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.
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.
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.
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 don't think older automatics are hard to work on (50s-70s era), but I agree that the modern electronic ones are horribly complex.
Are you serious right now?
@icantdrive55 you are 100% right.