The car would be bought outright and kept for hopefully ten years, no commuting, mostly weekend and holiday use, mainly medium (30 km) to very long (1000 km/day) drives. I’d like to do some of the routine maintenance myself, the rest at an indie garage.
I briefly drove a friend’s 2015 car with the manual gearbox and was impressed with the automatic rev-matching on down-shifts (after years of throttle-blipping and wincing at clutch wear coming into roundabouts when my partner drives).
However, I’d never seen or heard of this feature before the test drive, so I spent more time figuring out what was going on than checking exactly how it worked. Does it also match revs on the up-shift?
There was nothing wrong with that manual 6-speed gearbox (except the too-high arm-rest bumping my elbow!). I’d be happy with it.
But I’ve heard good things about the ZF 8HP and have some questions:
- Does the auto have a higher top gear?
- If so, might that reduce engine life by higher cylinder pressures and torque causing more wear?
- How exactly can engine braking be done on descents? I’m not very familiar with automatics.
- How does fuel consumption compare to the manual, in general use and at a cruise of 130 km/h (80 MPH)?
- How much greater are the maintenance costs with the auto?
- Long-term reliability / life compared to the manual transmission?