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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 24th December 2014, 16:07   #496
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Default So, why don't you buy an Automatic?

One place where I hate automatics is during emergency braking. For example- a situation where in you are overtaking a trailer truck be it on a 4/2 lane road. Suddenly something comes in your lane maybe a human, animal, car, bike.etc. In such a situation manuals should be better. As you can always use the brakes + downshift to help you brake with engine braking. My friends using automatics on daily basis state about shifting to triptronic mode and use engine braking but in real life they do accept that during emergency situations neither is there sufficient time nor that presence of my mind. Why no presence of mind? Automatics are all about ease of driving. Once you are used to that ease, the habit of using engine braking goes away.

Whereas people using MT regularly use engine braking even during normal driving conditions.
It helps us in 2 ways-
1. Lesser use of brakes.
2. Helps us gain speed easily as We are in the right gear.

In typical autos it starts hunting for gears. Now I have no intention of starting an AT vs MT debate. I just stated a typical indian highway driving situation.

Asit

Last edited by asit.kulkarni93 : 24th December 2014 at 16:09.
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Old 24th December 2014, 16:30   #497
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Default Re: So, why don't you buy an Automatic?

I voted for the 'I love manuals' option, but how I wish I could vote for a few more options.

Having an automatic car increases my love for manuals four folds, case in point is the 2012 Honda City with a 5 speed conventional torque converter automatic transmission.

The car seems to have a mind of its own and I don't think its the most intelligent of minds, it up-shifts when I don't want it to, doesn't down-shift when I want it to.
The paddle shifters were a novelty initially, I hardly use them now, and quite frankly paddle shifters don't make too much difference to the whole experience, unless its a DSG.

I have put up at least 10k kms on it but it still feels very disconnected, have taken it to e-ways, highways, ghat roads and it has always been boring. I have the option of taking it to college/work everyday but I still go back to my 3 pot Polo TDI, just for the reason that it lets me decide when I want to change gears, and feels a lot more fun despite being under-powered.

Another reason for not preferring automatics is that IMHO they are very sensitive to different driving styles, my City is primarily used by my sister, who like most female drivers drives with a light foot, and car returns a healthy 11-12 kmpl, the moment I start driving it, economy goes down to a very unhealthy and pocket hurting 7-9 kmpl.

I used the car once for a week, tanked up on fuel worth Rs. 3300/- approximately, the car demanded a re-fuel at around the 380 km mark.
Where as my Polo, no matter who drives it, regularly gives 15-16 kmpl, topping up at 18 kmpl at times.

But, having driven DSG equipped cars for decent distances, I know they are supremely fun, very fast, and decently fuel efficient, I think DSG really is the future, and most companies will surely take up this tech sooner or later, they should!

If, Volkswagen brings in the Tiguan with a 2.0 TDI DSG variant, that would be my next buy for sure.

Last edited by 599gto : 24th December 2014 at 16:35.
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Old 24th December 2014, 18:20   #498
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Default Re: So, why don't you buy an Automatic?

1. AT option is unavailable on my choice of car (including diesels)
Only the Rapid/Polo/Vento have a DSG + Turbo option . These are premium cars, but still make do with the same boring interiors , bare bone ICE , dash setup , + lack of tiptronic etc.

2. Other reason(s)
The AT variants for most B segment cars are based on the lower-middle variants, that lack the useful features of the top variants (ABS/Airbags/Touch screen ICE)
eg: The Ritz AT variant was based on the VXI, and costs a whopping ~1.2 lakh more and did not feature ABS/Airbags.

The Zest AMT is based on the mid XM variant ,rather than the XT . So, choose the AMT or the Airbags/Touch screen ICE.
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Old 25th December 2014, 08:22   #499
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Default Re: So, why don't you buy an Automatic?

Hi,

I have been looking for a manual entry level option in US for my first car here. I had to pick an automatic since I urgently needed one and this car, a Hyundai accent 1.6, came with a low odo of 37k. Few differences which make me yearn for a manual still:

1. When it is cold in the morning, it takes almost 15 miles of driving before the gear changes to the highest. It makes me feel helpless to see the car revving for a long time on highway when I could have used the fifth or sixth gear in place of third or fourth.

2. It gives me lower mileage on shorter runs, again because the gear changes are not controlled and there is over revving of the engine in lower gears.

3. I feel bad for the engine strain in the car during those high revving situations, when I would have changed gears to highest back in India in a manual car.

4. I feel lack of control in an emergency situation when I could use gears to bring extra braking. It is automatic and I do not feel confident.

Given a choice, I would love a paddle shifter and enjoy both manual and auto fun and conveniences.

Regards

Himanshu
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Old 25th December 2014, 08:49   #500
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Default Re: So, why don't you buy an Automatic?

I have chosen the third. AT option is unavailable on my choice of car (including diesels)
I would always prefer a Diesel AT with upright seats. Currently we have a Polo Manual and a Ecosport AT, but due to high usage 80-100 km / day Ecosport with its low mileage is not affordable.
Car with higher seating like Innova, Ecosport Diesel, Duster etc with an AT will be more practical.

Rahul
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Old 25th December 2014, 22:38   #501
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Default Re: So, why don't you buy an Automatic?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rahul Rao View Post
Innova, Ecosport Diesel, Duster etc with an AT will be more practical.
Innova Automatic or the XUV500 AT would have been superb options in the segment.

We are truly missing a sub 20L AT SUV.
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Old 25th December 2014, 23:01   #502
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Default Re: So, why don't you buy an Automatic?

I haven't voted on this thread because I think over time, the choices may change The last time I replied to this thread, my answer was along the lines of "AT was not available in my choice of car". I was also unsure about getting an AT due to the budget. Well, now, AT is available in my choice of car and the cost is also within budget. So my current answer is "My next car will be an automatic".

Although I have driven AT car before, I had still not made up my mind to get an AT car when I started searching for a new car this time. During the test drive, I appreciated the convenience of the AT in a busy section of the road. But at other times during the drive I also felt that I have nothing to do in the car. So who knows, the next time my answer might be "I love MT".

Last edited by StarrySky : 25th December 2014 at 23:03.
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Old 26th December 2014, 14:44   #503
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Default Re: So, why don't you buy an Automatic?

Quote:
Originally Posted by azeemhafiz View Post
Get a GTI steering on your GT Tsi and you will change your mind pretty quickly


DSG gearbox with paddle-shifters is as close to Race cars that we can get. It is truly a unique combination of the best of manual world (great control and direct connected feeling to engine) and automatic (no hassle of a clutch).

I know most people rarely use paddleshifters, but the thrill and ease of on the limit cornering on a DSG equipped car with paddleshifters is hard to beat. A pure joy I discovered on fellow BHPian and good friend Robi's car on some estate roads of Kerala at 2AM. And with all the cars that I have driven after with Paddleshifters, the experience is quite pure and rewarding.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Santoshbhat View Post
I guess we'll just agree to disagree then.

Most AT boxes upshift to the highest gear possible to conserve fuel. If you are coasting behind a car going at 70 to 80kph for more than 5 secs you will find the box shifting up to the highest gear. Its only when you floor the throttle that the box downshifts a couple of ratios. So to that extent it needs a bit more 'planning' to execute an overtaking manoeuvre. In my manual, I can even coast in 2nd gear behind this 70 kph car and then blast off as soon as I get the slightest of opportunities.
Also try the DSG in tip tronic mode, and you can operate the gear box like a sequential gearbox. I for one prefer it over paddle shifters. after all, rallying is another pinnacle in racing.

So, with a DSG you can have the best of both the worlds, convenient to use, when you put it in D. for instantaneous acceleration, Hill driving and overtaking, use S. and for drags and fun drives, use M or paddles.
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Old 26th December 2014, 19:06   #504
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Default Re: So, why don't you buy an Automatic?

I drive an automatic SUV and love the auto transmission. My wife drives a manual and has been driving manuals for over 20 years. She says she does not want to bother to learn a different style of driving and braking required on auto cars .
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Old 7th June 2015, 15:15   #505
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Default Understanding the AT transmission myth in India

The road conditions in Indian cities aren't what one would call ideal. In fact, they are far from it. Non-existing lane discipline, negligence on part of road-users, criss-crossing two-wheeler traffic, stray cattle, choc-a-bloc lanes and by-lanes and what not, driving in major cities in India is a chaotic and tiring affair! And the lesser said about the accidents and resulting casualties, the better. Overall, the driving conditions in Indian cities are tailor-made for automatic transmission vehicles. Incredibly, automatics just weren't popular here for some reason. I would say they still aren't but atleast, more people have started considering cars equipped with automatic transmission these days than, say, a decade or so back.

I searched the forum but couldn't find one definitive answer on what has always stopped us from buying automatic cars. And what has changed in recent years that has made us more considerate and less critical about automatic cars? From a humble Nano to macho off-roaders like the Pajero Sport of Fortuner, automatic transmission variants are an integral part of every automaker's plans for the Indian market today. Not having one is being viewed as a chink in the armor these days. I've deliberately ignored cars from luxury brands and exotics that operate in an altogether different business environment.

I have added a poll to take advantage of the collective knowledge in this forum on what I see as an unique trend in India. This thread will also go in as an input to a study project I'm doing on the booming prospects of automatic transmissions in India.

Last edited by arvi86 : 7th June 2015 at 15:17.
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Old 7th June 2015, 15:25   #506
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Default Re: Understanding the AT transmission myth in India

Quote:
Originally Posted by arvi86 View Post
The road conditions in Indian cities aren't what one would call ideal. In fact, they are far from it. Non-existing lane discipline, negligence on part of road-users, criss-crossing two-wheeler traffic, stray cattle, choc-a-bloc lanes and by-lanes and what not, driving in major cities in India is a chaotic and tiring affair! And the lesser said about the accidents and resulting casualties, the better. Overall, the driving conditions in Indian cities are tailor-made for automatic transmission vehicles.

................

I have added a poll to take advantage of the collective knowledge in this forum on what I see as an unique trend in India. This thread will also go in as an input to a study project I'm doing on the booming prospects of automatic transmissions in India.
India is a very price sensitive market. A/T shoots up the price of the vehicle and also increases the fuel consumption which hits the wallet deeper.

That does not bode well with the Aam Junta. Also, A/T is still not a new concept for the majority in India, so they assume that the maintenance cost will be higher. Those who are not used to driving A/Ts will shy away from it too.

If you notice, the premium segment majorly has only A/Ts and people are accepting it without any discomfort, simply because their pockets are huge enough to bear the fuel expenses.
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Old 7th June 2015, 15:40   #507
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Default Re: Understanding the AT transmission myth in India

While there are more than one reason why automatics were not acceptable to the majority of Indians, I think the single most important one was the fuel efficiency element. They were (and even now are to a large extent) perceived to be frightfully fuel guzzling contraptions. Also the initial higher cost of automatics did not help.
With the growth in income and information, more folks are willing to take a chance for the greater driving comfort it offers on our chaotic city roads.
Granted that car manufacturers were extremely chary of bringing in AT variants but then it was a kind of chicken and egg situation.
I think it will be an automatic explosion in the coming years.
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Old 7th June 2015, 16:20   #508
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Default Re: Understanding the AT transmission myth in India

I think the fact that old school automatics lowered the FE by a fair margin was the main factor turning people away from them. Now with newer locking torque converters, etc and even other technologies like DSG the lower mileage is hardly anything. A good example is the i10 A/T (though not old school) which didn't give good FE compared to its M/T counterpart.

The second was that automatics would be very high on maintenance, which again may have been true 20 years ago. But now if some precautions are taken (and even if they aren't) an automatic will require less maintenance than a manual which will need clutches changed, etc depending on the driving. In fact the extra cost of an automatic will be very little after taking into account the clutch change cost on a manual.

Now these perceptions are slowly changing, and we see more automatics on the road. People are realizing the convenience they offer.
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Old 7th June 2015, 18:01   #509
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Default Re: Understanding the AT transmission myth in India

I have voted for the percieved reduction in fuel efficiency as that is the closest factor I could see here. In my opinion there a lot more factors and I have listed them below.
  • High premium for the Automatic variant compared to the equivalent Manual variant - Many customers feel the extra premium for automatic cars is not really worth
  • Much lower fuel efficiency compared to the respective manual variants - Add with that the lower fuel efficiency - that means higher initial costs + high running costs - a strict NO to most buyers.
  • Lack of awareness about the presence of automatic cars - Many average customers in Tier 2 and 3 cities believed Celerio was the first car in India without clutch. Many others thought automatic option was available only in high-end imported cars.
  • Lack of marketing or advertisements exclusively for automatic variants - This would have made many more buyers aware of the automatic variant and its benefits - Maruti successfully did that with Celerio.
  • Fear about issues like reliability and high maintenance costs - Issue like DSG failures meant fear of failure and high maintenance and repair costs.

Fun to drive factor comes in only for the purists - average Indian will never mind sacrificing that for the convenience. Give him a fuel efficient automatic that is not very expensive compared to the manual variant - the demand will automatically build up. If automatic scooters like Activas and Kinetics have been selling so well and have completely wiped out the Chetaks and LML Vespas, it is because they took care of the above mentioned factors. There is less fun to drive but the convenience is multi-folds. If the above factors were taken care, I do not see any reason why wouldn't the automatic cars sell as well.
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Old 7th June 2015, 19:49   #510
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Default Re: Understanding the AT transmission myth in India

I just had a drive in my sister's Brio AT and I was surprised. The car is powerful enough for Indian roads and the only time I felt it was lagging was when I wanted to overtake a niggling Share Auto (Ape/Magic), had to wait for it to drop a couple of gears (my mistake as well as I didn't plan for it earlier) . I can only imagine how the GT would feel

The reasons why Automatics didn't take off earlier, according to me, would be:

1. Cost. Buying power has increased these days with the common man and an Auto Hatch costing close to 10L on road would have bombed big time a few years ago. But everyone wants a GT TSi these days. 1L premium over a similar MT version didn't make sense to a lot of people.

2. F.E. was low and it was not a case of perception and it was because of the third point.

3. Stone age tech with regards to the transmission (Hyundai/Maruti still use them. Honda have upgraded a lil to 5-speed boxes/CVT but long way to go for them as well).

4. Cities though poorly planned were not this congested. Today with the advent of low cost cars, cabs/autos and cars themselves becoming a necessity than a luxury, people are realizing the advantages of an AT.

Frankly, I would think most would benefit from an AT car. They will have more focus on the road rather than trying to keep the car running. The newbies especially are poor at this and end up either keeping the car running & banging into someone on the road or struggling to get the car going.

My first car will definitely be an AT. Whatever money I manage to save on the fuel I would end up paying it to the doctor, if I am stuck with a manual shifter.

Last edited by SchumiFan : 7th June 2015 at 19:51.
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