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Thread: S-Tronic...?

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    mdre83's Avatar
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    S-Tronic...?

    Can anyone shed any light on how they've found their S-Tronic gearbox.
    Most of the SportBacks/SPECs Im currently looking at are S-Tronic.

    I've spoke to a few people who have automatics (not necessarily Audi) who said they wouldn't go back to manual.

    I'm going to call my local dealer later today to try arraning a test drive, just wondered what your guys think...
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    rob1210's Avatar
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    I find it great. It's no manual replacement, but I didn't want that anyway. I wanted a nice smooth, responsive auto box which you could have some fun in manual mode occasionally. I would say the S-Tronic box fits the bill perfectly.
    Car History
    "57" Audi A3 2.0tdi 170 S-Line S-Tronic, Phantom Black
    "56" VW Golf 2.0tdi Sport
    "55" Audi A4 2.0t S-Line Quattro
    "51" BMW 330d Sport

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    Give one a go! I love mine, I cover alot of miles in traffic, and with a knackered back it suits me fine.
    Nice to switch off the ESP and put in 'manual' on the country roads ever now and then though!
    Ive done journeys to Cornwall (350miles) and got out the car straight out on the pi$$ as I didnt feel tired as I would in a manual.
    8P S3 S-Tronic BE. Stage 2 from Awesome GTi.

    Gone - S4 bi-turbo - forever a place in my heart!


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    mdre83's Avatar
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    many thanks for the replies. I sit in quite a bit of traffic myself. also do long journeys (300miles) will definately try one tonight.
    A3 8P2 2.0TDI S-Line 170 SB | Brilliant Red | Full Leather | BOSE | 6 Disc Changer | None Smoking Pack | Light Interior Pack (Converted to LEDs) | Rear Parking Sensors | S3 Air Vents | S3 Mirrors - Stolen!| S3 Pedals |

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    markwiggy's Avatar
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    Personally would not touch one with a Sh*##y stick, each to there own though, I suppose it depends on your driving style.

    Mark
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    Matt's Avatar
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    Lots of people rave about them. But then some people dont like them either.

    Someone I know ran a Golf GT TDI with DSG as his company car covering 30,000 miles a year and overall he liked it - for the type of driving he was doing which was motorway and traffic jams! But he has a manual car now....

    I would not buy it as a replacement for manual unless they made a truly manual mode.
    Sold: A3 2.0 TDI 170 S-line | Full leather | BOSE | Phantom Black | Bluefin
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    Amchlolor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by markwiggy View Post
    Personally would not touch one with a Sh*##y stick,
    Me neither.
    '02 to '05 - Black Audi A4 1.9tdi sport
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    rob1210's Avatar
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    from reading the ongoing debates over S-tronic, I am under the impression that they have improved them considerably over the past few years. Don't be under any illusion that it is a manual replacement though.
    Car History
    "57" Audi A3 2.0tdi 170 S-Line S-Tronic, Phantom Black
    "56" VW Golf 2.0tdi Sport
    "55" Audi A4 2.0t S-Line Quattro
    "51" BMW 330d Sport

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    Amchlolor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rob1210 View Post
    from reading the ongoing debates over S-tronic, I am under the impression that they have improved them considerably over the past few years.
    Apart from a name change (from DSG to S-tronic), I've seen no evidence of any changes.
    It still has that delay when you try to pull away quickly (making you look like a pillock), it still takes ages to go from a forward gear into reverse (making you look like a carpark pillock) and it still changes up for you, even in manual mode (making you feel like an untrustworthy pillock).
    They may have made some changes to it's mechanicals, but its basic functionality, and therefore its annoying traits, remain the same as '05.
    Until they make those changes, it'll always get a big thumbs down from me.
    Last edited by Amchlolor; 7th July 2008 at 11:49.
    '02 to '05 - Black Audi A4 1.9tdi sport
    '05 to '08 - Akoya Silver A3 sportback S-line DSG
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    cliveywolves's Avatar
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    love mine, but i have to have auto cause the wife got auto licence only...

    but it is a good box esp with the padal shifts for some fun in manual mode,,,,
    2007 Audi A3 Sportback 2.0 Tdi (170) DPF, S-Line,DSG S-Tronic, Akoyo Silver, 18"Alloys Audi RS4 Design, RNS-E 2007 TMC, Rear Parking Sensors,Bose Sound System,6 CD Changer,Black Leather Sport Seats,Auto Folding Mirrors,Tyre Pressure Sys,+ More....

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    The911SC's Avatar
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    I hate them; Tried the TT-S with s tronic the other day and it ruined the car. I think it is better suited to some cars but I think it only really works with the 3.2 petrol and the engine has the torque through the rev range...
    In the petrol turbo car, there is such a delay between putting your foot down and it actually coming on turbo and moving its awful...
    In the diesel, it holds the revs too long losing the torque which is low down in the revs..
    So, I would say try one back to back with manual.. Only my opinion but no thanks!...
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    Quote Originally Posted by bowfer View Post
    Apart from a name change (from DSG to S-tronic), I've seen no evidence of any changes.
    I think they have improved it. I tested a few cars recently, and the S-tronic system was much more responsive than a my current, 3 years old car.

    I don't need if it's mechanical changes, or just better software, but it is improved.

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    Amchlolor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sebtomato View Post
    I think they have improved it. I tested a few cars recently, and the S-tronic system was much more responsive than a my current, 3 years old car.
    I would suggest that's just 'wear and tear' in your car, to be honest.
    My DSG's responses got worse with age/mileage, for sure.
    A fluid change may have helped, but I got rid just before it was due.
    '02 to '05 - Black Audi A4 1.9tdi sport
    '05 to '08 - Akoya Silver A3 sportback S-line DSG
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    Quote Originally Posted by bowfer View Post
    I would suggest that's just 'wear and tear' in your car, to be honest.
    Well, mine always had a delay in some gear (often reported with the diesel TDI engine and DSG), and when I tried more recent versions (6 months old cars), this was not the case. Therefore, I think they have improved something, or maybe just tuned better the DSG system for diesel engines.

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    so long as you appreciate its an auto box, (i.e. no clutch pedal and therefore something else other than you has a level of control) and you are comfortable with that, you'll probably find it ok

    I'd never have considered an auto before because I couldn't stand the lazy slow traditional auto boxes, however DSG changed that for me and it suits me down to the ground

    best thing to do is test drive both.......

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    royjk's Avatar
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    If you like auto boxes it's tremendous, my new car will be my third DSG, but I would not have one of those antiquated push & pull lever things if you paid me. 30 years with various types of auto boxes. But each to their own.

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    Iggu's Avatar
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    If you enjoy driving - don't go near one.
    If you enjoy getting from A to B - probably a good idea.
    Phantom Black S3, RNS-E with SDS Hack , BOSE, Sunroof, iPod, ITG CAI, Forge DV, Milltek TBE, Revo Stage 2+, Autotech HPFP, Sachs clutch, Lamin-X, BBS Pescaras, H&R springs, H&R ARBs, NGK Iridium Plugs, Vagcom.

  19. #18
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    Its witchcraft I tell thee.

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    Oli.'s Avatar
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    I love DSG, and once it comes out in the S3 (which by the way is january 2009, according to Audi UK - after speaking to them today via my dealer), I will be ordering a sportback with it. Yes it is a pain round town, as it will drop into 1st with no warning, but on the move I found it very competent, in both the GTI and R32. You do learn to drive the DSG, as I did, and it doesn't happen overnight. EVO hated it when they first got their R32 DSG, but loved it at the end and missed it when it was gone.

    Just my 2 pennyworth
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    alfiejts's Avatar
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    Room for one more opinion....

    I've been desperate for a "flappy paddle" gearbox since they announced the Alfa 156 Selespeed, just weeks after I'd ordered my manual gearbox version in 1999....

    Anyway, as an unbiased opinion, there are times I love the DSG gearbox and times I hate it...
    On balance - I honestly don't know which way I'd go again, next time...

    As an automatic, its really good most of the time and I really appreciate not having to constantly change gear around town and in motorway queues. It also has the economy of the manual so you don't lose out fuel-wise compared to real automatics.

    BUT - The Germans can't design software to cope with roundabouts. If you approach the roundabout slowing down, matching your speed to other traffic and then try to accelerate into a gap - there's a massive delay as the gearbox tries to find a ratio to use (I've counted three seconds before I got power on the other day!) - So I now use the paddles to change down into a specific gear on every roundabout approach - and if you accept that and live with it, its fine as an automatic.
    Yes there's a delay going between reverse and forward when doing three point turns, but that's the same as any other automatic....

    Secondly though - its not a real manual either. It automatically changes up and down at certain thresholds, even in manual mode - and you can't change up until you reach a certain speed in each gear. There's time I'd like to trundle along in 5th - and the car won't go into it below 35mph. It won't go into 6th below 45mph....

    So I'm torn - its not perfect and there are time's its annoying - but then there are times it puts a smile on my face too - and most of the time its just a perfectly adequate automatic drive....

    The only other thing to consider is that some do go wrong - more than a manual box - and when they do, they cost a lot to fix. Also, the oil needs changing every 40,000 miles and that will cost you c160 - and finally, if you're thinking of "chipping" or remapping the car, the gearbox can't take too much extra torque, so you're really taking more of a risk remapping a DSG car - the manual box has no such power issues....

    Hope that helps inform. No polarised view - just pros and cons to weigh up - and I still don't know what I'd do next time.... I think it depends on finding the right car - I'd probably go with whatever box that had....
    2012 White A5 Coupe TFSi Black Edition
    (Was 2004 A3 2.0 TDi S-Line DSG, owned from 2005 to 2012....)

  22. #21
    Oli.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by alfiejts View Post
    .

    It won't go into 6th below 45mph....
    That must be a diesel thing, as on both of my Golfs, in auto mode, it would get into 6th around 30mph
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    mdre83's Avatar
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    well... I test drove the S-Tronic eariler on tonight and was slightly disappointed, I was wanting to change gear all the time. Not something I think I could get away with, not to mention nearly going through the windscreen twice looking the clutch LOL
    A3 8P2 2.0TDI S-Line 170 SB | Brilliant Red | Full Leather | BOSE | 6 Disc Changer | None Smoking Pack | Light Interior Pack (Converted to LEDs) | Rear Parking Sensors | S3 Air Vents | S3 Mirrors - Stolen!| S3 Pedals |

  24. #23
    Quote Originally Posted by Iggu View Post
    If you enjoy driving - don't go near one.
    If you enjoy getting from A to B - probably a good idea.
    I enjoy driving - all sorts of driving from 130mph on a German autobahns to steep, twisty mountain passes. From country lanes to motorways and dual-carriageways, from driving around towns to anything else you can think off. And I also enjoy driving fast it's where possible and safe.

    I am now retired and almost all of my driving is for pure pleasure and there is no way I would want to go back to an old fashioned manual gearbox and clutch pedal. I use my S-tronic in 'tiptronic' mode using the paddles almost all the time and to me it is just great and no silly clutch pedal to mess around with. When I do occasional drive my wife's manual Polo it seems so old fashioned and out of date. I have power assisted steering and power assisted braking, why not power assisted gear-changing.
    Dave R (h5djr)
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    A3 8V 2.0 TDI-184 Sportback Sport s-tronic quattro - Silver + lots of options - my 9th A3

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    Iggu's Avatar
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    DSG is like ...

    Phantom Black S3, RNS-E with SDS Hack , BOSE, Sunroof, iPod, ITG CAI, Forge DV, Milltek TBE, Revo Stage 2+, Autotech HPFP, Sachs clutch, Lamin-X, BBS Pescaras, H&R springs, H&R ARBs, NGK Iridium Plugs, Vagcom.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mdre83 View Post
    well... I test drove the S-Tronic eariler on tonight and was slightly disappointed, I was wanting to change gear all the time. Not something I think I could get away with, not to mention nearly going through the windscreen twice looking the clutch LOL
    thats why you need to try one for a good few hours, a 20 minute drive won't help
    Gone A3 TDi S Line DSG Bluefined

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    I have 2.0TFSI with DSG and it is great. Brilliant in traffic or around town, it changes up and down smoothly, none of the usual over-revving or sluggishness you get with other auto boxes. The paddles are great for a sudden change down for a burst of speed.

    If you are potential boy racer or want a real driver's car then DSG is not for you. It's not a racing gearbox. Those who have wanted this type of experience are disappointed.

    Personally, I love it and find it makes driving a pleasure in town and fun when you want it to be .

    Try before you buy to see if it meets your expectations.
    Paul
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    Quote Originally Posted by h5djr View Post
    I enjoy driving - all sorts of driving from 130mph on a German autobahns to steep, twisty mountain passes. From country lanes to motorways and dual-carriageways, from driving around towns to anything else you can think off. And I also enjoy driving fast it's where possible and safe.

    I am now retired and almost all of my driving is for pure pleasure and there is no way I would want to go back to an old fashioned manual gearbox and clutch pedal. I use my S-tronic in 'tiptronic' mode using the paddles almost all the time and to me it is just great and no silly clutch pedal to mess around with. When I do occasional drive my wife's manual Polo it seems so old fashioned and out of date. I have power assisted steering and power assisted braking, why not power assisted gear-changing.
    I had to look twice at that response as it reflects my own opinion so perfectly I thought I'd written it in my sleep - even down to being retired!

    My past has included track testing (as well as owning) Jaguar XK8s but I'm now more than content with my (wife's !!) Sportback 2.0TFSi with DSG. Great fun - yet total 'chill-out' when needed.

  29. #28
    Amchlolor's Avatar
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    TBH, how anyone can claim they drive fast but not be annoyed by DSG is beyond me.
    Ho hum.
    '02 to '05 - Black Audi A4 1.9tdi sport
    '05 to '08 - Akoya Silver A3 sportback S-line DSG
    '08 to ? - Black Alpina D3

  30. #29
    Oli.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bowfer View Post
    TBH, how anyone can claim they drive fast but not be annoyed by DSG is beyond me.
    Ho hum.
    Works for me fine, each to their own I suppose - As said above, its definately a marmite thing, my mate hates it and I love it, and can't wait to own my next DSG car
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  31. #30
    Gti Jazz Blue's Avatar
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    Look just always make sure you get a good test drive with a good range of different driving types.

    The other thing that I would always recommend is that you try a DSG with the same Engine that you are looking to order or buy.

    Trying a DSG isn't good enough, you have to try the combination of Engine and DSG that you are concidering, I'd even go as far as exactly the same spec (i.e. 170 or 140 Diesel, 2.0Fsi or 2.0TFsi).

    Love it or hate it.

    Paul
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    SteveTDCi's Avatar
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    the thing is that the DSG can shift gears quicker than you can with a manual car, and yes you can drive quickly with them, although one thing I do miss sometimes is the lack of engine braking.
    Gone A3 TDi S Line DSG Bluefined

    Now Seat Leon Cupra about to be Bluefined

  33. #32
    Quote Originally Posted by SteveTDCi View Post
    the thing is that the DSG can shift gears quicker than you can with a manual car, and yes you can drive quickly with them, although one thing I do miss sometimes is the lack of engine braking.
    If you use the tiptronic mode you can have engine braking as well. Very occasionally I've clicked the minus paddle rather than the plus paddle and been braked by the engine!!
    Dave R (h5djr)
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    A3 8V 2.0 TDI-184 Sportback Sport s-tronic quattro - Silver + lots of options - my 9th A3

  34. #33
    Amchlolor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by h5djr View Post
    If you use the tiptronic mode you can have engine braking as well. Very occasionally I've clicked the minus paddle rather than the plus paddle and been braked by the engine!!
    Yes, you can change down gears using the paddles.
    Again though, only if the ECU decides you're 'within the parameters'.
    There were loads of times I'd be braking hard, looking to change down.
    The bloody ECU wouldn't let me though, presumably because it thought my revs were too high and I was 'being silly'.
    So it just flat refused to do it.
    It's not as if I was being silly though, a manual car would take the downchange without complaint.

    Why does DSG need to 'nanny' the driver, when a manual driver can do whatever he/she likes?
    '02 to '05 - Black Audi A4 1.9tdi sport
    '05 to '08 - Akoya Silver A3 sportback S-line DSG
    '08 to ? - Black Alpina D3

  35. #34
    Gti Jazz Blue's Avatar
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    That is one thing I don't like is the switch placement. I always struggle on a T junction as I have to rotate the wheel a fair bit to get round, I can't reach the + paddle as my hand is in the wrong place. At times I wish that they were affixed to the console rather than the back of the wheel.

    Needs to be a BTCC or WRC style paddle.

    Paul
    2011 (MY12) Skoda Octavia II FL VRS Manual Hatch 2.0Tsi in Race Blue.
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  36. #35
    Amchlolor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gti Jazz Blue View Post
    At times I wish that they were affixed to the console rather than the back of the wheel.

    Needs to be a BTCC or WRC style paddle.
    Agreed.
    But Audi would argue you have the +/- option on the stick instead.
    Which, to be fair, I used more often than the paddles, for the very reason you mention.
    Even then though, the +/- on the stick is the wrong way round!
    '02 to '05 - Black Audi A4 1.9tdi sport
    '05 to '08 - Akoya Silver A3 sportback S-line DSG
    '08 to ? - Black Alpina D3

  37. #36
    Quote Originally Posted by bowfer View Post
    Yes, you can change down gears using the paddles.
    Again though, only if the ECU decides you're 'within the parameters'.
    There were loads of times I'd be braking hard, looking to change down.
    The bloody ECU wouldn't let me though, presumably because it thought my revs were too high and I was 'being silly'.
    So it just flat refused to do it.
    It's not as if I was being silly though, a manual car would take the downchange without complaint.

    Why does DSG need to 'nanny' the driver, when a manual driver can do whatever he/she likes?
    You and I obviously have a totally different driving style!!
    Dave R (h5djr)
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    A3 8V 2.0 TDI-184 Sportback Sport s-tronic quattro - Silver + lots of options - my 9th A3

  38. #37
    Gti Jazz Blue's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bowfer View Post
    Agreed.
    But Audi would argue you have the +/- option on the stick instead.
    Which, to be fair, I used more often than the paddles, for the very reason you mention.
    Even then though, the +/- on the stick is the wrong way round!
    Now are you telling me that we have found something that we can agree about ?

    Paul
    2011 (MY12) Skoda Octavia II FL VRS Manual Hatch 2.0Tsi in Race Blue.
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  39. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by bowfer View Post
    Yes, you can change down gears using the paddles.
    Again though, only if the ECU decides you're 'within the parameters'.
    There were loads of times I'd be braking hard, looking to change down.
    The bloody ECU wouldn't let me though, presumably because it thought my revs were too high and I was 'being silly'.
    So it just flat refused to do it.
    It's not as if I was being silly though, a manual car would take the downchange without complaint.

    Why does DSG need to 'nanny' the driver, when a manual driver can do whatever he/she likes?
    Now call me a liar, but in a manual car, if you stick it into 2nd at too high a rev's, does it allow you - yes maybe, but at risk of either blowing the bearbox, or discintigrating the clutch, now surely the ECU not letting you change down is a good thing. This DSG vs manual will go on for a lvery long time, but in 20 years time, I bet there are no more manuals being made.

    And yes I agree with GTI Jazz Blue, that the paddles should be column mounted, and not wheel mounted, but in situations where there could be confusion, I always used the stick
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  40. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by Oli.H View Post
    And yes I agree with GTI Jazz Blue, that the paddles should be column mounted, and not wheel mounted, but in situations where there could be confusion, I always used the stick
    Now I've never properly driven a DSG. I've only driven the TT-S with it but that was just driving normally and I've got to say it impressed me. Granted when you want to have a blast round country lanes then I'm sure a manual would be MUCH better because of the reasons given before. Now I can see me prefering the paddles to be wheel mounted because thats where your hands will be when you want to change gear. If I'm powering through a long bend, I dont want to take my hand off the wheel to move near the column and change up. If the argument is when you're at an arm's lock... what are you doing changing gears when your at lock anyway?! Surely the car will be going round a reasonably tight bend therefor you'll want to have the gear ready before you hit the bend...? Or am I missing something here?
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  41. #40
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    You are missing something, the paddles are quite small. Whereas on some column mounted paddle cars the paddles can extend 3" or so up and down from their position, so that if you are on a corner you alway know where the + or - paddle is - you dont just change gear when going in a straight line do you?? (and I obvioulsy dont mean right angle corners as preperation is key for big corners)

    Have a long drive - ie a few hours and you'll know what I mean
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