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Old 22nd February 2021, 11:36   #16
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Default Re: Why even chauffeur-driven owners should choose an Automatic gearbox

Agree with all points except:
Smoother: It depends. Automatics in the hands (rather leg ) of an aggressive driver can be very jerky, both during braking/downshifting (resulting in head-nod) and acceleration (sudden rush when the auto kicks down). On a manual, most of the 'planned stopping' happens through coasting and downshifting without even touching the brake and this is 'smoother' than an automatic
FE: My experience is that only the the claimed or ARAI figures of the new age automatics are as good as (or better) the manuals but in real life it is down by at least 2-3 kmpl compared to their manual counterparts.
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Old 22nd February 2021, 12:03   #17
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Default Re: Why even chauffeur-driven owners should choose an Automatic gearbox

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cyborg View Post
Most drivers have a tendency to sit with their foot on the brake in D during signals or long stops which is havoc for the car (brakes, transmission and engine) in the long run besides being extremely irritating to see from the back seat. They have to be trained and constantly reminded to put the car in N during these times.
Wait, is this a problem? We have an automatic car and typically:

- wife prefers to use the brake and wait out signals
- I prefer to use the auto-hold function and wait out signals (works out to the same thing, just done by the car and not me)

Neither of us go into Neutral at all. Are we doing something wrong?

(Luckily, there is no one in the back seat to get irritated)
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Old 22nd February 2021, 12:07   #18
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Default Re: Why even chauffeur-driven owners should choose an Automatic gearbox

Completely agree with all the points highlighted in this thread. Also, Automatics are considered to be premium in India and your chauffeur will always think of himself as an important/better-off guy among his peers. Think of a BMTC Volvo driver compared to a blue express driver.

Bit OT but I have always felt that Uber/Ola drivers would be much less stressed( hence, would drive better) if they are driving an automatic especially in a city like Bangalore. Diesel automatics generally don't suffer from low mileage compared to their manual counterparts. If only Ford could launch the Figo Aspire in Diesel Automatic on their base version(Aspire Tour AT), the cab market is theirs for the taking. I dont know the reason why Amaze diesel CVT's never picked up in Uber/Ola. Maybe, its due to the extra 1 lakh premium and the cabs are generally purchased on loan.
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Old 22nd February 2021, 12:24   #19
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Default Re: Why even chauffeur-driven owners should choose an Automatic gearbox

Smoother
No engine abuse by lugging, or revving too high
No clutch pedal riding

Experienced chauffeurs know their job. They shift gears smoothly and don't abuse the clutch/engine. A typical chauffer drives better than a typical owner.

Better fuel efficiency
This is a myth. Well driven MT always return better fuel efficiency at least in Indian real world condition.

You are always in the right gear
You are assuming that the AT is always in the right gear. That is not always correct. On dual carriage ways when overtaking slow moving traffic you may just have a few seconds to make your maneuver. A slow AT can be a severe safety hazard in the hands of chauffer. The same case while going downhill and for engine braking. Chauffers are instinctive drivers and know MTs best.

Convenience for the times you / your spouse drive the car yourselves
All the reason to by a manual if you have a chauffeur. Who does not want to enjoy a slick manual occasionally. If you don't want to or don't know how to drive a manual that is a separate issue.

Better resale value
At least for the majority of the market ( read sub 10 Lakh ) the last time i checked the MT had better resale than a typical AT ( read AMT ). Some ATs are very hard to re-sell like the TUV 300 AMT.

Less chance of driver taking it to his choice of garage for a commission
Many premium German car owners take their cars to outside garages for service.

GPS-based automatic transmissions
This is more a of a theoretical consideration than real.

Last edited by GTO : 23rd February 2021 at 07:07. Reason: Removing excessive bold tags :). Thanks
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Old 22nd February 2021, 12:50   #20
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Default Re: Why even chauffeur-driven owners should choose an Automatic gearbox

Apart from the reasons mentioned above, aggressive driving would be out most of the time. Even though some drivers may still would shift to manual mode or use paddle shifters, once they get the comfort and stressfree driving they would not use them often.
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Old 22nd February 2021, 13:23   #21
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Default Re: Why even chauffeur-driven owners should choose an Automatic gearbox

Quote:
Originally Posted by QuadraticAmoeba View Post
wife prefers to use the brake and wait out signals
- I prefer to use the auto-hold function and wait out signals (works out to the same thing, just done by the car and not me)
Itís always prudent to put an automatic vehicle in N while stopping at traffic lights or long stops rather than a foot on the brake pedal or using the auto hold function. The effects will be seen in the long run because this puts an unnecessary strain on the drive train and brakes.

Look at it this way, while the car in is D (or whatever, even S) the drive/creep forward function is active. The car needs to move and you are restraining it with the brakes, doing this is for long durations regularly is bad and quite unnecessary. Of course for stop and go traffic situations itís required.

This is supposed to be especially bad for DSG equipped vehicles and will shorten the life of the unit. I would suggest both of you start this practice soonest.

Love your thread on the Tucson with regular updates

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Old 22nd February 2021, 14:23   #22
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Default Re: Why even chauffeur-driven owners should choose an Automatic gearbox

Yes, chauffeur-driven should also be bought with AT. A very good reason is, if your driver is on leave, you should be able to take the car out yourself. So, AT it is. And, then drivers are human, too. If we can't drive an MT in traffic crawl occasionally, then imagine what the poor driver has to go through, day in and day out. Then of course, with AT there will be no engine-lugging or high-revving.
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Old 22nd February 2021, 15:08   #23
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Default Re: Why even chauffeur-driven owners should choose an Automatic gearbox

Except for the concerns about how the driver treats the engine (and those having OCD about their cars every time someone else is in charge of the wheels), I frankly do not find any points justifying AT for chauffeured cars.

On the contrary, if I have someone driving, I am least bothered about the hassles of dancing with the clutch and accelerator. Typical Indian mentality does not warrant extra concern for driver comfort in buying an AT which obviously costs a premium.
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Old 22nd February 2021, 16:09   #24
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Default Re: Why even chauffeur-driven owners should choose an Automatic gearbox

The only downside is that the driver should be confident of driving an automatic gearbox. I've seen some old school drivers driving MT for decades and suddenly the owner decides to buy a brand spanking new Merc C class! This one driver by force of habit, used his left foot for braking (thinking he has to depress the clutch pedal) and the owner who was seated behind, didn't buckle up for whatever reason, slammed his head at the front passenger seat

Luckily, it was a fairly moderate speed and nothing major happened. The driver had to unlearn MT and relearn AT and he was sorted after a while

The driver was complaining about this paradigm shift (literally!) and is now a happy man driving around town!
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Old 22nd February 2021, 16:48   #25
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Default Re: Why even chauffeur-driven owners should choose an Automatic gearbox

Quote:
Originally Posted by QuadraticAmoeba View Post
Wait, is this a problem? We have an automatic car and typically:

Neither of us go into Neutral at all. Are we doing something wrong?

(Luckily, there is no one in the back seat to get irritated)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cyborg View Post

Look at it this way, while the car in is D (or whatever, even S) the drive/creep forward function is active. The car needs to move and you are restraining it with the brakes, doing this is for long durations regularly is bad and quite unnecessary. Of course for stop and go traffic situations itís required.

This is supposed to be especially bad for DSG equipped vehicles and will shorten the life of the unit. I would suggest both of you start this practice soonest.
Modern automatics are electronically controlled hence they do disengage the coupling(Clutch pack or Torque converter) after a certain duration of being standstill. This is also true for the DSGs especially if you use the HOLD function. Hence, it is not much of an issue to sit on the brakes, but its definitely a good practice to do so in traffic signals since it lessens the effort on the brakes and prevents any accidental creeping ahead.
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Old 22nd February 2021, 17:07   #26
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Default Re: Why even chauffeur-driven owners should choose an Automatic gearbox

Quote:
Originally Posted by JediKnight View Post
Smoother
No engine abuse by lugging, or revving too high
No clutch pedal riding
Experienced chauffeurs know their job. They shift gears smoothly and don't abuse the clutch/engine. A typical chauffer drives better than a typical owner.

You are always in the right gear
Chauffers are instinctive drivers and know MTs best.

Convenience for the times you / your spouse drive the car yourselves
If you don't want to or don't know how to drive a manual that is a separate issue.

Less chance of driver taking it to his choice of garage for a commission
Many premium German car owners take their cars to outside garages for service.
Please find me a chauffeur like the ones you've mentioned. . Sitting next to or behind my various specimens have easily shaved off a few years from my life.
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Old 22nd February 2021, 18:15   #27
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Default Re: Why even chauffeur-driven owners should choose an Automatic gearbox

Well, it reminds of my cousin. Some 14-15 odd years ago, he bought a Honda Accord AT, instead of the manual one, to be chauffered around Delhi.

His logic was simple. AT cars have less things to play around for the driver like riding the clutch, etc. Plus smooth ride at the rear seat.

He originally wanted to get a Mercedes E class, but reliability of the Accord won over the Merc.
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Old 22nd February 2021, 18:19   #28
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Automatics for me any day, my driver is with me for 12 years now and his comfort is also very important for me.

An irritated driver is a serious no no. My driver from my experience has become very calm, composed and more sedate with the automatics.

Drivers getting used to an automatic is now past. They now have to get used to all the tech interface. It will be interesting to see drivers adapting to all the tech in cars from here. The new Mercedes S Class looks challenging now.
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Old 22nd February 2021, 18:38   #29
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Default Re: Why even chauffeur-driven owners should choose an Automatic gearbox

Very valid points in favour of our having AT even in chauffeur driven cars. Over the past decade, sales of AT cars have been sizeable and there has been a sharp increase in their sales, with the scales tilting in their favour.

We even use chauffeurs for cars that have been known as a driver's car, especially the BMW 3-Series and some others, so there should be no doubt about preferring chauffeur driven AT cars.

Last edited by Chetan_Rao : 23rd February 2021 at 17:48. Reason: as requested
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Old 22nd February 2021, 20:49   #30
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Default Re: Why even chauffeur-driven owners should choose an Automatic gearbox

Purely depends on the drivers capabilities. If you have an old chachu type, I would stick to manuals or get it cleared from the driver. If I have a new age guy, would go for a automatic. If I work with temp drivers, manual; permanent ones, automatic.

I never let my dad's old driver (was an ex truck driver and taxi driver) drive the GT. But dad's current one is a good one who has handled cars like the accord and benz earlier. So though I hate giving my GT in his hands, I am not strictly against it.

Finally I would take this route. The car is for me. I would choose the car which I want. If the driver is not comfortable, I would reskill him, if that does not happen, would replace him. Most of us would have driven manuals and then graduated to automatics. So if we can learn then why can't anyone else. If drivers are going to kill the car then they will kill any car, manual or automatic.
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