Driving with an automatic

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Post by Grumpy Souter on Wed May 16, 2018 8:15 pm



At the moment I have a Vitara S manual but as it will soon be due a change I am considering getting a new Vitara S with an automatic gearbox.
As I have never owned or even driven a car with an auto box I am am little apprehensive about making the change,
I would say that I am quite an aggressive driver and like to use Sport setting and each gear up to high revs (about 5000) and would normally drive in manual using the column mounted paddles.
My wife will also use the car but she will only use the box in auto.
Will any owners please give me their opinion of driving with an auto box in manual and any problems they have encountered.
I will of course have a test drive before I buy but you cannot learn much in a twenty mile drive and I would like the opinion of owners for and against and any problems you have encountered.

PS. Any idea when the facelift Vitara will be available.
Many thanks GS
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Post by Admin on Thu May 17, 2018 11:17 am

We have both the Auto and Manual Vitara S between me and my father and we both agree the Auto box is our preferred option.
My Auto has even had a day around Anglesey Racetrack and using the paddle shift had quite few asking what was in it

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Post by Petrust on Thu May 17, 2018 11:56 am

My Vitara S was the first ever auto box vehicle I have ever bought, although I had regularly driven auto vehicles owned by my other half. This purchase was necessitated by an injury to my left ankle (bike accident: woman driver reversing out of her driveway without looking Crying or Very sad ) which made operating a clutch pedal painful. The autobox on the Vitara is so good I don't think I would ever consider a manual box again.
The feature I like most is that you don't have to select "manual" or "auto"; I usually start off in Drive ("D"), then when the occasion calls for some driver intervention (e.g. a nice stretch of twisties, a quick overtake, a sudden steep hill, etc)  a flick of the down paddle engages manual mode and you can change up and down the box for as long as you need. When conditions quieten down the box seamlessly reverts back to "D" in auto mode.
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Post by Mcgruja on Thu May 17, 2018 4:07 pm

Vitara has (year 2015-2018) Aisin auto gerabox, I have tested one before I bought 1.6 petrol auto, and gearbox is just fine.
It is not DSG, but it is very good

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Post by Dougie M on Fri May 18, 2018 9:03 pm

I've driven automatics for about 15yrs now following an injury and find the Vitara auto really good and economical. You can change down manually if you want or better still floor the accelerator and feel it go. It changes well up and down. I struggled to find an automatic demonstrator to try but my local dealer was so confident I'd like the way it drove he ordered the colour I wanted and said if I didn't like it after driving it he'd put it into his stock. He was right and we did the deal following the test drive!

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Post by Grumpy Souter on Thu May 24, 2018 10:33 am

Thank you all for your reply. Had a test drive in an SX4S-Cross which has the same running gear and found the auto box great especially in manual.
Seems silly to buy an auto box and use it in manual.
I have taken the plunge, ordered a Vitara S Auto in Cosmic Black for delivery in early September.
I will be getting a 68 plate which I will use for a few weeks to show off before fitting my cherished number.
GS
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Post by RichK on Wed May 30, 2018 6:42 pm

You will be surprised how much you use the flappy paddles even in auto mode, I find sometimes they hang on to the gears a bit long sometimes especially pulling away on a slight incline and a flick of the paddle changes up earlier.

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Post by graham04 on Sat Jun 02, 2018 9:41 am

Driving a modern auto is a joy. The paddles on the Vit, are all any gear change fanatic will ever need . There's no way back to  a manual for me.  Graham

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Post by blastpipe on Sat Jun 02, 2018 4:56 pm

I've driven auto cars for the last 10 years. Could never go back to manual. Current car has paddles...never used them and I mean not once..the auto box is so good anyway. Means you can pay more attention to driving and looking out for danger rather than worrying if you are in the right gear.

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Post by JDVitara on Sun Jun 03, 2018 9:38 am

+1 for what 'blastpipe' says.
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Post by Mcgruja on Sun Jun 03, 2018 5:06 pm

It is much more controlled vehicle with manual, and much more fun on curvy roads
In town, nothing better that automatic

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Post by kwikphix328 on Thu Jan 24, 2019 10:16 am

Grumpy Souter wrote:Thank you all for your reply. Had a test drive in an SX4S-Cross which has the same running gear and found the auto box great especially in manual.
Seems silly to buy an auto box and use it in manual.
I have taken the plunge, ordered a Vitara S Auto in Cosmic Black for delivery in early September.
I will be getting a 68 plate which I will use for a few weeks to show off before fitting my cherished number.
GS

Did you make the switch ?

I am considering upgrading my S manual for a new facelift SZ5 auto. struggling to get a test drive in a 1.4 auto atm though.
I could go for a ride in an S-Cross, however the salesman advised against it as he said the S Cross and the Vitara are very different driving experiences, even with the same running gear.

it would be another major ££ purchase/consideration so need to make an informed decision. still extemely happy with my 1.4 S though...

Is there a comparison review anywhere on the www ?

The Suzuki online sales pitch and brochures don't seem to have any in depth info regarding the technology of the Auto gearbox system...
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Post by Admin on Thu Jan 24, 2019 11:08 am

I have owned a 1.6 SZ5 petrol manual and now the 1.4 S Auto (also driven 1.6 petrol and 1.6 diesel auto for many miles as rental cars)
My father owns a 1.4 S manual which I drive regularly so have a good comparison
As nice as the manual is both me and my father agree the auto box gives the Vitara a more expensive/upmarket feel to it and little if any difference in performance or economy
Once you are used to it the paddle shift is fun and I have even raised eyebrows of an M5 BMW owner around Anglesey race track (unlike the 1.6 auto you don't get the tiptronic style shift)
One niggle if it is one is that cruise control on the auto is great on motorways, long dual carriageway etc but on twisty A/B roads it can tend to kick down into too lower a gear but that is being really picky as I doubt I should be using cruise (read lazy) in that situation anyway

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Post by Mcgruja on Thu Jan 24, 2019 2:10 pm

I found auto gearbox annoying only on highway, when I drive 130-140 km/h (80-85 mph)

On 1.6 petrol it is shifting to 5th gear, I guess it doesn’t has the power in lower rpm

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Post by kwikphix328 on Thu Jan 24, 2019 3:47 pm

My last experience of owning an Auto was a Mk2 Vauxhaul cavalier which i kept for 5 years.
It was OK but brake fade was very scary when i had to nail it one day so i wasn't late picking the kids up from school' after 30 mins of 'spirited' driving the brakes just disappeared i'd cooked them so much... that was about 30 years ago now...

How do you 'kick down' in the Vitara, is it just with the flippy paddles, or does it also have the traditional switch on the accelerator pedal...

Really need to read a user manual and get a test drive.
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Post by Admin on Thu Jan 24, 2019 4:03 pm

Kick down is normal accelerator switch or instant override with paddle.....once you use a paddle shift it goes into manual mode but defaults back into auto if no further paddle shifts are made
As for the S-cross being different to the Vitara as long as it is a 1.4 Auto it is 99% the same floorpan/running gear so at least you will get an idea of the engine/auto configuration........I have done several thousand miles in a 1.6 S-cross auto and again it was as quick and economic as a Vitara 1.6 manual
The only time I have found issues with the auto box hanging in 5th gear is when non standard size tyres are used and the bigger diameters affect the rolling radius and the computers gear change

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Post by STDI on Thu Jan 24, 2019 4:57 pm

Admin wrote:...
The only time I have found issues with the auto box hanging in 5th gear is when non standard size tyres are used and the bigger diameters affect the rolling radius and the computers gear change

Karl

When car and weather is cold it takes higher speed for all gears to engage. That's for the first few minutes or kilometers.

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Post by Mcgruja on Thu Jan 24, 2019 4:59 pm

It is in 6th gear at 120 km/h
It simply atmospheric engine, and power is developed through higher rpm


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Post by Admin on Thu Jan 24, 2019 6:21 pm

STDI wrote:
Admin wrote:...
The only time I have found issues with the auto box hanging in 5th gear is when non standard size tyres are used and the bigger diameters affect the rolling radius and the computers gear change

Karl

When car and weather is cold it takes higher speed for all gears to engage. That's for the first few minutes or kilometers.

As we run a family business rebuilding transmissions I understand cold weather can affect gear changes due to thicker transmission fluid/gear oils until up to working temperature but the issue I experienced was there constantly, driving at 55-60mph the Vitara would always be in 4th or 5th gear until you manually shifted into 6th

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Post by STDI on Thu Jan 24, 2019 7:19 pm

Admin wrote:
STDI wrote:
Admin wrote:...
The only time I have found issues with the auto box hanging in 5th gear is when non standard size tyres are used and the bigger diameters affect the rolling radius and the computers gear change

Karl

When car and weather is cold it takes higher speed for all gears to engage. That's for the first few minutes or kilometers.

As we run a family business rebuilding transmissions I understand cold weather can affect gear changes due to thicker transmission fluid/gear oils until up to working temperature but the issue I experienced was there constantly, driving at 55-60mph the Vitara would always be in 4th or 5th gear until you manually shifted into 6th

Karl
Off course. My comment was to add one more reason for not changing gear as normal. Not at all to question your reason.

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Post by kwikphix328 on Thu Jan 24, 2019 7:50 pm

Admin wrote:
The only time I have found issues with the auto box hanging in 5th gear is when non standard size tyres are used and the bigger diameters affect the rolling radius and the computers gear change

Karl


I am currently using 16" wheels with 215/60 R16 Winter tyres fitted, i.e. as recommended by OEM. I would retain these for winter use on the new car if i make the change. For summer use I would use the OEM wheels/tyres. i assume i wouldn't have any problems with this approach on the auto too ?  
Switching from summer to winter wheels with my manual 1.4 S is seamless, apart from the winter tyres ( Dunlop Winter Sport 5 ) being much quieter... money well spent so far this year as there have been plenty of wet/frosty sub 7 deg temps since 01 Nov... & and i am 'always' leaving home late, but still intending to get to work on time.. Wink
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Post by Admin on Thu Jan 24, 2019 7:52 pm

STDI wrote:
Admin wrote:
STDI wrote:
Admin wrote:...
The only time I have found issues with the auto box hanging in 5th gear is when non standard size tyres are used and the bigger diameters affect the rolling radius and the computers gear change

Karl

When car and weather is cold it takes higher speed for all gears to engage. That's for the first few minutes or kilometers.

As we run a family business rebuilding transmissions I understand cold weather can affect gear changes due to thicker transmission fluid/gear oils until up to working temperature but the issue I experienced was there constantly, driving at 55-60mph the Vitara would always be in 4th or 5th gear until you manually shifted into 6th

Karl
Off course. My comment was to add one more reason for not changing gear as normal. Not at all to question your reason.

Apologies my misunderstanding thumbl

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Post by Admin on Thu Jan 24, 2019 7:56 pm

kwikphix328 wrote:
I am currently using 16" wheels with 215/60 R16 Winter tyres.....

215/60R16 is what I run all year round and work just like the 215/55R17 but without the awful noise of the Conti's

Karl

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Post by kwikphix328 on Sat Feb 02, 2019 9:48 pm

Took a 1.4S auto out for a test drive today. obviously very similar to my own manual.
Not sure I could live with the lag on the twisties, although it was still pretty sharp and i reckon i would soon get used to it and adapt my driving to the new gearbox.
I liked the fact that you could kick down in 'D' or still use the flippers where it changes gear and indicates the selected gear on the instrument display, then reverts back to 'D'.
If i could change that indicator I would have one segment for D or M gear stick mode and a second window for the actual gear the car is driving in.

I drove down a few country roads at about 50+ and felt that i wanted it to change up, however as the display was showing D i couldn't be sure what gear i was in, it felt and sounded like it was hanging on to 5 instead of 6. I suppose flipping the + paddle would have indicated 6 or changed up to 6 if in 5 ( & still indicate 6 ? ).

The brakes on the auto felt crisper and more powerful than my own car. My car only has 13,500 on the clock and is 19 months old, so not that old, but the demo car was better, curious....

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Post by blastpipe on Sun Feb 03, 2019 8:27 am

Did you try putting it in sport mode? That is fantastic when you want some slicker changes and make more sustained progress. On the days when you want to put a smile on your face sport mode is the answer.

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