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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 21st November 2011, 10:51   #106
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Default Re: So, why don't you buy an Automatic?

MY Choice is others - "All of the above" with certain weightages. AT Cars are expensive not available in diesels within 10L rs., lesser mileage, Not fun to drive, maintenance concerns, not worth paying a premium.

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Old 21st November 2011, 11:06   #107
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Default Re: So, why don't you buy an Automatic?

My choices have mainly been:

1. I love MT's: Driving an MT on an open road is way better than driving even a DSG AT. Having experianced both, I am in a position to make that statement!

2. No choice of AT in my desired segment: I have a Swift Diesel thats running excellent. Im not even thinking of changing that as of now. But, if and when I do, I want to go in for a C segment AT. Unfortunately, dont find a single Diesel AT in that segment.

Having said that, I do have both, the AT and MT in the garage. The MT Laura is the workhorse, and the AT Superb is for those weekend errands (thats when the car is with me!). So, not too sure if my vote counts .
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Old 21st November 2011, 11:49   #108
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Default Re: So, why don't you buy an Automatic?

I love manual transmissions for sure. But given the ever rising traffic I would not mind buying an AT car just for city runs since I can afford to have 2 cars. But the bigger put off for me is the lack of ATs in Diesel. With the rising petrol costs there is no way I am opting for a petrol sucking AT engine. Its high time that car makers start venturing actively in the Diesel AT territory both in the hatchbacks and the sedan segment.
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Old 21st November 2011, 12:13   #109
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Default Re: So, why don't you buy an Automatic?

Very interesting thread and even more interesting results / responses.
I see the point of this thread but why not include another option - I currently have an automatic!!

Ok, more than half of the people who have commented on this thread seem to be non-AT drivers. So it is obvious that the responses are pro-MT.

I might be one of the very few people on TBHP who owns an "old" AT - a 1997 Zen. We bought this car primarily for my wife - she is not too comfortable driving a manual. 2 years ago, when I was looking for a cheap AT, I realised that Maruti had sold Zens with ATs during the previous decades. So, looked around for a while and picked up one from a popular used car dealer in Chennai. It showed 72,xxx kms on the ODO and I knew it was clocked - it was way too low for a 13 year old car. However, mechanically the car was in great shape and I didnt even bother arguing with the dealer on the ODO.

Now, I see that many people have mentioned 'maintenance' as a concern but having driven a 14 year old cheap hatchback AT for the past 2 years, maintenance is the least I have spent on!!! Apart from returning 8.5 km/lt with 100% a/c on, there is nothing in this old car I would complain about. All that I have spent is on fuel and regular service-related costs. The car has never let me down and it is still absolutely trust-worthy.

So, unless it is the OEM who has had an issue with the AT [Audi's Multitronic, for example], I see no reason why people should be worried about 'maintenance' in an AT.

PS : I have assumed maintenance to be exclusively related to the AT and not fuel costs as it is given as a separate option.
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Old 21st November 2011, 12:23   #110
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Default Re: So, why don't you buy an Automatic?

Voted for options - 1, 3 and 7.
1 & 3 expresses my concerns as I have an AT Santro for last 6/7 years. Yet I will buy an AT whenever I am buying a non SUV - despite of the low fuel efficiency and lack of choice. ATs are serene in traffic. One can almost clear the enter powai jam being half asleep.

Reason for not preferring AT on SUV - because I think AT is non macho and SUV is macho. Plus I won't personally drive an SUV in the city much.
So I'll definitely take AT if I am buying a sedan or hatch.
Will buy a manual if I buy an SUV. However, if I could tank up for the likes of Q7 and all - At will be fine as no-one will bother checking the transmission while judging my coolness, dudeness or machoness.

Summary - Other than the fuel efficiency and coolness endowed on the driver by a sleek gear shift action, Manuals have no appeal to me. However, Coolness has a very large appeal.

PS - Personal Opinion alert!

Last edited by sen2009 : 21st November 2011 at 12:27.
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Old 21st November 2011, 12:31   #111
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Default Re: So, why don't you buy an Automatic?

I don't believe that AT cars are less fuel efficient. In Dubai, my moms VW Golf Plus 1.6 which is a six-speed auto gives us about 12-15 kpl in the city in bumper-to-bumper traffic. On the highway at a speed of 100km/h, it gives us an instantaneous fuel average (as per the computer) of 5liters/100 km. That works out to 20km/l. A 1.6 petrol automatic giving 20km/l is GREAT.
My dads Merc ML350 7-speed auto tends to give us about 10-12 km/l on the highway at similar speeds of 100-120 km/h. Which isn't bad for ~2.5ton SUV with a 3.5Ltr engine.
Maintenance - wise, we have had the Golf longer and it hasn't thrown us any surprises in terms of gearbox maintenance.
I feel that if the manufacturer maintenance schedules are performed correctly, and parts are actually replaced, not pretended to be replaced as happens in many service centres in India, autos wouldn't be half bad.
Also, autos require a slightly different driving style, which many people who have learnt in manual cars may not possess, me included. I am learning auto in Dubai and it is different from driving a manual car as I learnt in India.

PS: The 1.6 on the Golf is the same as the Vento/Polo.
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Old 21st November 2011, 12:38   #112
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Default Re: So, why don't you buy an Automatic?

My next car is going to be an AT for sure! Sick and tired of constantly changing gears and riding the clutch in day to day (and bumper to bumper) traffic of Bangalore. Whether petrol or diesel, and whatever the fuel costs I dont care. Car is gonna be an AT!
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Old 21st November 2011, 12:44   #113
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Default Re: So, why don't you buy an Automatic?

I voted for option 3 [AT option is unavailable on my choice of car (including diesels)].

Some context to our current garage. A Civic A/T (me); a City A/T (mum) and a i20 manual (wife).

Left to me, all cars in our garage would be automatics. Since all 3 cars are relatively new (ranging Aug 09 - Apr '10) its too early to replace anything but personally I would promptly plonk my money on a good diesel A/T hatch / entry level sedan to be the work horse run about in the city. An alternate car I'd love to have in my garage at some point (replacing the i20 perhaps) is an Innova A/T. Both these are serious options I'd consider to replace the Manual i20 with.

Alas, neither exist at this point nor does there seem to be any sign of such options being available in the near future.

What baffles me is given how many upper middle class urban families use an Innova as their people mover, I'm amazed at why Toyota doesn't offer the A/T locally. I'm sure it'll have demand in the cities even if offered in the Vx variant.
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Old 21st November 2011, 12:47   #114
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Default Re: So, why don't you buy an Automatic?

Originally Posted by adisag View Post
[b]..The showroom staff were almost discouraging and quite strongly proclaimed I was better of with a manual - sure this was a long time back and I was'nt really serious about the AT anyway, but I wonder if things have changed since..
Not at all, in my personal opinion. When I was shopping around for the i20 AT, I was actively discouraged from buying one, and a test drive was nowhere to be had. It's only in the higher segments that this aversion to AT's seem to be non-existent. I actually got a test drive of a Vento AT in just 5-10 minutes, and even if it wasn't a long drive it was still a quick test drive nonetheless.

Apathy towards AT cars can be quite the norm in our part of the world, more markedly in the sub 10 lakh bracket.
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Old 21st November 2011, 14:03   #115
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Default Re: So, why don't you buy an Automatic?

Originally Posted by ramanak View Post
+1 on the A/T Mileage.If driven sedately,A/T (especially 5+ Speed A/T) can give exceptional mileage figures.I drive a Civic A/T and have hypermiled to get a 26.9 KMPL Mileage on Highway.18-19 KMPL in a Civic A/T is a breeze. Manual may give even more (Have n't driven a manual since driving a Peuguot a very long time ago).I guess 20 + KMPL is more than enough given the ease of ride on A/T.My i10 A/T used to give me close to 18/19 KMPL on Highway.
wow thats some insane figures that i have never got in my life in an at heck not even a mt car. pretty good. good to see someone agree to the fact. my i10 has never seen the highway at all so its the worst mileage car we have. it was meant for city runs only. vento went to highway once and gave around 16 at best. city as well on highway gave around 14. its very diffucult to convince an indian to pump in money on an autobox in india, but once you go there is no turning back. i will totally agree the market here is rubbish with choice of autoboxes and some cannot buy what they want in the segments they want, i just hope it settles down in this lifetime
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Old 21st November 2011, 14:34   #116
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Default Re: So, why don't you buy an Automatic?

Lack of availability is one of the prime reasons i guess. How many popular cars in India comes with AT as an option under 7-8 lacs or 10 lacs? You have to really search for it. Most popular Indian cars like Alto, i10, Indica, Swift, wagon R etc comes without AT as an option. If people are not getting option as well, how we can expect the sales for it? Also there are concerns mentioned by GTO like FE, Initial price, maintenance cost etc.

But i guess if people get AT as an option in popular cars, specially in diesel in current market, number of AT buyers will 100% increase, specially in big cities
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Old 21st November 2011, 14:59   #117
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Default Re: So, why don't you buy an Automatic?

I love manuals for the sheer feel of control they give!

But however during the rush hour situations as cited in the first pic, driving pleasure is out of question and an automatic box comes in handy.

I would buy an auto when I can afford a second car (mostly a hatch) which will be used only for in-city commuting. But my primary car would always be a manual petrol sedan.
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Old 21st November 2011, 15:55   #118
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Default Re: So, why don't you buy an Automatic?

i drive a manual.
and over last two days i was driving around in NCR.
and i had to go through so much gear shifts and clutch usage in 2 days,that my car probably see's in a period of 6-8 months under my normal driving conditions.
if i were to drive around in NCR daily,i would get an automatic for sure.
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Old 21st November 2011, 16:11   #119
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Default Re: So, why don't you buy an Automatic?

1. The primary concern is the price of an automatic. The i10 Automatic sportz retails for over 7.5 lacs on road in bangalore. Its simply undeserved premium. Even if Manufacturers cant reduce the price of the auto, they should at least offer it across all variants, like an i10 Automatic Era.

2. The After sales service. I don't know how the service center folks are trained in repairing these cars. Are they as comfortable with auto boxes as they are with Manuals?

3. The fuel efficiency

4. There is no Automatic Transmission in diesel or LPG cars below 10 lacs.

5. In India, there is a popular perception that Auto boxes are for women. Though I really find it weird, I sure will think about this when choosing an automatic over a manual.

Originally Posted by GTO View Post
"How will there be demand unless you give the market what it wants?!"
Once Steve Jobs daringly said (something to the effect of) "I dont think its the customer's business to know what he wants".

He 'created' a huge market for Music players and tablets when nobody thought about it. People started buying Ipods and Ipads just because they were 'available' and not because they actually needed one.

Similarly, Car Manufacturers can create a new market for Automatics if they really want. I still can't figure out what stops them.
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Old 21st November 2011, 16:26   #120
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Default Re: So, why don't you buy an Automatic?

^^ 7.5 lakhs? Not really. I enquired today from Trident Hyundai, according to them it's 6.25 lakhs OTR for the Sportz AT variant. Still very expensive, almost a lakh more than the A-Star AT.

Last edited by Oxy : 21st November 2011 at 16:29.
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