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Old 15th July 2009, 00:18   #46
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Firstly the thread title is a bit of a misnomer. There are not 'only' auto cars in the US. But yes, most of them are autos. And while convenience and instant gratification is a big reason, autos are not that bad to drive. Many a good driver can lick a manual with an auto.
And while we are proud of our manual driving skills, why then do most Indians in the US leave this skill behind and get autos? In fact with the vast open highways there is all the more reason to get a manual right?
Good point there, equinox.
Just for stats, if I were to talk about a group of friends here in Houston- between 40-50 families that I'm acquainted with, just 1 other person owns a stick shift,apart from myself. Its definitely easier for women to use AT cars,and in general its quite hassle free to be able to put the pedal to the metal, and cruise on the freeways/city streets.
I personally hate AT cars,as it gets really boring to drive. Of course,both manual & automatic cars eventually feel the same when you are doing 70mph, unobstructed by traffic. Weave in and out a bit, and thats where the manual comes in handy.
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Old 15th July 2009, 09:08   #47
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I agree Nitin. I know 3 people (Indians) including myself here who own a stick shift. Personally I love my car and its gearbox. And I love shifting and the control it gives.
On the other hand I think our cabbies and a lot of others in India would be real grateful if their cars were autos. Especially in our bumper to bumper metro traffic.
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Old 15th July 2009, 10:13   #48
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Guys what do you think of cars with Tiptronic boxes.Best of both worlds to choose from as you like when you like.
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Old 15th July 2009, 19:24   #49
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Guys what do you think of cars with Tiptronic boxes.Best of both worlds to choose from as you like when you like.
Best of both worlds...Hmmm - Not in all the cars, especially the non-sporty lot. Lots of electronics interfere with the shifts and you can say doody-doodle-doo-doo over and over before the gearshifts happen, in some cars that have this feature. Takes away the fun. Saturn Aura in US comes to mind.

However, recently I drove a Ford Falcon XR6 and it was a hoot to drive, with tiptronic feature(Dunno what Ford calls this feature - each manufacturer has their own names for it).
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Old 16th July 2009, 13:13   #50
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Best of both worlds...Hmmm - Not in all the cars, especially the non-sporty lot. Lots of electronics interfere with the shifts and you can say doody-doodle-doo-doo over and over before the gearshifts happen, in some cars that have this feature. Takes away the fun. Saturn Aura in US comes to mind.

However, recently I drove a Ford Falcon XR6 and it was a hoot to drive, with tiptronic feature(Dunno what Ford calls this feature - each manufacturer has their own names for it).
Yep sure some cant change for some reason or the other when they should but try driving some European cars with Tiptronic.....VW Golf with the DSG gearbox or even the Mercs or Porsche and you will not miss the cluth pedal at all
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Old 16th July 2009, 13:42   #51
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May be they have more interesting things to do with the right hand ;-) Man, they spend so much time in their cars, it'd be darn boring to engage more than one hand for just one job all the time!
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Old 16th July 2009, 14:21   #52
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May be they have more interesting things to do with the right hand
They are spoilt that's all I would say!
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Old 16th July 2009, 14:25   #53
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Let me add one more point. The US (unlike most of Europe) has the same license for manuals and Auto's. even less reason to learn to shift!
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Old 16th July 2009, 17:28   #54
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You actually do get manual cars in the US but the reason the auto is more popular is due to the convenience of use and cheap fuel.

This is the reason many electrical and electronic devices are also popular in the US a good example would be an electric can opener.

Its not because they are lazy its just the convenience.
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Old 16th July 2009, 17:45   #55
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Couple of things I can see going for auto cars in US
1. Miles and miles of straight roads with well behaved traffic. Autos give better mileage in that case than manuals. (as if Americans care !!)

2. Average american is lazy and dumb. And may not ever fathom the concept of gears !!
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Old 16th July 2009, 18:45   #56
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Originally Posted by abhijitaparadh View Post
Couple of things I can see going for auto cars in US
1. Miles and miles of straight roads with well behaved traffic. Autos give better mileage in that case than manuals. (as if Americans care !!)

2. Average american is lazy and dumb. And may not ever fathom the concept of gears !!
Chalo, at least from your own words, i can fgure out that the average dumb American is capable of behaving well in traffic, Something that we fail to do anywhere in india
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Old 16th July 2009, 18:50   #57
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Repeating a point I made earlier, how many Indians in the US have manual cars? Its not just about being lazy or dumb. You dont have to be extremely smart to drive a manual. Its just practice. An auto is more about convenience. I am sure many people who drive in the cities of India would prefer an auto. And that is probably also the reason you have a lot of elderly people in the US still driving themselves around. Its much easier for them.
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Old 16th July 2009, 18:53   #58
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Quote:
Originally Posted by abhijitaparadh View Post
Couple of things I can see going for auto cars in US
1. Miles and miles of straight roads with well behaved traffic. Autos give better mileage in that case than manuals. (as if Americans care !!)

2. Average american is lazy and dumb. And may not ever fathom the concept of gears !!
Regarding point 1 - More than mileage, on such roads, what do you do with a manual gearbox anyway? Keep changing gears for the heck of it? On the freeways, you can keep doing constant speeds in excess of 70 mph, meaning you are always in top gear. Manual box would only help if you are doing the twisties everyday, or want to have something to do in the cabin. Even in Australia, most are AT cars. I tried hard to rent a manual, no luck so far. Next best option - Get a tiptronic. And guess what? I never missed the clutch !!
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Old 16th July 2009, 18:58   #59
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Quote:
Originally Posted by equinox22 View Post
Repeating a point I made earlier, how many Indians in the US have manual cars? Its not just about being lazy or dumb. You dont have to be extremely smart to drive a manual. Its just practice. An auto is more about convenience. I am sure many people who drive in the cities of India would prefer an auto. And that is probably also the reason you have a lot of elderly people in the US still driving themselves around. Its much easier for them.
It has nothing to do with the laziness. An auto is *much more* convenient to drive than a manual. Period.

Now question is why convenience is more important to Americans (masses) and not the Fun to Drive factor. Because they have world's best (straight, wide, well built whatever criteria you take) roads and people spend half of their life in cars. People prefer taking cars for even loooong commutes in place of Buses or trains because it is *convenient*.
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Old 16th July 2009, 19:34   #60
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^^ It is actually convenient and cheaper than taking a bus or train. And honestly when you are driving at 70 mph on a highway for long hours, it does not make any difference whether it is a manual or an auto. And auto cars are not always boring to drive. I have driven many auto cars which can keep you at the edge of your seat with their power and handling.
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