2017 Subaru Outback

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While CVTs in general are not our transmissions of choice, when paired with the 3.6-liter, this one is bearable. Modest cruising speeds are obtainable with the tachometer never rising above 2500 rpm, minimizing NVH.With the throttle to the floor,this CVT mimics gearshifts like those in a regular automatic, keeping the rpm away from the redline—and from the steady scream such transmissions often produce.

We were impressed with the 28 mpg recorded on our 200-mile, 75-mph highway-cruise fuel-economy test, 1 mpg better than the EPA highway rating. We saw 21 mpg overall during the Outback’s stay, just 1 mpg worse than the EPA combined rating.


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