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What is a CVT Transmission?

Transmission Cross Section Close-Up

When you take a closer look at the specs of your next luxury vehicle, you’ll notice that many offer the support of a CVT transmission on Delray Beach roads. A CVT is not found in every lineup and tends to be available in more fuel-efficient and compact models, as opposed to sportier options. To help you get more familiar with this distinct performance option, the service experts at Lexus of Palm Beach are here to break down CVT transmission pros and cons, as well as CVT vs. automatic transmissions.

What is CVT?

So, what is a CVT transmission? CVT stands for “continuously variable transmission,” but it also may be referred to as a shiftless transmission, a step-less transmission, or a pulley transmission. While many regular transmissions come with fixed gear-ratios, a CVT uses two pulleys and an interceding chain or belt that automatically moves higher or lower depending on your speed for a seamless performance. These exchange power more efficiently between your engine and transmission. Since a CVT transmission can do this instantaneously, there’s no need to manually change gears using a shift knob or shift paddles.

CVT vs. Automatic Transmission

With all that in mind, how do CVTs compare to automatic transmissions? If you have an automatic transmission, your vehicle will use more power when switching gears, while a CVT is ideal if you’re looking to save more on fuel. As mentioned before, many automatic transmissions come with fixed gear-ratios, while a CVT offers unlimited options to get the correct performance you need. Another major difference is that CVTs have a much more simple design with fewer parts to maintain.

Pros and Cons of a CVT Transmission

Weighing the pros and cons of CVT transmissions will help you determine if this option will deliver the performance and capabilities you’re looking for on Delray Beach roads. Let’s take a look:


  • CVTs offer more fuel savings
  • They are simple in design and more lightweight
  • They are found in more affordable configurations
  • CVTs deliver more flexibility with limitless gear options


  • They are not suitable for muscle or performance cars
  • CVT transmissions can feel different from standard options
  • CVT transmissions require more service upkeep and maintenance

Learn More About Your Lexus at Lexus of Palm Beach

Now that you know more about how CVTs work, you can determine the right transmission for your next West Palm Beach ride. Find your next luxury vehicle at Lexus of Palm Beach with our wide selection of new vehicle specials, or check out more helpful features to learn about your favorite lineups. You can even turn to our service experts for all your maintenance needs. Contact us for more information on how CVT transmissions work, or schedule an appointment at our dealership in West Palm Beach! When you’re driving around town and your “Maintenance Required” light illuminates, what does that mean for your Lexus? Visit our service experts for more information today.

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Lexus of Palm Beach 26.7082964, -80.1578433.