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I have a 2001 CVT. Only noise I notice is when first started, for a few minutes, sort of a whine. Sounds to me like charging. I have been an aircraft mechanic forever, and this noise is not the kind that causes concern. CVT's will never get the same mileage because no lean burn, that said, if driven like a normal car at high speeds, they will get about the same as a 5 speed since you will not get lean burn at 75 plus mph in traffic that is always slowing/accelerating (Dallas). I drive mine like any other car, am not afraid of using AC or going fast. I drive 55 miles each way, at around 70 to 80 mph. No AC, and two people with baggage (wifes purses - dont ask) I get 52 mpg, with AC about 49. My wife driving closer to speed limit always gets 56 to 60 no AC.
 
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