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It's the cvt, its constantly trying to keep the car in its peek power range.
I'm non expert on transmissions and I agree that the cvt is trying to keep the rpms in a peek range based on the other inputs from the ECM.

I have the regular transmission in my Versa ( 1.8) and it does seem to brake more than I would like going down long hills with my foot off the gas and brake.

From my understanding the cvt has kind of variable pulley flanges that change the speed of the steel belt so there is a optimum points on the pulley flanges for best power and efficiency. So based on vehicle speed the transmission finds that range.

Maybe some other cvt owners can comment. This is a topic that I find very interesting.
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