Unlocking the Secrets of Subaru Legacy Transmissions: A Comprehensive Guide

If you’re interested in Subaru Legacy, you must have heard a lot about the different types of transmissions available in the car. Transmission plays a significant role in the performance and efficiency of the vehicle, making it an essential aspect to consider when buying a car. This comprehensive guide will explore the different types of transmissions available in the Subaru Legacy and everything you need to know about them.

Overview of Subaru Legacy Transmissions

Subaru Legacy comes with three types of transmissions: manual transmission, automatic transmission, and continuously variable transmission (CVT). The manual transmission is a classic option that offers direct control and an engaging experience. The automatic transmission, on the other hand, is more user-friendly and convenient while still delivering a satisfying experience. The CVT is a technologically advanced option that offers a smooth ride and improved fuel efficiency.

Manual Transmission

The manual transmission is a five-speed gearbox that requires the driver to shift gears manually using a clutch pedal. This transmission provides direct control and a more engaging driving experience. The biggest advantage of a manual transmission is that it allows the driver to control the car’s power output and speed. This can be useful when driving on challenging terrain or when you need rapid acceleration. However, with a manual transmission, you sacrifice the convenience of an automatic, and it can be difficult and tiring to use in heavy traffic.

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Automatic Transmission

The automatic transmission is the most common type of transmission found in cars, offering ease of use and convenience. In the Subaru Legacy, the automatic transmission is a Lineartronic Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT), which provides a smoother, more continuous acceleration experience. The CVT provides an infinite number of gear ratios, making it ideal for drivers looking for a smooth ride with improved fuel efficiency. The CVT is also lighter and more compact than traditional transmissions, reducing the weight of the vehicle and improving fuel efficiency.

Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT)

CVT is a relatively new transmission technology that is aimed at improving fuel efficiency and reducing emissions. The CVT does not have gears, but instead, it uses a belt and pulley system to provide an infinite number of gear ratios. The CVT offers a smooth ride experience since the car’s acceleration is more continuous. With this transmission, the car adapts to your driving style and provides the most efficient power output. Although there are concerns about the durability of the CVT, Subaru has assured that its Lineartronic CVTs are continuously evolving for better performance and enhanced durability.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Different Transmission Types

Choosing a transmission type depends on your driving needs and preferences. Each transmission type has its advantages and disadvantages, including:

Advantages of manual transmission:

  • More engaging and direct driving experience
  • Better control over the car’s power output
  • Drivers feel more connected to the car

Disadvantages of manual transmission:

  • Can be tiring and difficult to use in heavy traffic
  • More challenging for new drivers
  • The clutch mechanism can wear out and need replacement
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Advantages of automatic transmission:

  • Easier and more convenient to use
  • Smooth and continuous ride experience
  • Less tiring for the driver in heavy traffic

Disadvantages of automatic transmission:

  • Less engaging driving experience
  • Less control over the car’s power output
  • Heavier and more complex than manual transmissions

Advantages of CVT:

  • Achieves better fuel efficiency and reduces emissions
  • Provides a more continuous and smoother acceleration experience
  • More compact and lighter than traditional transmissions

Disadvantages of CVT:

  • Drivers may not enjoy the smooth and less engaging driving experience
  • Durability issues may arise

Performance Capabilities of Different Transmission Types

Each transmission type offers different performance capabilities, with manual transmission offering greater control and acceleration, and CVT offering better fuel efficiency. The automatic transmission also delivers a smooth, continuous ride experience. When it comes to the Subaru Legacy, you can choose a transmission type that delivers the desired performance based on your driving needs and preferences.

Technological Advancements in Subaru Transmissions

Subaru has been making significant advancements in transmission technology to improve fuel efficiency and performance. The Lineartronic CVT is one such technological advancement in Subaru transmissions, which uses a chain belt instead of a push-belt, making it more durable and reliable. Subaru’s high-torque lineartronic CVT is also capable of handling more torque and power, making it suitable for high-performance vehicles.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between a manual and automatic transmission?

The manual transmission requires shifting gears manually using a clutch pedal, while the automatic transmission shifts gears automatically without requiring manual intervention.

Which is better- automatic or manual transmission?

The choice between automatic and manual transmission depends on personal preference and driving needs. The manual transmission provides greater control and a more engaging driving experience, while the automatic transmission delivers convenience and a smoother driving experience.

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What is a continuously variable transmission (CVT)?

A continuously variable transmission (CVT) is a type of transmission that provides an infinite number of gear ratios, allowing for smoother acceleration and better fuel efficiency.


Subaru Legacy provides drivers with three transmission options, manual, automatic, and CVT, each with unique advantages and disadvantages. The choice between these transmissions depends on personal driving needs and preference, but Subaru ensures each provides a smooth, effortless driving experience. Subaru continues to improve its transmission technology with new, innovative technology available, such as the Lineartronic CVT, ensuring customers receive an optimal driving experience. With the knowledge that comes with this guide, you can now make an informed decision about which transmission type is best for you when purchasing a Subaru Legacy.

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Alton Brobst

As a longtime Subaru enthusiast, Alton brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to our blog. From his early days of tinkering with engines to his current role as a certified Subaru technician, Alton has seen it all when it comes to Subarus. When he's not working on cars, he enjoys hiking and exploring the great outdoors.

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