Manual vs. Automatic

Discussion in '2012-2015 VW Passat TDI forum' started by Manny, Jul 5, 2012.

  1. Manny

    Manny New Member

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    I am torn between purchasing a manual transmission Passat TDI and an automatic transmission. Anyone have any issues or thoughts on this matter? I hope to make a decision within the next few weeks.

    TIA
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  2. Keithuk

    Keithuk Super Moderator

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    Welcome to the forum. welcometomyturbodies

    I'm not getting into the manual transmission and automatic transmission argument you test drive both and which suits you the best you have that option.

    Read the buyers guide in FAQ.
  3. Manny

    Manny New Member

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    Thanks, I saw that information. I guess I am interested primarily on the actual gas mileage advantages of the manual vs. the automatic. I know that VW says that the manual gets 43 mpg and the automatic gets 40 mpg, but is this accurate? I would have thought there would be a greater advantage to the manual than 3 mpg?
  4. DubFamily

    DubFamily Active Member

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    The DSG basically is a manual so it has less loss than "traditional" automatics. Most of the difference between them is actually in gearing.
  5. DrGonzo

    DrGonzo New Member

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    After years of driving manual in Seattle, I only buy automatics. Although, I feel like being able to drive an automatic is a dying art. I don't know how I'll teach my daughter when the time comes. As for the MPG issue, unless you are the type to monitor that super close and try to squeeze every last drop of efficiency out of your vehicle I wouldn't give it a second thought. I think everyone agrees that we are getting better than advertised millage out of our Passats.
  6. Manny

    Manny New Member

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    Thanks for the comments. I had thought that driving a manual would have resulted in many more miles per gallon than the DSG option. If indeed that is not true, I guess I will look at the DSG options more closely.
  7. lwt42

    lwt42 Well-Known Member

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    You may have noticed the term "slushbox" used in some of the write-ups here.

    Originally, automatic transmissions had a torque converter which is really just a pump and a turbine. The engine turns the pump, and the turbine takes the fluid and turns the gearbox. There is always intentional pumping losses -- the pump keeps trying to turn the turbine when you're stopped, but the loss lets the engine turn when the wheels don't.

    Newer cars, better controls, less loss. Some have a clutch that ties the pump and turbine together at times. Still, "slushbox" because there is no direct mechanical connection from the engine to the wheels.

    The DSG is basically a computer controlled manual gearbox -- no torque converter, so no torque converter loss.
  8. Plus 3 Golfer

    Plus 3 Golfer Member

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    The gearing of the manual is taller so hence you will see better highway fuel economy. Aerodynamic drag kills mpg. Drive at 85 mph and you'll see less of a difference between the DSG and manual than at 65 mph. Here's a link to the gearing in graphical form. The 2012 Passt is at the bottom of the page.

    If most of your driving is suburban / city, you will likely see very little difference.

    Obviously your driving style and driving conditions will affect your mpg. People do average in the mid 40s with both. Others don't get out of the 30s. Look up the EPA test protocol for the mileage numbers and see how your profile fits with the test procedure. IMHO, the EPA highway numbers are very achievable if you are a conservative driver.

    If your really have no preference but for cost, go with the manual as the car will cost less initially and less over time due to lower maintenance costs and likely higher fuel economy.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 5, 2012
  9. Agiorgio

    Agiorgio New Member

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    I have a SEL which means DSG only. If you like driving manual do not get DSG. Anyone who tells you shifting with DSG is like driving manual has never driven manual. If auto trans is ok with you the DSG is a great automatic. Mileage difference is insignificant I am averaging 46.2 MPG for first 2500 miles with DSG.
  10. lwt42

    lwt42 Well-Known Member

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    Saying a "DSG is like a manual" is not the same as saying "Driving a DSG is a lot like driving a manual."

    Driving a DSG is a lot like driving an automatic.
  11. Only1Z

    Only1Z New Member

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    If you have to ask, get a manual. That was the motto I ended up going with. But I also own 5 cars and 4 of them are manual. LOL

    The fun factor of a manual will never be replaced by a DSG for me. I don't care if it shifts faster and is faster. It's less fun. Period. You will get better fuel mileage in the manual as well.

    However, I'll be the first person to tell you that if you're going to get an "automatic", get a DSG.

    Confused even more now? LOL I bought a manual and haven't regretted it. I would have bought a manual SEL if they made it, but I think that would have been a mistake for me. So VW screwed up because I would have spent the extra $7K if they had offered a manual SEL. But they did me a favor. The more I weighed my options, I didn't really care for a sunroof, fog lights, the wood trim, the RNS 510 nav that a lot of people complain about anyway and that I'd probably use twice a year tops, 18" wheels (I will be buying wheels anyway and using the 17's with winter tires), etc. There just weren't any show stoppers and the SE manual was the choice at the end of the day.
  12. rico567

    rico567 Member

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    We will be coming up on our new car purchase decision in the next year. We have been manual transmission people from day one, I think my wife being attached to the stick shift more so than I. In ordering a new Passat, we would order the 6MT in a heartbeat. However, VW is sadly similar to most other automakers, in that they can't imagine why anyone who would want a car at the top end, with all the bells and whistles, wouldn't also demand an automatic. We haven't seen a car yet where this isn't the case, the Subaru being the most similar to VW. You want the base vehicle, fine.....but at some point the manual transmission disappears as an option. We are pretty much reconciled that if we buy a Passat, it's going to be the DSG.
  13. JazzBeBop

    JazzBeBop Member

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    Manny, I would have bought the manual WITHOUT question, BUT I really, really wanted a moonroof. As you know, the SE (moonroof) only comes in DSG :^\. VWoA NEVER listens to what VW fans really want...the SAME VW's that are sold in Europe withOUT changing a thing on them and the same combinations. I used to have 98 passat 1.8T gas with a 5 speed manual and moonroof and loved it with ALL its maintenance nightmare crap, but oh well, the Passat is the Passat...or is that the past is the past? :D
  14. Manny

    Manny New Member

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    Thanks for all the help here. I ended up buying a manual today, 2012 Passat TDI. I love driving manual cars, so that was the determining factor for me. I purchased one on the dealer's lot, so I will be picking it up on Monday.

    Thanks again.

    Manny
  15. eatpasta

    eatpasta New Member

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    lesse...

    Automatic;
    Cons - Expensive, complicated, annoying, doesnt last as long as a manual transmission, every soccer mom in the world and you will have an automatic, worse gas mileage (perhaps), you dont actually have control over your transmission, a feeling of distance from your own car

    Pros- You dont "have" to shift,

    Stick;
    Cons -

    Pros - You GET to shift, you have total control over your transmission, a noticeable connection to the entire car comes with shifting - a relationship, manual transmissions are cool


    Think of it this way...you're dating a girl. She has a '66 Mustang. You go on a date and she takes you for a ride. You get in the car, it's an auto. Is she as cool as she might have been had it been a stick?

    :umm
  16. eatpasta

    eatpasta New Member

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    Reading the entire thread might have helped....

    congrats!

    when you get tired of the "Bowl of Jello" feeling, go for the Diesel Geek short shift.
  17. MyAvocation

    MyAvocation Member

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    Cons - tranny removal for clutch replacement... Big fun ;)
  18. eatpasta

    eatpasta New Member

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    Still substantially cheaper than replacing a transmission. Ive done a clutch on a motorcycle, which turned out to be a MUCH bigger deal than I ever thought but not impossible.
  19. lwt42

    lwt42 Well-Known Member

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    That also depends on how hard you are on clutches.

    Just sayin'

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