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paddle shift vw Q&A Review

How can you make your transmission change gears faster without changing stock parts (paddle shift and Tiptronic)?

Can you make your transmission change gears faster without changing stock parts? (paddle shift & tiptronic) The BRAND of car would make a difference in the answer….. If you have a late model VW, the transmission can be reprogrammed and this would affect the shift points and speed of shifting.

Why have automatic transmissions suddenly become popular in Europe?

I was also surprised to learn that the American's got a manual M5. I thought it was long gone until I saw a newer M5 with that stick between the seats. A stick in America but not Europe? The basic reason is because automatic transmissions got better. For many years, auto boxes had fewer gears than a manual, they were slow to respond, heavier (don't forget cars were lighter then, magnifying the penalty) and the torque converter sapped a significant proportion of what was usually a less powerful engine than modern cars. The manual version of any given car was faster, more economical and cheaper to buy. Today, manual boxes still retain some advantages, mainly cost and weight. But by other metrics, the various types of automatics have matched or surpassed the manual. The difference in fuel economy is negligible and they are mostly as fast or significantly faster in some cases. It's a better gearbox. Europeans have a different attitude towards manuals than Americans. In the USA, driving a stick shift is comparatively unusual. Not everyone can do it. It's mostly enthusiasts and car buffs that choose to. Meanwhile my granny in Europe drives a little hatchback with a mundane manual. It's not special or clever there. Why? They're very different markets. The USA is historically more affluent, still has much cheaper fuel and most vehicles were larger and heavier with big engines that had lots of low-rev torque, suiting the slow-shifting slushmatic. Now a stick shift in the USA is almost fetishized as being special. It is a mark of an enthusiast driver and a theft deterrent! (See ,Nick Leroy's answer to What percentage of American drivers can drive a manual transmission (stick shift) automobile?,) In Europe the attitude is different. Formula One is very popular there and performance of semi-auto F1 cars didn't go unnoticed by the public. Makers of performance cars started building similar paddle-shift transmissions. Early versions were seen on the Ferrari 355 and BMW M3 for example, with a single clutch. Dual-clutch autos improved both the shift speed and offered a smoother driving experience. In the meantime, torque converter autos started gaining gear ratios, helping both performance and economy. With all types of automatic, continual improvement in electronic control made them better to drive. So we had Michael Schumacher using paddle shifts in his F1 car. Ferrari, the icon of high performance exotics, stopped building manual boxes altogether. Porsche's with Tiptronic automatics became as fast as the manual, then Doppelkupplung (PDK) versions started posting significantly faster times. VW started making dual-clutch autos for the masses and other manufacturers joined in. In short, auto box options got better. Europeans noticed and started buying more. Pretty simple really.

What would you like to see for future Tesla models?

I would love to see a convertible. Any EV convertible in fact. My last three gas cars were a Mini Cooper S six speed paddle shift automatic convertible, a 1973 VW Bug convertible and a Mini Cooper S six speed manual convertible. Then in 2013 I went EV. The Electric vehicles are great, but I really miss driving with the top down during a nice Oregon Summer Day.

How do I drive an automatic car without a sports mode and without paddle shifts but only a D mode?

D mode should be the default. In my VW group cars it is necessary to pull the lever into drive and then pull it again to get into S mode.

Why doesn't a regular car have a gear shifter on the steering wheel?

Actually, if one goes back a little in history, one would find that many "regular" cars did have the gearshift on the steering column. For example, my Father's 1938 Dodge sedan had the gearshift from the center floor because most cars of that era had engine in front driving the rear wheels, with the gearbox in between. However, as cars became wider, allowing for three seats across, it became a feature on "luxury" cars to have the gearshift on the steering, and this feature trickled down to lower priced cars. This, of course, required a more complicated mechanical linkage, although some attempts were made to use vacuum/electric systems. So our 1947 Dodge had column shift. A notable exception in the 1930s was the Citroen "Traction" with front-wheel drive, where the gearbox was far ahead of the cabin, so it made perfect sense to put the gearshift on the "dashboard" next to the steering, in order to have a more direct & shorter mechanical link. Another exception would be a rear-engine car like the VW "Beetle", where the gearbox is between the rear wheels, so the shortest distance would be from the floor. Then post WW2, many cars, particularly in U.S. & Canada were offered with automatic transmission option, which made for simpler linkage and a little "window" over the steering column indicating the positions "PRNDL". Fast forward to the 1960s when a market was created for "sporty" cars, and the 4-on-the-floor became the "cool" thing to have - still with rear drive. Now, fast forward to the present, and "regular" cars are mostly front drive with gearbox between the front wheels. So it would seem more practical to place the mechanical gear shift back on the dash like the old Citroen. However, we seem to have gotten used to the 4/5 on the floor concept, and not concerned about allowing for a middle front seat passenger, so there it is, like my 2009 Dodge Caliber. BTW. some '60s cars, e.g., Chrysler, Ford, etc. had push button shift controls on the dash or steering, so one might say that these were the forerunners of the paddle shifts, which work in concert with the computer. So, this looks like the future, although personally I favor the manual shift and clutch pedal for reliability.

How hard is it to learn how to drive a five-speed manual transmission for the very first time? Do car manufacturers still make cars that come in five speed, or are most of the cars automatic, or paddle shift?

Technically it is probably the hardest thing to learn when you start driving. When you are in a stressful situation where you have to look at the traffic, stop signs and pedestrians at the beginning you will forget to switch gears at the right moment. Sometimes this will get you into problems due to low revs but no damage will occur to the car. Maybe someone will honk at you when you kill the engine at the stop signs. In the end everyone who knows how to drive automatic will be able to drive a manual. In modern cars this has become even more easier with electronic gas paddles who will raise the revs when you are using the clutch to fast. (My 2017 Mazda 3 at least does this) When ordering a car you can choose if you want an automatic wich is more expensive or a manual. Paddle shift is just a automatic transmission with selection paddles at the steering wheel (Often in Sport editions, higher priced versions) Manufactures offer different combinations of engines and transmissions. In low end models you will find a lot of five gear setups, even VW offers this for their 110 (a wild guess) horsepower engine so its still on the market. The sixt gear is mostly there for more fuel efficiency on the highway. Anyway more and more models are offered with six speed gearboxes but cars older than 10 years mostly have five gears. Last but not least: If the dealerships have more manual or automatic cars depends largely on the region. In America with long straight roads automatic gearboxes just add a lot of comfort but with small windy roads a manual makes more sense as you can predict better in wich gear you need to be after the next curve than you car. That makes driving a lot more comfy. As i am living now in the city i am thinking about getting an automatic car next because it is more convenient in traffic jams.

Why do you use a paddle shift in a race car?

It’s faster. Most paddle shift transmissions use a “double clutch on a geared drivetrain, not an automatic with fluid but with gears. Starting in first, second gear is all ready spinning so that at the touch of the paddle a servo moves the next gear into place. On highway cars it’s not as fast a a formula one car but quicker tha a normal manual. I had a VW Jetta with this availability and it nice. I also droves Ferrari several years ago and it was a little slower than I had imagined. I’m sure they are better now.

I'm planning on buying a VW Polo (Petrol). The only thing stopping me is the high maintenance costs involved. Should this single reason stop me or do I go ahead and purchase the car?

VW overall has the best build. Especially it's VW Polo is known to be the safest in segment hatchback car. No.1 in safety- German Engineering undoubtedly. Design is Bland though! Since at VW They believe in simplicity. However, VW has the Best Automatic cars. It Uses most superior ‘7Speed DSG Gearbox’ whether it be VW Polo/Vento/Jetta/Passat or upcoming “T-Cross” suv to rival Creta. Rest carmakers use much inferior AGS/AMT/6Speed AT/AT+/iVT/CVT/DCT transmission in Automatics. So if it's the best automatic, especially in diesel... Then it's Volkswagen! No better driving cockpit & safety than VW. Looks wise, though best in that price bracket would be: 1. Honda Jazz/Amaze/City. 2. Hyundai i20/Verna. 3. Toyota Yaris/Etios Liva. 4. VW Polo/Ameo/Vento. WARNING: Volkswagen Servicing will cost you a bomb,! Compare this annual maintenance costs: Toyota Fortuner: र.2500/- (High end machine) VWPolo/Vento: र.15000/- (Basic car comparatively) Service network: VW is Poorest after Nissan. Even French carmakers Renault fares better. VW: has all core-essential features- ABS, ESP, EBD, HLA, paddle-shift, Best NCPA ratings. But VW will always miss many tiny but useful features like VW POLO has: No Smart-keys, No engine kill button, No Rear AC vents, No DRLs, No 6SRS Airbags (VW uses only dual airbags), No Rear wipers, No defoggers, No LED tail-lamps, No steering-mounted music controls, No rear parking camera(additional installation would cost 17k in VW Polo, even low end cars like Renault Kwid AMT 1.0L does come with preinstalled Rear parking camera), No touch screen infotainment systems preinstalled, No parking assist sensors, No remote opening trunk, No high-end music system like Harmon Kardon matching up its exotic price. [All this in regard to the most premium VW POLO GT TSI, a hatchback vehicle costing ,र.11,50,000/-, in Kerala,TN or states having RTO cost around 10%... Should be lesser in HP,Jharkhand,JK or other Union territories.] Imagine a hatchback like VW Polo, which is only a 1.2L engine with just 3 cylinders costing much more than Honda City VX MT, a full C-class sedan of 1.5L engine with 4 cylinders!!! Top end of the stable; VW Polo GT TSI still lacking so many features! it's Unacceptable!!!] And you may Google any VW dealerships and authorized service centres... irrespective they be of EVM, Muthoot, Popular, Pothens(Major dealerships in Kerala)... Have pathetic reviews and bad ratings... ,Volkswagen_India is most Un-German brand in India,..and Volkswagen dealerships in Kerala & India don't treat you the way Hyundai or Honda dealerships does. And any spare part would be quoted to be in import phase..so your vehicle staying in service centres would be agonisingly longgggg period, while you commute using other means..unless you have a second car. They neither do respond to your calls affirmatively ever. PS: maint cost is high and resale value is low. However VW engines have a very long life, unless you wanna change your vehicle after 15-18 yrs. if you're living in the city limits, do go for VW Polo...if you're in a tier-ll town... Depends please check your local VW Dealership's reviews & ratings. But If you're in neither of above two, it's ,“not recommended” ,since you may never find adequate service stations close by due to far flung services of VW as it doesn't have reach towards the fringes of our country, once in a blue moon visit to city just to service VW Polo might not be worth it and won't help the vehicle at least. I'd highly recommend that you go for Hyundai Santro, Honda Jazz/Brio, Ford Freestyle, Toyota Etios Liva/Cross or even Renault Kwid RXT. Would be anyday wiser to buy any other car than a Volkswagen Polo.

How is the reliability of a 2013 Volkswagen Jetta?

The Highline variant that I drove is equipped with ESP, traction control, ABS, ASR, 8 airbags, all-wheel disc brakes, hill-hold function, steering mounted audio controls, paddle shifts on the steering, cruise control, electric adjustment for the driver’s seat (including lumbar support), height adjustment on both front seats, rear seat air conditioner vents, automatic headlamps and wipers, parking sensors (front and rear), foldable electric mirrors and an 8 speaker touch-screen audio system. I’m still in love with the car ,,Thud, addicts will love the satisfying sound each time they shut the door. Needless to say, the Jetta feels solidly built. The longer wheelbase is immediately evident once you sit inside the car. The Jetta is more spacious and it’s got a lot of wow factors. The engine is incredibly free revving, and will cross 5,000 rpm in the lower gears almost like a fast petrol (though you shouldn’t upshift anywhere over 4,000 – 4,500 rpm). Given enough road, the Jetta will top out at 210 kph. This VW is an excellent mile-muncher for those long driving trips. At a 100 kph on the expressway, in 6th gear, the diesel engine is lazily ticking over at 1,800 rpm. There isn’t the lag and sudden push-into-the-seat whoosh ,Part of this is due to the controlled turbo-lag. In terms of drivability, there is simply no comparison. The Jetta is the far superior engine to live with. Happy Miles !!

Why can't the American luxury car brands like Cadillac and Lincoln breakthrough in Europe?

I took a quick look at the Cadillac website just now to look for something similar to my current drive. two things stand out that would immediately put off a European car purchaser. the engine spec • 3.6 litre V6 this seems unnecessarily powerful for a car that delivers lacklustre speeds & performance. • the fuel economy 21-22 MPG ? That is shocking. These are deal breakers, too big an engine delivering no power and 1970’s levels of fuel economy. my current engine from the VAG group and used widely across the VW, audi, Skoda & Seat range is only a 1 litre 3 cylinder eco box paired to a 7 speed DSG auto box (with sports overide and flappy paddle shift) It delivers around 43 mpg, it’s certainly not a performance vehicle but it’s no slouch either.