How does the CVT transmission work in the Micra, i10 and Kia Picanto?

We are looking at buying either the Micra K13, Hyundai i10 or Kia Picanto. We are interested in the CVT models and wondered what connects the gearbox to the engines in these. Are they torque converters or computer controlled clutches? If they are torque converters, do any of them lock at speed, as in the past I have been very impressed by the fuel efficiency of the old Morris Ital auto, which had such a locking device.

Asked on 28 April 2012 by ES, Upleadon, Glos

Answered by Honest John
The i10 and Picanto have the same 4-speed torque converter automatic transmission that will stay in fourth gear until the car needs third. The whirrings of the Micra CVT are explained in these two videos: www.honestjohn.co.uk/road-tests/nissan/nissan-micr.../ www.honestjohn.co.uk/road-tests/nissan/micra-dig-s.../
Similar questions
My wife and I are both nearly 70. I don't understand the terms 'CVT' and 'torque converter'. What matters to us is how hill starts are carried out. Could you please spare the time to explain?
I am 86 years young and my 12-year-old Honda Accord has a 'creep' type auto that is absolutely invaluable. Are there any small or medium size saloons that still use this type of automatic gearbox?
I took your advice some time ago and purchased a Hyundai i10, and have since upgraded to the i20. Both cars I have been very pleased with. I am thinking about changing my i20 for a Nissan Juke with CVT...
Related models
Cheap to own. All models have airc on, five seatbelts and flat folding rear seats. Rides and handles quite well for its size. 99g/km Blue model from early 2011.
Low emissions and fuel consumption from 1.2-litre engine. Roomy and seats five. Decent value for money. Bluetooth as standard.
Excellent small car for the money. High quality and neatly designed interior. Great to drive and cheap to run.
 

Ask Honest John

Value my car