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Reliable automatics

edited 10 March at 11:40AM in Motoring
34 replies 1.4K views
noclafnoclaf Forumite
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edited 10 March at 11:40AM in Motoring
I've always driven manuals but am likely to go automatic for my next car, longer runs and town driving is tiresome when having to shift gears constantly, wife may use the car and she prefers automatic too.
I have seen a lot of horror stories on auto's going caput and needing expensive work e.g: early DSG issues on VAG cars. 
Rather than make assumptions any input offered here would be more valuable to informing my decision on car options as there are different types of auto boxes available e.g DSG, CVT, Torque converters. I will be looking at 5 door hatches upto £10k...SUV's are not out of the question but prefer a car due to ease of parking.
*I will likely not be going near ecoboost Ford's and esp anything using a 'Powershift' auto. I drive a 16yr old Ford and for me the old n/a petrol inspires more confidence than ecoboost!
So for those of you who have owned or currently drive an auto what would you recommend and avoid? I am not a brand snob so happy to consider Korean/German/Jap...just need to be practical and reliable.
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Replies

  • AdrianCAdrianC Forumite
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    The problem is that so many self-shifting boxes are so damn complex now.

    Torque converter automatics used to be simple. They slapped electronics all over them, and that had benefits - but it also multiplied the complexity.
    All the various automated manuals are just another league of complexity - especially dual-shaft, which are basically two automated manuals sellotaped together. And complexity, of course, means fallibility.
  • noclafnoclaf Forumite
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    AdrianC said:
    The problem is that so many self-shifting boxes are so damn complex now.

    Torque converter automatics used to be simple. They slapped electronics all over them, and that had benefits - but it also multiplied the complexity.
    All the various automated manuals are just another league of complexity - especially dual-shaft, which are basically two automated manuals sellotaped together. And complexity, of course, means fallibility.
    I totally get this and manual is the safe option. Over the weekend I was blasting down a country road and nothing more satisfying than being able to shift using a manual but 90% of my driving is town based and when visiting family and in-laws who just happen to be dotted at opposite ends of London I find the journeys just sap your energy with all the stop start driving. Might be an age thing too as in my 20's loved driving manual everywhere. I did a 500 mile round trip recently...destroyed me and my back!
    Out of interest do any modern cars (let's say 2014 onwards) still use simple torque converters?
    I drive 4k per year on average so if the car gearbox lasts till we are all using ev's then that will do ;)

  • facadefacade Forumite
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    Hyundai and Kia still use torque converters, Suzuki too (as long as you avoid the CVT). Ford went back to it for the Fiesta, from 2017. Hearsay is it is because the US market can't abide dual clutch, rather than because the dual clutch is no good.
    I'd have a dual clutch now I don't need to crawl in traffic twice a day, but I could get away with a manual with a decent spread of torque.  I have to say it worries me a bit that manufacturers claim these new fangled turbo engines produce monster torque figures from fast idle, yet they need to pair them with 8 or 9 speed TC gearboxes??
    I want to go back to The Olden Days, when every single thing that I can think of was better.....

    (except air quality and Medical Science ;))
  • forgotmynameforgotmyname Forumite
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    Torque converters., some do some don't.  Some depends on the engine in the range.
    1.8L dainty psychic witchcraft troublesome gearbox... 2.0L torque converter gearbox.


    Censorship Reigns Supreme in Troll City...

  • noclafnoclaf Forumite
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    The Ceed/I30/Mazda 3/Civic interest me at the moment in 5 door hatch form. From a purely aesthetics perspective really like the Volvo V40 and Seat Leon but the boot capacity and overall space in the V40 aren't great and the Leon's use DSG...bit of a gamble. Not to mention the V40's aren't quite the 'Tanks' Volvo made back in the day such as the V70, V50 etc I am likely over thinking this as I assume any car with a solid service history and well maintained will do just fine. Is it just me or are modern cars lacking the 'durability' of older less complicated versions? Case in point my current shed has been abused for 10 years straight, none of this sitting on the drive to let the engine warm business...start it drive it, drive like you stole it yet it just keeps going...
  • AdrianCAdrianC Forumite
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    facade said:
    I have to say it worries me a bit that manufacturers claim these new fangled turbo engines produce monster torque figures from fast idle, yet they need to pair them with 8 or 9 speed TC gearboxes??
    A large part of that is simply brochure tickbox envy.

    "Oooh, that car has a NINE speed gearbox! I'm not buying this with only four."
  • GoudyGoudy Forumite
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    I've just done the very thing you are planning.
    I decided to avoid Fords Powershift for the obvious reason of them being totally carp. (and I wasn't overly impressed with the torque converter in the new Fiesta either)

    I tried, but ultimately decided against VW and SEATs dry DSG system which they fit to their hatchbacks like the Polo and Ibiza.
    They drive ok, if a little dumb at junctions sometimes, but I didn't fancy the trouble they eventually seem to cause.

    Not at all interested in a mooing cow, so didn't even bother looking at anything with a CVT, though I did a while ago try a few Yaris Hybrids, they are ok pottering about, but they make a real fussy if you prod the accelerator a touch harder.
    One thing going for them is they have bombproof reliability, they aren't the usual belt drive, but planetary geared to the electric motor.

    I've had (not by choice) a couple of single clutch automated manuals (Fiats Dualogic and Citroens ETG6) and to be fair, they are awfully jerky to drive and neither creeped, so backing up was a mission. Reliability has been really bad, both needed major work before 30k, one's pump failed and the other's slave cylinder leaked.
     
    So after a bit of research I ended up looking at Renaults EDC (7 speed dual clutch) system.
    Seems they are much more reliable that VW's DSG, they drive a better, much slicker to sort it's self out at junctions etc.
    And with new Renaults now coming with 5 year warranties, I ordered a new Clio 130 RS Line, delivery due this Saturday.

    My other option which I liked was the Kia C'eed auto with a Torque Converter 'box.
    I liked it sitting in, looking out and it drove really well, but looking at it closely and it was all very dull and bland, maybe I'll look again in 20 years time.

  • noclafnoclaf Forumite
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    Ive previously been in the anti-French cars brigade brandishing them all with the 'crap/flimsy build quality' label but have to say I do like the more recent offerings from Renault and esp Peugeot so will consider them both too.
     Agree re the Kia's and Hyundai's too..seem to be functional and get job done albeit in a rather bland way.
  • chelseabluechelseablue Forumite
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    I've got a 14 year old Nissan with a torque converter box, its a great car
    Id definitely go and look at Hyundai's, my husband is on his second i30 and both have been great (both manuals) 
    Im quite short so the i30 is a bit low down for me, I'll be looking at the Tucson or the Kona when my Nissan goes 
  • noclafnoclaf Forumite
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    I've got a 14 year old Nissan with a torque converter box, its a great car
    Id definitely go and look at Hyundai's, my husband is on his second i30 and both have been great (both manuals) 
    Im quite short so the i30 is a bit low down for me, I'll be looking at the Tucson or the Kona when my Nissan goes 
    I wouldn't mind a Tucson or Sportage but due to parking limitations and the faff of reversing them out of a tight spot avoiding the SUV's...both nice models though.
    The Ceed and I30 are both appealing in their own way..I expect there to be good deals on used cars for either model.
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