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I believe the main issue in Europe was due to torque converters being inefficient. With expensive gas and small engines, the performance hit is non-negligible. Nowadays you can get good robotized gearboxes that have almost none of the disadvantages, except for a slightly higher price. And given that most people drive manuals in an idiotic way, they can easily be more fuel efficient.



Yep, this was always the main argument against them when I was growing up.

Some of the older automatics were also hilariously bad, with clunky gear changes and noticeably long delay on kick down. Perhaps American drivers were more tolerant of this because they drive such long distances, so a relaxing drive was more important than an engaging one.


American automatic transmissions were historically much better than European ones. GM automatic transmission were used everywhere for a long time. I had a 2000 BMW 328Ci with a GM transmission.

Nowadays the ZF automatic transmission from Germany is one of the best around. Thankfully my Grand Cherokee has an 8 speed ZF instead of an unreliable Chrysler 5-speed.


VW Group seems to charge about £1300 for a DSG - not sure I'd call that "slightly higher" on a £22K car.


I never owned a car and I don't ever plan on buying one new, but 6% doesn't seem that high given the added comfort.

Also I quickly checked, it seems that if you're willing to buy from dealerships' inventory, the sticker price is a moot point. Let's say you want a Golf 1.5 TSI (which is probably the most popular compact car over here in Switzerland), I find 14 of them with a manual transmission, and 96 with a DSG, and it seems trivial to find the exact same model for a similar price, or even cheaper.


"Nowadays you can get good robotized gearboxes that have almost none of the disadvantages, except for a slightly higher price."

1. These automatic transmissions are still the weak spot on most vechicles.

2. They still use clutch bands that wear. The trannies are anything but simple. Most mechanics farm out rebuilding a tranny. I would recon that a malfunctioning automatic transmission us the number one cause of junked vechicles, besides wrecked vechicles.

3. It's straight forward weekend job to replace a clutch.

4. We all know modern engines can put close to 300,000 miles on them. Manufacturers know it. There's a reason they only give 70-100k on the tranny.

5. A modern automatic transmission is not a simple fix. Even AMCO guys are learning on your dime (notice they won't just give a price for a complete rebuild over the phone? AMCO in San Rafael, CA. Yea, I remember you slick.)

6. When checking a used vechicle, check that tranny fluid. It should be pink as a baby's butt. (Even then--there's no guarantee. The seller could have just changed the fluid. It shouldn't be black, brown, or smell burnt.

7. Sorry about my tirate on automatic transmissions. I've been to Automotive school, and worked as a mechanic for two years. The Automatic Transmission always intimided me.

If anyone could come up with clutch bands that don't wear, well let's say, you could dine with the 1 percenters? Tyat that be hell though?


I think you might be getting downvoted for using an abbreviation for 'transmission' that also happens to be a homonym for a slur against transgender people. You've written a good, informative comment drawing on your specialist expertise, so it seems a shame to have it lose visibility. You might consider editing to change the word that could be upsetting some people.


To be upset you would have to take it out of the context its presented in, at which point its out of context. Seems like people are trying to be upset, shame on them.


In electronics/electrician-speak, "tranny" is also commonly used to refer to transformers, but I'd never confuse that meaning with the automotive one nor the gender one given the context.

I don't think older automatics are hard to work on (50s-70s era), but I agree that the modern electronic ones are horribly complex.


>You might consider editing to change the word that could be upsetting some people.

Are you serious right now?


I'm not being sarcastic, if that's what you're asking. It seems silly to to lose a worthwhile comment to censorious flagging.


Can whoever flagged the original comment please STOP and THINK. Nothing wrong with the post. OMG.

@icantdrive55 you are 100% right.


On investigation icantdrive55, someone is systematically killing your posts. All you can do it create a new account.


Maybe it is a bot trigger by certain words since I can’t imagine anyone is that stupid.


I guess I have a higher opinion of the capabilities of stupid people.


"Dead" is generally admin activity, "killed" is user flags. Seems to date to 2016, though I don't see an admin comment.


I imagine vividly you visiting places like diyAudio or electronicspoint forums with this suggestion. May be you should try it.


Please don't be serious. If anyone is offended by transmission being abbreviated to tranny... well, they need to rethink their priorities.




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