Did you come to an age where you switched to an automatic?

Cowboy

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I change gears thousands of times a day for a living, when I drive for leisure I'm pretty much done with it.
I quess if you are 18 just getting your license there is some thrill in throwing the stick around in something fiesty, sure, but for a normal, slightly more sedate person in a normal, not sporty car? I don't see much point anymore.

Besides in my case a Lazy V8 coupled to a way to few gears automatic is just the ticket for relaxation while driving.
 

Eye-Q

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I don't see much point anymore.

Besides in my case a Lazy V8 coupled to a way to few gears automatic is just the ticket for relaxation while driving.
That's my problem: when I drive an automatic I get too relaxed so I am getting unconcentrated, my brain always need something to compute, and accelerating, braking, steering (and all the other things like indicating, wipers and so on) isn't enough. Adding the left foot and the right arm to shift is what it needs to keep my brain entertained.

Additionally, I don't like the chewing gum-kind of revving or that the engine keeps a constant rev while accelerating. I need the audible feedback so I don't need to glance down to the speedo to know how fast I'm going.

All in all: nope, I didn't and I probably never will.
 

Interrobang

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I've never owned an auto but I think the time has come. I'm 34 and live in a city and the constant clutch work has got to stop. I'm SO looking forward to it.[...]
I?m at the point where I would consider an Automatic gearbox too. Hell, I?d take a complete "automated car" for the commute. I get no fun out of that type of driving anymore. Almost 20 years of driving leaves me with no real "joy" in the chore that 95% of my driving has become.

But ... I?d also like a manual to take out for a spin "for fun" on the weekends and stuff.
 

Perc

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I was maybe 25 when I started thinking to myself that there Has To Be A Better Way than to manually move cogs back and forth with a stick. I also had this annoying morning commute where traffic usually moved too slow for second gear, which meant I had to either ride the clutch for 5-10 minutes every morning or listen to the engine drone away in first. The car in question (Ford Sierra, MT75 box) also had a very notchy and just plain crappy transmission.

I have to say though that driving a manual (which I still do, every day, at work) keeps my brain on its toes compared to my own car. I predict traffic a lot better and so forth. It could also be the upright and high seating position and excellent visibility in the Renault Trafic I drive. It's tall enough to see over X5's and such, nevermind normal cars. In my own car I have to "force" myself to concentrate a bit more. It isn't really a problem though, just something I've noticed.

I can't really find a single reason why I'd ever buy a three-pedal car for a daily driver again. There's just no point.


But if I ever want to use a car for fun, it either has to have a stick shift or a computer controlled manual.
Also known as "an automatic" :p
 
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prizrak

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To me choice of manual vs auto (and that includes robomanuals, DSG/PDK, CBT* and plain autos with manual gear selection) has always been about control. And it doesn't even matter if I'm doing my best Vin Diesel or Takumi impression or going to the shops, with a manual I maintain full control. In an auto I do not, even if they do allow me to select gears manually.

*CBT = Continuously Bad Transmission a name me and a friend accidentally came up for to call CVTs

Having said that, I can think of some cars that make sense with auto, the LTC posted in rick's thread is a perfect example of that.
I also had this annoying morning commute where traffic usually moved too slow for second gear, which meant I had to either ride the clutch for 5-10 minutes every morning or listen to the engine drone away in first. The car in question (Ford Sierra, MT75 box) also had a very notchy and just plain crappy transmission.
I have that problem with the Outback, first is too short and second is too tall for most slow traffic :(
 
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bone

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with DSG you're in full control as well? if you want to be...
 

Perc

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with DSG you're in full control as well? if you want to be...
You're not in any more or less control than in any other Tiptronic-style automatic made over the last two decades. :dunno:

If anything, my DSG equipped Octavia gives me *less* control than my old Geartronic V70 did, because the V70 completely refused to kick down in manual mode and didn't shift up when redlined either. The Skoda does both of those things, and that's a GOOD thing. It's fairly easy to forget that you put it in manual mode, move out to overtake, floor it, and wonder why nothing happens. The second or two before you figure out what's wrong can be enough to have to abort mission.

- - - Updated - - -

Also, if anything, Europe has a problem with old farts and fartettes that don't realize it's been 40 years since the concept of a manual transmission was relevant for their use case. They've probably heard from friends and neighbors that they break down all the time, are dangerous in snow (no, I don't know either) and use COPIOUS amounts of fuel which obviously is a problem when you don't have any kids to feed and drive 5000km/year. Or something. I don't know.

Europe is full of old people creeping around parking lots revving their engines sky high because they can't hear or feel what's going on. They will also invariably stall in front of you at the exit. And yet, when time comes to get a new car, it will be yet another manual.
 
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prizrak

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with DSG you're in full control as well? if you want to be...
It's not direct control, it's highly dependent on the controller programming. For example the one in A3 would up/downshift for you even in "manual" mode, same as the normal tiptronic in my A4. It also doesn't give you any control over clutch engagement, it always engages it racing style which ends up being jerky. As an example I was at a carwash (full hand wash so the cars have to be physically driven through the stations) and there was a PDK Porsche, the guy refused to let the attendants drive it so at first I thought he was really bad at starting in a manual but then I looked inside and realized it was a PDK.
 

Perc

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It's not direct control, it's highly dependent on the controller programming. For example the one in A3 would up/downshift for you even in "manual" mode, same as the normal tiptronic in my A4. It also doesn't give you any control over clutch engagement, it always engages it racing style which ends up being jerky. As an example I was at a carwash (full hand wash so the cars have to be physically driven through the stations) and there was a PDK Porsche, the guy refused to let the attendants drive it so at first I thought he was really bad at starting in a manual but then I looked inside and realized it was a PDK.
Sounds like something was wrong with it.

Yes, if your right foot is used to a slushmatic you migiht be in for a surprise. A DCT requires a slightly softer touch, you can't just give it a random amount of throttle and let the torque converter sort out the smoothness. But if you just let go of the brake without touching anything else, it'll creep more or less like a slushmatic and be perfectly smooth in the kind of situation you described above.

The wet-clutch DQ250 never really completely disengages, just like a slushmatic, so it creeps just like a slushmatic. The dry-clutch DQ200 is completely disengaged when the brake is held down and needs a split second "to lift the clutch pedal" before it starts to creep. It would roll back freely if it didn't have hill start assist, which is why it has it as standard.

I've also driven a 300,000km DQ250 in need of a bit of TLC. It was very jerky from a standstill unless you gave it a second to start creeping before you applied throttle. If you gave it that second, it was perfectly fine.


And for reasons I mentioned above, i'm fine with a transmission that downshifts on kick-down and upshifts on redline even in manual mode.
 

prizrak

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Sounds like something was wrong with it.

Yes, if your right foot is used to a slushmatic you migiht be in for a surprise. A DCT requires a slightly softer touch, you can't just give it a random amount of throttle and let the torque converter sort out the smoothness. But if you just let go of the brake without touching anything else, it'll creep more or less like a slushmatic and be perfectly smooth in the kind of situation you described above.

The wet-clutch DQ250 never really completely disengages, just like a slushmatic, so it creeps just like a slushmatic. The dry-clutch DQ200 is completely disengaged when the brake is held down and needs a split second "to lift the clutch pedal" before it starts to creep. It would roll back freely if it didn't have hill start assist, which is why it has it as standard.

I've also driven a 300,000km DQ250 in need of a bit of TLC. It was very jerky from a standstill unless you gave it a second to start creeping before you applied throttle. If you gave it that second, it was perfectly fine.


And for reasons I mentioned above, i'm fine with a transmission that downshifts on kick-down and upshifts on redline even in manual mode.
None of this addresses the core issue of "not really in control"
 

Mitchi

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Also known as "an automatic" :p
No, not every automatic gearbox is electronically controlled? What about just simple hydrodynamic torque converters? :)

For what it's worth about the topic, I like to row my own gears. But I'm only 20 so who knows ho it'll look like in some years. But I guess it'll take a loong time before I get tired of it.
 

prizrak

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No, not every automatic gearbox is electronically controlled? What about just simple hydrodynamic torque converters? :)
I don't think we have purely hydrodynamic autos since at least second half of the 00s probably earlier. It makes a lot more sense to control the valve body using electronics rather than pure fluid dynamics because it allows for things like fuzzy logic, sport modes and kickdown. But in this case I think what he means is that any transmission that can shift gears without human input would be considered an automatic no matter what the underlying technology is.
 

Perc

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None of this addresses the core issue of "not really in control"
No, just saying that there probably was something wrong with the PDK Porsche. Haven't driven one, but if you can't move it smoothly in a car wash, something has to be wrong.
 

argatoga

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I change gears thousands of times a day for a living, when I drive for leisure I'm pretty much done with it.
I quess if you are 18 just getting your license there is some thrill in throwing the stick around in something fiesty, sure, but for a normal, slightly more sedate person in a normal, not sporty car? I don't see much point anymore.

Besides in my case a Lazy V8 coupled to a way to few gears automatic is just the ticket for relaxation while driving.
I can see that, if I drove a vehicle that required me to shift five billion times just to get to 20 mph I'd be worn out too. :p

Having driven American land yachts I can say it is pleasant to have a lazy V8 and an auto. Especially if it requires no effort to chirp the tires or let the rear get loose when desired. Ah, the Roadmaster.
 

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I don't think we have purely hydrodynamic autos since at least second half of the 00s probably earlier. It makes a lot more sense to control the valve body using electronics rather than pure fluid dynamics because it allows for things like fuzzy logic, sport modes and kickdown. But in this case I think what he means is that any transmission that can shift gears without human input would be considered an automatic no matter what the underlying technology is.
Yeah I know, probably every automatic slushbox of the last decade (at least) has a computer that controlls it. But I was just nitpicking about older cars, especially thinking about the beginning of automatics, that a slushbox doesn't need to be computer driven. :)
 

prizrak

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No, just saying that there probably was something wrong with the PDK Porsche. Haven't driven one, but if you can't move it smoothly in a car wash, something has to be wrong.
He could have been just a shitty driver who wasn't aware of how to drive it properly.
 

SirEdward

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I'm used to driving both a 7-gears DSG auto and a 6-speed manual. The automatic is indeed comfortable and enjoyable as a commuter, daily driver, long traveller, and is in many ways as good as a manual, better still on the comfort/relax side.

But I won't leave my manual gearbox for any automatic. I understand what Prizrak says about control. With the manual, I am able to be extremely more more precise, more soft, less jerky, than with any automatic I have driven so far. The DSG I'm used to, for example, is soft and perfect only if you move around at the perfect ratio of speed and acceleration the gearbox is able to handle. Anything out of it, and it jumps you forward or keeps you slow, far from what my intentions are. It is not so with manual, where I can choose and adapt what I want by using the clutch.

Manual are also faster in reactions, at least for the auomatic I've driven so far.

So yes, auto is comfortable and civilized and a very nice experience, but the best in most aspects is still manual (in my opinion, obviously).
 

bone

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i've never driven any DSG, but going by the reviews all over the internet, i figured they were by now as good/as useable as a manual.
thanks for setting that straight!

all hail to the manual!! :bow:
 

thevictor390

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All automatics are not created equal, in terms of responsiveness. It also depends on the car.

My dad's Jeep ('99 Wrangler), the controls are so loose the terrible slushbox feels right at home :lol:

'03 Cadillac CTS, the transmission slips too much between gears and it detracts from the otherwise decent car. This is how most autos feel to me.

But, a few cars I've driven are much better, including a 2008 Subaru Legacy, mother's 2010 Buick Regal, and my own 2006 RX-8. I'm not sure exactly what the difference is, it's something like they shift when I think they should, and don't take too long to do so.

If the Blizzard was auto I don't think it would move <_<

All that being said, I'll take a manual almost 100% of the time.
 
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