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Thread: Anyone with S-Tronic miss a manual?

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    Joetidman's Avatar
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    Anyone with S-Tronic miss a manual?

    So I'm getting an S-Tronic on my S3 and this isn't a wobble, I can't wait in fact, but I was driving the other day and was enjoying the subtle balance between clutch gears and throttle and thought for a second 'I won't need this skill soon' and was a little sad. Mind you the other day when I was tired after a long day and drive and was making a hash of gear changes I was begging for the S-Tron. I just wondered for those that have switched to S-Tron do you ever miss the manual?
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    I do miss having a manual when I want the gearbox to do exactly what I want in my mind. But with most of my driving being to work etc, I'd still pick the auto. Would be nice to have a TT in the garage with a manual for the weekends
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    I've got the same worry... Had no choice but to have S tronic cos I want diesel quattro. I really wanted manual... But, I have convinced myself that the S tronic is much more versatile - full auto when tired/lazy and paddle shift manual when in the mood... And I do have an '06 MX5 in the garage when I need a proper clutch and gear stick fix!

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    We've got a manual 3.0i z4 in the garage and I always enjoy a spin out in it, but as a daily driver I find having a manual a pain.
    Build Week 1: Panther Black S3 SB S-Tronic, black nappa, anthracite alloys, comfort pack with adaptive cruise and parking plus, active lane assist, adaptive xenons with variable range control and auto high beam, technology package HIGH with connect, B&O, tyre pressure warning, fold/dim/dip/heat mirrors, reversible boot liner, extended mono pur interior, privacy glass, hill hold assist, LED interior light pack, electric lumber support.

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    Good thoughts guys. My wife's Sportage still has a manual, but there isn't much subtle or fun about driving it I'm afraid, although overall the car is great. I'm sure the Stronic will be ace for 95% of the time, but I wonder if on that odd occasion I'll miss switching gears myself and having full control
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  7. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by andywil13 View Post
    I do miss having a manual when I want the gearbox to do exactly what I want in my mind. But with most of my driving being to work etc, I'd still pick the auto. Would be nice to have a TT in the garage with a manual for the weekends
    I'm on my fourth s-tronic and don't miss a manual in the slightest because I always use mine as in manual mode using the paddles or the stick. To me it is just the same as a manual but without the need to keep pushing a clutch pedal. I can change up at full power, change down for roundabouts and corners just a would in a manual. The other nice thing is that whenever I stop it automatically selects first gear for me. The only time I ever use the auto mode is if I get stuck in a traffic jam and when I get my new 8V it will be even easier by using the ACC to move the car forward when the car in front moves.

    Always think of an s-tronic as a clutchless manual gearbox and you will come to love it and wonder why you ever liked a manual gearbox with a manaul clutch With the s-tronic you get the best of both worlds.

    Long gone are the days when 'real' men only drove with a manual gearbox!!!
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    Anyone with S-Tronic miss a manual?

    Nothing to do with 'real men' Dave ... Rather an old fashioned sexist term in 2014 ;-) I love auto in a big car but find driving enjoyment is greater with a manual in a smallish car like the S3 .. Personal view and auto is way better than it was.
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    You're in good company with the DSG box.

    A 911 Carrera S with a PDK box, or a Cayman S with PDK, Ferrari 458, and F1 sequential boxes etc. etc. are all obviously at the top of their game in terms of performance cars. All better for the Dual Clutch boxes.

    Hardly large cars, or barges to which traditional slush boxes are traditionally suited.

    This is 2014. I don't feel the need to stir around with the H-gate in order to "feel involved" with the drive Not when the DSG box provides such exquisite changes, both up and down the box
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    Until the 80's I had never driven an Auto box, and got a BMW 7 series for the weight to tow a caravan. I hatted every minute of it. Just did not feel in control of the car. Even went to the extreme of ordering a manual box with my next large car Vauxhall Senator 3.0 CD, the norm was for a Auto box. When ordered the salesman looked at me and said he had never heard of this vehicle ever being ordered with a manual box. However back in 2012 got a Golf GTD with DSG gear box, (as in previous post) great in total control using the paddles or if feeling lazy put it into auto. Would not go back to a manual box now. Can not wait to get my hands on my A3 184 Quattro.
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  11. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by PilotAudi View Post
    Nothing to do with 'real men' Dave ... Rather an old fashioned sexist term in 2014 ;-) I love auto in a big car but find driving enjoyment is greater with a manual in a smallish car like the S3 .. Personal view and auto is way better than it was.
    May be, but it was implied on the 8P forum not that long ago. I like a manual as well, but I don't like having to keep playing with a clutch pedal, which is why I've got the best of both worlds. To me an auto gearbox makes the decisions when to change gear. In my case I make the decision, unless I do something stupid or that will harm the engine or gearbox in which case the s-tronic will stop me.
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    Enough is enough guys. We all have our own personal opinions and views, but this constant disagreement is not doing anyone any favours in here. So please try get along and resoect each others views. I will edit this thread, please keep on topic from this point on.
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    In some ways this thread doesn't really apply to me as I waited until my desired engine became available with a manual before ordering. I can see the potential benefits of S-tronic but I have to say I'm yet to be totally convinced. One of the reasons for this is I feel I don't want to lose the "skill" of a manual gearbox. That said, it's entirely possible that in my lifetime we'll look back on cars with manual boxes in the same way as we do to cars with manual chokes today!
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    Good points Tim. From what I've read recently I suspect it won't be too long that only dedicated sport cars (and I don't include S3's in this) are the only ones with manuals, mostly for fuel economy and 0-60 figures etc on strons
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joetidman View Post
    Good points Tim. From what I've read recently I suspect it won't be too long that only dedicated sport cars (and I don't include S3's in this) are the only ones with manuals, mostly for fuel economy and 0-60 figures etc on strons
    Even dedicated sports cars use a form of DSG like the s-tronic. Most of the top Audi models in each range use the s-tronic and as Veeeight said in post #8 the 911 Carrera S with a PDK box, or a Cayman S with PDK and the Ferrari 458 also use a DSG.
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    Sure, I was thinking more of caterhams, Ariel atoms, etc
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    Good posts Tim and Joe. I was brought up driving hot Minis and Rs Fords and whilst I love Stronic and PDK it has it's place but on an S3 a small/mid size hot hatch I want 3 pedals and a stick to use.

    Audi have failed to deliver enough hot manuals in the uk recently and I intend to take full advantage of the manual S3 in 13 days time. But it is a personal thing , let's not fall out suggesting anyone is right or wrong in their choice of an Audi. Save the aggro for those who choose BMW or MB!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joetidman View Post
    I just wondered for those that have switched to S-Tron do you ever miss the manual?
    ... sometimes... when I am overtaking and need to drop a couple of gears, there can be too much of a delay in D mode. For everything else no.

    I don't use manual mode on my DSG. There are 2 techniques that work quite well. The easiest is to pull the selector to S mode, so the car will drop gears, ready to go. Though that method lacks control and I often wonder if the car will ever decide to move back up the gears.

    My preferred method is - left paddle into gear 5 in preparation of a gap. Then gear 4 if I need it. Or stay in 5 if there is enough space. Or back into 6 if there is no opportunity.

    I will have this car at least another year. Maybe by then I will get so used to using the paddles for overtaking that it will become second nature. Then I will be a complete convert.

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    Sport mode is ace, though i can be annoying when its doesnt upshift when necessary, especially on a diesel can be sucky.

    i got a sore knee driving manuals, so as a dd you can beat stron, besides theirs more and more cars on the road = more traffic jams, so an auto is a no brainer!

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    Don't miss manual in the slightest. In fact specifically DSG / S-Tronic is now my preferred type of transmission.

    As a total automatic convert after having a DSG A1, I ordered my 320d company car with the 8 speed ZF torque converter auto (can't be that different to DSG I thought). The one that most of the car mags say is as good as DSG etc if your in the know. Well in reality it just isn't.....it jerks, it's slow, you can feel up-changes, it has a massive delay during kick down when over taking. I could go on. In reality short of the Porsche PDK and the Mclaren 12C gearbox (yes, have driven one a few times) you really can not get better than the VAG duel clutcher. Every other type of box to me drives pretty woeful in comparison (Mercedes and Ford being the worst offenders).

    For how I like to drive and for the "quick at the lights" factor I love my DSG. Can't wait to have it in my S3 and enjoy its sub 5 second to 60 time and the up-change noise.
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    Anyone with S-Tronic miss a manual?

    The sub 5 second quoted for an Stronic is solely down to launch control. In real life situations the driver skill will determine the difference between auto and manual performance and frankly so what. Back to the size of sausages mentioned in another thread.
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    It's a good point pilot although I think the Stron allows you to not worry about gears and focus on steering, positioning, breaking which may make an average driver a bit better when pushing the car, although I'm sure less for better drivers that can really make the best out of manuals. I know I'm not much better than average btw!
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    We are now a household of three German s/g-tronic gearboxes.
    I think eventually I'll go back to manual in my weekend car, but my daily will always be an auto.

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    Many thanks to Sandra for cleaning up this my absence.

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    Quote Originally Posted by PilotAudi View Post
    The sub 5 second quoted for an Stronic is solely down to launch control. In real life situations the driver skill will determine the difference between auto and manual performance and frankly so what. Back to the size of sausages mentioned in another thread.
    Sorry - no offence intended on the manual front. Just stating I'm looking forward to get S-Tronic so it can do sub 5 second to 60. Was a statement personal to my gear box choice.
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    DSG vs Manual, Flying Lap
    Therefore Launch Control taken out of the equation.

    Definitely no sausages involved as Vicki Butler-Henderson is driving.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Pulp84 View Post
    Sorry - no offence intended on the manual front. Just stating I'm looking forward to get S-Tronic so it can do sub 5 second to 60. Was a statement personal to my gear box choice.
    No probs. the official Audi figures show the Stronic as marginally faster 0-62 which I am told is down to launch control for initial speedy lift off.

  30. #29
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    The one thing I've always wondered with the DSG /STronic system is the ECU blips the throttle between gear changes which maintains revs, the gearchanges are the largely imperceptible so you must lose less speed in the gear change process?

    If you took a professional race driver who was flat shifting they may be able to run the DSG close but for Joe Average results could be variable.

    I prefer manual personally (do not read Im therefore saying its better, it's just my preference), however current health challenges and a lack of manual option in new S5 means I'm in a position where I have to take a DSG sabbatical! Intrigued to see what it's like.
    Last edited by warren_S5; 17th February 2014 at 09:25.
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    It's rather sad that Audi short change us UK buyers with transmission options.

    Whilst the Stronic is a fine transmission it just seems ridiculous that Americans and I believe Antipodeans can have an M6 stick shift of S5 we can't here. Used a 2008 S5 Manual V8 for many miles and loved it (apart from 14mpg!)

    One of the big appeals of the S3 was being able to have a manual again after 4 years of Audi Autos. ( 7 speed S Tronic and 8 speed Tip)

    Great post Daz on Golf R Manual vs DSG... Anyone else wondered what effect an extra 2 doors has on performance.. the quicker DSG Golf was a 3 door.
    Last edited by PilotAudi; 17th February 2014 at 07:48.

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    I used to be very anti auto but would not go back to a manual now, it has made me lazy though, driving my golf can seem like a real chore at times, especially in town.
    At work I occasionally drove one of the newer 3.0tdi a4 avants and hated the manual gearbox but that was more due to the bulge in the transmission tunnel causing the pedals to be offset, something I never could get comfortable with.
    My next car will be an A5 3.0tdi cab, it will definitely not be a manual.

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    I don't know about anyone else but I actually find driving any car in auto makes me drive a bit slower too.

    I thnk it must just be the lazyboy way you can woft along doing "nothing".

    I also like how the dsg box on the new a3 links with the adaptive cruise to allow it to come to a full stop so it will be a big help in stop start and crawling traffic.

    I also find it much easier to have a drink (water!) when driving through town etc as I'm not fighting to change gear whilst holding a bottle etc.
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    I had DSG on a MK5 Golf R32 - but never really got on with it, and have been back to manual ever since.
    However, it wouldn't stop me getting another in the future. But I wouldnt pay a premium for one, or have one out of warranty.

    My main issue was the slight delay changing through the gears, say approaching a roundabout on a fast dual carriageway.
    In the manual, it could be a single shift out of 6th - make sure its safe - select 3rd or 4th then go. On the DSG (even driving it manually), dropping 6th, 5th, 4th/3rd just didnt come naturally to me.

    However, I do miss the fast launches and ease of driving in jams.

    Did I read somewhere that they are expecting 60/40 (manual/S-Tronic) sales figures on the new S3?

    Each to their own - and just my opinion. I thought slagging each other off for their preference was restricted to teenagers on I-Phone V Android forums
    Last edited by Soulboy; 17th February 2014 at 09:21.

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    We test drove both S3, one with manual and the other with S-Tronic, in our minds, it was a no contest, S-Tronic all the way.

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    With the exception of the 1.8TFSI all the engines for the A3 have the same or better 0-60 time with the Stronic vs manual.

    for some reason the 1.8TFSI stronic is a fraction slower than the manual, but not the case with the other engines.

    only 0.1 sec so not really any difference but strange non the less.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Longy View Post
    We test drove both S3, one with manual and the other with S-Tronic, in our minds, it was a no contest, S-Tronic all the way.
    Does anyone else remember Jeremy Clarkson in a manual 4WD sports car admitting he did not have the skill to get a fast start. Did he have to give the car to the Stig?

  38. #37
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    Anyone with S-Tronic miss a manual?

    This post is spot on.
    Quote Originally Posted by Joetidman View Post
    So I'm getting an S-Tronic on my S3 and this isn't a wobble, I can't wait in fact, but I was driving the other day and was enjoying the subtle balance between clutch gears and throttle and thought for a second 'I won't need this skill soon' and was a little sad. Mind you the other day when I was tired after a long day and drive and was making a hash of gear changes I was begging for the S-Tron. I just wondered for those that have switched to S-Tron do you ever miss the manual?


    What do I miss?
    Smooth manual gear changes especially when accelerating and the feeling of satisfaction it gives when matching engine revs to new gear.
    The ability to press the clutch and then blend power back in without touching the brakes; again for smooth ride, especially when parking or in snow (yet to experience that in S-Tronic).

    What I love:
    Changing gear whilst still on power
    Manual flappy paddle mode for twisty A and B roads to anticipate the bends.
    Convenience in traffic jams & queues which I experience virtually every day. This was a pain in the Manual gearbox.

    What I don't like:
    Kick down switch on accelerator often downshifts so revs go straight to the red line, even in manual mode. Not as much power when that high as there is at 5k rpm (and that's the case with most turbo charged engines). Would much prefer it to only kick down to 5k rpm where there is more headroom than the red line.

    Most of my journeys are in flappy paddle mode and then nudge across to full auto when I hit the stop start traffic & queues for the best of both worlds.

    Overall: happy with my choice as the benefits outweigh the missed opportunities.

    John.

    Edit: for clarity.
    Last edited by JohnnyM100; 17th February 2014 at 11:28.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stevieb2905 View Post
    My next car will be an A5 3.0tdi cab, it will definitely not be a manual.
    Had one of them for 2 years. They don't do manual!

    S Tronic was great but the 3.0Tdi Cab quattro is a bit of a cumbersome beast which suited S Tronic. Previously had a Coupe (same engine) with manual which I loved and never have had an issue with offset pedals, suppose I got used to it, others may not.
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    I drove a 2013 Seat with a DSG gearbox once, chose manual...
    Now a proud owner of a A3 1.4 tfsi Saloon S-Line, 6-speed, Daytona Grey, Technology Pack, Comfort Pack, Cruise, Advanced Key, Privacy Glass, Audi Parking System Plus, Interior Lighting, Folding Door Mirrors, Light & Rain Sensor. Hold Assist.

  41. #40
    geefunk1978's Avatar
    3rd Gear

    Status
    Offline
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Mansfield
    Posts
    603
    I definitely don't miss a manual, the S Tronic gearbox is brilliant. I had a good drive to Milltek this morning to take my car and it was brilliant down the twisty roads I took. The gear changes are instant up and down and you can never tire of the bang! on upshifts.
    I've got a Peugot 208 hire car and to be honest getting back into a manual is just tiring to drive!

 

 
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