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      03-11-2012, 12:13 AM   #1
RPM90
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"sport auto" or "auto"

How many are opting for the "sport automatic" over the standard automatic?

I've driving MT for a very long time and love it.
I tried an automatic in 2000, but couldn't handle it, I got too bored.

These new automatics are pretty nice though and very quick.
Plus, I'm getting older and my left leg is getting a bit tired.
I REALLY wanted the DCT, but BMW doesn't offer it to us even in the sport line or M-Sport. IT would have been ideal option for a "sport line" or "M sport".

So which one are you or did you go for, auto or sport-auto?

BTW, if you had the option would you take the DCT over the torque converter auto?

I still haven't read anything that actually compares the "sport" auto vs the standard auto.
It's only a $500 difference, but I don't want to just throw $500 on something just because BMW calls it "sport" and charges more for it.
There's strangely very little information about this sport auto even from BMW.
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      03-11-2012, 12:19 AM   #2
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i got sport auto, shifts are sooooooo fast
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      03-11-2012, 01:39 AM   #3
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Sport auto also includes the shift paddles. I thought the sport auto vs auto was the same, minus the paddles. But upon further research, I realized that the sport auto is also tuned differently. So I opted for the sport auto. It's the one I test drove and liked. Haven't driven the regular auto.

I just took the $500 from the metallic color and got the sport auto instead.
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      03-11-2012, 04:05 AM   #4
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I also did not know what to choose but after I test drove the "normal" auto I was convinced: no need to have better tuned gear changes, nor paddles. The standard auto is so smooth and responsive that I will not miss the 100ms difference with the sports version, nor will I ever use the paddles...

Better to spend these bucks on another option..
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      03-11-2012, 04:52 AM   #5
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I drove the normal auto mated to a 28i and it pissed me off. Constant power interruptions and a bit dopey.

I drove the sport auto mated to a 20d and OMGASDFGHJKL it was soooo good!! The transmission was just faultless and fun!

Without doubt, go for the Sport Automatic Transmission. As well as completing and improving the driving experience, you get cool flappy paddles and a nice leather surround round the stick.
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      03-11-2012, 05:14 AM   #6
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In the UK sport auto only costs about 100 more than the normal auto, which is anyway a 1500, so I don't see any reason not to get it.

If I were getting an auto box it'd definitely be the sport. Paddles are cool - and if you find that you don't use them, so what, but if you find that you would've used them, then by saving that relatively tiny amount of money you'll spoil enjoyment of your 35k-45k car. Not worth the risk IMO.
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      03-11-2012, 07:18 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tremolo
Sport auto also includes the shift paddles. I thought the sport auto vs auto was the same, minus the paddles. But upon further research, I realized that the sport auto is also tuned differently. So I opted for the sport auto. It's the one I test drove and liked. Haven't driven the regular auto.

I just took the $500 from the metallic color and got the sport auto instead.
In my opinion both auto gearboxes are exactly the same, only difference are the flippers. Price difference here is EUR 126.

The A8 is the one to choose in NL as it is cheaper compared to the M6, as the CO2 emission is lower.

My pick is the A8, however preferred it with less gears!!
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      03-11-2012, 09:29 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Casper van G
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tremolo
Sport auto also includes the shift paddles. I thought the sport auto vs auto was the same, minus the paddles. But upon further research, I realized that the sport auto is also tuned differently. So I opted for the sport auto. It's the one I test drove and liked. Haven't driven the regular auto.

I just took the $500 from the metallic color and got the sport auto instead.
In my opinion both auto gearboxes are exactly the same, only difference are the flippers. Price difference here is EUR 126.

The A8 is the one to choose in NL as it is cheaper compared to the M6, as the CO2 emission is lower.

My pick is the A8, however preferred it with less gears!!
I'm afraid you're wrong in your "opinion" as aforementioned, they are tuned differently. Just have a glance at the posts above and you'll see what I mean. For CO2 you're right, the 8spd ZF Steptronic is rated cleaner than the 6MT.
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      03-11-2012, 09:58 AM   #9
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There has been some helpful discussion on this before: http://www.f30post.com/forums/showthread.php?t=647900

Whilst I have not tried both, I cannot believe the changes are actually 'faster' in the standard auto. The underlying mechanics are surely the same? I have no doubt that the timing of the changes is more aggressive though (to use a greater proportion of the rev range and peak torque band).

But is the std transmission in say sport mode really slower overall than its sport counterpart? I doubt it or surely BMW would have to say so in their literature and 0 - 60 times.

Meanwhile, I think paddles are very cool but, truthfully, I've never used them in earnest on my Audi. I just don't find it an intuitive way to control the transmission (and it must be even more difficult with 8spds to choose from), although I'm if you use it enough it becomes second nature...
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      03-11-2012, 10:04 AM   #10
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I should add though that, given the choice and assuming there is only a marginal cost difference, I would go sport auto every time.

I went std on my order, but only because I was stupid. D'oh!
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      03-11-2012, 11:11 AM   #11
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Seems to me the difference (apart from the paddles and a slightly different — both styled by Norelco — shifter) is software. But I wonder a couple of things: (1) If there is a programming difference, and the AT is such an important part of the package in terms of fuel economy, is there a difference in real-world fuel economy between the Sport Auto and the normal AT? (2) What programming/shift timing differences are there between the Sport Auto and the normal AT in "Sport" mode? I've read that "Sport" mode in the normal AT locks out 8th gear and costs something in highway MPG. I wonder how that compares to the Sport Auto.

I have a six-cylinder 328i with MT and the non-turbo N52 engine. It's a great combination, but not terribly fuel-efficient, especially around town. But it's enormously fun and satisfying to drive, and plenty fast enough for me. A lot of people with the AT in this car have been unhappy both with the old six-speed AT from General Motors and with the car's responsiveness. On the other hand, I think the turbocharged engines and the new 8-speed from ZF, in either form, are well matched to each other and — except for some rough edges, apparently, around the Start/Stop system — the better choice for turbocharged engines, since the fast shifts help to keep the boost up and minimize the effects of turbo lag.
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      03-11-2012, 11:15 AM   #12
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I am in similar situation as OP:
- Driving manual for a long time and it's second nature.
- But, am being tempted by the hot new 8AT

I have a 335i on order for May ED with Sport Auto but still considering reverting the order to 6MT. That said, I do not think I would consider the auto without the Sport version.
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      03-11-2012, 11:38 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Casper van G View Post
In my opinion both auto gearboxes are exactly the same, only difference are the flippers. Price difference here is EUR 126.

The A8 is the one to choose in NL as it is cheaper compared to the M6, as the CO2 emission is lower.

My pick is the A8, however preferred it with less gears!!
Sorry but.... this isn't a matter of "opinion". The FACT is, they are the same gearbox but tuned differently... opinions be damned.
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      03-11-2012, 01:03 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RPM90 View Post
I REALLY wanted the DCT, but BMW doesn't offer it to us even in the sport line or M-Sport. IT would have been ideal option for a "sport line" or "M sport".
BTW, given the choice between Manual or DCT at the $2900 it costs in M3, no question I would chose MT.
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      03-11-2012, 02:53 PM   #15
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I've driven both and the differences are noticeable but not detrimental. I just got the standard 8 speed auto because I don't use the paddle shifters I have now, and the performance wasn't that much better in the sport.
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      03-11-2012, 05:02 PM   #16
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If there is such a difference between the Sport Auto and the Regular Auto, then shouldn't there be a difference in the MPGs and 0-60mph times? I believe that if the Sport Auto's shift patterns are that different then there should be at least 1 or 2 MPG difference
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      03-11-2012, 05:20 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by raleedy View Post
Seems to me the difference (apart from the paddles and a slightly different both styled by Norelco shifter) is software. But I wonder a couple of things: (1) If there is a programming difference, and the AT is such an important part of the package in terms of fuel economy, is there a difference in real-world fuel economy between the Sport Auto and the normal AT? (2) What programming/shift timing differences are there between the Sport Auto and the normal AT in "Sport" mode? I've read that "Sport" mode in the normal AT locks out 8th gear and costs something in highway MPG. I wonder how that compares to the Sport Auto.

I have a six-cylinder 328i with MT and the non-turbo N52 engine. It's a great combination, but not terribly fuel-efficient, especially around town. But it's enormously fun and satisfying to drive, and plenty fast enough for me. A lot of people with the AT in this car have been unhappy both with the old six-speed AT from General Motors and with the car's responsiveness. On the other hand, I think the turbocharged engines and the new 8-speed from ZF, in either form, are well matched to each other and except for some rough edges, apparently, around the Start/Stop system the better choice for turbocharged engines, since the fast shifts help to keep the boost up and minimize the effects of turbo lag.
Per BMWUSA it only describes the shifts as "extremely fast", that's it.
If it has anything extra it would be software as the gear ratio's are the same.

Given the comments on here, that's why I have this question.
Seems all of the 328i tests and reviews are using the "sport" auto not the standard. We don't know if there is a difference between the 2 options, other than the paddle shifters.
And the reviewers haven't even commented on the differences.
If anyone has a review that discusses actual differences please post a link.

BMW doesn't show a difference in 0-60 between the sport and std auto.
Logically it would be very small even if there were, because to get to 60 you only need 1 shift to 2nd. So, any difference in the accel to 60 would be very very small. A 1/4 run and runs to 100 and above might show a cumulative fraction difference, if there is any in the first place.

Or, is BMW just using slick vague on purpose marketing getting people in the US to pay $500 for what amounts to paddle shifters.
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      03-11-2012, 06:32 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RPM90 View Post
Per BMWUSA it only describes the shifts as "extremely fast", that's it.
If it has anything extra it would be software as the gear ratio's are the same.

Given the comments on here, that's why I have this question.
Seems all of the 328i tests and reviews are using the "sport" auto not the standard. We don't know if there is a difference between the 2 options, other than the paddle shifters.
And the reviewers haven't even commented on the differences.
If anyone has a review that discusses actual differences please post a link.

BMW doesn't show a difference in 0-60 between the sport and std auto.
Logically it would be very small even if there were, because to get to 60 you only need 1 shift to 2nd. So, any difference in the accel to 60 would be very very small. A 1/4 run and runs to 100 and above might show a cumulative fraction difference, if there is any in the first place.

Or, is BMW just using slick vague on purpose marketing getting people in the US to pay $500 for what amounts to paddle shifters.
Actually, I wouldn't doubt this at all. But in my case, it would have worked in the opposite direction. I chose NOT to get the paddles because I thought the std auto and sport auto were the same. My thought was, "Who needs loud clickity clackity paddles if both autos are tuned exactly the same?"

But as soon as our friend from South Africa confirmed they were tuned differently, I sprung for the $500 extra. Coming from MTs all my life, the sport auto I test drove was the first auto that got me excited. And that's exactly what I wanted. Perhaps the tuning is so minimal that a regular driver wouldn't even care. But if the shifting is even a micro second faster, I'd rather have that.

I definitely think BMW would benefit by making the differences MORE clear. And with that knowledge, I'm inclined to think that more folks would get the sport + paddle shifters. At least in my case.
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      03-11-2012, 06:51 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pcbrew View Post
I am in similar situation as OP:
- Driving manual for a long time and it's second nature.
- But, am being tempted by the hot new 8AT

I have a 335i on order for May ED with Sport Auto but still considering reverting the order to 6MT. That said, I do not think I would consider the auto without the Sport version.
After a few days of driving the Auto you will regret not getting a manual. That's what I thought after driving a DCT Z4 35is for 10 minutes. What do you do in the car without having a gear lever to shift ? It's so boring.
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      03-11-2012, 07:04 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RPM90 View Post
Per BMWUSA it only describes the shifts as "extremely fast", that's it.
If it has anything extra it would be software as the gear ratio's are the same.

Given the comments on here, that's why I have this question.
Seems all of the 328i tests and reviews are using the "sport" auto not the standard. We don't know if there is a difference between the 2 options, other than the paddle shifters.
And the reviewers haven't even commented on the differences.
If anyone has a review that discusses actual differences please post a link.

BMW doesn't show a difference in 0-60 between the sport and std auto.
Logically it would be very small even if there were, because to get to 60 you only need 1 shift to 2nd. So, any difference in the accel to 60 would be very very small. A 1/4 run and runs to 100 and above might show a cumulative fraction difference, if there is any in the first place.

Or, is BMW just using slick vague on purpose marketing getting people in the US to pay $500 for what amounts to paddle shifters.
They have been doing this "Sport Auto" tuning thing for years- 2008 5 series refresh is when I think it started.

The point is there is different software, I've driven both and there is a notable difference in m/s. The gearing and hold are the same in the normal mode just the speed of the actual gear change adjusts. The shift points are higher in S and M is up to redline.

Since gearing and shift points do not change EPA numbers are the same.
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      03-11-2012, 09:36 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mapezzul View Post
They have been doing this "Sport Auto" tuning thing for years- 2008 5 series refresh is when I think it started.

The point is there is different software, I've driven both and there is a notable difference in m/s. The gearing and hold are the same in the normal mode just the speed of the actual gear change adjusts. The shift points are higher in S and M is up to redline.

Since gearing and shift points do not change EPA numbers are the same.
Good post.
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      04-08-2013, 10:33 AM   #22
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Sorry to dredge up an old post, but I am looking for some butt in the seat info about the sport auto transmission. Since I have never driven a car with sport auto before, I didn't really know what to expect when I received my MSport 335 in December. I expected, based on posts that you read here in this thread that the car would be super smooth all the way through the gears. I have found however, at least in the lower gears when first starting off, the car is not super smooth. I have yet to determine the right description for it, possibly jerky? For instance, after pulling out of my driveway and getting to the end of my street, as I am slowing to stop, I can feel it changing gears and it almost lurches as it does so (making me feel the need to brake harder).

Normal or time for a trip to the service department?

Thanks.
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