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View Poll Results: No Automatic for me because:
Fuel-efficiency concerns 236 18.63%
I love Manual transmissions! 507 40.02%
AT option is unavailable on my choice of car (including diesels) 387 30.54%
I don't think the cost premium (75 - 100K) is worth it 210 16.57%
Maintenance concerns 150 11.84%
Other reason (please specify in your post) 36 2.84%
Not applicable. My next car WILL be an Automatic 287 22.65%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 1267. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 19th March 2012, 10:05   #346
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Default Re: So, why don't you buy an Automatic?

Though I personally prefer a stick shift, I absolutely love driving VW DSGs from work.

We've got an i10 AT at home as our third car. One for the ladies in our household and for driving around town. Very convenient, reasonable performance and average FE.
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Old 19th March 2012, 10:15   #347
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Default Re: So, why don't you buy an Automatic?

For me it's a tad different. I grew up learning driving on manual gearboxes (column shifter at that!), and the only time I drove an automatic was last year at an acquaintance's house to check out his new i10 automatic. I was scared, confused, and the only reason the car didn't stall was because it was an AT.

I have spent half of my life using the left foot to operate the clutch and the left hand to operate the gear shifter. Even today, in city roundabouts I drive with one hand on the shifter since there are so many times I have to make small corrections to the gear selection or the clutch operations. I have grown so used to this I don't think I shall ever drive an AT. I would feel helpless without use of my left hand and foot!

And if at all I drove an AT, I doubt if I shall be switching back to manuals.

For me it's more like a religion. It's not easy to switch to a different religion. It's near impossible.

Oh, and the other reasons be dam*ed
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Old 19th March 2012, 10:30   #348
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Default Re: So, why don't you buy an Automatic?

Quote:
Originally Posted by honeybee View Post
I have spent half of my life using the left foot to operate the clutch and the left hand to operate the gear shifter. Even today, in city roundabouts I drive with one hand on the shifter since there are so many times I have to make small corrections to the gear selection or the clutch operations. I have grown so used to this I don't think I shall ever drive an AT. I would feel helpless without use of my left hand and foot!

And if at all I drove an AT, I doubt if I shall be switching back to manuals.

For me it's more like a religion. It's not easy to switch to a different religion. It's near impossible.
I spent 28 years of my life driving MT on Indian roads. The last 6 years have seen me use an AT box. The Honda dealer here asked me if I'd just like to try out the Honda CRV AT for the heck of it (in 2006) and I did. It was a kind of love at first drive - and the story ended with the Honda City CVT.
Took me just a day or two to get used to it - and there is no looking back ever.
I don't know if you've driven non power steering cars (I used to - for years) - and then the power steering came... and stayed for keeps. I don't think people will want to go back to ordinary steering - inspite of the lower costs.
I guess it is a matter of getting used to change.
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Old 19th March 2012, 12:11   #349
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Default Re: So, why don't you buy an Automatic?

Quote:
Originally Posted by vsathyap
here's what broke the deal with AT: We're getting a spanking new car for 3.6L on one hand and a 2.5 year old car with a poor FE - by paying 15K more - I dont even think they belonged to different segments!
Leaving aside segments which is too hazy a subject, I believe you were looking for something (AT convenience) and ended up buying something else (new car, but MT). The need for AT convenience cannot be made good with a newer MT car or a cheaper MT car. It is sort of like someone looking to buy an SUV and then saying that he instead bought an SX4 and saved money in the bargain.

Quote:
Originally Posted by honeybee
I have spent half of my life using the left foot to operate the clutch and the left hand to operate the gear shifter. I have grown so used to this I don't think I shall ever drive an AT. I would feel helpless without use of my left hand and foot!
You won't believe how easy it is to make the change - I shifted with ease after 25years of only driving MTs. Infact today I keep shifting between the MT and AT cars without issues.
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Old 19th March 2012, 12:12   #350
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Default Re: So, why don't you buy an Automatic?

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Originally Posted by wilful View Post
I don't know if you've driven non power steering cars (I used to - for years) - and then the power steering came... and stayed for keeps. I don't think people will want to go back to ordinary steering - inspite of the lower costs.
I guess it is a matter of getting used to change.
Exactly my point. Like all Indians, I grew up learning on and driving MTs until July 2011 when I plonked for A-Star AT with lot of apprehensions. First few hours were odd, what with free left hand and foot. But I got the hang of it by the second day and now I would never buy an MT. Yes, I would buy an MT if my driving hours were between 2am and 4 am in the morning. Because that is about the only time on Indian roads when you wouldn't see much traffic.
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Old 19th March 2012, 12:46   #351
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Default Re: So, why don't you buy an Automatic?

I also have been driving an MT all my driving life (16 yrs or so) but when I took the test drive of City AT, I just got immediately used to it and the kind of convinience that an AT brings especially in bumper to bumper traffic of Mumbai is unparalleled. Infact after having issues with my leg for almost 2 months when I had to avoid driving, convinience of an AT is high is my list of wants from my next car. And yes for those moments of adrenaline rush would prfer to have paddle shifters or manual mode.
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Old 19th March 2012, 14:42   #352
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Default Automatic Transmission and emergency braking

Guys

I had an experience of emergency braking two days ago, and this was my thought:

I drive a MT Figo (can't afford an AT yet) and had to brake is a hurry when someone decided to jump a red light right in front. At the time I was trying to accelerate my way out, and the right foot was firmly on the pedal - took some time to move it to the brake.

Now I have never driven an AT car, but I guess with two legs - two pedals, this would hardly be a problem in AT. Even fraction of a second at high speed can save a few meters in braking distance margin.

So I guess AT may even be a safety feature for an average driver.
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Old 19th March 2012, 14:53   #353
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Default Re: Automatic Transmission and emergency braking

Quote:
Originally Posted by vina View Post
Guys

I had an experience of emergency braking two days ago, and this was my thought:

I drive a MT Figo (can't afford an AT yet) and had to brake is a hurry when someone decided to jump a red light right in front. At the time I was trying to accelerate my way out, and the right foot was firmly on the pedal - took some time to move it to the brake.

Now I have never driven an AT car, but I guess with two legs - two pedals, this would hardly be a problem in AT. Even fraction of a second at high speed can save a few meters in braking distance margin.

So I guess AT may even be a safety feature for an average driver.
You drive an AT like you drive the manual. Right foot for both accelerator and brake.

Left foot, since there is not clutch pedal, stays on the dead pedal.

Left footing of the brake without knowing proper technique and without developing proper muscle memory is not for the faint of heart and should only be tried in a controlled environment (joggers' park at night / abandoned airstrip / racetrack / colony roads between 2-4 AM after checking mirrors.).

Driving an AT is not as big a deal as it is made out to be on this thread. My father who is 63, after driving manual cars since 1988, took all of 20 minutes of driving the Civic AT to get absolutely comfortable with it.

The reasoning also was actually quite simple, how many times do we adjust the mirrors, roll down the windows, or open/close the mirror in a day's drive? By comparison, the kind of B2B traffic we get to see here, How many times do we press the clutch or change gears? 2 Questions, and 40 minutes later, My father was paying the advance for his first AT Car.

Last edited by antz.bin : 19th March 2012 at 15:04.
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Old 19th March 2012, 15:08   #354
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Default Re: Automatic Transmission and emergency braking

Quote:
Originally Posted by vina View Post
Guys

Now I have never driven an AT car, but I guess with two legs - two pedals, this would hardly be a problem in AT. Even fraction of a second at high speed can save a few meters in braking distance margin.

So I guess AT may even be a safety feature for an average driver.
As antz said, you dont drive an Automatic like that. Right leg, as it is true for any normal car on earth is always for both Acc & Brake. Left leg is for clutch, and should be leisurely resting on the footmat/dead pedal all the time. The convenience of the automatic is only for the left leg (which makes sense as depressing clutch is much much more tiring activity than Brake/Acc). Left leg should NOT be knowing about your Brake or Accelerator.

I think the idea is only one of Acc/Brake should be in use at a point of time! Pressing both in panic could be disastrous.

Last edited by joslicx : 19th March 2012 at 15:10.
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Old 19th March 2012, 15:10   #355
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Default Re: So, why don't you buy an Automatic?

One reason I do not want to go for Automatic is, i will get too much used to its convinience. I fear if I buy an AT car, all my subsequent cars have to be AT. Who knows about my financial state in future, whether I will be able to afford AT in future. So better stick to MT cars.
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Old 19th March 2012, 15:22   #356
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Default Re: Automatic Transmission and emergency braking

Quote:
Originally Posted by vina View Post
So I guess AT may even be a safety feature for an average driver.
Au contraire, what i have always wondered is how safe is an AT if you get rear-ended? In an MT, you get rear ended, you take your feet off the pedals and the car stalls to a halt. Even in the brief fraction of a second when your foot is moving from the accelerator to the brake, engine braking is already slowing the car down. Will that happen in AT? I dont think so... But i would let the AT experts throw some light on what happens when an AT in the hands of an amateur gets rear ended.
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Old 19th March 2012, 16:03   #357
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Default Re: So, why don't you buy an Automatic?

I am a case, who has switched over to a MT car after experiencing an AT. Point in case, here is that I had picked up an AT Scorpio, 4WD in Jan 2010 , however, due to technical issues being faced at service centres , once, in Patna, once in Udaipur and again in Navi Mumbai and later, based on an advise from a reliable person, decided to let it go. There was a major problem in the fluid used in the transmission box( as explained to me) and invariably it used to get stuck for days in the service centre each time, they changed fluid or opened the gear box.

Also, using a Pete's box on AT, required installation of K&N filter , else, engine check warning light would be on during highway drives above certain speeds.

So after a year, exchanged it for a MT version. No engine check light at any rpms even without a K&N filter ( Pete's box installed).

No issues in Laura DSG in the last 3 years( approx. 38000 kms) and no issues even in Santro AT over 3 years that I owned it(approx. 22000kms- now sold).

Most of the cars, I have shortlisted for the next upgrade are with AT options however, after getting back to MT scorpio, wondering whether, I would really prefer an AT version of any MUV/SAV/SUV , if given a choice , unless it comes with a DSG box! Anyway, long way to reach the point of decision making yet.
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Old 19th March 2012, 16:19   #358
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Default Re: So, why don't you buy an Automatic?

Quote:
Originally Posted by radek View Post
One reason I do not want to go for Automatic is, i will get too much used to its convinience. I fear if I buy an AT car, all my subsequent cars have to be AT. Who knows about my financial state in future, whether I will be able to afford AT in future. So better stick to MT cars.
It really is not too much of a difference as some people say! We have a Skoda Superb which is a Automatic & rest of the cars are Manual which we drive alternatively with absolute ease.

So if you do want to indulge yourself with an AT, this is the right time! With Diesel demand going thru the roof, you will be able to get a good deal on Petrol AT.
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Old 19th March 2012, 17:11   #359
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Default Re: So, why don't you buy an Automatic?

Quote:
Originally Posted by vina View Post
...
Now I have never driven an AT car, but I guess with two legs - two pedals, this would hardly be a problem in AT. Even fraction of a second at high speed can save a few meters in braking distance margin...
As antz explained you drive with one leg (right leg).

One more reason for Break & Throttle for the same leg even in MT's is you don't want to be accelerating and at the same time apply break in normal driving conditions.

You would double pedal as its called in the off-roading world primarily for AT off-roaders when they need high torque at slow controlled speed (like climbing a rock).

--

I used to drive a Zen (great car miss it even today), however I picked up my Santro AT due to problem with my back, I have driven it for 50k kms and using it as a second car now, and I recently got Scorpio AT 4x4, on which I have done 10k kms already.


For speed - for what you need on the high way for a quick overtake or for plain speeding - the ATs have never failed me. Honestly I don't understand this fancy for I want to be in control thing about and the preference for MT unless one is on the tracks racing.

For off-roading - Humvee, H1, H2 were all ATs! Our own Indian version of it - Axe from MM is an AT! I have done a little bit of off-roading with my Scorpio at Danushkoti and on some small tracks around Nandi Hills and never faced any issues.


I don't think I will ever go back to a MT for a day to day use... I do want to buy a jeep/mm540 for off-roading only, perhaps then I will consider an MT.


However there are couple of things to consider about the AT from a cost point of view:

1) The initial cost, one ends up paying starting from 50k based on the model extra for an AT variant. (Santro AT costed me 50k more and Scorpio AT costed about a 1 Lac more as compared to an equivalent model).

2) The mileage of the equivalent MT model would be 1 to 2 kms more then the AT.

3) They say (I don't have any data either ways) that you will replace your break plates more often in AT.

Last edited by ajitkumarlb : 19th March 2012 at 17:19.
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Old 19th March 2012, 19:42   #360
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Default Re: So, why don't you buy an Automatic?

For me the primary reasons are these two

a) Cost difference between Manual and Auto is simply (Bad economics)
b) Power Curve is not good enough in Autos as compared to Manual Gearbox, hence not as much fun chasing someone down on a busy highway. (missing Ego Booster)
c) Fuel Efficiency aka Mileage suffers in Auto Gerabox easily by 10% to 20%. In a cost sensitive country, such as ours, where people decide to buy Petrols or Diesel simply because of Per Km running cost this is the worst possible thing.(Bad economics)

What i don't understand is Manual Shifting is so hassle and so inefficient why shouldn't an Auto-Transmission give a mileage which is better than Manual-Transmissions? The day that happens, well people will figure out and justify whether it makes sense to invest that much extra on Auto Transmission which gives a Return on investment. Cost of avoiding the gear shifting hassle is too much at the moment and more-so it doesn't give any other benefits.

On the Question why Mercedes and BMWs are being sold with Mostly Autos is simple. For Someone who is buying 30 Lakh Plus car, it becomes a Ego issue that even with 30+ lakh money they didn't get an Auto Transmission option. Afterall Internally everyone of us wants to justify that high investment thats is "if the car doesnt have anything extra what are we paying for that 30+ lakh; just the brand?" Nope. The brand prestige has to be there along with the functionality that outweigh mass segment cars. So no doubt why they go for Autos (even though not more than 10% of these people drive their own cars and its the driver who has the best fun of auto gearbox.)

Last edited by anu21v : 19th March 2012 at 19:50.
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