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Hello all! We've just put a few hundred kms on our 2021 QX50. And I have have two issues of concern.

First is the temp gauge. Despite a 20 mile (30 km) drive the other day, the temp meter took most of the drive to register any heat and even when it did, it just moved to the first (coldest) line. Granted, it was friggin' cold here, but my jeep shows engine temp even on the coldest days. And, the car struggled to defrost the front windscreen, while blowing what felt like chilly air.

Second is the high revving CVT. The CVT revs the engine to between 2500 and 3000 at all times, even during very soft driving. Even at 100 km (60 mph), the engine revs at 2500. When I switch to manual, I see the CVT is in 6th (I know those are fake gears). I can force the CVT in to 7th and 8th manually, and that drops revs and improves gas efficiency. Is this normal? Part of the fancy engine compression protocol?

Thanks in advance for any thoughts on either or both of these issues!
 

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Your temp meter definitely does not seem normal. It shouldn’t matter how cold it is outside, it should have a consistent operating temperature once warmed up.
I’ve owned the car 4 months now and I’ve come to learn it’s definitely a car you have to learn how to drive. Even then, there’s times where it feels very rubber-bandy or surging when accelerating. I attribute this to not only being turbo charged, which is not exactly known for consistency, but to a variable compression engine paired to a CVT. It’s a lot of complicated moving parts. You have to essentially drive as variable as the car is. For the most part I’ve learned how to drive and accelerate consistently and smoothly and I’m mostly satisfied with it.

A few tips I can offer:

Keep your dash on the Variable Compression Turbo screen so you can see how the car responds at different levels of boost and also at different compression ratios.

I’ve learned that the car responds differently to not only how far down you press the gas pedal but also how much force or how quickly you press it.

From a stop, I found that if you lightly hit the gas pedal to approx 14-20mph then release and quickly press down the gas pedal about 25-30% of the way again. The vehicle accelerates pretty quickly and smoothly. You’ll feel one stepped gear then it will proceed without going through the rest of the stepped gears. It generally stays at 1.7-2k rpm the entire time. The Variable Compression screen still shows it in the “eco” side of the compression ratio with about 7-15 psi of boost. Technically a turbocharger shouldn’t kick in until the engine is spinning fast enough to drive it but I’ve found in the QX50, it appears to switch up the boost levels depending on how you hit the accelerator and it affects how the car accelerates even at low rpm’s.

If you also just lightly press the accelerator while slowly adding more and more force up to a certain point, the vehicle accelerates without going through stepped gears. I find the vehicle to drive smoother and better when it’s not using the stepped gears and if you get it right, you’ll notice it accelerates faster when it’s not going through the stepped gears.

Lastly, while accelerating, I find the vehicle to perform better if you sort of feather the accelerator pedal vs. keeping a constant level of force. For example, let the car accelerate to x mph, take foot off the gas and quickly reapply foot to gas at the same force as before. This way you’re sort of forcing the car to choose a better compression ratio/boost level for the speed you’re going now.

Hope that all made sense lol!!! With time, you’ll eventually learn some of the “sweet spots” and it will be a much better and confident driving experience.
 

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I would bet the transmission is not shifting into a "Higher gear" because it is still trying to warm the engine up completely. I would be inclined to take the car back to the dealer and have them take a look at the issue of the engine not warming up fully and also mention that the transmission is not acting correctly because of that.
 
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