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Am I just eccentric for preferring manual?

PeterE

PeterE

VIP Member
Messages
34
Location
Brussels
Vehicle
T6 Ocean 204
I have seen earlier threads on comparing manual to DSG, and find the general sentiments to be: DSG much better / no going back to manual once you try the DSG / regrets for not getting the DSG, etc. I just wonder why my own sentiments are so different.

Last week I test drove the 150 BHP manual, 150 BHP DSG and 204 BHP DSG with a view to deciding which to buy. My preference is for a 150 BHP manual (with 4 Motion), but when I read other views, I wonder if I'm missing something. My current vehicle is a 2012 Passat Variant 2.0 L manual, which I enjoy driving. I have driven an automatic only a few times, and never felt excited by them. I have to say, I enjoy the control of a manual. My experiences below:

150 BHP manual: When I drove this, I thought: wow, this has power and is very responsive. An enjoyable drive.
150 BHP DSG. When I drove this, I just felt disappointment. There seemed to be a significant delay between pressing the accelerator and getting a response. I found the drive functional, slow to respond and unexciting.
204 BHP DSG. I found this much more responsive than the 150 DSG. It was enjoyable to drive, but I found no more than the 150 manual. I had another drive in the 150 manual just to be sure.
In conclusion, if I was to get a DSG, it would have to be the 204 BHP to ensure I would enjoy the drive, but for a good few thousand Euros more! (I live in Belgium). Thus, I am inclined to go for the 150 manual, which for some reason, is only available with the 4 Motion. And I am keen on the idea of 4-wheel drive, since I plan to use it as an all year round car.

So, I just don't get it when I see the majority of comments saying they love the DSG (even the 150 BHP).
Is there anyone else out there who much prefers the manual? And why? What am I missing? The only time I feel I would prefer auto is in stop-start traffic. And for the California, there is an annoying distance between the manual gear stick and the hand break.

Also. I'm intrigued to understand why VW maintains the manual option for the 4 motion and not 2 motion (at least in Belgium). Are there advantages of a manual for 4-wheel-drive?
 
Welcome , lots been discussed before.
All personal preference imo.
IMG_1308.PNG
 
I love the DSG box... Only have it one our Golf currently, but if we're ever able the upgrade the DSG will be an essential...

Will always be a personal choice though...
 
Personal preference DSG or manual. I’ve had both and the manual is very good; just getting lazy now!

4motion is a worthwhile option, previous van had it and current one doesn’t and I wish it did, but it was a showroom model.

:welcome
 
Welcome PeterE
Working out what Cali meets your needs is often the hardest bit of which van to order.

I am very happy with 150 DSG perhaps I am a boring old fart but do not notice what you noticed. Did you take the hand break off.


There seemed to be a significant delay between pressing the accelerator and getting a response. I found the drive functional, slow to respond and unexciting.
 
I agree with @hotel california

Before buying our van we also read the numerous threads about ‘DSG v Manual’ and the opinion on the forum appears roughly 80/20 in favour of the DSG. If you value the opinion of the majority then you’ll go DSG, but I value my own opinion too, so did a test drive in each.

I owned an automatic car for a good few years and didn’t like the lack of control. Although the DSG is miles apart from that vehicle, it’s still essentially an auto and I prefer manual. The test drives confirmed this and we are now the proud owners of a 204 manual, which is a pleasure to drive and we don’t regret our decision.

My advice is to go with what you want and not what others would have you buy.
 
I love manual . It takes me everywhere fully loaded and has more than enough grunt. That is my personal preference and I think the DSG suits many but not me. I think you should go for what you prefer rather than listen to others preferences. The 150 manual is great and I am in the north and use single track roads a lot. And according to what VW told me the manuals are due to come back on board.

digger.jpg
 
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So long as your test drive accurately represented how you will use your eventual choice (ie potentially lots of stop / starts, climbing hills around coastal campsites......or sitting at a stable speed on a motorway) then go with your gut. There will always be used buyers who share your opinion so it shouldn't impact resale.

The 150hp manual only being available in 4 Motion may be a temporary situation. If you read the other threads, VW have been chopping and changing the models available while trying to reach the latest emissions rules. The 2wd may yet appear.
 
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One of the main pro's for DSG (other than previously mentioned) is the ability to run in cruise control mode over long distances when it takes care of gear changes on hills. Probably even more of a match with ACC which I don't have.
Manual would be better for reversing/slow manoeuvres.

With the 204 taking a £1760 first VED hit now, in the UK, the 150 may now be more of a preferred option regardless of performance differences.
 
Here we go again. If it's not about Manual v DSG its about 2 WD v 4 WD or 150 v 204. Just admit it, we're ALL b****y eccentrics .
Who in their right mind would spend £60,000 on a combined car/living room/kitchen and bedroom, wave at each other as we pass, meet up in gangs on a freezing weekend camping on a headland in a snow blizzard.
We do, because we can and because we want to.
Get what you want and your pocket can afford. There is no correct answer apart from
It's a California :cheers
 
My decision was always going to be the 204 DSG so that’s what I bought. I used to be definitely manual for control however auto boxes like DSG have improved greatly in recent years and on long journeys and town’s I find them much better. (Getting out of muddy campsites and reverse parking on hills, not so much but that is seldom for me)

I have found though that the DSG box, which is fantastic in every other way, is what I can only describe as ‘snatchy’ on take off. Maybe because it’s a big heavy vehicle and I’m still getting used to it but I have found that i don’t have the option to be first off the lights. Even if you turn the stop/start off, it seems to take a couple of seconds to engage the first gear fully. You can feel it is pulling a little on tickover so it is engaged, but then you start to press the accelerator and nothing happens. If you press it further it then you get a little wheel spin. If you just keep it lightly depressed and leave it until it fully engages it’s very smooth but VERY leisurely. Is this normal? Am I just getting used to it?

The other car is a bmw 3 series auto and we previously had a 174 hp california SE with tiptronic box (no dsg) which I never thought this was an issue for either.
 
My decision was always going to be the 204 DSG so that’s what I bought. I used to be definitely manual for control however auto boxes like DSG have improved greatly in recent years and on long journeys and town’s I find them much better. (Getting out of muddy campsites and reverse parking on hills, not so much but that is seldom for me)

I have found though that the DSG box, which is fantastic in every other way, is what I can only describe as ‘snatchy’ on take off. Maybe because it’s a big heavy vehicle and I’m still getting used to it but I have found that i don’t have the option to be first off the lights. Even if you turn the stop/start off, it seems to take a couple of seconds to engage the first gear fully. You can feel it is pulling a little on tickover so it is engaged, but then you start to press the accelerator and nothing happens. If you press it further it then you get a little wheel spin. If you just keep it lightly depressed and leave it until it fully engages it’s very smooth but VERY leisurely. Is this normal? Am I just getting used to it?

The other car is a bmw 3 series auto and we previously had a 174 hp california SE with tiptronic box (no dsg) which I never thought this was an issue for either.
Everyone refers to the DSG as an Automatic - well it is automatic in that it changes gear for you but how it works is totally different to a Standard Automatic gearbox.
If anyone wants some interesting bedtime reading - here we go:-
 

Attachments

  • DSG.pdf
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Thanks for all the comments. All useful.
I was leaning to the manual 4motion, but salesman's view (his personal preference - he says) is he would choose a 204 HP DSG over that. (And of course, many are happy with the 150 HP DSG). So I'm wavering. Will need to do another test drive probably. One hitch, is the test drive location is in pretty flat territory (northern Belgium), so limited chance to test on hills.
I'm looking at lots of pro/cons Youtube videos. And actually learning more about how gears and autos work. This is a great one on the DSG:
 
Thanks for all the comments. All useful.
I was leaning to the manual 4motion, but salesman's view (his personal preference - he says) is he would choose a 204 HP DSG over that. (And of course, many are happy with the 150 HP DSG). So I'm wavering. Will need to do another test drive probably. One hitch, is the test drive location is in pretty flat territory (northern Belgium), so limited chance to test on hills.
I'm looking at lots of pro/cons Youtube videos. And actually learning more about how gears and autos work. This is a great one on the DSG:
Don't forget the DSG also has a Manual function and " Sports " mode, where the rev limits for gear changes are subtle altered to stay in gear longer, both up and down the box.
 
I was very happy with my manual Cali when living in Brighton, but since moving to North Devon where it’s hilly (more gear changes) and a lot of start / stop in the country lanes my preference would now be DSG.
 
Don't forget the DSG also has a Manual function and " Sports " mode, where the rev limits for gear changes are subtle altered to stay in gear longer, both up and down the box.

I believe the 2018 sports wheel also comes with flappy paddles so you can change up / down manually without using the lever.
 
Thanks for the responses from @WelshGas and @PeterE. Brilliant! Question comprehensively answered.

If I’d have called VW about that the response would have been either erm..... or drive 45 minutes either way to the dealer and we will look at it, only to be told it is normal behaviour.

I’m pleased with that. Another huge thumbs up for this fantastic forum!!

Cheers.
 
It’s personal choice I have a 150 manual without 4motion, live in Norway and so far it has coped with everything I have asked of it. That said, a neighbor has the 4motion automatic and swears by it for the more extreme camping he likes to do in the middle of winter, personally mine will spend winter break the coast in less snow!
 
I’ve driven the DSGs and my wife also has a Golf DSG. It’s a personal choice, but the manual gearbox is fantastic and I can’t understand the DSG love-in. Our 150ps Cali is manual and has a light clutch pedal and a slick change. Other than when stuck in heavy traffic, I struggle to see any benefit - especially if you enjoy driving and getting the best out of the vehicle. As a long-term purchase, the manual will enevitably be less problematic and expensive to repair as the vehicle ages. Manual is a great choice... go for it.
 
I have seen earlier threads on comparing manual to DSG, and find the general sentiments to be: DSG much better / no going back to manual once you try the DSG / regrets for not getting the DSG, etc. I just wonder why my own sentiments are so different.

Last week I test drove the 150 BHP manual, 150 BHP DSG and 204 BHP DSG with a view to deciding which to buy. My preference is for a 150 BHP manual (with 4 Motion), but when I read other views, I wonder if I'm missing something. My current vehicle is a 2012 Passat Variant 2.0 L manual, which I enjoy driving. I have driven an automatic only a few times, and never felt excited by them. I have to say, I enjoy the control of a manual. My experiences below:

150 BHP manual: When I drove this, I thought: wow, this has power and is very responsive. An enjoyable drive.
150 BHP DSG. When I drove this, I just felt disappointment. There seemed to be a significant delay between pressing the accelerator and getting a response. I found the drive functional, slow to respond and unexciting.
204 BHP DSG. I found this much more responsive than the 150 DSG. It was enjoyable to drive, but I found no more than the 150 manual. I had another drive in the 150 manual just to be sure.
In conclusion, if I was to get a DSG, it would have to be the 204 BHP to ensure I would enjoy the drive, but for a good few thousand Euros more! (I live in Belgium). Thus, I am inclined to go for the 150 manual, which for some reason, is only available with the 4 Motion. And I am keen on the idea of 4-wheel drive, since I plan to use it as an all year round car.

So, I just don't get it when I see the majority of comments saying they love the DSG (even the 150 BHP).
Is there anyone else out there who much prefers the manual? And why? What am I missing? The only time I feel I would prefer auto is in stop-start traffic. And for the California, there is an annoying distance between the manual gear stick and the hand break.

Also. I'm intrigued to understand why VW maintains the manual option for the 4 motion and not 2 motion (at least in Belgium). Are there advantages of a manual for 4-wheel-drive?

DSG :boring and very expensive when defective !!
 
DSG :boring and very expensive when defective !!
Struggling to find a post on defective DSG. Please help me, I'd like to know what I've let myself into.
 
DSG is just as reliable as manual. FACT
Only difference is it does require a service at approx 40k. Oil and filter.

Does the Cali version have launch control? (Joking by the way!!)
 
I’m not sure if people confuse DSG with old school autos.

I’ve not heard of 1 Cali with a DSG issue.
 

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