie as a rental, I'm not likely to try one out for a while yet.
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On 5/14/2018 2:55 PM, Darryl Johnson wrote:

I, too, was concerned about the 'rubber band' effect before I bought my Outback. I can say that, if I didn't know it was a CVT then I would have never guessed.
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On 5/14/2018 4:41 PM, John McGaw wrote:

Mentioned that my brother bought same Forester as mine. I asked him how he liked the CVT and he did not know what I was talking about. He had worked for Chevy dealers all his life in service and sales and should know cars but this got by him, so I assume he had noticed no difference from the Outback he had traded for it.
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Darryl Johnson wrote:

You sure you were not driving in the stop-start driving mode? When the car stops (zero or very low RPM, your foot on the brake, no wheel rotation), the engine is turned off. Yep, that's right, I'm not making this up -- the engine goes OFF at a stop. If you idle long enough at the stop, the engine periodically comes back on to recharge the battery and then the engine goes off again. At really long red lights, the engine might restart several times to prevent the battery from getting too weak. When you release the brake and start to accelerate from a stop, there is a lag until the engine restarts before you'll have power to move. Your foot comes off the brake pedal, the transmission gets re-engaged, and the engine has to rev up.
Some cities now mandate this driving mode to reduce pollution. Great for mileage but not for responsiveness from a stop and I'm not sure that all that stopping and starting of the engine has no additional wear on the engine. How can a starter used twice a day, on average, (start at home to go to work, start at work to go home) not wear and break faster when it has to also restart the car after every red light going green?
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Start-stop_system https://www.nytimes.com/2016/04/08/automobiles/wheels/start-stop-technology-is-coming-to-cars-like-it-or-not.html
I also got a Ford Escape on my last vacation. Because I was not used to the stop-start mode, I disliked the behavior. Of course, with rentals there are no owner manuals. I had to do some web hunting to find the button that disabled the feature so the engine stayed on at stops. On vacation, I'm not trying to save on the cost of fuel; however, if it were my daily commuter car, yeah, then I'd probably like the fuel savings but the much higher starter wear could mean a shorter interval to replace it.
What you describe for behavior when resuming from a stop sounds more like the stop-start scheme than anything to do with the CVT.
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Interesting. I hadn't heard of this technology. I just found this article from AutoWeek:
http://autoweek.com/article/technology/what-auto-stop-start-autoweek-explains
It says that the starter and engine components are being re-engineered to survive the additional startups. Sounds annoying, though.
Patty
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On 2018-05-18 1:17 AM, Patty Winter wrote:

My BMW has an option to permanently disable the start/stop function. I generally have it turned off, as it gets annoying in circumstances such as trying to make a left turn at lights, where you want to be able to move ahead as soon as there is a break in oncoming traffic which may be only a few seconds or when you arrive at a red light that turns green a few seconds later.
My Audi does not allow for turning the function off permanently, but there is a button that turns it off. Unfortunately, the system resets every time the car is started, so disabling the start/stop function has become part of my start routine, like fastening my seatbelt.
And, to your last point: yes, the battery and starting system have been significantly upgraded to withstand the more frequent use.
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On 2018-05-18 12:39 AM, VanguardLH wrote:

I have had the start/stop feature on BMWs and Audis, so I know whereof you speak. The Escape I was given did not have this feature. Perhaps you were given a more upscale model, or a newer model that had the start/stop option.
I refer only to the fact that when I wanted to leave a stop, the engine would rev and the car began to move, but much more slowly than the engine revs would indicate. As if there was a rubber band that took some time to wind up before it delivered full power to the wheels.
As I said in my original post on this topic: I have heard that Subaru does have one of the better implementations of the CVT, including having a pseudo manual shifting mode, and I am quite willing to believe that this "rubber band" effect is not present on their vehicles.
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Darryl Johnson wrote:

The CVTs in Nissans have had a long history of complaints. http://www.nissanproblems.com/trends/cvt/
This one notes the rubber band effect: http://www.autoguide.com/auto-news/2018/01/are-cvt-transmissions-reliable-.html
And these folks discuss it: https://www.quora.com/How-can-we-reduce-or-eliminate-the-rubber-band-effect-of-a-CVT-continuously-variable-transmission Their cure is the age-old "step off the line" with higher RPMs: hold the brake and rev the engine before taking off (usually in preparation for a fast start from a red light). Seems like changing the tranny oil helps.
I have a 2018 Subaru Outback with a CVT. I haven't noticed the rubber band effect. To be fair, I don't often drive that car. However, the whole feel is different than I'm used to in my daily commuter car (2002 Subaru Legacy wagon with standard automatic tranny). Since neither is a muscle car, I don't drive them that way. Nevertheless, the 2018 Subie with its CVT seems more than sufficient when I stopped at a right-turn entrance to a highway to let me get into traffic. I like it better than my old 2002 but then I'm going to beat up and risk my oldie in rush-hour traffic than my new baby.
If you're looking at off-the-line fast starts, quick 0-60 acceleration with not hesitation, or otherwise gulping down the gas, and you must have an automatic instead of a manual, maybe get a car with a DCT: 2 clutches, one for odd gears, one for even gears, for smooth acceleration (no manual jerking) since there is no interruption of torque to the wheels. Just don't use that car for commuting in the city or stalled in rush-hour highway driving that moves slower than the frontage road. It's your play car.
You might find this humorous:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4OSDw-uyP98

One advantage of manuals is more torque can be delivered from engine to wheels. All automatics have limits of the input torque they can handle after which they will slip and get damaged. Manuals have a direct gear-to-gear linkage. There is no direct linkage in automatics of any kind. It's possible to damage an automatic, any type, if the input side has more torque than the automatic can handle.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v
PZ9tmQmZQ
If you want to see inside Subaru's CVT:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v4hS9691L04

I've noticed drivers used to old or standard automatics don't like the CVT will rev up and maintain an RPM as the car is accelerating. They're used to the RPMs revving up, hitting a peak, there's a jolt to shift gears, and RPMs start lower and rise again to the next shift point. They're used to hearing the RPMs rev up as they accelerate, not the revs go up immediately and then hang there throughout the acceleration. Instead of feeling the revs and watching the RPM gauge, they should just watch the speedometer to see the rate the car is accelerating. Forget what you're used to sensing through your butt for its trained memory on sensing how the standard automatics worked.
One thing about Subaru is that they will deny problems despite mountains of evidence. Instead of putting in the sportier gasket that has ribs to fit inside grooves in the engine block, they denied the problem until forced and their solution was to use an engine leak in their "special" coolant to plug the holes. I had to do that on my 2002 Subie Legacy. Once the oil is noticed on the block, you need to get the gasket replaced before coolant gets inside to ruin the pistons and cylinders. Rather than retool their assembly line to use the better gasket, they hid the truth and then went to a stopleak solution (rolls eyes). Subaru is not immune to the antics evidenced by every auto maker to cover their mistakes. While I like Subies, I didn't want to present a blind fantasy view that they do no evil.
https://www.forbes.com/sites/jensen/2017/07/07/facing-complaints-subaru-offers-extended-warranties-on-1-5-million-vehicles/#12bbd08279dc
Also see:
http://www.subarucomplaints.com/trends/cvt/
If the CVT stalling were admitted, the feds would force a recall and repair of ALL models. By Subaru extending the warranty, they avoided the high cost of the recall to repair all vehicles to only those where the customers complained about a problem. In this case, being proactive (recall repairs on all) would be far more expensive the being reactive (warranty repairs on few). Subaru getting tricky again. From that article, looks like I need to make sure to do the maintainence (fluid change) on the CVT since I'm in the highest "pain rank". Luckily that car is the one that gets the least mileage. CVTs require due deligence on maintanence.
Now go do the same level of research on CVTs in other brands and you'll find problems there, too. Nothing is perfect.
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On Friday, May 18, 2018 at 11:16:52 AM UTC-7, VanguardLH wrote:

Ahh MRT Performance, great video!
I've heard a long time ago that the six cylinder Subarus have a strengthened CVT that can handle the big torque of the 3.6 liter engine.

I own two Subarus- live in a location were they are very popular (Sierra Nevada) and had some friends ask me if Subarus are reliable and should they buy one. I try to explain that "yes" they are very reliable, in a sense that nothing breaks because of poor quality, poor workmanship. Quality-wise components are on par with Toyota, Honda, Nissan but some specific areas have under-engineering issues,
...are prone to give trouble or fail such as wheel bearings, gaskets on old 2.5 EJ engines, piston rings on high powered turbo cars. These problematic areas can give trouble and frequently do, but overall Subaru's are very and good quality-wise.
A lot of failures are related to modifications made by owners or abuse. Subarus particularly WRX'es are very frequently modified and abuses by their enthusiast owners.
Very frequently Subarus encounter severe service, such as high speed mountainous driving, and that can also take a toll on the drivetrain. I've personally replaced wheel bearings on my Impreza six times in 18 years, but it is not Subarus fault but normal wear given my driving style. I drive fast on curvy mountainous roads. To stay within speed limits, avoid speeding tickets I tend to accelerate, try to maintain high speed on steep inclines, that puts a lot of stress on drivetrain.
If I where to buy a CVT I am sure I would encounter some problems. My regular Auto with is equipped with an oversized transmission cooler, has cooling fins put on trannsmission fitler and so it has been coping splendidly with my demands. Has more that 125k miles of tortuous driving. Speaks very well of Subaru quality.
Basia
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On 5/18/2018 1:27 PM, snipped-for-privacy@sbcglobal.net wrote:

Why can't Subarus make the wheel bearings the way Honda does. My '94 Accord never needed bearing change.
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On Friday, May 18, 2018 at 4:13:05 PM UTC-7, cameo wrote:

I don't know.
Maybe four wheel drive puts some additional stress on bearings and that is why they tend not to last in Subaru's. I can't see how that could be but I am not a mechanic.
When I first test drove a Subaru I noticed a very slight, almost imperceivable jerkiness on road imperfections. Did not even realize at first what it was, only later. It is known to be related to four wheel drive, more specifically to how shifts in torque occur between front and rear axles (in cars that have the variable torque distribition feature with automatic transmissions. Manual tranny's are 50/50 front/rear fixed, i believe).
I suspect this may have something to do with wheel bearing wear, but honestly don't know.
I've just become resigned to this issue, and treat it as normal wear given my higher speed, up/down mountainous, heavy cornering driving. There's plenty of minor road imperfections where I drive too.
Basia
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Back in 1994 when I got my first Subaru, I spent a couple of weeks in Truckee. Even back then, when Subies weren't nearly as popular in the U.S. as they are now, the Safeway parking lot in Truckee looked like a Subaru dealership. :-)
Patty
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On Friday, May 18, 2018 at 4:59:49 PM UTC-7, Patty Winter wrote:

:))) Yes you remember corectly. Back in 1989 when I first visited the area it was Jeeps, AMC Eagles, and Subaru's. There weren't any other 4 wheel drive offerings. Ford Bronco with optional 4 wheel drive, I think, something from GMC (?) I forget. SUV's were almost non-existent then.
Haven't seen many Suzuki Samurai's. It was very popular in Arizona at the time.
Basia

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Every so often, my 2013 Outback seems a big sluggish coming out of a stop. I'll pay more attention and try to determine under what conditions that happens.

Hah, that guy is funny.
For those who just want the CVT part, it starts here:

https://youtu.be/4OSDw-uyP98?t

https://youtu.be/4OSDw-uyP98?t
m32s
Patty
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