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CVT vs 8 Speed Tiptronic: How do they compare?

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CVT vs 8 Speed Tiptronic: How do they compare?

Old 03-27-2011, 09:27 AM
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I went out yesterday and test drove two 2011 A4s, one with the 8 speed Tiptronic and the other the CVT, to see for myself.

I came away clearly liking the Tiptronic more. The CVT isn't bad by any means and for most people, it just fine...I'm just obsessive about details and I could feel the difference.

First off, the CVT, being FWD, had massive amount of torque steer in my opinion. Now sure you don't hammer it every time you drive it, or even 90% of the time, but when you do, it's nice not to have the steering wheel try to pull in one direction or the other.

Going along with that, the Tiptronic felt noticeably faster both off the line and on surface streets and highway. Off the line, when you take your foot off the brake on the CVT, there is just the slightest delay before the transmission engages and while driving, there is a slight delay from when pressing the gas to when the car actually responds. Driving it without comparing back to back with the Tiptronic, it may not even be all that noticeable, but when comparing back to back, it's definitely there.

Last, the CVT made the car feel slightly more rough in my opinion. You could feel the engine vibration through the gas peddle whereas the Tiptronic did not have that. Also while on the highway, if you blipped the throttle on the CVT and released immediately, the car would sort of shutter.

The worst part of the day was that I drove my "dream car"...a 2011 Ibis White, black interior w/ aluminum inserts, Premium Plus with Navigation and the 8 speed Tiptronic but unfortunately it's just out of my price range at ~$40,000. I need to be more in the $32,000 range and with the features I want (Navigation is a must) I need to be looking at the 2009 model with the 6 speed Tiptronic...which I'll make another post asking about.
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Old 03-28-2011, 10:07 AM
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So get this...

After all that fuss I made about the two, it turns out the A4 loaner that I drove, and absolutely loved, was the CVT!
I was convinced that it was the 8 speed tiptronic because it had the paddle shifters and I was able to shift all the way to "gear" #8 but the CVT has 8 "virtual" gears. I was very happy when I drove that around so there really is no need for me to pay extra for the Tiptronic, even though after driving the Tip it was itself better, but the CVT is definitely more than good enough.
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