Automatic versus Automated Manual - automaticallyuk
Can anyone who has driven both fully auto (yaris, New micra, Fabia, Polo etc)and automated manual cars (such as Yaris MMT, Corsa Easytronic, Citroen Sensodrive, Durashift, and Smart) , please compare them?
Are they any good, or is it better to go for a fully auto car.
Clutch, gear changes, hill starts, etc not really wanted. Something easy to drive and not too heavy on the juice, also reliability is of importance.

I have heard that the non torque converter autos and CVT's don't hold on a hill. If this is the case, how is it possible to pull off on a steepish hill, in one of these cars with the handbrake etc? Also I have heard that they are not safe for disabled drivers etc, because you don't have full control like you do with a proper auto? And that they can be jerky and difficult to control smoothly at junctions and stop start motoring.

The small Daihatsu automatics and the Yaris get good reviews. the 1.4 16v polo, Fabia, Lupo could also fit the bill. Which would you recommend? I take the hints and would avoid a Renault at all costs, due to problems with the auto boxes.
Automatic versus Automated Manual - daveyjp
We own a smart which has such a gearbox. Don't confuse it as an auto, its more a conventional gearbox with an automatic clutch. I only use the auto mode in the smart when in heavy traffic as out on the open road its rubbish - it changes when you don't want it to and refuses to change up when it should i.e. in manual the car will easily do 30mph in 5th, in auto mode it refuses to go out of 4th until at least 40 mph, but if you are in auto at 30mph and go to manual the gear change indicator flashes to tell you to change up!!

The car doesn't hold on hills as like a manual car the clutch is disengaged when stationary, the latest models have 'hill start assist' which briefly applies the brakes when going from brake to accelerator on hills, this stops you rolling back. The car can be held on a hill by applying power and engaging the clutch, similar to a manual - but doing this will burn out the clutch very quickly.

Down changes are also ponderous, so when approaching a roundabout/junction I use the manual option to go down the box, that way you know you will be in the right gear to go should the way be clear. Quick changes such as straight from 5th to 2nd can't be done, so more time is needed to perform such a change, hence the old fashioned way of dropping down the box.

The system is great if you don't want a clutch pedal, but its not as smooth as a proper auto.

Best advice its to test drive one of the cars with the system - how about a C Class coupe, or even a Transit van!!
Automatic versus Automated Manual - daryld
I looked into a new Audi A4 with multitronic transmission; salesman refused to specify a minimum life of the clutch (which was £425 + vat) or confirm if an 'early' clutch failure would be covered under warranty.

So we steered clear of CVT transmissions after that (and engines with cam belts that needed replacing at £300 a time) and bought an 5-speed automatic C-Class Merc instead.
Automatic versus Automated Manual - daveyjp
A smart clutch is over £300 plus VAT, hence the warning not to use the accelerator to hold on hills - they can burn out in a few thousand miles. The clutches also have to be reset at every service (and sometimes in between) to prevent slipping.

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