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Old 21st August 2007, 17:56   #76
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well actually me and my friend who has recently returned from the US were discussing topic closer to this one. we were discussing why people go for manual in india whereas almost the whole world has warmed up to the automatic. we found few things.

in the west there is non diffential cost to pay for the automatic gears.
people are more comfortable with automatic because the speed variation is less and the roads are good. where as in india you suddenly go from 80 kmph to 15 kmph and automatic gears tend to take little bit of time to reach the same speed you were at whereas with manual you can negotiate with this situation better.

in japan when you are applying for the license the ask you specifically what kind of gear system you will be driving. looking at the long term people go for automatic cars. not too sure what do they do in the US.

And finally the need for speed can only be addressed adequatly with the manual systems.
US is a special case, as it seems to have adopted the auto box as standard. In other countries in the 'West' the opposite is the case: the auto gear box is an expensive option chosen by a minority.

I don't know what countries give a "limited to auto" licence, but UK does. Only those few who have totally failed to master clutch/gear use go for it; it gets them on the road. Even those who never plan to buy a manual car will take the full test: obviously it gives the option and flexibility for life.

And finally... what has auto/manual got to do with "the need for speed"? If you want to burn rubber, keeping your foot on the gas will usually keep the car in lower gears, and there is no reason not to select lower gears from start --- best of both worlds, a 'clutchless manual'!

The max speed and acceleration figures may be a fraction lower on a given model for the auto option. I doubt that such performance figures matter except for drag racing!
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Old 21st August 2007, 23:37   #77
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Originally Posted by msharma_79 View Post
well actually me and my friend who has recently returned from the US were discussing topic closer to this one. we were discussing why people go for manual in india whereas almost the whole world has warmed up to the automatic. we found few things.

in the west there is non diffential cost to pay for the automatic gears.
people are more comfortable with automatic because the speed variation is less and the roads are good. where as in india you suddenly go from 80 kmph to 15 kmph and automatic gears tend to take little bit of time to reach the same speed you were at whereas with manual you can negotiate with this situation better.

in japan when you are applying for the license the ask you specifically what kind of gear system you will be driving. looking at the long term people go for automatic cars. not too sure what do they do in the US.

And finally the need for speed can only be addressed adequatly with the manual systems.
I used to have a Zen automatic. You can have power when you want if you know the vehicle well. You can control shifts by pressing the throttle in a controlled manner.

Second thing is automatics are not popular everywhere in the world. US is not the world and in UK(which is the other country I've been to), a lot of vehicles are manual. Infact, the rental agency I went to had mostly manual in the class I asked.

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Old 21st August 2007, 23:52   #78
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in the west there is non diffential cost to pay for the automatic gears.
people are more comfortable with automatic because the speed variation is less and the roads are good.
In US, you need to shell out anywhere between $1000 - 1500 extra for an automatic over manual. Of course many companies only sell automatics, so you won't know that you are paying more. The reason why americans prefer auto over manual is that they want life to be easy. Most Americans drive long distances to go to work and driving manual for 40 -60 miles every day is not very convenient. More so when you are late to work and need to have your breakfast and make up while driving.
The other reason is that most kids buy their first cars when they are 16 and the last thing you want is to have a teenage driver driving a stick shift.
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Old 22nd August 2007, 11:17   #79
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The other reason is that most kids buy their first cars when they are 16 and the last thing you want is to have a teenage driver driving a stick shift.
Well...16 is the best age to drive stick shift cars, aeroplanes, helicopters....and all the complicated and fancy machinary.

If you can't do it in your teens, when will you do it? In your sixties?
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Old 22nd August 2007, 12:40   #80
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Of course... learn young is best!

What's so difficult about changing gear, anyway?

Not having to is a luxury, and one that I very much enjoy having, especially for city driving.

When (although in financial reality it is a pretty big if) I buy that powerful Accord, it will be an auto, no doubt about it --- but while I'm still in the small-car market I'll probably stick to manuals.
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Old 22nd August 2007, 12:51   #81
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but while I'm still in the small-car market I'll probably stick to manuals.
Why is that, I wonder? Is it because there isnt any automatic worth buying in the Indian small car market? Since you like automatics, I am curious to know why.

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Old 22nd August 2007, 14:53   #82
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I found this relevant and funny:

[FONT=Arial][SIZE=2]US car thieves floored by manual gearbox | The Register

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[/SIZE][/FONT]
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Old 22nd August 2007, 15:41   #83
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As a person who has driven manuals for 150000 kms and 11 years, and presently driving a Corolla automatic for 9000 kms/6 months should know, I am never (except if extremely hard pressed) going to buy a manual again. I drive 60-70 kms every day from East Delhi to Gurgaon. From Aug 06-Mar 07, I drove a manual and felt extremely tired and stressed. But now with an automatic, even though the Gurgaon traffic has become more horrible, I do not feel tired. The fuel efficiency penalty is only 1 kmpl (I am now getting 10.5 kmpl in Corolla with AC, as compared with reports of 12 kmpl in manual).

For me, automatic wins hands down for comfort, hassle free, fun driving. Really, it is worth paying Rs. 60-70 K extra for auto, provided the auto maker knows how to make an automatic. Automatic is a no-brainer because:

1. If you drive less say <20-30 kms per day, then the fuel efficiency penalty is not much.
2. If you drive more, then the substantially lesser fatigue and tension makes it worthwhile to invest in an automatic.

It is unfortunate that smaller cars do not have much choice of auto. What we get are some old, flop automatics from Maruti. I plan to change my old Corsa 2003 manual around 2009-10. Really hope that Toyota/Honda do have a small car automatic by then. GM/Ford sell mainly autos in US, but no autos in India. Toyota/Honda have been successful in selling autos in the most demanding US market for more than 4 decades and so know what it takes, and are much higher on the learning curve than others. Perhaps automatic in India has got an unfair bad name because of the horrible stuff dished out by India's largest automaker over the last decade.
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Old 22nd August 2007, 16:30   #84
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I am being driving both in India and US. I think AT helps a lot. Cars with <100 bhp manual transmission does not make it really powerful. AT is a choice which helps to drive better. Responsive AT make life cool.
Unfortunately we have only two options in small car segement as Santro AT and Wagon R AT. The sales people at dealers place do not know much about AT and do not have any demo cars with AT thats the reason AT sells less. I met many sales guys recently who try to sell MT products by giving few reasons
1. AT takes more fuel
2. Its best for ladies
3. Its not available in stock, so waiting time is 3 months
4. You may not get good service here
5. Booking amount is 1 lac.
Once people starts seeing value in AT in cities like Mumbai, Pune, BLR, Delhi I am sure AT sell will go up. I thought SX4 will come with AT but
I am want to buy a small car/ sedan with new model with AT + ABS. Any idea new models coming in next 6 months?
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Old 22nd August 2007, 17:34   #85
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I always fancy a car with automatic transmission. Probably, when I can afford one, I will buy one.

Are'nt you worried about handing your car keys to a valet, who may not know how to handle an auto, since the population of these things is so low.
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Old 22nd August 2007, 17:40   #86
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I always fancy a car with automatic transmission. Probably, when I can afford one, I will buy one.

Are'nt you worried about handing your car keys to a valet, who may not know how to handle an auto, since the population of these things is so low.
at most of the big hotels they would have handled alot of autos.. but just in case you can tell him that d is for drive and p for park.
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Old 22nd August 2007, 17:44   #87
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Oh yes, I went to Leela and told the valet that it was an automatic and asked him if he knows how to use it. He gave me a look of contempt and said that he's used to BMW & Merc Automatics. :-)
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Old 22nd August 2007, 21:58   #88
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Well...16 is the best age to drive stick shift cars, aeroplanes, helicopters....and all the complicated and fancy machinary.

If you can't do it in your teens, when will you do it? In your sixties?
You think so? Our teen driver is already busy with one eye on his girl friend sitting in passenger seat and one ear listening to his friends in back seat while the other is glued to the Ipod speakers and now you want him to drive stick shift which requires one hand on wheel and the other on gear lever, how the hell is he supposed to send text messages?

It is not that teens cannot learn stick shift, it is just that their mind wanders away in too many directions to be concentrating on driving. Even with automatics, too many teens are getting killed in US.

Anyway, in my opinion MT is for enthusiasts and AT is for folks who use the car mostly for getting from point A to B.
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Old 23rd August 2007, 08:02   #89
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Oh yes, I went to Leela and told the valet that it was an automatic and asked him if he knows how to use it. He gave me a look of contempt and said that he's used to BMW & Merc Automatics. :-)

Yes I guess all the 5 star hotel valets are knowledgeable but I certainly would not give an AT car to a valet at other places. Smaller restaurants etc hire poorly paid drivers who take the job mainly for the tips - I'm sure these guys are not very comfortable with AT.
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Old 23rd August 2007, 08:12   #90
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^^Whats there to be comfortable with AT? Any dimwit can drive an AT car. Its like driving a go kart.
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