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Old 29th March 2020, 16:53   #1
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Default Is a Petrol CVT suitable for driving on steep hills?

Hi All,

First of all thank you to Team-BHP for accepting me as a member of our great community!

This is my first post and wanted some guidance on buying Seltos IVT Petrol.
This CSUV or cross-over (whatever is the best description) meets all my budget and travel requirements (mostly city) and would be a good match for my next upgrade.

I just have one doubt though, can it climb steep hills like Shimla, Rishikesh etc. for some weekend trips with 5 family members and luggage?
I mean can CVT\IVT chain\belt provide enough torque without belt-slip or wheel-spin over the years?
Or is it prone to this flaw sooner or later due to Physics involved ?

My current car is Hyundai Accent 2010 Petrol and I did not find it to be good on mountains. Specially after stopping due to oncoming traffic and then trying to go up again (lack of torque mainly and wheel-spin if I use high RPM)

Thanks,
MaanSingh
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Old 29th March 2020, 17:43   #2
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Default re: Is a Petrol CVT suitable for driving on steep hills?

Recently spoke to the owner of a Seltos IVT, a coffee estate/homestay guy who had recently purchased his car to be used in the hilly regions of Coorg. He was NOT happy with his purchase decision - CVT by nature tends to just over-revv and under perform in heavy inclines.

In the Seltos range - 1.5 Diesel + 6-speed torque converter should be your pick IMHO.
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Old 29th March 2020, 18:04   #3
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Default re: Is a Petrol CVT suitable for driving on steep hills?

I considered Diesel - 6 Speed AT also, but don't like some of it's components

Will need to do following modifications I guess:
1. Leather Seat Covers
2. Better looking and bigger alloys
3. Front grille - something like Jeep Compass or HTX model grill if\when it becomes available.

Things that I won't be there in HTK+, but won't actually miss that much are:
1. UVO
2. LED Headlights
3. Filter
4. Perfume
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Old 29th March 2020, 18:36   #4
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Default re: Is a Petrol CVT suitable for driving on steep hills?

Quote:
Originally Posted by MaanSingh View Post
I just have one doubt though, can it climb steep hills like Shimla, Rishikesh etc. for some weekend trips with 5 family members and luggage?
Hello Singh saab, welcome on board. I have no experience of the Seltos or Hyundai CVT cars; but can share my experience of driving a Honda City CVT all the way from Gurgaon to Gangotri, with 4 adults, one kid and a LOT of luggage in the boot.

Highway drives: Normally with the light foot, the CVT maintains the engine revs around 1500 to 2000 rpm, at times till 2500 when you go past 100 kph with a moderate foot. Same should be Seltos on the highways or maybe 200 or 300 rpm more, due to added weight/load of the car

Uphill drives: Still your CVT maintains around 2000 rpm till 30-40 kph and goes till 2500 if you hit say 60 kph. Engine gets a bit audible, because in manual car; you still manage to keep it around 2000-2500 rpm only and it takes all the inclines with an aplomb. (Note: I am talking of only petrol cars)

Uphill Stop-Go: Absolutely no problem at all, while it starts uphill, the revs just shoot till around 2000 rpm once and then settle down around 1800, while the speed keeps on building. If you use heavy foot, then it revvs till around 3000, but the car picks up at a very rapid pace even for uphill drive.

So, I would say that you can go with the CVT with full confidence, it won't let you down anywhere, in fact can easily take you to likes of Kaza etc without a single hiccup under full load. The CVT is designed to work this way and you need not be concerned about the longevity of the gearbox, they are second most reliable gearbox units I know after the torque converters. But yes, it can't give you the pull/torque delivery of a torque converter either.

Another Option: Get Ecosport Auto, better power, better handling, lower price, 6 airbags, ABS, ESP, TCS, Sunroof etc all, and a really good 6 speed torque converter auto box.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CrAzY dRiVeR View Post
CVT by nature tends to just over-revv and under perform in heavy inclines.
This is going to happen for sure, I saw the same in City CVT too. Hitting 2500-3000 rpm time and again, especially when you move uphill at a slower pace and have to accelerate, or simply stop go situations.

Last edited by VKumar : 29th March 2020 at 18:43.
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Old 29th March 2020, 19:12   #5
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Default re: Is a Petrol CVT suitable for driving on steep hills?

I am not too concerned about high revs or it's noise on uphills. Little bit of under-performance or low speeds do not bother me either as weekend trips will be for recreational purpose only. Main concern is it should not stall or roll-back on hills as that will be a saftey concern.

I work from home and will be driving in city mostly (90% of the times) so usage will be around 5 to 7 thousand KMs per year only
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Old 29th March 2020, 21:05   #6
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Default re: Is a Petrol CVT suitable for driving on steep hills?

I do not have much experience but let me chime in with my experience. I have recently acquired a 2013 Toyota Corolla CVT and i have no issues climbing up short hills/inclines even with 5 passengers and luggage. On highways the CVT ensures the engine is running at low RPM's. At 100 kmph the RPM is lower than 2K.
I guess the size of the engine matters, a 1.2L engine mated to a CVT will not be fun on the hills but a any engine upwards with 1.5 should not be a cause of concern.
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Old 29th March 2020, 21:13   #7
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Default re: Is a Petrol CVT suitable for driving on steep hills?

Quote:
Originally Posted by MaanSingh View Post
should not stall or roll-back on hills as that will be a saftey concern.
Not at all man, that's never going to happen. You can get the car with your eyes closed.
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Old 29th March 2020, 23:14   #8
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Default re: Is a Petrol CVT suitable for driving on steep hills?

Thanks for explaining VKumar !

My travel requirements will be very similar to your example: 4 Adults + 1 kid

I read somewhere that CVT\IVT calculates and runs with most optimal RPM and Torque ratios.
Does that mean same petrol engine in CVT avatar could perform better than Manual - for starting on steep inclines with heavy load?
This is the only scenario where I found my Accent Petrol 1.6 Manual to be not upto the mark.
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Old 30th March 2020, 00:46   #9
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Default re: Is a Petrol CVT suitable for driving on steep hills?

Hiren, is your Corolla CVT Diesel or Petrol ?
That would make a lot of difference.

Last edited by Eddy : 30th March 2020 at 01:00. Reason: Pls use the report post functionality for such requests
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Old 30th March 2020, 02:39   #10
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Default re: Is a Petrol CVT suitable for driving on steep hills?

Hi MaanSingh,
If I were you, I'd buy the current gen Creta AT or a Ford Ecosport or Diesel Seltos over the 1.5 CVT of the Kia. CVT boxes aren't exactly the best choice in stop and go hilly traffic because they really need to be revved more than other gearboxes on inclines.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MaanSingh View Post
Main concern is it should not stall or roll-back on hills as that will be a safety concern.
There might be minimal rollback in rare situations. Have experienced them in extremely steep hills with rental Corollas in the USA. Fail-safe method is to use the handbrake in very steep inclines.
Quote:
Originally Posted by MaanSingh View Post
Hiren, is your Corolla CVT Diesel or Petrol ?
Toyota only sold a petrol Corolla AT.

Last edited by BlackPearl : 30th March 2020 at 14:38. Reason: Fixed quotes. Thanks.
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Old 30th March 2020, 06:10   #11
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Default re: Is a Petrol CVT suitable for driving on steep hills?

There should be absolutely no problem driving a CVT car up the hills. I have owned the Micra CVT and currently own the City CVT and both have performed without any problem with full load whatsoever. The Micra CVT has been driven with 4 adults and a kid and some luggage on relatively steep inclines for ex. on the way to Lavasa or Lions Point near Lonavala. If a 1.2 L engine can do it, higher capacity ones can too. We have a BHPian who has used the BRV CVT on mountain trips. It depends a bit on the manufacturer technology, it is perceived that Toyota/ Honda followed by Nissan have better CVT implementations than others.
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Old 30th March 2020, 07:08   #12
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Default re: Is a Petrol CVT suitable for driving on steep hills?

Go for the DCT. It has hill start assist and goes smoothly up. I have never been to a hill but a very tight steep round about parking where it performed well.

Last edited by BlackPearl : 30th March 2020 at 14:40. Reason: Minor typo. Thanks.
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Old 30th March 2020, 07:48   #13
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Default re: Is a Petrol CVT suitable for driving on steep hills?

Be sure to ensure that the car is equipped with hill-hold. I live in the hills and am used to heel and toe starts and handbrake starts uphill, however I now find automatics with hill hold very easy.
Automatics without hill hold will roll back on a steep slope.
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Old 30th March 2020, 08:27   #14
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Default re: Is a Petrol CVT suitable for driving on steep hills?

We did an elaborate Bhutan trip in an Altis automatic (CVT) and did climb some very steep hills (for a car) and was fully loaded all the time. The car performed well, though an immediate transition from driving a manual will feel weird, since the rpm and vehicle movement isn’t linear.
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Old 30th March 2020, 12:51   #15
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Default re: Is a Petrol CVT suitable for driving on steep hills?

I stay in Shimla and CVT is not at all recommended. I have driven an Outlander and City AT here and the City revs a lot and drinks a lot when going up a mountain at a slow-fast pace, which has to be done because of the turns. Outlander meanwhile was better with the revs being more controlled, but it still drinks a lot in the hills as compared to the plains. That powerful engine + CVT is better but still not as great as a Diesel TC or a Petrol / Diesel + DCT/DSG.

Thus, I suggest TC or DSG/DCT or else manual is best.

Last edited by GTO : 31st March 2020 at 09:46. Reason: Punctuation, typos
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