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Old 02-21-2013, 02:22 PM   #29
Cruising in Top Gear
ac_2007's Avatar
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Brampton / Mississauga
Posts: 1,201
Originally Posted by T.Dot_E30 View Post
Looks like it could use some TLC, but if you are handy, it shouldn't be a problem bringing it back up to shape.

Any particular reason why? IMO it's a better compromise than a fully automatic car for those come from a manual but need a semi auto for other reasons. At slow speeds it isn't as good as a dual clutch, but your also not getting a dual clutch performance car around this price point. If you are coming from an automatic, then I understand why you wouldn't like it.

For less than $20k, there really isn't a better sequential gearbox in a car that offers this much performance. Anything else and your stuck with an auto. I didn't mind it and was looking for an SMG car so my wife could drive it. I couldn't find an e46 in a color combo I wanted or I would have bought one. Now im looking for something newer.

This is the second SMG I’ve driven. Both were similar experiences, although the first M3 I test drove was under better conditions. (open road, little traffic, more time since not on my lunch break) Now, granted there is definitely a learning curve and certain “tricks” an SMG driver will learn over time, the whole design seems like a one-off concept in its infancy. Having the flappy paddles turn WITH the wheel was one of my biggest pet peeves, and a major design flaw in my opinion. It creates confusion, and difficulty for a driver to adjust to one shifting method (paddles VS shifter).

Auto mode as I’m sure 9/10 M3 drivers agree is abysmal, jerky, and unpredictable given the many driving situations one faces on a daily basis.
Even in a normal S3-S4 mode, SMG will be occasionally annoy you with a lurch or jerk when you’re just trying to drive leisurely.
Taking off quickly from a standstill can prove to be dangerous as the driveline isn’t as responsive. There are many scenarios I could divulge.

I didn’t mention the expensive ~3k pump repair that is a given with this technology, on top of the clutch/flywheel which can easily be damaged by someone unfamiliar with how a manual gearbox works.

If I wanted a compromise, dual-clutch gearboxes are readily available in GTI’s, and they work flawlessly.
That said, I understand the desire it fulfils to throw it into auto mode for city driving, and also the enthusiast mindset that “I have an actual manual gearbox in there”.
To each their own.
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