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View Poll Results: No Automatic for me because:
Fuel-efficiency concerns 236 18.64%
I love Manual transmissions! 507 40.05%
AT option is unavailable on my choice of car (including diesels) 386 30.49%
I don't think the cost premium (75 - 100K) is worth it 210 16.59%
Maintenance concerns 150 11.85%
Other reason (please specify in your post) 36 2.84%
Not applicable. My next car WILL be an Automatic 287 22.67%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 1266. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 25th November 2011, 02:33   #181
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Default Re: So, why don't you buy an Automatic?

Quote:
Originally Posted by bigvishnu View Post
A few reasons why i feel autos-transmission are not preferred:


1. Impact on Fuel Efficiency - Auto Trans cars consume more for the liter. In the mass market, people are more cost conscious, and anything that adds to running cost is a NO NO

2. We grew up on Manuals - At-least for me, i saw my grand-dad, uncles, dad and the drivers all changing a gear as an essential part of the driving experience, so it feels weird not to do that with the ATs, and so i stuck on with the MTs.

3. Petrol Vs Diesel - This is a recent trend, but, there are just not enough manufacturers offering AT with their diesel cars, and the market is shifting rapidly towards diesel.

4. Perception - With a manual, I the driver am in control of when to up shift or downshift, and i lose that control in AT, hence i'd love to stick to MT.

Disclaimer: Views above are with my extensive experience with MT, and limited experience with AT (travels abroad). Please educate me / point out if anything is amiss.
Some new automatics (like the VW DSG transmission on the new Golfs) are actually more fuel efficient than manuals, for instance, the Golf GTi petrol has figures of 7.7L/100 km for the 6 speed manual and 7.2L/100 km for the automatic). Same thing can be seen with other cars as well, especially now with the advent of 'start-stop' technology (the new diesel C250 has fuel consumption figures of 5L/100 km, and it is only available as an automatic).

You get some control with gear shift etc. with the flappy-paddle gearboxes and DSG transmissions, but you're right, there is nothing like driving a manual. I love driving manual cars, unfortunately they have become few and far between now (at least in this part of the world!).
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Old 25th November 2011, 08:51   #182
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Default Re: So, why don't you buy an Automatic?

Quote:
Originally Posted by pgsagar
I went ahead and bought A-Star AT. Am I happy? Yesss! The convenience that AT offers coupled with compact-est size and cute looks of an A-Star makes me ignore other shortcomings of this car. Speaking of shortcomings, there are only two. One, a higher price of 50K for the AT box and two, lesser acceleration than MT.
With the A*, the extra price of 50K includes the ABS also, which is ~20K - so you are effectively paying only 30K for the AT convenience. I wished they added airbags too, even if it meant another ~20K.

Quote:
Originally Posted by pgsagar
However, on the plus side, the FE is very good, too. I get 14-15 KMPL consistently in inner-city crawl with aircon on all the time. Wonder what an MT A-Star returns then.
As per a friend I know, the MT A_Star returns ~17kmpl in Kollam (Kerala city traffic), which would easily translate to a ~15kmpl in Chennai, which IMO is the ballpark that an Alto would give in Chennai traffic - which is amazing FE for a hatch that is much more heavier than the Alto and 200cc more.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Abes
Why is everyone missing the gears when on highways? Why does anyone change gears when on open highways, just engage cruse control & drive!!
You are right, except for the few instances when you need to overtake, which in an MT would be downshift and zoom, while it is not so confidence inspiring in an AT (especially for those used to MTs).
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Old 25th November 2011, 10:07   #183
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Default Re: So, why don't you buy an Automatic?

One of the biggest reason why auto geared cars never succeeded in India is the conservative approach of the car makers. How ?
- They don't come up with diesel automatics more often where slight drop in fuel economy or power is manageable (Example : Latest Fiesta : Only Petrol automatic is available). Just think of cars like Beat diesel or Figo diesel, if they come with diesel automatics then I am very sure about their success. I am not even talking about Marutis !
- Every manual variant should have an equivalent automatic option. That will entice the costumer about the gamble. Suppose a person is on for a Ritz VDi and he finds the Ritz LDi automatic is available at the same price or slightly higher, he might think of going for automatic version by sacrificing some of the features of VDi manual version.

- The manufacturers don't promote the automatic version well enough. Very few people (non enthusiasts) actually know about i20 1.4 litre AT version ! That is a fact.
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Old 25th November 2011, 13:39   #184
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Default Re: So, why don't you buy an Automatic?

The price of At is always on the higher side. The AT model is generally priced so high that you can easily upgrade to a higher segment by just adding 5ok to 1 lakh rupees which is a boost to everything. That is one reason i have found many people turning their heads from AT. I own a AT and i drive quite a lot in city and it is very convenient to drive automatic cars in traffic conditions. It also has tiptronic mode so highway driving is also a nice experience as the gears are quite in control. Lets face it, the only control the ECU has on triptronic mode is that it does not let the car redline and changes just before that. That is the case in manual cars as well only difference being manual does not upshift but stays at particular RPM and does not go till redline to avoid damage to the engine. In everydays drive, we hardly redline the car on daily basis and it works quite fine. I am fortunate to own a AT as well as a manual car, but i love to drive At for what it is. Sure it feels underpowered at times but then thats a small price you pay for big comfort.
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Old 25th November 2011, 14:43   #185
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Default Re: So, why don't you buy an Automatic?

Well, not sure I am welcome here, as My car is an automatic. And a huge leap for me, from Alto LX (no power steering even) to Cruze Automatic. And the first picture by GTO was the primary driver for the jump.

We all love long drives, but essential part of the life is spent commuting to office/home and running errands and in choc-a-bloc traffic. If you are mentally and physically harassed throughout, you slowly start dreading 'driving' due to back pain, knee pain, stress etc.
Automatic takes care of these pains through a computer and I rekindled my passion for driving after I bought one.
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Old 25th November 2011, 14:45   #186
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Default Re: So, why don't you buy an Automatic?

Like majority of the members here I too totally love driving stick. However, it was only until I bought a BMW with stick shift that I realized different qualities of gearboxes, clutch systems and transmissions that exist and the difference to the overall driving experience they can make. It made me realize that majority of the cars sold here in India have pretty crappy gearbox/clutch plate/transmision set ups (of course there are exceptions to this). Prior to that I believed a manual was a manual, regardless of other components used.

Similarly driving an auto can be extremely boring if it's your run-of-the-mill slush box. The only automatic that I've driven that is also extremely fun to drive is the DSG. Especially when paired with a great engine it's going to be a thrill while also offering the convenience and smoothness in rush hour traffic conditions.

Unfortunately, living in an area with poor driving conditions doesn't really encourage the use of a slick stick shift. So recently my preference has shifted to the auto spectrum, which I'd gladly give up if the road conditions were even remotely ideal for spirited driving (kinda like those found in SoCal region of the US)
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Old 25th November 2011, 15:16   #187
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Default Re: So, why don't you buy an Automatic?

S'Baleno, you are right. A-Star is king of small cars when it comes to FE. BTW, you will be surprised that on a recent highway run, the car returned almost 18.3 kpl with aircon on all through, but with speedo hovering only at 90-100 kph. I want to do 120-130 kmph run and see what it return at that speed. Yes, I wish, too, that they had provided airbags.

Rahul, you are right about physical exertion. Our inner-city traffic takes heavy toll on us physically and mentally. Diesel cars provide excellent economy and power but take a heavy toll on driver by virtue of a heavy clutch. Gradually, as the car ages and as the clutch hardens, irritation level of the driver build up which translates into road-rage.

Yes, I know there is some trade-off with AT cars. But the same goes for everything in life. You win some and you lose some. It's never win-win anywhere. Some gain, some pain. But in my case, as most of driving is confined to inner-city crawl, I do not miss much. Gain in my case far far outweigh pain. With only 3/4 trips a year on highways, I can pretty happily live with it, even as an-only car.
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Old 25th November 2011, 18:00   #188
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Default Re: So, why don't you buy an Automatic?

I was driving i20 in India which is not a bad city hatch.But travel in peak city hours became a nightmare specially in Hinjewadi traffic, so much that I switched back to two wheeler.Mere thought of taking out car started to irritate me.
This would not have been the case had I owned a AT,convinience of which I realized driving in UK.

Would dump my i20 once I'm back in India (ready to take the hit as its only 2 years old).
My next car WILL be an automatic.
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Old 25th November 2011, 23:24   #189
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Default Re: So, why don't you buy an Automatic?

Nothing to compare the pleasure and control of driving a MANUAL....!!!
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Old 26th November 2011, 09:41   #190
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Default Re: So, why don't you buy an Automatic?

I live in Bangalore. 2 years back, I sold my manual car and switched to automatic. Driving in Bangalore is chaotic and in retrospect, I made a very good decision. Reason for happiness -- ease of driving in city traffic.

Again, my father was planning to upgrade his Maruti 800 to an Alto K10. I persuaded him to go for an A-Star AT. At the end of 8 months he is a very happy man. Reason for happiness -- very simple to drive the vehicle, it is like playing a video game (personal opinion)

My cousin who is an architect in Bangalore drives a lot within the city, as part of his job. When he was upgrading his car, I advised him to go for an AT. I could not convince him because of the 'maintenance' item as mentioned in the poll. His neighbor had a bad experience with an AT gear box in the past and shelled out around a lac of rupees to replace the gear box. His opinion was that a manual gearbox will be less costly to fix/replace, if required to do so, in the future.

Last edited by B103 : 26th November 2011 at 09:45.
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Old 26th November 2011, 10:27   #191
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Default Re: So, why don't you buy an Automatic?

I go for the last option and I'm pretty certain my next car would be an automatic! I had the privileged to drive both the F430's loved the option to switch between M and AT. The paddle shift was just awesome

The only reason I see we dont have AT's for diesel's in India is cos of the lack of mass production. A petrol AT can be shipped across the world
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Old 26th November 2011, 11:50   #192
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Default Re: So, why don't you buy an Automatic?

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Originally Posted by binu balan View Post
A petrol AT can be shipped across the world

I beg your pardon but what is that supposed to mean? If you mean overseas market, then yes, Europe is predominantly diesel and MT. US, Canada, South America and Middle East are predominantly petrol and AT. Or, am I wrong?

But in Inidan context, I am sure it makes much more sense to buy ATs. Isn't it ironical that in all the congestion and chaos, we use MTs and on those long straights of US, they use ATs?
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Old 26th November 2011, 12:19   #193
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My vote:-I love Manual transmissions!

Automatic transmission is somewhat standardized. The manual transmission according to me reflects my mood of driving. Sometimes sedate..., sometimes ripping. I do not want to stick to a standardized mode of driving. Moreover i personally feel that the car's efficiency can be perfectly utilized when i am given with a clutch and sets of gears.Automatic cars are only for covering point A to point B distance (No offence--personal opinion). Off course it is a boon in today's traffic conditions and may be very useful for elderly people and female drivers without much of strain. And rightly said i don't think paying a premium for AT is worth.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kratos11 View Post
I was driving i20 in India which is not a bad city hatch.But travel in peak city hours became a nightmare specially in Hinjewadi traffic, so much that I switched back to two wheeler.Mere thought of taking out car started to irritate me.
This would not have been the case had I owned a AT,convinience of which I realized driving in UK.

Would dump my i20 once I'm back in India (ready to take the hit as its only 2 years old).
My next car WILL be an automatic.
This statement is somewhat reflecting my mood man. Throughout my college days i used only two wheeler even though i had a car. Off late started to use only cars and seriously feeling the pain of travelling in car. It takes double the time to commute in city.I don't know switching back to two wheeler is a good option or not.

Last edited by v12 : 27th November 2011 at 22:29.
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Old 26th November 2011, 13:00   #194
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Default Re: So, why don't you buy an Automatic?

I've always maintained that if i were to have 2 cars, i'd have a small Auto and a large Manual. It's the best of both worlds and makes perfect sense.
Like most others here i too enjoy driving a car with a manual transmission for the sheer joy of changing gear and matching revs.
However, i live in a city with horrible traffic and 80 % of my driving is in the city. It is here that you appreciate the convenience and ease of driving an automatic. There is just no comparison, especially if you're not a new driver and you've been doing the work run in traffic day-in and day-out for many many years.
The common perception that Autos are problematic, give less mileage and are generally 'not suited for Indian conditions' is hogwash and most often hearsay and that too from people who have never owned one.
I have an example.
When the good old Cielo was released a friend of mine who had lived and driven abroad tried to convince his dad to buy an automatic because he saw the changing traffic conditions and realised that the daily commute to work was only going to get worse. His dad was given the same advice by all his friends .. mileage, problematic, not for Indian conditions, and plus figured that he'd driven manual cars for over 35 years and had never had a problem and so he didn't take the auto option. I must point out here that both my friend and his dad are car enthusiasts and LOVE driving. To cut a long story short, eventually a few years later my friend did manage to convince his dad to trade in the manual Cielo for an automatic (very reluctantly) .. and every single car they have had since then (and they've had quite a few) has been an automatic !
None of these (touch wood) have ever developed a problem with the transmission and the fuel efficiency is only about 1-2 kmpl lower than a manual if driven properly. My friend's dad now refuses to drive a manual in the city and swears by an automatic.
I have driven all of his cars and of all of them, i enjoyed driving the Esteem AX the most. Yes, it had a primitive 3 speed box but because of the peppy engine and the responsive gearbox, i could make that car change gears at will by modulating the throttle, and as a result it was an absolute hoot shifting through traffic in that thing.
In the current traffic scenario, a good driver, coupled with a responsive auto transmission will find it easier to scythe through traffic, as the gear change time of the auto is often always quicker than that managed by regular drivers in the slow moving traffic around you (unless of course, you come by a Team BHP-ian ).
That said, i HATE an automatic on the highway and for out of town driving. You've just got to have a manual for those long out of town drives, because those are all about driving pleasure .. dropping her into second and pulling her cleanly through bends on the ghats, engine on song in the powerband ... aarrr aarrr aarrr aarrrr (as Tim - the Toolman - Taylor would say) ... and that .. my friends is why my car is still a manual !
BUT if i buy a second car it WILL be a small (preferably diesel) automatic.
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Old 26th November 2011, 14:14   #195
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Default Re: So, why don't you buy an Automatic?

This thread made me wonder - When Automobile companies talk about 'research' & study before entering a particular market, what exactly do they mean. Best case example is here in India. A diesel automatic hatch is the immediate need of the hour with better diesel engines developed and sky-rocketing petrol prices yet absolutely NO ONE is offering a peppy hatch with an auto-box.Shocking really..
Even Hyundai, who IMO are offering some really VFM and genuinely good products in India have offered an auto on their PETROL i20 but not the diesel. Sure the diesel 6-speed manual is fun i have heard but does it matter ? In our traffic conditions, which are only going to worsen as income levels go up, an auto tranny which isn't exactly a guzzler would be a gold mine.
I absolutely adore manuals and would even prefer them even over a high end DSG where beautiful highway and ghat drives are concerned but in cities, I'd rather just move around without having to worry about the clutch after a hard day's work.
Voted for the AT option is unavailable on my choice of car (including diesels) option.
Give me a Polo 1.5 tdi with decent power ( no idiotic 3-pot thank you) with an auto and i would be the first one to go for it. Price premium does not matter. The convenience yielded would be priceless.

Last edited by PlatzdaTurbo : 26th November 2011 at 14:16.
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