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Manual vs Auto vs CVT vs SMG vs Steptronic vs ?? (1 Viewer)

AviTevet

Stunt Coordinator
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Apr 11, 2002
Messages
110
I haven't driven an auto with a sport-style or aggressive automatic, but in all the autos I've ever driven in the transmission would suck for anything other than daily commuting. This is because when I auto-x I hit the gas coming out of the corners, and autos always downshift after I've hit the gas, and in the middle of the corner. That's just unacceptable from a performance standpoint, and it's unnerving too... I'm pretty much at the tire's limits, and then the transmission is going to kick down hard? Do sport-style automatics solve this problem? I think an SMT would rule!
 

Scott Merryfield

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Dec 16, 1998
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Some Mazdas are built in Japan. You can see it from the VIN. If it ends with the letter J, then it's from Japan.
No argument there, David. However, you will find that the vast majority of Hondas, Toyotas, Mazdas and Nissans sold in the United States are actually made in the U.S. to avoid import costs. Canada may be different situation. Also, Ford owns Mazda.
 

AllanN

Supporting Actor
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Mar 15, 2002
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The only time I would not want a manual is if I get another truck. Right now I have a Ranger with a 5-Speed. Since trucks are not designed to be sporty and the gear rations are designed for towing/hauling they don't have that fun feeling while shifting. Plus all the car companies are now recommending automatics for towing and setting the GVWR higher for ther automatic counterparts. The next vehicle I get will probably be a full size 4x4 truck. I live in the snow belt and want to buy a boat fairly soon so it makes allot of sense. But if I got a car it would be a manual. If the WAF set in id try and spring for a SMG. Unfortunially I think that manuals are going to be offered less and less. Autos will be in all economy cars as they get cheaper to build. While CVT will make it into the family car market. SMG will be used across the board in luxury cars. True manuals will only be available in performance sports cars.
 

Andrej Dolenc

Stunt Coordinator
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Jul 22, 1998
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Yeah, it may be a race car, but I can still use it to transport around an SVS subwoofer! Or muddy bikes on my trailer hitch rack. Or tow the race trailer with all our gear to run car races, unhook the trailer and then race it.

I tell ya, I love my car!

Andrej
'97 M3
 

Mark Larson

Supporting Actor
Joined
Mar 3, 2002
Messages
537
I prefer Manual, and if i can't get that, SMG II (or better!).
I'll only use Auto (and its Steptronic and Tiptronic variants) as a last resort and never if i'm buying a new car. CVT is preferable to that.
Advantages of Manual? Total control, better fuel consumption when driven fairly well, and better performance - a post made by someone really hit home on that - a 100hp car with auto will feel more sluggish than a 85hp car with manual almost all the time. (discounting weight, of course)
 

David Susilo

Screenwriter
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May 8, 1999
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Scott L
The performance is just different, I can't tell which is better, it just handles differently, makes different type of engine noise. The other thing I notice is that interior qualities are a tad different. Better materials for the Japanese made (catalogue number usually starts with "BJOE")
Scott Merryfield
Thank you for the info. All this time I thought Ford is own by Mazda. BTW, Ford Escape has much worse service record than the supposed twin of Mazda Tribute. My buddy own both Tribute and Escape. Within a year, his ABS system have been replaced twice, and the rear brakes can't stop squeaking. No problem with the Mazda. Can you enlighten me why is this happening? They both were made in the US.
 

Tim Markley

Screenwriter
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Jun 12, 1999
Messages
1,279
Excellent! It's a cool looking small SUV. I had no idea that Nissan also had a CVT. Nice little animation there to show how the CVT compares to a manual transmission.
 

John Tillman

Supporting Actor
Joined
Feb 2, 1999
Messages
595
Well, I can vouch for the 3.5 VQ mated w/auto transmission. I've got that combo tucked in an Altima which IMO, fits nicely with that car. There is simply too much going on when the 3.5 is unleashed, you seriously need two hands on the wheel to control this babe. The 350Z or the Murano might be different but the Altima with this combo is one happy dancer.
 

CharlesD

Screenwriter
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Mar 30, 2000
Messages
1,493
Hee.. Personally I've never liked the way FWD cars handle especially in corners and under acceleration, and have always sworn by RWD.
 

John Tillman

Supporting Actor
Joined
Feb 2, 1999
Messages
595
You can get the VQ with RWD. That would be the G35. My feeling however is the power belongs over the drive wheels. I had some Beetles, followed up with a 901 Porsche which subscribed to this theory as well.
 

Brian Perry

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May 6, 1999
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I am curious as to how it feels to drive a car equipped with CVT. We're so used to the sound of the transmission shifting, I wonder if it's unnerving to hear the RPMs increase but never hear a shift.
 

Brian Kleinke

Supporting Actor
Joined
Sep 9, 1999
Messages
977
Regarding Audi and their CVT... I'm guessing (just guessing here) that the CVT isn't quite up to handling the Quattro system since that 2 more wheels you have to worry about. It could be marketing as well, companies will do strange things.
As for Power limitations on CVTs, I doubt this will be an issue much longer, Audi made the belts into metal on their CVT used in the A4, and you can get it with a 220 HP V6 producing 225 lbs of torque.
In all my test driving I only took out Manuals and ___Tronics, I never got a chance to take a spin in a CVT. Perhaps next time I visit the dealer I'll see if he'll give me a chance to check it out.
My take on the whole which tranny for me topic (which I'm sure I've maid clear in my various car posts... :)) is that I like the manual tranny for pure driving fun, the cheaper cost upfront and easier to repair are bonuses. My wife likes the CVT and Manual for their better gas millage, I'm hoping by the time we buy her a new car CVT will be more main stream since I think it's a wonderful technology that I hope catches on here in the US. I suppose that won't happen until they get a CVT to run in an Expedition. :)
Brian
 

Mike__D

Supporting Actor
Joined
Dec 27, 2000
Messages
617
I'll will never buy/lease another car for myself that is not a manual. I think it makes a person a better driver. Since I'm currently leasing an A4 (will be purchasing a '02/'03 soon) and my mileage is getting up there, I'll occasionaly use my parents Lincoln LS which is an auto. I think the auto tranny makes me more lazy when I'm driving. I notice I don't pay attention to everything around me as much as when I'm in my car. Don't get me wrong, I'm a safe driver, I just seem to be more alert when driving a manual. Anyone else notice that?
 

Stephen_Opipari

Stunt Coordinator
Joined
Feb 22, 2000
Messages
144
Real Name
Stephen
I am curious as to how it feels to drive a car equipped with CVT. We're so used to the sound of the transmission shifting, I wonder if it's unnerving to hear the RPMs increase but never hear a shift.
They built in shift points on the CVT to make it act like a 6 speed automajik when driving normally. I think most people would think it feels too weird otherwise. But, if you floor it the rpm's rise to the peak of the powerband and just sit there as the car accellerates...

They also put in a manual gear select like the Tip has. But it is 6 speed as opposed to 5.
 

Greg Z

Stunt Coordinator
Joined
Sep 3, 1998
Messages
110
Mike__D
You hit the nail on the head! While driving an auto I start to let my mind wander and pay less attention to the car and my driving. Most of my cars have been manuals, but now I drive a "manumatic" 'cause the wife can't drive a stick. I shift manually a lot just to keep myself alert and in tune with the car. BTW, "manumatics" absolutly suck. Transmision shifts a full 1 second after I shift it. It also isn't a hard, firm shift, but a mushy "automatic" feeling shift. The whole driving experiance or "feel" is lost.
 

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