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3 Series / 4 Series
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  #1  
Old 06-11-2003, 10:48 AM
mark1 mark1 is offline
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Are you an Manual or Automatic buyer ?

Just curious......

I purchased my 330Ci for a pure driving car. I would not consider an automatic transmission. I realize that some buyers purchase these cars more for the luxury and comfort, and probably want an automatic tranny. I know you can manually shift the automatic, but it's not the same.

So, which did you buy ? And why ?
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  #2  
Old 06-11-2003, 10:53 AM
LeucX3 LeucX3 is offline
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Step. I just got tired of shifting after 15 years of manuals. Plus to some extent it has to do with traffic too, but some on here don't like that reasoning.

The 330 is such a fun car even with Step, it's probably just that much more with a stick, but i have absolutely no regrets.
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  #3  
Old 06-11-2003, 10:57 AM
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Kaz Kaz is offline
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Can someone dig up all the old polls on this?

You'll find that on this forum, MT drivers are in the majority.
  #4  
Old 06-11-2003, 11:04 AM
ff ff is offline
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I can't imagine owning an auto-trans vehicle. Or at least driving one on a daily basis. I fear that someday before too long, the manual transmission will disappear alltogether (this already happened in the "big 3" about 20 years ago), in favor of one choice: an automatic that can also be shifted with buttons on the steering wheel (or similar).

The primary reason for driving a manual, is to have total control over which gear is being used at all times. Nothing worse than a car trying to decide for me, becuase 99.9% of the time, the car is dead wrong. I'd hate to be forced to go with a manu-matic transmission, even if I could choose which gear at all times. There's something so fun about that 3rd pedal. So much more involving. And I think that's the main attraction.
  #5  
Old 06-11-2003, 11:08 AM
PhilH PhilH is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by Kaz
Can someone dig up all the old polls on this?
http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho...tomatic+manual

http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho...&threadid=2877
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Last edited by PhilH; 06-11-2003 at 11:13 AM.
  #6  
Old 06-11-2003, 11:18 AM
numbersguy numbersguy is offline
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When the lease on my F-150 is up in October I'll be getting a 325i manual. The Ford has been very good to me and the high seating position combined with the smooth auto tranny is a great stress reducer in stop and go freeway traffic. You have to drive a full-sized pickup or SUV in a freeway crawl to know what I mean.

I'll be commuting with the 325i too, but I'm getting this car to have fun with also. I wouldn't even consider a Step 325i. No more than I would consider getting a manual tranny on a heavy, slow-revving machine like the Ford.
  #7  
Old 06-11-2003, 11:24 AM
Alex Baumann Alex Baumann is offline
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After three years automatic 323ci, I'm back to manual again.

And I'm very glad I did it.

Not that I didn't drive manual cars during that time (I had a Focus and I have a 320d now, both manuals).

But there's nothing like driving a BMW with a manual tranny, even their manuals are not the easiest ones.
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  #8  
Old 06-11-2003, 11:28 AM
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machmeter machmeter is offline
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Like them both, at different times, for basic reasons. I recently drove a 325i step and liked it. But, next purchase will almost definitely be manual. I like manual 90% of the time.
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  #9  
Old 06-11-2003, 11:42 AM
mecklaiz mecklaiz is offline
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This will probably be my one and only manual transmission car. My wife doesn't appreciate it but is humoring me. Also, there are two types of driving days...

(1) Get me from point A to point B damn it! And the less I have to think about it, the better...

(2) Ah, I just want to find some nice roads and drive around and enjoy the xperience.

Unfortunately, type (2) days are hard to find. Also, for the most part, I usually have type (1) days with a little bit of 2 thrown in. So it's not PRACTICAL to have a manual tranny. Now something like paddle shifting, that might not be so bad.

Z
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  #10  
Old 06-11-2003, 11:57 AM
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Bavarian Bavarian is offline
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I purchased an automatic because I LOATHE shifting in heavy traffic. Stop and go traffic and having to shift KILLS me. Furthermore, the 330i is sufficiently fast for me even if the auto loses some of the engine's torque along the way. It's still faster than a 325 with a manual, so I'm happy.

I would NOT trade in my Steptronic for a manual at all! If I ever ditch the Steptronic, it would be for BMW's SMG or Audi's DSG.

EGGS!!!
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  #11  
Old 06-11-2003, 12:02 PM
lili lili is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by ff
IThe primary reason for driving a manual, is to have total control over which gear is being used at all times. Nothing worse than a car trying to decide for me, becuase 99.9% of the time, the car is dead wrong.
AMEN!!!
  #12  
Old 06-11-2003, 12:05 PM
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Bavarian Bavarian is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by ff
I can't imagine owning an auto-trans vehicle. Or at least driving one on a daily basis. I fear that someday before too long, the manual transmission will disappear alltogether (this already happened in the "big 3" about 20 years ago), in favor of one choice: an automatic that can also be shifted with buttons on the steering wheel (or similar).

The primary reason for driving a manual, is to have total control over which gear is being used at all times. Nothing worse than a car trying to decide for me, becuase 99.9% of the time, the car is dead wrong. I'd hate to be forced to go with a manu-matic transmission, even if I could choose which gear at all times. There's something so fun about that 3rd pedal. So much more involving. And I think that's the main attraction.
The manual WILL and SHOULD die! Some years later, autos will be standard, and you'll pay extra to get a manual. Manuals should die because trannies like BMW's SMG and Audi's DSG can shift as fast or faster than a manual one. At the same time, you don't have to deal with a clumsy stick and third pedal. Furthermore, when the traffic gets bad, you switch to auto. Otherwise those particular trannies will totally obey you and will outshift you in speed compared to your own skill. No loss if manuals dissappear!
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  #13  
Old 06-11-2003, 12:08 PM
mark1 mark1 is offline
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Sorry to be repetitive on the subject.....I'm new on this forum.
I just look at those previous polls, thanks for finding them.

I do sympathize with those of you that live in metropolitan areas with all that heavy traffic. It would be a pain to constantly shift in that type of driving, and you can't really enjoy the capabilities of your BMW in bumper-to-bumper traffic anyway.

But here in Florida I DO still have fun with even "Point A to Point B" driving. This car makes trips to the grocery store fun, and I am convinced that alot of that dynamic would be missing with a automatic (even a Steptronic).
  #14  
Old 06-11-2003, 12:11 PM
mark1 mark1 is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by Bavarian
The manual WILL and SHOULD die! Some years later, autos will be standard, and you'll pay extra to get a manual. Manuals should die because trannies like BMW's SMG and Audi's DSG can shift as fast or faster than a manual one. At the same time, you don't have to deal with a clumsy stick and third pedal. Furthermore, when the traffic gets bad, you switch to auto. Otherwise those particular trannies will totally obey you and will outshift you in speed compared to your own skill. No loss if manuals dissappear!
I disagree.

There isn't an automatic transmission made that knows when I want to downshift enterign a corner, or stay in second through a sweeper, or one that see that the hill I'm on is going to flatten out and turn right.

Silly Rabbit, slush boxes are for dummies !

Just joking
  #15  
Old 06-11-2003, 12:15 PM
TD
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Quote:
Originally posted by Bavarian
The manual WILL and SHOULD die! Some years later, autos will be standard, and you'll pay extra to get a manual. Manuals should die because trannies like BMW's SMG and Audi's DSG can shift as fast or faster than a manual one. At the same time, you don't have to deal with a clumsy stick and third pedal. Furthermore, when the traffic gets bad, you switch to auto. Otherwise those particular trannies will totally obey you and will outshift you in speed compared to your own skill. No loss if manuals dissappear!
Once again, Rooster, you prove your overwhelming ignorance.

If you do not understand the appeal of the manual tranny, just keep your mouth shut. Anyone who truly appreciates stick knows that shifting speed, cost, etc have nothing to do with the appeal of a truly manual transmission.

SMG is just a really advanced automatic.
  #16  
Old 06-11-2003, 12:15 PM
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Nick325xiT 5spd Nick325xiT 5spd is offline
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I'd only get an automatic if I could have an E65 as a third car.
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  #17  
Old 06-11-2003, 12:16 PM
TD
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Originally posted by Nick325xiT 5spd
I'd only get an automatic if I could have an E65 as a third car.
Bah. I'd only get one if it was an E38 740i Sport. And it would be only until I could line up the tranny swap.
  #18  
Old 06-11-2003, 12:21 PM
mecklaiz mecklaiz is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by Bavarian
The manual WILL and SHOULD die! Some years later, autos will be standard, and you'll pay extra to get a manual. Manuals should die because trannies like BMW's SMG and Audi's DSG can shift as fast or faster than a manual one. At the same time, you don't have to deal with a clumsy stick and third pedal. Furthermore, when the traffic gets bad, you switch to auto. Otherwise those particular trannies will totally obey you and will outshift you in speed compared to your own skill. No loss if manuals dissappear!
If paddle shifter are good enough for Formula 1 they are good enough for me.

(ahem) Aren't they making the automatic shifting illegal in F1 for 2004?

Z
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Last edited by mecklaiz; 06-11-2003 at 12:24 PM.
  #19  
Old 06-11-2003, 12:26 PM
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Sean Sean is offline
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Manual. My 92 525i (2 owners) was my first slushy. So, I have the best of both worlds.
  #20  
Old 06-11-2003, 12:26 PM
TD
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Quote:
Originally posted by mecklaiz
If paddle shifter are good enough for Formula 1 they are good enough for me.

(ahem) Aren't they making the automatic shifting illegal in F1 for 2004?

Z
I am quite confident that SMG is more "efficient" than a true manual tranny. No question about it.

But the most efficient means isn't always the most enjoyable. For example, I assure you that sexual intercourse is not the most efficient approach to creating fertilized human eggs. But does anyone want to give that up.

I'm keeping my manual transmission.
  #21  
Old 06-11-2003, 12:29 PM
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Kaz Kaz is offline
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I'd like to drive a DSG to see how well it works, but initial reads have indicated it's not quite as well sorted-out as SMG is in its current state.

But I have driven a SMG, and though I think it needs another generation to really be 'there,' I have no problems with it from an engineering or conceptual standpoint.

If the options list on my next car included a line item for an SMG-like tranny, and its mechanism and operation were to my satisfaction, I'd check off that box.

But the automatic tranny as it exists today should be killed and buried.
  #22  
Old 06-11-2003, 12:33 PM
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brkf brkf is online now
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Re: Are you an Manual or Automatic buyer ?

Quote:
Originally posted by mark1
Just curious......

I purchased my 330Ci for a pure driving car. I would not consider an automatic transmission. I realize that some buyers purchase these cars more for the luxury and comfort, and probably want an automatic tranny. I know you can manually shift the automatic, but it's not the same.

So, which did you buy ? And why ?
Manual. I tried a bunch of automatics but they're just no fun! And I dislike the lack of engine control.

I've been driving stick since I was 10. It's hard to go to a slush box.
  #23  
Old 06-11-2003, 12:40 PM
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apar330i apar330i is offline
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I chose the manual and most likely will choose it again if/when I buy a new BMW. There are days however, when sitting in traffic, that I wish I had a Step.
  #24  
Old 06-11-2003, 01:10 PM
sshuit sshuit is offline
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Manual Trannies are about a lot more than shift speed and control. There is an aesthetic to them which is lost when we change to pushing a button to acheive a shift. I would consider an SMG that still had a gated shifter but no 3rd pedal but not paddles / buttons to replace the throw of a stick.

What do you guys think about CVT transmissions? Aren't they even MORE efficient than SMG style since you are always in the optimum torque range?
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  #25  
Old 06-11-2003, 01:24 PM
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Kaz Kaz is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by sshuit

What do you guys think about CVT transmissions? Aren't they even MORE efficient than SMG style since you are always in the optimum torque range?
That depends. Some CVTs (Audi) use a clutch pack to connect it to the engine. Others (MINI) use a torque converter, which IMO negates anf efficiency gains.

Also, it appears that manufacturers are artificially adding 'steps' in their CVT's behavior, as consumers think it's weird to have an engine hold a constant RPM as speed changes (the way the old Subaru ECVT worked). This also would negate some of the potential of the transmission.

I don't think it's a replacement for the MT, but I think it's what needs to replace the AT (sans torque converter).
 

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