Which type of automatic transmission is best?

Answered by Jeremy Urbaniak

In my personal experience, I have found that a CVT (Continuously Variable Transmission) is one of the best types of automatic transmissions, especially for driving in the city. The reason for this is that a CVT has an infinite number of gear ratios, which allows the transmission control unit (TCU) to keep the engine in its optimal operating range, or “sweet spot,” at all times.

This constant optimization of the engine’s RPM (revolutions per minute) ensures that the engine is always operating at its most efficient level, improving fuel economy. As a result, a CVT-equipped vehicle tends to be more fuel-efficient in city driving conditions compared to vehicles with traditional automatic transmissions.

Another advantage of a CVT is its smoothness. Since there are no physical gears to shift, the transitions between gear ratios are seamless. This results in a smoother driving experience, especially during acceleration and deceleration. The absence of gear shifts also reduces the jerking or lurching sensation often associated with traditional automatic transmissions.

Moreover, a CVT allows for a more responsive and precise control of power delivery. With an infinite number of gear ratios, the TCU can adjust the transmission’s output to match the driver’s input more accurately. This can enhance the overall performance and drivability of the vehicle, particularly in stop-and-go traffic situations commonly encountered in city driving.

While there are other types of automatic transmissions available, such as traditional torque converter automatics or dual-clutch transmissions, I find that a CVT offers a compelling combination of efficiency, smoothness, and responsiveness. However, it is worth noting that some drivers may prefer the familiar feel of traditional automatic transmissions or the sportier characteristics of dual-clutch transmissions.

A CVT transmission stands out as one of the best options for city driving due to its efficient and smooth operation. The ability to keep the engine in its optimal range and the absence of physical gear shifts contribute to improved fuel economy and a more comfortable driving experience. While personal preferences may vary, a CVT transmission offers a compelling choice for those seeking a hassle-free and efficient urban driving experience.