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Tiptronic Option - Advice Sought

Discussion in 'A3/S3/Sportback (8P Chassis)' started by roadrunner, Aug 21, 2006.

  1. roadrunner
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    roadrunner Member

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    [Aug 21, 2006]
    As mentioned in another thread I’m about to order a 2.0 TDI Sport 170 A3 and now that I’m leaning away from the Quattro version (subject to test drive) I could go for the Tiptronic option.

    I have test driven a vehicle with DSG and it was fun, especially playing formula one. Doing mainly urban and semi- urban driving it would also make boringly good sense. The thing is I wonder if the novelty would wear off and I’d end up just shoving it into auto most of the time and never using the features. Even more so because over the years as a manual shift driver I’d have to think about operating the Tiptronic features.


    Is the Tiptronic more than just an auto box and if so would I adapt and use the features 'automatically' ?

    Thanks.
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  3. jdp1962
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    jdp1962 Grumpy Old Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    [Aug 21, 2006]
    I've had Tiptronic in two different Audis, an A4 2.8 Quattro (five-speed auto) and my present A4 2.4SE Multitronic (that's a CVT with six-speed Tiptronic alongside).

    In both cars, I've used the auto and manual modes according to traffic conditions & mood, and the novelty has never really worn off.

    Mind you, in my case, I come at it from a position of having been an auto-only driver for over a decade, because I have dodgy knees & hate using a clutch. So for me, the Tiptronic was a bonus in that it gave me back the opportunity to have manual changes, without having to use a clutch.

    But if you're coming at it from a history of manual driving, then your "bonus" would be the auto mode, and the ability to change gear manually without using the clutch. Up to you to decide whether that's worth the extra cost.
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  4. Amchlolor
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    Amchlolor Active Member

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    [Aug 21, 2006]
    I would actually say (many will disagree) that urban and semi-urban driving is where DSG is at it's worst.
    That's when the 'DSG delay' (widely reported on this site),jerking and lurching are most shown up.
    Shoving it into 'D' gets rid of a lot of the jerking and lurching,but only makes the DSG-delay worse.

    (DSG delay is when you press the throttle at a junction/roundabout and the car does nothing..it just sits there while the ECU/gearbox send e-mails to each other discussing what it should do then....WAAAAHEY,you're off with a mighty lurch ! )

    Open road driving makes the DSG more enjoyable,but it has it's problems there to.
    For example,it will change up for you,even in manual mode.
    You may want to hold that gear,it won't let you.
    It slaps your wrists and changes up for you.
    It's also not as smooth a change as people make out.
    The gearchanges,especially downchanges,can be quite a lurchy affair,as the pre-programmed throttle 'blip' makes the car lurch.
    It's like driving with someone with poor clutch control.

    I would sum DSG up by saying that if you are happy to only ever be partly in control of your car,with a computer making the final decisions,go for it.
    If you want full control to change gear when you want,and how you want,get a proper manual.
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  5. h5djr
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    h5djr Well-Known Member VCDS Map User

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    [Aug 21, 2006]
    I have a 2.0TDI 140 with the DSG option. Having driven a manual, including several A3s and other Audis, for the last 40 years the DSG is, in my opinion, wonderful. Audis manual gearboxes have never been the best available. To me it adds a complete new dimension to driving. My particular car hardly ever suffers from the 'delay' other will talk about. Whether it's my car or the way I drive I have no idea. I tend to drive using the tip-tronic mode most of the time and only using D in queueing traffic. I find the changes up and down very smooth and very fast. I use both the lever and the paddles depending on the situation. To me it is power assisted gear changing at it's best. It is especially good with the diesel engine as gear changes do come up more quickly because of the limited rev range. I also like the automatic change when maximum revs are reached. When you pull away with the diesel the change from first to second and, to a degree, from second to third come up very quickly and I tend to let the DSG handle those and the manually move the lever or paddle after that. The auto change into first whenever you stop is also useful.

    I know other forum members and Bowfer in particular disagree with me on this issue. We have had many long discussions on this forum about the goods and bads of the DSG but for me personally, having had my DSG equipped car for just over two years, I would never consider going back to a manual gearbox. For me it's DSG all the way from now on. My obvious age may give the impression that I'm a slow dithery driver but I can assure you I'm not. 80-90mph is my normal motorway speed. 100-120mph on the speed limit free autobahns in Germany and 60-80 where possible on other roads.
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  6. Eeef
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    Eeef Lord of War

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    [Aug 21, 2006]
    You adapt to the DSG as you would any other feature of the car. I quite often drive along in D and then flip a padle if I want to drop a gear, or when slowing down at roundabouts.

    It becomes intuitive, in the same as when you originally learn to drive you think about everything, but with time it just 'happens'
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  7. Eeef
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    Eeef Lord of War

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    [Aug 21, 2006]
    and the DSG never gets boring :)
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  8. Amchlolor
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    Amchlolor Active Member

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    [Aug 21, 2006]
    Frustrating.
    Annoying.
    Infuriating.
    Pedantic.
    Recalcitrant.
    Obtrusive.
    Unco-operative

    But never boring... ;-)
    #7
  9. h5djr
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    h5djr Well-Known Member VCDS Map User

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    [Aug 21, 2006]
    You will now doubt have gathered by now that Bowfer is not very keen on his DSG gearbox, but unfortuately for him, his is a company car and he is stuck with it for the time being.

    In my case I love my DSG and mine is not a company car so if I disliked it as much as he obviously does I would have already changed my car.
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  10. marriedblonde
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    marriedblonde Moderator

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    [Aug 21, 2006]
    I've written loads of times about my feelings on DSG. It is a brilliant gearbox but it is not perfect.

    More telling, I love DSG, but I doubt I will be ordering it on my next car.

    I keep thinking, and telling anyone who cares to listen, that it suits the diesel engine perfectly due to it's narrow power band - very quick changes, very smooth etc. But the more I think about it, it is the diesels narrow power band that is the DSG's biggest failing. Pulling away from junctions the gearbox does it's thing which takes a fraction of a second and then you have to wait for boost to build. This means that the gap is bigger than you would normally need in a manual car. I never used to think this was an issue. A few runs up the quarter at Gti internation highlighted the difference between mine and a similar spec manual bora diesel.

    Perhaps familiarity build's contempt?

    J.
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  11. roadrunner
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    roadrunner Member

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    [Aug 21, 2006]
    Thanks everyone for the information. Really appreciated.

    Anyone here driven an A3 with the new 170 Diesel, manual or tiptronic and if so any thoughts.

    I haven't yet found a local dealer with a tiptronic version of the new 170 diesel to test drive but, for those with technical knowledge, will the torque be affected in a way that the Tiptronic version might behave better with the higher output engine?

    Thanks again.
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  12. Amchlolor
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    Amchlolor Active Member

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    [Aug 22, 2006]
    I don't think familiarity breeds contempt,as such.
    I think extended ownership does show that DSG has it's failings.
    Some admit they are there,some are blind to them.
    Some adapt to the failings,some don't see why they should.

    I wholeheartedly agree with what you say about DSG not suiting the diesel's short powerband.
    Whereas a manual gearbox driver would use every available Tdi rev,the DSG changes up and down within very strist parameters,which are only around 3500 revs apart (approximately).
    So the gearbox is constantly changing up and down,making the engine seem 'fussier' than it actually is.

    The 2.0tdi becomes a whole different animal in a manual.
    It seems to gain a broader rev range and a whole smoother drive.
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  13. Vertigo1
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    Vertigo1 Well-Known Member

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    [Aug 22, 2006]
    And as I'll be stuck with my next car for 3 or 4 years I made sure I test drove a DSG for a couple of hours and I'm afraid I'm with bowfer on this one, it's a pain in the backside, give me a manual any day.

    PS. It's S-Tronic, not Tiptronic :)
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  14. roadrunner
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    roadrunner Member

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    [Aug 26, 2006]
    oops yes it is of course S-tronic.

    Test drove one this morning and thought I'd report back... I didn't find a huge lag even when flooring it from the lights. There is some but I could live with it. However I did find it lurchy. I guess the truth is I'm a thru and thru manual driver. For me more control and more fun and I like the 6 speed box.
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  15. Amchlolor
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    Amchlolor Active Member

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    [Aug 28, 2006]

    IMO,you don't notice the delay so much when you first get the car as your mind is busy adapting to everything else.
    The delay creeps up on you.
    It starts as a "hmmm...tiny bit of a delay there" then grows to a full blown "Jesus effing christ on a bike will you effing MOOOOVE ! "..:)
    The delay does seem to get worse with age/mileage too.
    I know people report it gets better with a DSG oil change,but I don't think that happens until around 30000 miles.
    #14
  16. h5djr
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    h5djr Well-Known Member VCDS Map User

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    [Aug 28, 2006]
    I swapped cars with my wife on Thursday. Her car is a VW 1.4 Polo and was due for it's first MOT. It was much easier for me to drop her car off at the MOT place and for her to take mine. Needless to say hers is a manual gearbox and it seemed so primative compared with my DSG. I would never want another manual.

    Also on Friday I took some work colleagues to a seminar some 25 miles each way. The two sitting in the back commented who smooth the whole car seemed and apart from the change of engine note they could not tell when I changed gear if I used the paddles.
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  17. Amchlolor
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    Amchlolor Active Member

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    [Aug 28, 2006]
    Gear changes under load cannot be faulted.
    I've never faulted them.
    However,they're only one part of it's operation.

    Drive them around town and they'll see a different DSG.
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  18. h5djr
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    h5djr Well-Known Member VCDS Map User

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    [Aug 28, 2006]
    Some of the journey was in town in queueing traffic ! The other comments were how easy it was to drive in traffic without having to constantly play with the gear lever and clutch.
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  19. roadrunner
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    roadrunner Member

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    [Aug 28, 2006]

    That was definitely my experience. On the open road the gear change was smooth but in traffic it was anything but and it also seemed more noisy.

    Probably because I'm not used to it, but I never felt in total control with the S-tronic and to be honest after all I had heard I was disappointed.
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  20. h5djr
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    h5djr Well-Known Member VCDS Map User

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    [Aug 28, 2006]
    When I drove my wife's manual Polo the other day I had forgotten how quiet a petrol engined car can be. I had no problem remembering to push the clutch in traffic when I wanted to stop but what I did forget was that a manual gearbox does not automatically select 1st gear when you stop !
    #19
  21. h5djr
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    h5djr Well-Known Member VCDS Map User

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    [Aug 28, 2006]
    Sorry - duplicate posting !!!
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  22. RedSportback
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    RedSportback Member

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    [Aug 28, 2006]
    Well I just can't get on with mine at all hence why I'm changing back to a manual
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  23. Amchlolor
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    Amchlolor Active Member

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    [Aug 29, 2006]
    Ya jammy swine ya ! ;-)
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