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View Poll Results: Are automatics faster than manual counterparts
Yes, Automatics are faster 6 9.38%
No way, Its manual transmission all along 31 48.44%
Cant' say, it depends on the vehicle 27 42.19%
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Old 5th August 2012, 21:20   #136
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Default Re: Automatic or Manual - Which is faster?

Thanks for everybody who is giving me support and encouragement to go for an automatic. You know there is always a level of resistance towards any change from a way which is working for you since so many years. But it's also equally true that till I try something new, I won't know what I am missing. Now guys which company do you think manufactures reliable automatics in diesel? My choices are limited if I consider automatic and I guess I will have to choose between Skoda Laura and VW Jetta. Is one likely to be more reliable than other both being from same parent company though I don't know whether they get manufactured for both at same source? Or am I missing any other good brand (diesel automatic)? Of course I have to mention here that I have a budget constraint of around 20L, but may stretch it to 23L (if I have to consider Highline Jetta AT). Can't afford Audis / Mercs. Or do you think something will be arriving early next year worth waiting for?

Last edited by dezrskb : 5th August 2012 at 21:23.
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Old 5th August 2012, 21:46   #137
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Default Re: Automatic or Manual - Which is faster?

I did not know what I was missing till I drove an automatic in the US. People in India have a negative impression of auto trannys in general, and much of that is owed to the inferior entry level cars from MSIL and Hyundai launched in the past

I drive the dual clutch Fiesta automatic in traffic choked Bangalore, and boy, I never want to go back to a manual car. The car is faster off the blocks, my driving has never been so stress free, and my left knee and hand rests easy. And the fuel efficiency is comparable to manual cars of the same size.

On highways, you might miss the manual, but then, how often does a regular city guy go out on the highway?
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Old 5th August 2012, 22:46   #138
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Default Re: Automatic or Manual - Which is faster?

Quote:
Originally Posted by manim View Post
Now (after 5 years and 1.2 lakh kms) I will never go back to manual again.
.....
The driving pleasure is in no way diminished.
...
Modern day automatics with their electronics and sensors are getting more and more better that manuals will go extinct someday in the future (my opinion).

I think manuals will be in future only for racing, which is forbidden on regular roads.
I'll go as far as making what I know is a perfectly dogmatic statement here :
Automatics are killing America

Quote:
Originally Posted by n.devdath View Post
Which is more pleasurable for an enthusiast? Well, certainly the manual, not because you will shift better than the AT (DSGs are terrifyingly precise) but because to an enthusiast, being in complete control of the all the functions of the car gives that feeling of enthusiasm and that rush of adrenaline.
Cannot agree more with Devdath, though I know it's very subjective.

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Originally Posted by dezrskb View Post
Is Automatic going to increase my driving pleasure?
Why manual? A couple of good practical reasons apart, it poses a question only you can answer because it's entirely about your history with cars, your purpose and how you connect with them.

Manuals give you better gas mileage, but people won't care for as long as fuel remains affordable to them. It gives you supreme control over your vehicle, allowing you to choose exactly how much torque you want to release to the wheels - a concept I might easily lose grip over if accustomed to an automatic.

But the most important of reasons, for me, is the feeling of being integrally connected with your car and its inner mechanisms. It's a very important connection between driver and the road, and getting to choose your gears through a slick manual shift action is a conversational engagement with your car. Someone on youtube has said this very well, and I paraphrase - there's a significant difference between audio from a turn-table, from a CD player and an iTunes store, and anyone who really loves music can really see the difference because they know the difference. There's less convenience in a turn-table of course, but driving in its purest form for me can only come from a car that makes me feel connected to the road, and there's nothing as sterile and soul-less as an automatic transmission car.

'Pleasure' needn't be about speed at all. If you love the basics, the first principles, of torque control, rev-matching, toe-and-heel (which is a wonderful exercise at the corners, even if you're not racing or speeding!), you can never accept an automatic tranny car as capable of giving you better driving pleasure. Though they may sound like racing applications, they're certainly not limited to that, and can keep you safely entertained in regular drives on regular highways.

What we're seeing in many parts of the developed world is the death of the manual, and it should surely rank among one of the most unfortunate events in motoring history. Most of the recent generation there probably doesn't even know how to drive a stick shift!

However, there has to be silence against the argument that automatics are incomparably easier to drive/commute in and is infinitely more convenient.

Personally, I'd like an automatic for transportation and commuting, but always a manual when I want to 'drive'. Automatics sure build a very good case for themselves, but they're as un-carlike to me as a barbie doll.

P.S. - Nice to see a thread speaking to the subject of my signature

Last edited by skandyhere : 5th August 2012 at 22:57.
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Old 5th August 2012, 23:03   #139
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I feel good Automatics do not compromise on FTD at all. I have been driving a DSG for more than a year now with no regrets or plans of going back to stick shift.

The shift pattern is dependent on what i order the car to do, all the gearbox does is reads my input and shifts.

ZF8 and DSG are gearboxes i am absolutely in love with, i do not care for paddleshifters, atleast in Diesels, D & S modes are smart enough to keep me happy all the time.

Last edited by .anshuman : 5th August 2012 at 23:05.
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Old 5th August 2012, 23:10   #140
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Default Re: Automatic or Manual - Which is faster?

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Originally Posted by .anshuman View Post
ZF8 and DSG are gearboxes i am absolutely in love with, i do not care for paddleshifters, atleast in Diesels, D & S modes are smart enough to keep me happy all the time.
What's sad is some of the new cars don't have the S option at all. Only regular D and tip tronic. The Cruze, Elantra, Altis, Verna all don't have the S mode and make do with tip-tronic.
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Old 6th August 2012, 08:50   #141
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dezrskb View Post
Thanks for everybody who is giving me support and encouragement to go for an automatic. You know there is always a level of resistance towards any change from a way which is working for you since so many years. But it's also equally true that till I try something new, I won't know what I am missing. Now guys which company do you think manufactures reliable automatics in diesel? My choices are limited if I consider automatic and I guess I will have to choose between Skoda Laura and VW Jetta. Is one likely to be more reliable than other both being from same parent company though I don't know whether they get manufactured for both at same source? Or am I missing any other good brand (diesel automatic)? Of course I have to mention here that I have a budget constraint of around 20L, but may stretch it to 23L (if I have to consider Highline Jetta AT). Can't afford Audis / Mercs. Or do you think something will be arriving early next year worth waiting for?
I am exactly in the same situation as yours. I have booked the Comfortline manual but might change to Highline manual. The reasons for booking the manual are the following:
1.] VW offers only a 2 year warranty on the Jetta. There is no extended warranty (atleast till now). Even though there has been no reported failures of the DSG (6-speed), I dont want to take any chances since I will have the car for atleast 5 years.
2.] My knees and ankles are still intact. I think I can deal with the mad BLR traffic for another 5 years with a manual.

3.] I dont think there is any significant difference in performance between the 2. Autocar mag says DSG is about 0.9 secs faster, but in real life 0.9secs is not much. Also manual timings maybe off by a little depending on who the driver is. And, according to me, manual is the more FTD car.

At the end of the day, it really depends on you, if you need convenience, then the DSG is the one. I still feel manual is more fun to drive.

BTW, who is your dealer for VW?

Good luck.

Suhas
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Old 6th August 2012, 09:07   #142
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Hi Shivasuma,
Thanks for the post. Bharath auto is the dealer. I haven't booked my car yet. I am not interested in manual shift because of driving pleasure / sheer acceleration etc. My thinking was this being premium sedan, repair of any nature will be expensive if beyond warranty. Practically as you said 0-100 time is irrelevant to me. I thought I would save money as well as reduce a theoretical risk of DSG failure. I guess failure rates for manual shifts are lower. I also read news about VW users in China reporting frequent DSG failure rates and VW apologising. Also in this very forum I read a post from a Laura Superb user reporting DSG failure (though it was replaced on warranty) and I cant imagine this happening with me when I am at a hill station with my family with no VW dealer anywhere nearby. There being lesser number of complicated sophisticated parts in a manual shift car, there is less that can fail too was my logic. Also here in Udupi where I live, its never bumper to bumper traffic and I reach my workplace in one go (1.5Kms), most frequently I reach home/workplace before I reach 4th gear in my Swift Dzire Vdi.
Also out of curiosity what other cars did you shortlist and how did you decide on this car?
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Old 6th August 2012, 09:31   #143
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Default Re: Automatic or Manual - Which is faster?

Quote:
Originally Posted by dezrskb View Post
Hi Shivasuma,
Thanks for the post. Bharath auto is the dealer. I haven't booked my car yet. I am not interested in manual shift because of driving pleasure / sheer acceleration etc. My thinking was this being premium sedan, repair of any nature will be expensive if beyond warranty. Practically as you said 0-100 time is irrelevant to me. I thought I would save money as well as reduce a theoretical risk of DSG failure. I guess failure rates for manual shifts are lower. I also read news about VW users in China reporting frequent DSG failure rates and VW apologising. Also in this very forum I read a post from a Laura Superb user reporting DSG failure (though it was replaced on warranty) and I cant imagine this happening with me when I am at a hill station with my family with no VW dealer anywhere nearby. There being lesser number of complicated sophisticated parts in a manual shift car, there is less that can fail too was my logic. Also here in Udupi where I live, its never bumper to bumper traffic and I reach my workplace in one go (1.5Kms), most frequently I reach home/workplace before I reach 4th gear in my Swift Dzire Vdi.
Also out of curiosity what other cars did you shortlist and how did you decide on this car?
Hi dezrskb,

The only other car I considered was the cruze. I left out Laura because its been in the market for a while and my wife did not like it. Also Skoda A.S.S worried me. I had an opportunity to test drive the new cruze and it never felt like it had 164bhp. Yes, it was better to drive in the city (with lesser turbo-lag) than the previous one. The clutch was lighter too. The rear seat felt cramped compared to the Jetta and we are family of tall people. The jetta was in a different league when it came to ride and handling. But, its overpriced by a lakh atleast and comes with lesser features than the cruze (but has 6/8 airbags and traction control). Overall, I like what the Jetta offered to me compared to the Cruze and hence I chose it. Hope this helps.

Why don't you look at the new Elantra being launched on the 13th. It does most jobs well and will be more fuel efficient than the Europeans and comes with manual/auto transmission.

Last edited by shivasuma : 6th August 2012 at 09:33.
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Old 6th August 2012, 09:38   #144
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Hi shivasuma,
Having used 2 vehicles in 10yrs from Maruti Stable, I'm more interested in a European vehicle this time. I know Elantra has won awards but I hope they keep specifications and build same when its launched here in India. I am yet to see the car in flesh. Jetta appeals to me but I feel its bit overpriced. Will not book Jetta till I see Elantra. I dont think any more cars in this segment are due for launch in near future? My preference is with diesel. But a worthy petrol vehicle is not ruled out.
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Old 6th August 2012, 10:32   #145
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Hi dezrskb,

I own both a manual and an automatic transmission vehicle, so let me try to give you an unbiased opinion:

Good reasons to choose an AT:
- You spend a lot of time in bumper-to-bumper traffic
- You have iffy knees(the relief of not constantly pressing the clutch to change gears)
- You are a relaxed driver and like to enjoy your drive, with the gear changing happening automatically.

You should NOT choose an AT if:
- You need to be "always in perfect control". AT shifts happen purely based on the RPM and occasionally you will be lugging along in 6th at 50 kmph wondering what the hell is going on . You CAN control the upshifts by increasing the pressure of your right foot but it is not the same as a manual.
- You are heavy-footed and love to be the first to screech off signals. An AT works best with a light foot and gradual acceleration till cruise speeds. If you try to rush it, especially an old school toque convertor AT, it will kickdown and howl futilely, hunting for that elusive perfect gear.
- You do a lot of driving in the hills(downhill specifically) or on slippery/wet roads. Though S mode does offer more engine braking than D, it is not as good as what you get in an MT car. Also as Vid mentioned, a lot of cars don't offer S mode these days.

Also,please note that the "pleasure" of a paddle shifter wears off after about 7 minutes. Tiptronic is available almost across the board but once you are used to the automatic shifts, it is not that much fun to use. I reckon on average I use it less than 10% of the time.
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Old 6th August 2012, 15:19   #146
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Quote:
Originally Posted by noopster
Hi dezrskb,

I own both a manual and an automatic transmission vehicle, so let me try to give you an unbiased opinion:

Good reasons to choose an AT:
- You spend a lot of time in bumper-to-bumper traffic
- You have iffy knees(the relief of not constantly pressing the clutch to change gears)
- You are a relaxed driver and like to enjoy your drive, with the gear changing happening automatically.

You should NOT choose an AT if:
- You need to be "always in perfect control". AT shifts happen purely based on the RPM and occasionally you will be lugging along in 6th at 50 kmph wondering what the hell is going on . You CAN control the upshifts by increasing the pressure of your right foot but it is not the same as a manual.
- You are heavy-footed and love to be the first to screech off signals. An AT works best with a light foot and gradual acceleration till cruise speeds. If you try to rush it, especially an old school toque convertor AT, it will kickdown and howl futilely, hunting for that elusive perfect gear.
- You do a lot of driving in the hills(downhill specifically) or on slippery/wet roads. Though S mode does offer more engine braking than D, it is not as good as what you get in an MT car. Also as Vid mentioned, a lot of cars don't offer S mode these days.

Also,please note that the "pleasure" of a paddle shifter wears off after about 7 minutes. Tiptronic is available almost across the board but once you are used to the automatic shifts, it is not that much fun to use. I reckon on average I use it less than 10% of the time.
Hi noopster,
Thanks for the valuable opinion. I think you are in a good position to judge as you have been driving both.
No, I don't spend much time in bumper to bumper traffic. I have good knees as I'm 37. I'm a relaxed driver mostly but do spirited driving on highways. When I go for a long drive, usually it's to a hill station. I don't screech off at signals. I need good control and power on highways however and may need quick bursts of power. Going by what you said I think a MT will suit me better. But please tell me if I have to suddenly pull off an overtaking maneuver on a highway is it easier to do it in a manual or automatic?
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Old 6th August 2012, 15:25   #147
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Default Re: Automatic or Manual - Which is faster?

The only place where an AT may be faster is in Jack rabbit starts with the foot hard on the brake, car in drive and the accelerator pressed hard. This way the torque converter will multiply the torque (by up to 3x) but you are heavily stressing the AT.
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Old 6th August 2012, 16:05   #148
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dezrskb View Post
Hi noopster,
Thanks for the valuable opinion. I think you are in a good position to judge as you have been driving both.
(...) But please tell me if I have to suddenly pull off an overtaking maneuver on a highway is it easier to do it in a manual or automatic?
If you're cruising, it's pretty much the same- quick downshift and surge to overtake- but from personal experience this is more intuitive and controlled in an MT. For example, when driving on NH4 you sometimes come across a slow moving behemoth in the fast lane and need to slow down considerably before accelerating suddenly and moving ahead of it. In my Swift I do it without a second thought. In the Vento, I sometimes suddenly realise I am in 6th at 60 (since the damn thing refuses to downshift till it reaches a critical RPM) and so when I kickdown it goes one, two gears lower and howls a bit before steadying.
I must say that this has happened hardly 2-3 times in a year and a half of ownership. So it's your call.
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Old 6th August 2012, 16:33   #149
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Quote:
Originally Posted by noopster
If you're cruising, it's pretty much the same- quick downshift and surge to overtake- but from personal experience this is more intuitive and controlled in an MT. For example, when driving on NH4 you sometimes come across a slow moving behemoth in the fast lane and need to slow down considerably before accelerating suddenly and moving ahead of it. In my Swift I do it without a second thought. In the Vento, I sometimes suddenly realise I am in 6th at 60 (since the damn thing refuses to downshift till it reaches a critical RPM) and so when I kickdown it goes one, two gears lower and howls a bit before steadying.
I must say that this has happened hardly 2-3 times in a year and a half of ownership. So it's your call.
What you mentioned above happens quite often to me, may be more often here in 2 lane so called national highway than a proper 4 lane highways with a divider separating the oncoming traffic like in NH4. In Dzire Vdi I drive now, I overtake quite comfortably by quickly downshifting and do it without even much of conscious effort. Comes as natural as walking. If clutch is not too hard, manual shouldn't be a problem for me
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Old 6th August 2012, 19:38   #150
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sgiitk
The only place where an AT may be faster is in Jack rabbit starts with the foot hard on the brake, car in drive and the accelerator pressed hard. This way the torque converter will multiply the torque (by up to 3x) but you are heavily stressing the AT.
Even in kickdown any DSG can give the manuals a run for their money, by the time you hit the clutch the DSG would already have shifted down.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dezrskb

What you mentioned above happens quite often to me, may be more often here in 2 lane so called national highway than a proper 4 lane highways with a divider separating the oncoming traffic like in NH4. In Dzire Vdi I drive now, I overtake quite comfortably by quickly downshifting and do it without even much of conscious effort. Comes as natural as walking. If clutch is not too hard, manual shouldn't be a problem for me
For such instances there is a kickdown button in most newer Automatics, located at the end of accelerator pedal's travel range, hitting it triggers the kickdown mode where the transmission automatically downshifts for fastest acceleration possible.

Last edited by Eddy : 6th August 2012 at 21:51.
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