Who Makes the CVT Transmission for the Subaru 2012 Outback? Everything You Need to Know About This Game-Changing Technology

If you’re interested in the Subaru 2012 Outback, you’ve probably heard of its unique transmission system. Unlike traditional automatic transmissions, this car uses a continuously variable transmission (CVT) that provides a smoother, more efficient ride. But who makes the CVT transmission for the Subaru Outback, and what exactly makes it so different? In this article, we’ll explore the history of Subaru’s use of CVT transmissions, the benefits and drawbacks of this transmission type, and the specific details of the Subaru 2012 Outback’s transmission system.

The CVT Transmission: What Is It and How Does It Work?

Before diving into the specifics of the Subaru Outback’s transmission, it’s important to understand what exactly a CVT transmission is and how it differs from a traditional automatic transmission.

In a traditional automatic transmission, the vehicle changes gears by using a series of gears and clutches. These gears are pre-set to certain ratios, which means that the car must switch between gears as it speeds up or slows down. This can lead to a clunky, jerky ride, as the car lurches forward or backward each time it changes gears.

A CVT transmission, on the other hand, uses a belt and pulley system instead of gears. This allows the transmission to make an infinite number of gear ratios, so the car can accelerate smoothly and without interruption. Additionally, because there aren’t any fixed gears to switch between, the CVT transmission can keep the car at an optimal RPM (revolutions per minute) for fuel efficiency.

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The Pros and Cons of CVT Transmissions

While a CVT transmission offers a number of benefits, there are some downsides to this technology as well. Here are a few of the key pros and cons:


  • Smoother acceleration: Because the car can shift between an infinite number of gears, the ride is much smoother and more even.
  • Better fuel efficiency: The CVT transmission can keep the car at a constant RPM, which means it uses less fuel.
  • Lower emissions: Since the car isn’t constantly shifting gears, it produces fewer emissions.


  • Less responsive acceleration: Some drivers find that the CVT transmission can make the car feel less responsive, particularly if they’re used to driving a car with a traditional automatic transmission.
  • Higher cost: CVT transmissions are often more expensive than traditional automatic transmissions.
  • Maintenance concerns: Because the CVT transmission is a newer technology, some drivers worry about potential maintenance issues or difficulty finding a qualified mechanic.

Subaru’s Use of CVT Transmissions

Subaru first began using CVT transmissions in its vehicles in 1987. However, these early transmissions weren’t as reliable as the company had hoped, and they were quickly phased out. It wasn’t until 2010 that Subaru began using CVT transmissions again, this time in the Legacy and Outback models.

Subaru’s use of CVT transmissions has been largely driven by the company’s commitment to efficiency and sustainability. By using a CVT transmission, Subaru is able to achieve better fuel economy, reduce emissions, and provide a smoother ride for drivers.

Who Makes the CVT Transmission for the Subaru 2012 Outback?

The CVT transmission in the Subaru 2012 Outback is made by JATCO, a subsidiary of Nissan that specializes in automatic transmissions. JATCO produces CVT transmissions for a number of different automakers, including Nissan, Mitsubishi, and Suzuki, as well as Subaru.

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The CVT transmission used in the Subaru 2012 Outback is specifically designed for Subaru’s unique all-wheel-drive system. It provides the vehicle with smooth and reliable power, even in tough driving conditions. Additionally, because the CVT transmission can keep the car at a constant RPM, it provides better fuel economy than a traditional automatic transmission would.


If you’re in the market for a new car, the Subaru 2012 Outback’s CVT transmission is certainly worth considering. With a smoother ride, better fuel economy, and lower emissions, it’s a great choice for drivers who prioritize efficiency and sustainability. And thanks to JATCO’s high-quality construction, you can be confident that your transmission will provide reliable service for years to come.


Q: Is the CVT transmission in the Subaru 2012 Outback reliable?
A: Yes, the CVT transmission in the Subaru 2012 Outback is reliable. JATCO, the manufacturer of the transmission, has a long history of producing high-quality transmissions for a variety of automakers.

Q: What is the main advantage of a CVT transmission?
A: The main advantage of a CVT transmission is that it provides a smoother, more even ride than a traditional automatic transmission. Additionally, it can help improve fuel economy and reduce emissions.

Q: Can the CVT transmission in the Subaru 2012 Outback handle tough driving conditions?
A: Yes, the CVT transmission in the Subaru 2012 Outback is specifically designed to handle tough driving conditions. When combined with the vehicle’s all-wheel-drive system, it provides reliable power in a wide range of conditions.

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Billy Covington

With a passion for all things automotive, Billy is our go-to expert on Subaru performance upgrades and modifications. He's been featured in several car magazines and blogs, and his extensive knowledge and expertise make him a valuable member of our team. When he's not working on cars, he enjoys playing guitar and writing music.

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