Your browser isn't supported
It looks like you're using an old web browser. To get the most out of the site and to ensure guides display correctly, we suggest upgrading your browser now. Download the latest:

Welcome to the MSE Forums

We're home to a fantastic community of MoneySavers but anyone can post. Please exercise caution & report spam, illegal, offensive or libellous posts/messages: click "report" or email forumteam@. Skimlinks & other affiliated links are turned on

Search
  • FIRST POST
    • xyz123
    • By xyz123 14th Oct 16, 10:49 PM
    • 1,334Posts
    • 332Thanks
    xyz123
    Manual vs automatic
    • #1
    • 14th Oct 16, 10:49 PM
    Manual vs automatic 14th Oct 16 at 10:49 PM
    Hi we r looking at 3 year old skoda octavia. Ignoring the purchase price difference automatic or manual are better? I understand automatic tends to have lower mpg but is the difference significant? For what it's worth manufacturer claimed. Mpg difference between the two is 1 mpg.

    I am attracted to automatic as we mostly do town driving and it's easier in stoo/start traffic.

    Ta
Page 1
    • waamo
    • By waamo 14th Oct 16, 10:54 PM
    • 795 Posts
    • 743 Thanks
    waamo
    • #2
    • 14th Oct 16, 10:54 PM
    • #2
    • 14th Oct 16, 10:54 PM
    Well it depends what you mean by better? I've driven both and would like an auto box next. I don't consider either one better it's just which you prefer.

    Me, I'm getting old and lazy so an auto is appealing but many people prefer the driving experience a manual box gives.

    In short it's personal preference really.
    This space for hire.
    • worried jim
    • By worried jim 14th Oct 16, 11:20 PM
    • 7,691 Posts
    • 11,350 Thanks
    worried jim
    • #3
    • 14th Oct 16, 11:20 PM
    • #3
    • 14th Oct 16, 11:20 PM
    Love my automatics! Ive had Honda, Toyota, Saab and currently a Merc all have been so nice and relaxing to drive. I would always go auto if I have the choice.
    • Rolandtheroadie
    • By Rolandtheroadie 14th Oct 16, 11:30 PM
    • 4,620 Posts
    • 3,621 Thanks
    Rolandtheroadie
    • #4
    • 14th Oct 16, 11:30 PM
    • #4
    • 14th Oct 16, 11:30 PM
    Currently have an auto, love it.
    Once you get over the initial slamming on the brake looking for the clutch, it's fine.
    I still find myself looking for the gearstick to my left though, even although it's on the steering column.
    • tacpot12
    • By tacpot12 14th Oct 16, 11:45 PM
    • 369 Posts
    • 300 Thanks
    tacpot12
    • #5
    • 14th Oct 16, 11:45 PM
    • #5
    • 14th Oct 16, 11:45 PM
    The difference in mpg will only be significant if you drive a lot of miles in a lot of stop/start traffic. If your driving is mainly motorway and the route is relatively free flowing, other factors will outweigh the impact of a dsg auto box.

    They are more expensive to maintain when the car starts getting older, say 100k miles+, which might be worth budgeting for if you are going to keep the car for a long time.
    • Laz123
    • By Laz123 15th Oct 16, 8:15 AM
    • 1,381 Posts
    • 828 Thanks
    Laz123
    • #6
    • 15th Oct 16, 8:15 AM
    • #6
    • 15th Oct 16, 8:15 AM
    I drove manual for about 30+ years but changing gear multi-times in city traffic made me change to auto. The problem I found when living in Kenya when I parked up and the lights were unknowing left on and the battery went flat was you can't push start an auto.
    I like life. It's something to do.

    Ronnie Shakes
    • daveyjp
    • By daveyjp 15th Oct 16, 8:30 AM
    • 6,524 Posts
    • 4,876 Thanks
    daveyjp
    • #7
    • 15th Oct 16, 8:30 AM
    • #7
    • 15th Oct 16, 8:30 AM
    The Octavia will be a DSG. Reliability on these is a lottery and just like their engines VW group design something, fit it to thousands of cars, use buyers as a huge test bed, notice their design is flawed and then redesign.

    Do your research carefully. The dry clutch DSG in particular was seriously flawed and fixing one isn't cheap. I had a failed DSG on an A3 and the part was £1500, thankfully it was under warranty, but should it fail at 10,000 miles?
    • buglawton
    • By buglawton 15th Oct 16, 8:37 AM
    • 6,481 Posts
    • 2,749 Thanks
    buglawton
    • #8
    • 15th Oct 16, 8:37 AM
    • #8
    • 15th Oct 16, 8:37 AM
    I'd miss the 47 real mpg I get from my 1.4L Petrol. While renting a car in the US auto was nice enough, medium sized saloon car got about 28 MPG with very gentle driving. Overtaking on busy freeways was never smooth - foot down a bit, sudden high-revved lurch forward.
    Got a fur sink. An electric dog polisher. A gasoline powered turtleneck sweater. And, of course, I bought some dumb stuff, too. –Steve Martin
    • thescouselander
    • By thescouselander 15th Oct 16, 8:49 AM
    • 4,851 Posts
    • 4,266 Thanks
    thescouselander
    • #9
    • 15th Oct 16, 8:49 AM
    • #9
    • 15th Oct 16, 8:49 AM
    I don't get the obsession with manual boxes in the UK. Automatics all the way for me now.

    buglawton - don't forget gallons in the US are smaller than UK gallons. 28 mpg in the US is equivalent to nearly 34 mpg in UK measures.
    Last edited by thescouselander; 15-10-2016 at 9:13 AM.
    • Iceweasel
    • By Iceweasel 15th Oct 16, 10:18 AM
    • 4,097 Posts
    • 2,970 Thanks
    Iceweasel
    A lot depends on the size of the engine.

    Under 1500 an auto box will likely reduce the mpg and the performance.

    With my last car (2litre) and certainly with the current one (3litre) the auto version is faster and more economical.

    I have the paddle-shifters but very rarely feel the need to use them.

    99% of the time an auto box will give better results than 99% of drivers can.

    The 'hair-shirt' traditionalist types who want to be 'in control' are fooling themselves IMHO.

    Plus in stop-start situations an auto box makes live a lot more relaxed.

    I have much more control over the gear changes simply by varying the pressure on the accelerator.

    Many performance cars no longer offer a manual box as an option on most if not all their model range - Porsche, Ferrari,etc. BMW too on the bigger engine 'sporty' models.

    I probably won't have another manual-box.

    I see no down side apart from the additional cost of purchase.
    • neilmcl
    • By neilmcl 15th Oct 16, 10:41 AM
    • 8,606 Posts
    • 5,631 Thanks
    neilmcl
    The 'hair-shirt' traditionalist types who want to be 'in control' are fooling themselves IMHO.
    Originally posted by Iceweasel
    I'm afraid I'm one of those then, I just don't get on with an auto, especially feels a faff when making more "complicated" manoeuvres such as multi-point turns etc.

    I think the thing I don't like about them is that in slow speed manoeuvres or coming to a stop in a manual you're "driving" the car with the proper use of brakes, engine braking, clutch control etc and it feels a much smoother and instinctive whereas in an auto you just trying to stop the car from doing something itself, if you get my meaning. I suppose it's just something you get used to.

    I do agree they are perfect in higher performance vehicles. Was in a BMW M240i the other day and the 8 speed in that was awesome to the point I think it would be a struggle dealing with the power in a manual box.
    • Gloomendoom
    • By Gloomendoom 15th Oct 16, 10:48 AM
    • 11,460 Posts
    • 15,335 Thanks
    Gloomendoom
    Normally I'd recommend an auto but not a DSG. I really don't like the way they drive and as has been said, on a car out of warranty, you could end up with big bills.
    Advice; it rhymes with mice. Advise; it rhymes with wise.
    • iolanthe07
    • By iolanthe07 15th Oct 16, 11:15 AM
    • 4,660 Posts
    • 4,426 Thanks
    iolanthe07
    I much prefer automatic, but it has to be a proper trusted and reliable, if old fashioned, torque converter.
    I used to think that good grammar is important, but now I know that good wine is importanter.
    • buglawton
    • By buglawton 15th Oct 16, 12:27 PM
    • 6,481 Posts
    • 2,749 Thanks
    buglawton
    All in all I'm disappointed that auto box technology has moved on so little in the last decades. Why don't they use sat nav to anticipate hills, bends and even a traffic queue ahead ?

    Perhaps we should go back to the 'rubber band' technology, remember DAF?
    Got a fur sink. An electric dog polisher. A gasoline powered turtleneck sweater. And, of course, I bought some dumb stuff, too. –Steve Martin
    • Iceweasel
    • By Iceweasel 15th Oct 16, 12:55 PM
    • 4,097 Posts
    • 2,970 Thanks
    Iceweasel
    All in all I'm disappointed that auto box technology has moved on so little in the last decades. Why don't they use sat nav to anticipate hills, bends and even a traffic queue ahead ?

    Perhaps we should go back to the 'rubber band' technology, remember DAF?
    Originally posted by buglawton
    I imagine/hope that was said tongue in cheek as a joke.

    If not - when did you last try a modern 8-speed auto-box?

    My auto box IS linked to the sat-nav and anticipates sharp corners and hairpin bends.

    Coming off a motorway the box changes down as I travel along the exit slip road in anticipation of the upcoming roundabout or junction.

    As for traffic queues the sat-nav already did that years ago.

    Even in cruise control my car will slow to a stop if necessary when it encounters slow/stationary traffic ahead.

    The car will maintain a set distance from the vehicle in front - braking or accelerating as required and making any necessary gear-changes to do so.

    And yes I do remember DAF - my Marathon 55 back in the late 60's was made in Eindhoven - a great little car - set the revs and off you went - engine speed constant and the twin belts did it all.

    I still see a few of them around in The Netherlands.
    • iolanthe07
    • By iolanthe07 15th Oct 16, 1:45 PM
    • 4,660 Posts
    • 4,426 Thanks
    iolanthe07
    I imagine/hope that was said tongue in cheek as a joke.

    If not - when did you last try a modern 8-speed auto-box?

    My auto box IS linked to the sat-nav and anticipates sharp corners and hairpin bends.

    Coming off a motorway the box changes down as I travel along the exit slip road in anticipation of the upcoming roundabout or junction.

    As for traffic queues the sat-nav already did that years ago.

    Even in cruise control my car will slow to a stop if necessary when it encounters slow/stationary traffic ahead.

    The car will maintain a set distance from the vehicle in front - braking or accelerating as required and making any necessary gear-changes to do so.

    And yes I do remember DAF - my Marathon 55 back in the late 60's was made in Eindhoven - a great little car - set the revs and off you went - engine speed constant and the twin belts did it all.

    I still see a few of them around in The Netherlands.
    Originally posted by Iceweasel
    This is very impressive and I would love to own a car that does all this. Is it horrendously expensive? What is it?
    I used to think that good grammar is important, but now I know that good wine is importanter.
    • neilmcl
    • By neilmcl 15th Oct 16, 2:06 PM
    • 8,606 Posts
    • 5,631 Thanks
    neilmcl
    This is very impressive and I would love to own a car that does all this. Is it horrendously expensive? What is it?
    Originally posted by iolanthe07
    That'll be BMW. Standard on latest models with Auto and Nav.
    • Iceweasel
    • By Iceweasel 15th Oct 16, 2:25 PM
    • 4,097 Posts
    • 2,970 Thanks
    Iceweasel
    This is very impressive and I would love to own a car that does all this. Is it horrendously expensive? What is it?
    Originally posted by iolanthe07
    All BMWs with an auto-box now have the 'predictive drive' feature linking the drive-train with info from the sat-nav.

    All have cruise control but the active cruise control which keeps distance is a £620 extra on most models.

    There is also a feature called 'driver assistant' which can involve up to front and rear cameras, a total of 12 parking sensors and radar scanners to cover blind-spots and detect pedestrians.

    There is a mind-boggling array of features and options on most top-end cars these days, I suggest that anyone who wants to try them go to any BMW, M-Benz or Audi dealership for a test drive.

    Other brands are available.

    But none of them can make a good driver out of a dopey, inconsiderate one.

    As is often pointed out on this forum some drivers haven't even found out where the indicator stalk is yet.
    • fiish
    • By fiish 15th Oct 16, 4:16 PM
    • 728 Posts
    • 230 Thanks
    fiish
    If you prefer an automatic anyway and you know that the automatic version of whatever car you want to buy doesn't have any known common expensive reliability issues (honestjohn.co.uk is really helpful here!), then go for it

    I prefer manual myself, but with the motoring world heading towards more automation, I think a switch to automatic will happen in the future whether I like it or not. For example, I once considered buying a hybrid car and those come only in automatic. Gears don't matter on an electric car, and we're only going to see more and more of those on the road.
    Debt free and watching my savings shrink!
    • buglawton
    • By buglawton 15th Oct 16, 4:24 PM
    • 6,481 Posts
    • 2,749 Thanks
    buglawton
    This is very impressive and I would love to own a car that does all this. Is it horrendously expensive? What is it?
    Originally posted by iolanthe07
    Interesting to see that the satnav linkage exists if only at the high end. If I knew a car would be economically maintainable for 15 years might consider such a thing. Trouble is I've been spoiled by the hugely improving price/performance/smartness of most electronics these days, when will it all reach the budget car buying consumer I wonder?
    Got a fur sink. An electric dog polisher. A gasoline powered turtleneck sweater. And, of course, I bought some dumb stuff, too. –Steve Martin
Welcome to our new Forum!

Our aim is to save you money quickly and easily. We hope you like it!

Forum Team Contact us

Live Stats

5,433Posts Today

7,831Users online

Martin's Twitter