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      09-05-2012, 04:19 PM   #1
NISFAN
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Am I going to miss a manual transmission?

Got to admit....I am having a little bit of a panic....

In all my years behind the wheel of a car (15 cars in total.....many hundreds of thousands of miles).....I have only ever owned one auto, and that was because I joined a company and had to use the last guys car for about 6 months.

I have never felt the urge to drive an auto (or lottery box as I call them). I have always thought the snick-snick through the gears was a fundamental part of driving.

I am now giving all that up.

I know the 8sp Sport+ is a great box as auto's go, but will I adapt to it?

Will it give me the sense of achievement that perfectly timed manual cog swaps give me?

Discuss!!!
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      09-05-2012, 04:27 PM   #2
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You will love it and never wanta manual again ... within a week at most

Autos aren't what they used to be and manuals are just plain old fashioned and an unnecessary effort. You don't see preformance cars fitted with manuals any more, do ya

I know our colonial cousions get all pissy and beat their chest wigs about how hard they are and how the "drive stick" but they come from a different environment where 90% of the cars are shite and 99% of the cars are automatic ... and bad ones at that.

if you've grown up with a manual like the rest of us then this 8AT will be the best thing that ever happene to you
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      09-05-2012, 04:50 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MaestroAl View Post
You will love it and never wanta manual again ... within a week at most
I freakin hope so......I just added reverse cam to my order today......I blame RJberry for all the options I have......the guy has cost me a small fortune
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      09-05-2012, 05:19 PM   #4
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Yes and no.

The ZF boxes are great, and certainly not a lottery box (lol). Paddles give you manual control and I always use them to nudge the box in auto as well.

But

It's still a slush box, so you get that slight lag until it locksup. The best Auto's are the DCTs / DSGs as they do really feel like a manual (and blip down changes) ...just a shame the Diesels don't come with them

I would never go and buy a a manual everyday ever again, just a waste of time and leg movement IMO . Could be tempted by a elise though
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      09-05-2012, 05:38 PM   #5
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you won't be disappointed, the 8at is a peach! you'll never go back to a manual again.
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      09-05-2012, 06:31 PM   #6
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Get the sport auto with the flappy paddles. It's great!

I test drove the manual and the auto. I hated the manual. The gear box felt stiff and clunky. Needed lots of force to move the gear leaver into the next gear. Also, the pedal offset was all wrong. I kept catching the footrest when I dipped the clutch!
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      09-06-2012, 12:12 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NISFAN View Post
I freakin hope so......I just added reverse cam to my order today......I blame RJberry for all the options I have......the guy has cost me a small fortune
I feel your pain, so does my wallet
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      09-06-2012, 12:43 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TMP View Post
The best Auto's are the DCTs / DSGs as they do really feel like a manual (and blip down changes) ...just a shame the Diesels don't come with them
When it comes to running the transmission in full automatic the 8-speed in the F30 is way superior to the DSG. The DSG might have a small advantage in paddle-mode but not that much. The new 8-speed is really the best auto I've tried.

This is of course my opinion. I owned a Golf R DSG just before my F30. And the box had LOTS of problems even after all these years. It selects the wrong gear a lot of times. Normal is way to sluggish and sport is way to aggressive for daily driving etc. The 8-speed is just perfect.
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      09-06-2012, 02:13 AM   #9
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Thank you for all your views.

Anyone gone from Manual to Auto due to the F30?

I must say, the choice to go BMW this time around had a lot to do with the feel of the 8sp auto box. I got on a test drive a 320D sport.
The alternative was the Mercedes 7G+ box, which feels more auto, and has an absolutely useless manual mode (it changes both up and down on it's own anyway, often before you would, and it also 'thinks' about the change gear input you have just given.
The BMW box also reacts very quickly, for example, should you need to downshift 2 gears to accelerate into that motorway space, the BM box reacts as you pull the lever. The MB would go away and have a think, then carry out what you asked.

This is all good.......but don't forget I am used to using my left arm, and being in exactly the gear I want to be in.
I also like manuals for being able to control the initial acceleration from a stand still.....a lot of bigger engined auto's have a noticeable pause and gentle application of power. As I have not driven the 330D I am unsure what to expect, it didn't seem too bad in 320D format.
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      09-06-2012, 03:21 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rossifumi View Post
When it comes to running the transmission in full automatic the 8-speed in the F30 is way superior to the DSG. The DSG might have a small advantage in paddle-mode but not that much. The new 8-speed is really the best auto I've tried.

This is of course my opinion. I owned a Golf R DSG just before my F30. And the box had LOTS of problems even after all these years. It selects the wrong gear a lot of times. Normal is way to sluggish and sport is way to aggressive for daily driving etc. The 8-speed is just perfect.
I know the DSG has had lots of software update, but imo you still feel more conencted with car....The DCT M3 i drove was a light year ahead of a slush box - no lag at all...in fact it was like driving a manual.

The other thing i am not too happy about is 8 gears. When you are in manual mode that's 2 more changes you have to make/think about compared to a 6 speed. the DCT has 7, but that last one is really not used unless you wont to go to jail

Quote:
Originally Posted by NISFAN View Post
Thank you for all your views.

Anyone gone from Manual to Auto due to the F30?

I must say, the choice to go BMW this time around had a lot to do with the feel of the 8sp auto box. I got on a test drive a 320D sport.
The alternative was the Mercedes 7G+ box, which feels more auto, and has an absolutely useless manual mode (it changes both up and down on it's own anyway, often before you would, and it also 'thinks' about the change gear input you have just given.
The BMW box also reacts very quickly, for example, should you need to downshift 2 gears to accelerate into that motorway space, the BM box reacts as you pull the lever. The MB would go away and have a think, then carry out what you asked.

This is all good.......but don't forget I am used to using my left arm, and being in exactly the gear I want to be in.
I also like manuals for being able to control the initial acceleration from a stand still.....a lot of bigger engined auto's have a noticeable pause and gentle application of power. As I have not driven the 330D I am unsure what to expect, it didn't seem too bad in 320D format.
I think you need to go and drive a 330d AT mate....as it sounds like prefer a manual - and there is nothing wrong with that
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      09-06-2012, 09:02 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TMP View Post
I know the DSG has had lots of software update, but imo you still feel more conencted with car....The DCT M3 i drove was a light year ahead of a slush box - no lag at all...in fact it was like driving a manual.

The other thing i am not too happy about is 8 gears. When you are in manual mode that's 2 more changes you have to make/think about compared to a 6 speed. the DCT has 7, but that last one is really not used unless you wont to go to jail
As I said, if you use the paddles the double clutch transmissions are a bit better. But in auto-mode, a real automatic gearbox like the 8-speed is superior. It is so much smother and all the DSG I've driven (and owned) has situations each and every time you drive it when the gearbox doesn't do what you tink/want (in auto). A bit like SMG II that was a PITA to drive in auto. So if you know you cruise most of the time in auto-mode I wouldn't buy a double clutch over a "real" automatic gearbox.

You don't have to use 7 and 8 on the 8-speed either. You can reach the limiter on gear 6 no problem.
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      09-06-2012, 09:31 AM   #12
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Are you going to miss MT? Well, about 5 or 7 years ago, I'd have said you will, for I would have. I have MT on my E92, but I have AT on my F10 and on my other two cars. It used to be that when I drove the SUV or my old-school sedan, I would hate that I didn't have the MT, and really for all the reasons folks cite about liking MT: control, involvement in the driving process, greater engine pep, direct access to each gear as desired, etc. When I drive the 535 with the AT, however, I have no such remorse.

I think the reasons for that are twofold. First, the performance aspects are quite sufficient for my needs driving around and doing the things one does. Second, having passed 50, I just don't need that much involvement with the car. It bothers me not in the least to drive my MT 3er, but I won't mind at all if my next DD is an AT. To put it another way, if the dealer had a car on the lot that was equipped as I want it, I wouldn't care if it's MT or AT, I'd buy it. But if he didn't have such a car, I'd order it with AT. In the past, I'd not have bought an AT at all if MT was available.

So, will you miss it? Well, I'd ask, how old are you? I'd say once you pass 45-48, you'll care less about having MT.
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      09-06-2012, 04:43 PM   #13
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I drove a 320d MT back to back with a 320d AT, and at the time I preferred the MT (and bought one). It wasn't that the MT was better - it wasn't - but I just didn't think the AT was worth another 1600.

With hindsight I agree that the MT has a slightly clunky shift that needs a bit of effort, and can be a bit sticky to get into gear unless you really shove the lever.

What I think is this; the F30 is new, and I've bought a fairly basic 318d MT. Before the model is replaced, I'll most likely have another, and use the opportunity to get the options I didn't specify this time.

In other words in time I can have my cake and eat it!
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      09-06-2012, 05:11 PM   #14
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I bought my E90 330d specifically brand new last year so I could keep the 6sp manual box.
Reason being......finding a 2nd hand 330d LCI with an manual box was as rare as rocking horse sh!te!

I've had no problems with my 'box in terms of gear change.
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      09-06-2012, 05:16 PM   #15
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No F30 manual in 330 form
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      09-06-2012, 06:28 PM   #16
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That's because only intelligent people with impeccable taste choose the 30D
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      09-06-2012, 06:40 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TMP View Post
It's still a slush box, so you get that slight lag until it locksup.
Uhhhhh, I don't notice ANY lag in mine, in fact quite the contrary. I've driven a DCT M3 and it was better but only slightly. It's mainly because the M3 was so much more powerful than my 328i. The 8 AT is brilliant, and I hate automatics. In full manual mode it is F1 sharp and fast. I love it. If I had a Z4 or a 911 etc, I'd still want a 6MT, but for my daily driver the 8 AT is the best...and it's far better than a typical "slushbox".
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      09-06-2012, 06:46 PM   #18
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Indeed, I wouldn't call it a slushbox - it's too good for that. Yes, it still has a torque convertor but the thing has 5 clutches and 8 gears and can switch between any two gears in .2 of a second: up or down. A DSG can't do that.
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      09-06-2012, 07:10 PM   #19
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As a "colonial", I feel the need to get pissy and beat my chest as implied earlier in the thread.

Manual v. automatic is no longer about absolute performance as the gap has narrowed and in many instances, a slushbox or automated manual have equaled or surpassed the performance of their 3-pedal counterparts.

However... no configuration of automatic can replace the interaction and connectedness one feels with one's car when equipped with a manual. Heel-and-toeing and perfectly executed rev-matched downshifts are a skill. Maintaining chassis balance when diving into a corner is an accomplishment. In an automatic it's computer programming. A manual forces you to focus your attention to the task of driving. An automatic lets you look at your Twitter feed between stoplights.

So the real question of which transmission to purchase is a matter of how you intend to use the car. Do you want transportation, or do you want an experience?
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      09-07-2012, 01:13 AM   #20
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^ well said...

Manual all the way for me. I know expensive supercars are fitted with flappy paddles nowadays. I think this is a shame. Although that said I have never driven one (not likely to either!) so can't be too critical, the the main point for me is that I want to be connected to the car in the way that a manual car demands.

Sure when I'm stuck in traffic on the M25 then I'd love an auto but why would I want to compromise the enjoyment I get out of the best bits of driving just to make the worst bits a little better..
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      09-07-2012, 01:16 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ZMM_OMG View Post

However... no configuration of automatic can replace the interaction and connectedness one feels with one's car when equipped with a manual. Heel-and-toeing and perfectly executed rev-matched downshifts are a skill. Maintaining chassis balance when diving into a corner is an accomplishment. In an automatic it's computer programming. A manual forces you to focus your attention to the task of driving. An automatic lets you look at your Twitter feed between stoplights.
All true, 100% agree...

Quote:
Originally Posted by ZMM_OMG View Post
So the real question of which transmission to purchase is a matter of how you intend to use the car. Do you want transportation, or do you want an experience?
Here is where there is a gray area... the "experience" I have when I use the manual mode of my 8 AT is exhilarating to say the least. The way the car accelerates and bangs through the gears is unlike any manual I've driven. For anyone that's raced motorcycles and has experienced clutchless upshifts- that is the closest comparison I can make to the 8 AT. It's brilliant. No, it's not the same as a 3 pedal car. Yes, a real manual requires skill to master, but the 8 AT is no less fun, and that is the difference between it and a typical "slush box".
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      09-07-2012, 03:00 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ZMM_OMG View Post
As a "colonial", I feel the need to get pissy and beat my chest as implied earlier in the thread.

Manual v. automatic is no longer about absolute performance as the gap has narrowed and in many instances, a slushbox or automated manual have equaled or surpassed the performance of their 3-pedal counterparts.

However... no configuration of automatic can replace the interaction and connectedness one feels with one's car when equipped with a manual. Heel-and-toeing and perfectly executed rev-matched downshifts are a skill. Maintaining chassis balance when diving into a corner is an accomplishment. In an automatic it's computer programming. A manual forces you to focus your attention to the task of driving. An automatic lets you look at your Twitter feed between stoplights.

So the real question of which transmission to purchase is a matter of how you intend to use the car. Do you want transportation, or do you want an experience?
Great post

.........erm can I have both?
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