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View Poll Results: Do AT car owners miss slotting the stick into a gear?
Yes 116 29.67%
No 275 70.33%
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Old 11th September 2020, 00:09   #1
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Default AT Owners: Do you ever miss shifting an MT? Any regrets?

Having gone through GTO's polls on AT vs MT preferences, (The 2017 Poll: Manual vs Automatic Gearbox)
and the paradigm shift towards the convenience of an AT in the current era,
I was wondering if AT owners ever miss the fun of slotting the stick in a gear.

Being a MT fun to drive GT TDI owner, I have never considered having an AT as an option. (or at least till my left foot is strong enough to depress the clutch )

Agreed, the AT technological advancements are skyrocketing with lighting speed shifts within mili, micro or even nanoseconds but I would any day love the satisfaction of slotting the stick into a gear be it a second or two slower than an autobox.

The driving involvement in slipping the clutch on inclines, worrying about a roll back, rev matching by heel and toe shifting, skipping a gear under hard acceleration once an overtake manuver is through, rapid downshifts as per your brain and not the ECU/TCU is something an AT would not let the driver experience. Yes, there are paddle shifter with ATs but most of the auto boxes dont hold a gear in the interest of gearbox longevity or other programmed precautionary measures.

ATs are a boon in city bumper to bumper traffic but I wouldn't be happy driving them on highways totally forgetting about your left foot. So, had I been an AT owner, I would definitely miss the fun of sloting the stick into gears!
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Old 12th September 2020, 06:38   #2
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Default Re: AT Owners: Do you ever miss shifting an MT? Any regrets?

Thread moved from the Assembly Line to the Indian Car Scene. Thanks for sharing!

Voted for NO. In my 530d, the ZF 8-speed is as good as it gets. Rather than missing an MT, I am frequently amazed at the speed, logic & smoothness of the ZF.

I miss an MT perhaps 5% of the time (or even less). Maybe when I'm on a nice winding road, or in a great mood blasting down a fast mountain road. But that's pretty much it. It's why, for the '20 Thar, I have decided on the AT gearbox only. Am ready to give up 10% offroad competency for a vastly superior experience on-road. You could say that I'm a proper MT -> AT convert, and the great progress that modern ATs have made is a major contributor.

The only times I'd crave for an MT is in a small, fun hatchback or a similarly compact car on the twisties. Of course, I also miss an MT when driving the lousy, jerky AMTs. But other than these handful of situations, almost never.
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Old 12th September 2020, 07:33   #3
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Default Re: AT Owners: Do you ever miss shifting an MT? Any regrets?

I don't drive (not yet atleast) but I have an Amaze AT and I feel the need for an MT on the highways for those quick overtakes and if I'm not wrong, the Torque Converter does reduce the potential of the car's engine(?). Also mileage is another reason why I miss an MT.
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Old 12th September 2020, 07:51   #4
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Default Re: AT Owners: Do you ever miss shifting an MT? Any regrets?

The question and resultant poll is flawed if you ask me. It depends on the kind of AT box you are using. My BMW's 8 speed ZF box is simply brilliant. It is capable of pushing you back into the seat, there is ample power reserved for you at every gear and as a result I never felt the need for a MT box. In fact till date I haven't used the tiptronic feature for more than 2 minutes and that too only to see what it is all about.

I am sure you will find similar feedback on other good AT boxes like the DSG in VW/Skoda.

On the other hand, my Ecosport's DCT box is fine till you are driving sedately. But leaves that itch unscratched when you want to push the car. And DCT is still a fairly good system. Just last night I took the car for a drive after long and wished that I could slot the gears at my will.

My wife's college day car was an i10 AT which came with the TC unit. Again it came with only 1 USP: convenience. Otherwise it was absolutely boring to drive.

An AMT is even more horrible.
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Old 12th September 2020, 07:53   #5
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Default Re: AT Owners: Do you ever miss shifting an MT? Any regrets?

Originally Posted by tanaysn View Post
most of the auto boxes dont hold a gear in the interest of gearbox longevity
Absolutely; the Aisin torque converter transmissions of the 2000s are long term warriors, unlike the ATs of today.

Originally Posted by GTO View Post
I also miss an MT when driving the lousy, jerky AMTs.
The AMT is just for relaxed cruising - try using it to do a sudden overtaking manoeuvre on a median-less highway and it can give heart attacks.

Originally Posted by Sreesh1009 View Post
if I'm not wrong, the Torque Converter does reduce the potential of the car's engine(?)
Yes, the power loss in an AT is marginally more than in a standard transmission (MT).

However, torque converter sure improves the life of an engine over an MT since there is no question of lugging the engine here.
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Old 12th September 2020, 08:12   #6
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Default Re: AT Owners: Do you ever miss shifting an MT? Any regrets?

Post owning a Vento MT then moving on to an Ameo DSG with an additional purchase of Figo S MT, I can surely say that I have no regrets of buying the DSG. For car enthusiasts like us a good MT hatchback with great handling and steering is the sweetest purchase. I own one and entirely for the very reason. However, if you look at the bigger picture it is hardly few days in a year you get to drive down such roads. In my case twice a year on the ghats of Konkan.
Then it also depends on the AT GB. DSG are way too superior to AMT/ CVT to make us miss a MT GB. TC are is good as the DSG however not better. Moreover, you can slot the DSG in manual mode and have as much fun as you can in a MT GB without troubling your left leg. Overall, I do not regret moving on to an AT however I have certain favouritism towards my Figo S for its brilliant handling and engine.

Last edited by VWAllstar : 12th September 2020 at 08:16.
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Old 12th September 2020, 08:19   #7
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Default Re: AT Owners: Do you ever miss shifting an MT? Any regrets?

i've bought my first AT car, a diesel Seltos, after owning only MT cars. If not for the tiptronic shift, I may have missed MT. I drive it on manual mode, guess 75% of the time. On highways, only when I see signs of traffic do I shift to the auto mode. I stay on manual mode for one more reason - engine braking, I use them a lot. The bulk of city driving is obviously on auto mode. When I feel the itch to drive a MT, I use my other car, a Laura MT, but then I don't get a feeling of having the MT missed. But I do miss a lot of it's other traits- tightness, solid feel, heavy steering(vis-a-vis Seltos), remapped power, more secure feel etc.

May be IMT is the answer for many who wants the convenience of automatic but still want the thrills of a manual shift, though at the expense of few shortcomings like no super quick shift when you're in the mood to floor the pedal.

Last edited by Bibendum90949 : 12th September 2020 at 08:32.
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Old 12th September 2020, 08:54   #8
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Default Re: AT Owners: Do you ever miss shifting an MT? Any regrets?

Voted no. Totally depends on the AT vehicle in question.

I drove a Skoda Octavia 1.8 TSI (with 178 bhp & 250 Nm mated to the lightning quick 7S DQ200 dry clutch DSG) & recently moved to a BMW 330i (with 258 bhp & 400 Nm mated to the ZF 8 speed TC gearbox).

Haven't gone into sequential mode more than 10 times in the last 6 years. Trust me, unless you're a hard-core purist, you won't miss manual shifting with these high end automatics.

Last edited by itwasntme : 12th September 2020 at 08:55.
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Old 12th September 2020, 09:20   #9
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Default Re: AT Owners: Do you ever miss shifting an MT? Any regrets?

If it's a small car then definitely a manual car for pure fun, nice slick gearboxes on monocoque chassis cars. For large cars like the Fortuner, Endeavour, luxury cars(none come with manuals anyways) automatic for sure but only a TC, DCT or CVT for me no AMTs.

My Fortuner manual is a pain in the rear in traffic, due to a larger engine it can pull in a higher gear but a lot of vibrations filter into the cabin. Not going to make the mistake of buying a manual Fortuner next year its definitely going to be an automatic!

But at the same time my EcoSport manual is a hoot to drive, light clutch, small chuck-able size, almost perfect slotting gearbox( a bit notchy but not a deal breaker).

My Creta Automatic is a bit sluggish but I do not miss the manual in it because anyways the Creta is not known for its steering feel, has a soft suspension, is not a driver's car in anyway and the TC box provides smooth shifts and is a boon in the traffic.

Here is my gearbox preference according to the car segment;

Compact Sedan(Amaze, Dzire, Aspire, etc)
Manual > Automatic(TC, CVT) > AMTs (Amaze CVT diesel being an exception)

Mid-size sedan( City, Verna, Ciaz, elantra, civic)
DCT & TC > Manual > CVT (manual City i-vtec being an exception here)

Large sedans ( Superb, camry, c-class, 3-series, etc)
TC, DSG, CVT, ZF > Manual (these cars are anyways not offered with manuals but if they had been I would still choose an automatic)

Manual > AMTs

Compact SUVs (sonet, venue, ecosport)
Manual > TC > IMTs > AMTs (Sonet diesel AT being an exception)

Mid-size SUVs (Harrier, Creta, Seltos, Compass)
TC > DCTs > manual (exception being the Seltos manual T-GDi instead of the DCT)

Large SUVs (Luxury SUVs (available only with autos), Endeavour , Fortuner, Carnival)
TC, DCT > Manual

Performance cars
PDK, DCTs, ZF > manuals

Last edited by CEF_Beasts : 12th September 2020 at 09:45.
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Old 12th September 2020, 10:08   #10
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Default Re: AT Owners: Do you ever miss shifting an MT? Any regrets?

At times, yes I do miss the manual when I am in an automatic. . But the number of such instances are far less than the times I am in a manual and miss an automatic.

Our garage currently consists of a manual SX4 and a CVT Baleno. Cousins own a couple of Germans, a Fortuner AT and a Brezza AMT. With my very limited experience, I can say that in 99% of the times in the city, I do not miss the manual as peace of mind given by the automatic is unmatched. The remaining 1% is the brakes. Every automatic deserves better brakes than their manual versions but we never see this (my experience with both versions of SX4 and Baleno). But its a different story in the highways where I rack up most of my kilometres. I start to appreciate the manual due to the slightly higher level of control it gives the driver on the twisties and undivided highways. The satisfaction to be able to drive the vehicle with more control available to be is something I appreciate as we never know when that will be taken away from us in the future (no manuals in EVs). Personally, I feel a manual keeps me more active mentally in the long, solo highway journeys.

On a slightly lighter note, I will compare the manual to the ex-girlfriend. Yes, the current one may be better, but sometimes the nostalgia kicks in and you realise some things were better earlier but you must let it go.
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Old 12th September 2020, 11:04   #11
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Default Re: AT Owners: Do you ever miss shifting an MT? Any regrets?

I have driven a Hyundai Getz Prime for 12 years before buying a Torque Converter Diesel and as of date I also continue driving a manual transmission i10 petrol 1.1 litre. Both of these manual cars are god send in city traffic owing to their strong power band in the low and mid range within 2000 RPM making them absolute pleasure to cut through traffic in city.

The only thing I ever miss from the manual is the worry free switching to neutral gear and resting all hands and feet without the worry of wearing out the gear box (like in an auto) in a stop and go traffic where otherwise I have to keep the brake pedal depressed all the way to hold the car still. And the fact that in manual the shifting of gears is instant as against in the auto box which sometime result in cutting through traffic in city drive a bit difficult, may be its party due to the Turbolag in Diesel in low RPMs.

Except these two things, I enjoy switching to auto every time I drive the same, the fact that I do not need to fiddle around with the gear lever and left leg on clutch and the sedate driving style that the auto box offer without much exercise.

I have had nightmare with body aches when driving day long in rural areas in a manual car that have very congested roads requires exercising gear and clutch too often, nothing like that in an auto, even after driving day long I do not feel tired.

Note every auto transmission nowadays can also be driven in manual mode and all you need to know is your engine's response across the RPM range and the feel or the sound of it in order to bring the best out of it while deciding the gear shifts manually. If you can master the engine and gearbox response then Auto can give you equivalent FE figures as Manual. So Auto is the future I look forward to.

Last edited by haisaikat : 12th September 2020 at 11:28.
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Old 12th September 2020, 11:07   #12
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Default Re: AT Owners: Do you ever miss shifting an MT? Any regrets?

Oh absolutely not!!

Once you have experienced any good AT, torque converter or DSG, there is no turning back. You many still choose to buy a manual, but you will always strongly consider an automatic for your next purchase.
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Old 12th September 2020, 11:19   #13
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I never imagined myself driving a car without MT. Then , one day , the Automatic Baleno came in, primarily for the usage of my wife. I somehow ended up using that more during my office commutes. A time came where I had to let go of my Manual Innova for a Crysta and I was clear that it will be the Crysta with the auto transmission. I somehow feel that the comfort of an auto far exceeds the pleasure of a manual and it is very unlikely that I may buy a manual tranny car again. ( the MT Thar perhaps , but ...I am still thinking &#128522
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Old 12th September 2020, 11:26   #14
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Default Re: AT Owners: Do you ever miss shifting an MT? Any regrets?

Voted NO.
I too was in the "Manuals only for life" club until I sold my 2014 City VX MT in under 2 years because of how cumbersome it had become to drive in Mumbai traffic. Bought a Vento TSI and I don't think I'll ever buy a manual car again. Even if I buy a weekend toy, it'll be automatic without a doubt.

The convenience and comfort a good automatic provides is far more important to me than the occasional winding road blast, which, is still arguably more fun with 3 pedals. I'd even consider buying an AMT now, but not a Manual again.
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Old 12th September 2020, 11:40   #15
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Default Re: AT Owners: Do you ever miss shifting an MT? Any regrets?

I do miss the stick sometimes. All my cars are AT now and I don't really regret making the shift to AT completely. But there are times when I am driving the GTI, that I wish I could shift manually with a stick and clutch. The GTI does have paddle shifters and they are super slick and convenient. But when I am using paddles, there is something missing. I kind of get lost and the brain does not give clear signals for gear change instinctively like we do with the manual gear stick. I kind of hope I am not done with manuals yet.
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