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Discussion Starter #1
(Didn’t want to post this question to the existing “Paddleshift and CVT Trans” thread; this is a different discussion.)

I have two questions: (1) What circumstances will cause the transmission to automatically return to the “D” position after the driver used the paddle shifters, and (2) how can the driver force the return to the “D” position as quickly and easily as possible after using the paddle shifters?

The following text is from the owner’s manual (7-25 & 7-26):

[For models with manual mode, if one of the shift paddles behind the steering wheel is operated while driving in the “D”position, the transmission will temporarily switch to the manual mode…. In this mode, you can shift into any gear position using the shift paddles…. Once the vehicle speed stabilizes, the transmission will switch from the manual mode back to the “D” position for normal driving.]

For question #1, this description in the owner’s manual is insufficient. For questions #2, it is not answered in the owner’s manual. I am looking for “inside information”, if someone knows how the computer makes the determination to return the car to “D” or someone who has got this all figured out.

Thanks in advance for your help.

David
 

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... transmission to automatically return to the “D”

I use the paddles to downshift - primarily for speed control going downhill if I'm honest about it. As long as I do not use the throttle or just barely/shortly use it the selected gear will hold. If I come to a stop or level out from my hill and then give some normal throttle the "D" reappears and the CVT is now doing it's own thing. Try it on your test drive if you're still shopping. You can also slide the floor lever to the left to go to manual mode while moving - no shift will occur at this point and your selected gear number is displayed on the dash. Then you work the paddles like you had a Ferrari supercar.

... return the car to “D” right now yourself
You've worked the paddles and have a gear selected and the lever is still in "D"? Slap the shift lever to the left (manual position) and right back again and you will have "D" displayed on the dash and the CVT is now doing it's own thing again. I do this rarely.

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All in all I'm very pleased with the Subaru CVT. My Mazda MX-5 6-speed auto works in much the same way and both the cars' computers seem to be in-tune with what I'm doing with the paddles. The Mazda has a floor shift lever option to work it like a manual also (forward for down-shift and back for up-shift like a 1-2 or 3-4 H pattern manual - unlike a lot of others it seemed when I was shopping) as well as the paddles. I do prefer that more than paddles alone. My Mercury Montego had only a "L" option to "D" for it's CVT and I found it lacking but I did get decent performance and mileage for a 2 ton + car.

The new automatic transmissions are really a joy to drive and I'm writing as someone who learned on a "stick" in 1964 with a Beetle and have had 7 manual transmission cars since then. The last stick shift was a Mazda Protege 5 that was nearly impossible to drive in slow traffic with its nasty drive-by-wire throttle fighting my right foot commands. My dear wife insisted that we get automatics starting after that and only with the more recent transmissions have I begun to accept them. My new car had to have a manually workable transmission if it was an auto. Impreza fit the bill.
 
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