Toyota Cvt Transmission

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Since CVT gearbox has virtually infinite ratios, in S mode, the ECM of the car adjusts the transmission to provide the best acceleration when the throttle is pressed hard. The car holds the gears longer than what it does in D position for more power. A variation of a standard automatic transmission, Toyota CVT transmissions employ an innovative design that really does not use standard gears. Rather than have specified gears like a standard six-speed automatic, a continuously variable transmission possesses what can best be described as a single and variable “universal” gear.

  1. Toyota Cvt Transmission Oil Change
  2. Toyota Cvt Transmission Recall
  3. Toyota Cvt Transmission Reliability
  4. Toyota Cvt Transmission Problems

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Toyota engineers have continually regarded the Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT) as a key weapon in their quest for maximum performance and fuel efficiency. Just what is a CVT, and does Toyota RAV4 series have this kind of transmission? We discuss this and much more in this detailed, well-researched post.

The Toyota RAV4 has a fuel-efficient CVT that’s a lot smoother than the typical manual or automatic transmission. Aside from the RAV4, here’s a list of other Toyota RAV4 with a standard/optional CVT transmission:

  • Toyota RAV4 LE Hybrid
  • Toyota RAV4 XLE Hybrid
  • Toyota RAV4 XSE Hybrid
  • Toyota RAV4 Limited Hybrid

By Tsukasa Azuma Last updated Mar 1, 2021 A CVT (continuously variable transmission) is a single-speed transmission that works like an automatic shifter for seamless shifting through a range of gear ratios, unlike other mechanical shifters that offer access to a fixed number of gear ratios. Anyone here have a corolla or other toyota car with CVT that has problems? Any high milage CVT owners on here? Like over 150k - 200k miles? Im just curious to see if the CVT transmission will last over 300k miles just like the automatic tranny. A standard Toyota Corolla four-speed automatic transmission possesses four gears that each correspond to a different engine and vehicle speed, meaning you must shift through all four gears to reach top speed. As a result, you feel a “jump” each time you upshift to a higher gear.

CVTs are fast becoming a new, revamped version of the standard automatic transmission. In this post, we’ll explain what a CVT is, how it works, and whether it’s reliable or not. We’ll also have a closer look at the different RAV4 in terms of specs, design, and functionality. Let’s get started, shall we?

What Is Better: CVT Or AMT?

When shopping for a new car, you’ll come across those with a CVT (continuously variable transmission) and others with the conventional AMT (automated manual transmission). Since the choice of transmission matters a great deal, you need to find out what they are before making your final decision.

Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT)

CVTs are built without gears; instead, they’re operated using two pulleys in a cone shape. One pulley is linked to the other transmissions in the car, while the other is fixed to the engine. The two pulleys are joined with a composite or steel belt.

They alternate widths based on the wheels and the amount of power they require from the engine. When one pulley grows bigger, the other shrinks. This innovative design allows a CVT-enabled car to shift from low to high speeds with smoothness and strength.

Here’s a video to illustrate how a CVT works:

An example of a CVT-powered car is the 2019 Toyota Corolla Hatchback. This vehicle achieves a smoother and stronger acceleration right from the start.

Automated Manual Transmission (AMT)

Otherwise known as a Semi-Automatic Transmission, an AMT is not precisely a clutch-less or automatic gearbox. Instead, it’s a manual transmission that makes it possible to switch gears without having to press the clutch. This transmission’s contraption includes the use of an electronic control unit and a hydraulic actuator system.

AMTs are kits that you can add to any standard manual transmission, thereby making them affordable alternatives for carmakers.

CVTs are generally better than AMTs. They’re fuel-efficient and provide well-programmed handling ideal for small cars and engines. While an AMT comes with two shifting gears for continuous acceleration, a CVT unit changes effortlessly through a range of gear ratios.

This makes it possible for you to control the RPM, or engine speed depending on your throttle action.

What Car Company Makes The Best CVT?

Toyota is, by far, the brand that manufactures the highest number of cars with a track-record for CVT longevity. Almost all the newer Toyota models come with more impressive transmission performance than its predecessors.

The 2019 Toyota Corolla is rated by the Automobile Protection Association as an authentic vehicle with a good resale value with low projected costs. A lot of this has to do with its well-designed CVT that provides the best gear ratio for performance or economy at any given time.

CVTs manufactured by Toyota’s closest competitors – Nissan and Honda – are great, but they’re not as durable and reliable. Once they go out, you have two options: one, part with several thousand dollars, and for a full replacement or two, sell it out for significantly low returns.

For a quality CVT, invest in a Toyota RAV4 or other models in the Toyota series.

Are Toyota CVTs Reliable?

They’re the most reliable transmissions you’ll ever find in any car out there. Toyota CVTs set the pace in terms of high-driving performance and fuel efficiency.

Due to the CVT’s potential to moderately shift its gear ratio in minimal increments, it is easier to change direction or speed while on the road. Also, acceleration/deceleration is generally smoother, and there’s a consistent rate of fuel consumption.

Toyota Cvt Transmission

Some CVTs like the K210 belt-type are designed with an addition of an electric oil pump to facilitate the Intelligent Idling Stop System. This kind of transmission is prevalent in Toyota models in the 1.5 to 1.8 class.

While driving, you’ll hardly feel the shifting of gears under the hood when you slow down or speed up. Toyota CVTs can detect the car’s optimum rotations per minute and fine-tune the gear per ratio to the point that the engine hums along to the driving speed.

How Long Do Toyota CVT Transmissions Last?

When buying a vehicle from Toyota, you can be sure that you’ll get the most out of your money. They come with excellent features, one of them being long-lasting CVT transmissions. How long they last will depend on the model from the collection. Generally, first-generation Toyota models are fitted with transmissions that aren’t long-lasting.

New-generation models can last up to 100,000 miles or more, depending on your driving speed. Here are the latest RAV4 models from Toyota that feature pretty impressive CVT longevities:

Toyota RAV4 LE

The RAV4 Hybrid from Toyota oozes class and sophistication in every sense. The RAV4 rides on a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine that works closely with double electric motors.

Toyota Cvt Transmission Oil Change

When combined, the two powerhouses release a whopping 219 horsepower. The RAV4 Hybrid can snap to 60-mph in just 7.4 seconds! Overall, the ride is pretty comfy, and the handling is efficient.

Toyota RAV4 XLE

The XLE features four USB ports, blind-spot monitoring, keyless proximity entry, eight-way driver’s seat that’s also power-adjustable. The XLE is available in two packages: The Cold Weather package and the Convenience package. The former costs $924 while the latter goes for $1,265.

Toyota RAV4 XSE

Like the LE Hybrid, this model from Toyota is equally stylish. The XSE Hybrid sports black accents everywhere around the exterior, from the rocker panels to the fender arches. The 18-inch wheels accentuate the look and give it a lot more presence than the average SUV. The interior features plenty of headroom and legroom with a tall drivetrain hump at the back.

Toyota RAV4 Hybrid Limited

The highest-priced SUV in the RAV4 series starts at $36,630. As far as standard features go, the Toyota RAV4 Hybrid doesn’t gain much, save for the upgraded sound system and navigation features. Like the XLE, the hybrid comes in two packages: The Limited Grade Cold Weather package ($1,015) and the Limited Grade Cold Weather package ($1,025).

How Much Does It Cost To Replace A CVT Belt?

CVTs are precision pieces of machinery with complicated electronic valve bodies. As expected, a new replacement can cost anywhere between $4,000 and $7,000.


However, if you wish to extend the life of your CVT, you can opt to change the fluid every 40,000 to 50,000 miles. The fluid is also quite expensive; a single quart can cost as low as $15 and as high as $30 per quart.

It would be best if you took note that CVTs are not exactly serviceable. This means that sometimes, you may have to replace the unit as a whole, rather than the belt alone. CVT manufacturers often advise their customers that once the CVT casing is opened, it loses its functionality.

Also, it’s not always the belt that is the leading cause of a CVT breakdown. Be sure to consult your mechanic before making any hefty transactions towards this, or any cause.

Toyota K CVT transmission
Also calledSuper CVT-i
Production2000 - present

Toyota Motor Corporation's K series of CVTtransmissions found in many Toyota models. They are a pushbelt style of CVT manufactured by Aisin.

K110/K111/K112 series (2000)[edit]

Toyota Cvt Transmission


The K110 was Toyota's first belt-type CVT and production began in August 2000. Toyota said that the transmission was both fuel-efficient and offered high driving performance. The K110 features a torque converter with a long-travel damper to help achieve quiet operation and improved fuel efficiency.


  • Toyota Opa – 2.0L (2000–2005)
  • Toyota Allion, Premio, Wish – 2.0L (2001–2011)
  • Toyota Voxy – 2.0L (2007–2011)
  • Toyota Auris & Corolla Axio / Fielder
  • Toyota Ractis & Sienta


The K111 transmission is an improved version of K110 introduced in July 2004. The K111 adds neutral-gear control and acceleration linear control.


  • Toyota Noah, Voxy – 2.0L (2004–2007)

Toyota Cvt Transmission Recall


The K112 transmission, introduced in October 2005, is a modified version of the K111 that is built to work with higher displacement 2.4L engines.


  • Toyota Alphard – 2.4L (2008–2017)
  • Toyota Blade – 2.4L (2006–2011)
  • Toyota Estima – 2.4L (2006–2017)
  • Toyota Mark X Zio – 2.4L (2007–2011)
  • Toyota RAV4 – 2.0/2.4/2.5L (2005–2011)
  • Toyota Vanguard – 2.4L (2007–2011)

K120 'Direct Shift' transmission (2018)[edit]

Toyota brands the K120 as the Direct Shift-CVT and includes a physical first gear (also known as a 'launch gear') and nine additional simulated gears, for a total of 10. The launch gear is engaged when the car takes off from being stopped and transitions to the belt drive once the car picks up speed. The benefit of this system is that traditional CVTs tend to have low efficiency in lower gear ratios (creating a moment of sluggishness when starting from a stop).[1] Since belts are handling a more narrow band of gear ratios, belt angles and loads can be reduced, increasing shift speeds and offering a 6% improvement in fuel efficiency.[2] Production began in October 2018.


  • Toyota Corolla (E210) – 2.0L (2018–present)
  • Toyota Camry (XV70) – 2.0L (2019–present)
  • Toyota C-HR – 2.0L (2018–present)
  • Toyota RAV4 (XA50) – 2.0L (2018–present)
  • Toyota Yaris and Yaris Cross (2020-present)

K210 transmission (2002)[edit]

Achieve both high fuel efficiency and high powertrain performance through size and weight reductions and are perfect suited for vehicles in the 1.5- to 1.8-liter class. Production began December 2002. Later in February 2003 Toyota achieves fuel efficiency improvements through its Intelligent Idling Stop System developed by adding an electronic oil pump to the K210 belt-type CVT, ensuring excellent startup performance during engine restarts and producing class-leading fuel efficiency.


K310/K311/K312/K313 series (2006)[edit]

Achieve both high fuel efficiency and high powertrain performance through size and weight reductions and are perfect suited for vehicles in the 1.5- to 1.8-liter class. Production began in September 2006.

Current applications:

  • Toyota Corolla (K311), Altis – 1.8L (2010–present)
  • Toyota Corolla Cross (K311) – 1.8L (2020–present)
  • Toyota C-HR (K312) – 1.2L (2017–present)
  • Toyota Vios (K312) – 1.5L (2016–present)
  • Toyota Yaris (K312) – 1.5L (2016–present)

Toyota Cvt Transmission Reliability

Previous applications:

  • Toyota Auris, Corolla, Rumion – 1.5/1.8L (2006-2011)
  • Toyota Allion, Premio – 1.5/1.8L, IST 1.5L (2007-2011)
  • Toyota Avensis – 1.8/2.0L (2008-2011)
  • Toyota Isis, Verso (K311), Wish – 1.8L (2009-2011)
  • Toyota Probox, Succeed – 1.5L (2010-2011)

Final drive:

  • 5.698:1 (when fitted to 1.5L Allion & Premio 1NZ-FE and 1.8L Corolla 2ZR-FE)
  • 5.356:1 (when fitted to 1.8L Allion & Premio 2ZR-FE)

K410/K411/K41 series (2004)[edit]


Achieves both high fuel efficiency and high powertrain performance through size and weight reductions. Designed for vehicles with engine displacements between 1- and 1.3-liters. Production began December 2004.


  • Several other models

Final drive:

  • 5.833:1 (when fitted to 1L 1KR-FE)
  • 5.08:1 (when fitted to 1.3L 1NR-FE)
Toyota Cvt Transmission


A version of the K410 transmission with the differential shifted forward to maximize space the Toyota iQ, a compact city car that was engineered to maximize passenger space, while minimizing exterior length. Production began October 2008.



Created by increasing the capacity of the K41A CVT, for 1.3-liter engines. Production began April 2009.



Based on the K410 and adopting a flex-start control mechanism for the first time in a Toyota CVT; Lock-up clutch actively activated during startup to run the engine in the most efficient operating region, thereby improving fuel efficiency. Production began December 2010.


  • Several models including Corolla, Auris, Vitz, Vios, Yaris, and Echo

See also[edit]


  1. ^Zatz, David (2018-03-23). 'Toyota's quiet transmission changes'. Retrieved 2020-09-17.
  2. ^'Direct Shift-CVT: A New Type of Continuously Variable Transmission'. Toyota Motor Corporation Official Global Website (Press release). 2018-02-26. Retrieved 2020-09-17.

Toyota Cvt Transmission Problems

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