Most people tend to look at automatic transmission and continuously variable transmission (CVT) as interchangeable terms. While these transmissions are generally part of the automatic gearbox and offer the same level of driving comfort and convenience, they differ very much in mechanism and performance.
To get an in-depth familiarity regarding the advantages of CVT, Toyota Motor Philippines shares its CVT technology through the 2019 Vios XE – the entry-level CVT variant in the range. Like the regular AT, CVT uses a computer to automatically shift the gear based on the driver’s input. However, the difference lies on the inside, the physical components that does the actual work. AT uses gears and cogs to change from one gear to the other; CVT does that using a belt and a pulley.
So, how does this belt-and-pulley system work? Though it might appear a bit too technical, the idea of CVT is actually simple. The belt is attached to two pulleys, which are moving, unlike the regular fixed mechanical pulley. The drive pulley has the ability to contract and release, which adjusts the belt gradually for seamless shifting. As a result, there are no observable shift shock and transmission noise during operation.
CVT also edges out AT when it comes to fuel economy. That’s because CVT keeps the engine in its most efficient range far better than AT. It also is more forgiving to human errors, as it automatically adjusts to inconsistent foot pressures given on the pedal. At the same time, it reduces the car’s jerkiness through continuous altering gear ratios.
Meanwhile, for more experienced drivers, Toyota slips in added features to select Vios CVT variants, such as Sequential Shift Mode and Paddle Shifters to offer a chance to experience the sporty feel of manual changing gears. These bonus features, along with the choice of driving in Eco or Sport via the brand’s Drive Mode Select are what makes the Vios range a model of pure driving pleasure. As of the moment, there are five variants of the 2019 Vios equipped with a CVT, that's a third of the whole variant range which totals to nine.
The base CVT variant XE has a price tag of P735,000, the best value CVT in the range. It comes in Thermalyte, Red Mica Metallic, Freedom White, and Alumina Jade Metallic.
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