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Nissan Adds D-Step Shift Logic to 2015 Models with CVT

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D-Step Shift Logic

2015 Nissan Versa sedan

There are certain truths that are understood when it comes to Continuously Variable Transmissions. They are extremely fuel efficient and they’re great for climbing hills, but they feel unresponsive and they sound rather unpleasant. Nissan is looking to appease those who want CVT efficiency without the shiftless feeling by introducing D-Step Shift Logic to the 2015 Versa, Versa Note, Sentra, Altima V6, Pathfinder, and Quest.

D-Step Shift Logic is a software update that will give drivers the feeling that their vehicle is shifting gears like a regular automatic transmission. Once the vehicle reaches 4,000 RPMs, the software will manipulate the Xtronic CVT to fabricate a drop in driving force and follow it up with a jump ahead, creating a sensation similar to that of shifting gears.

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None of this will impact the fuel economy promoted by CVTs, nor will it improve the actual performance, but it will address what seems to be a surprising amount of concern about whether Xtronic CVTs are defective or not.

According to John Curl, Nissan North America regional product manager, many owners are led to believe that their transmissions are malfunctioning by the lack of discernible change in gears. D-Step Shift Logic should serve to allay those fears by giving drivers a more traditional driving experience.

The software update will only be available for new Nissan vehicles and is not backwards compatible, so to speak. As such, if you’ve got a 2014 Nissan with a CVT, you’re shift out of luck. Yeah, you’re welcome for that good little piece of business.

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Source: Automotive News (subscription required)

  • I own a ’10 Altima. I am not bothered that the CVT doesn’t shift. What DOES bother me is when it hesitates, or hiccups – which happens from time to time. This is disconcerting because in the past, I’ve had automatic (not CVT) trannies do this when they’re low on fluid, or about to fail. Nissan officially considers these hiccups an “artifact” of CVTs that just happen, and don’t need repair. That’s fine, and it’s great that their CVTs are now warrantied for 10 years/120 K, but if they want satisfied customers, then need to address the problem.

    I also own a Prius, by the way, and the CVT in that car has never faltered. Not once.

    • Nichole Burlingame

      Maybe it’s just the Altimas that are having this problem.

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