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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi, Iam strongly considering replacing my aging 1997 VW Golf VR6 auto with a 93 2.0t Vector Sport with Senstronic auto and would be very grateful for the views on how well this gearbox operates, ie. responsiveness, performance etc.

The 4 speed auto fitted to the VR6 is a bit of a slushmatic, the fantastic engine is blunted a bit by the gearbox which isn't very responsive, and slips a bit. As a wheelchair user I require an auto, but seek one with a sequential shift and that is responsive and doesn't blunt performance as I do like to enjoy driving to my destination rather than merely travelling to it!

My dad owned several Saabs, a 9000i, then a 9000s, another 9000i and finally a late 900 and they were very good cars. I very much like the latest 93, but before taking the plunge, I would be keen to hear how existing drivers rate the car/gearbox combination.

Any help appreciated, thanks
Mike:)
 

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I'm not an expert....I'm currently on my first Autobox...but for me, the stick looks beautiful, nice smooth changes, no mechanical problems so far (03 model 93 aero)...I use auto all the time. No regrets. It is nothing like my wife's peugot (thank God!).

The acceleration is significantly slower (0-60) in auto mode compared to the 5 or 6 spd manual. There is still a lot of pull, particularlry in third where the Saabs excel. The auto manual mode (paddles or stick) is just as fast (well...a few 10th of a second slower - I think this is correct - this is a little complicated by the an apparent lack of official 0-60 data on the manual mode...have a look here, you'll see what I mean...http://www.hirsch-performance.ch/pdf/9-3SSAero230PS%2025.02.2005.pdf)
 

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The shifting is alot slower than the DSG as in newer VW and Audi. This is very evident especially when you shift back to 'auto' mode from 'manual' mode. It seems to be 'slipping' for about one full second or so before it re-engages the right gear and feel any real acceleration again. This is not a big deal but since you asked.
Test drive one and see it for yourself.

cheers
 

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benotone said:
It seems to be 'slipping' for about one full second or so before it re-engages the right gear and feel any real acceleration again.
cheers
Aye, the revs rise momentarily before slipping back into gear...perhaps not a full second on mine. Noticeable, nevertheless.
 

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The sentronic is slower in the 9-3 than it is in my mother's Volvo Cross Country... it's just there for messing around with IMO, and doesn't offer any performance increase.
 

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This is the first automatic I've had. The throttle is much more responsive in manual mode and when just sitting in Drive. It feels that way to me and the owner's manual states something to that effect. While I'm sure the manual 5 or 6 speed will wring a bit more performance out of the engine the auto is definitely decent enough if you need or want it. My daily drive includes a 10-15 minute bumper to bumper crawl and it makes me glad I've got it.
 

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benotone said:
The shifting is alot slower than the DSG as in newer VW and Audi.

cheers
As an owner of a 9-3 with a 6 speed, I can't comment on the auto. However, I think comparing this with a DSG is like comparing "apples and oranges," as the DSG is a true manual transmission with electronic clutch, and not really an automatic.
 

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EP Doc said:
As an owner of a 9-3 with a 6 speed, I can't comment on the auto. However, I think comparing this with a DSG is like comparing "apples and oranges," as the DSG is a true manual transmission with electronic clutch, and not really an automatic.
Why??

The sentronic side of the box is manual without the clutch and is very responsive. I would say that its close enough to compare...

I never noticed any pauses when I test drove one but then I never switched from manual to auto while I was driving (no need to do it IMO) only way to find out is spend time with both the manual and auto I had half a day with each and took the car all over the place. before I settled on the auto box...
 

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It's pretty different. There's a definite lag with the Saab... from what I understand the DSG is almost like driving a real race car with paddles. Instantaneous shifting!
 

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I drive sentronic full-time in my 2004 Aero. While my other car is a 6spd. and the fact that I'd prefer manual, I'm not about tove up this sentronic transmission. I love it...very responsive!
 

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Some of the Audis and VWs are being offered only the DSG and manual trans so that comes to my mind as being an automatic transmission and since Lagansider is coming from VW family and I thought this would be the comparison that he is looking for.

IMHO, DSG is still considered as an automatic as you can leave it in D and not worrying about shifting despite the fact that it is very different under the skin.
 

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I guess I see what you're saying, yes, you don't have to shift a DSG if you don't want to. All I'm saying is that a DSG is truly a manual transmission, while the senstronic is really an automatic. You still have a slushbox with a torque converter, except with a fancy linkage that allows you to select your gear via paddle shifters(not sure if they're still offered?)

The DSG should have better performance than any automatic transmission, and for that matter, most manual transmissions. Computer controlled manual shifts with electronic clutch are way faster than any person can shift. For example, all else being equal, an Audi TT with the DSG would likely have better performance than the same car with a conventional manual transmission.
 

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The shifting is alot slower than the DSG as in newer VW and Audi.
That's precisely my point in my post earlier. The DSG is way faster than the Sentronic and you don't have to shift if you don't want to.

Anyway, it is not up to me to decide if it should be categorized DSG as automatic or manual.
 

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I like mine. Usually on the highway its in "D" and does its own thing.

On the backroads, I usually shift it myself and its responsive. Its nice to stay in a gear and be on the boost when accelerating out of a curve.

If you commute in a congested city, an auto is easier.


Jaime
 

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benotone said:
The "D" is really soft unless you floor the paddle, but heck, it gives good gas mileage!
I've definitely been using "D" more than "M" these days as gas prices have jumped a ton. The turbo rush is way too addictive.
 

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The auto box is definitely a bit slushy. Manual mode improves throttle response, but the shifts are a little too slow to be perfect. I still prefer it over a manual transmission, no contest. The turbo characteristics fit an automatic transmission very well, and there is enough power for the extra transmission loss to be acceptable.

I hear the DSG is fantastic in terms of shifting speed, since it's actually two manual gear boxes and two clutches. Gear 1, 3 and 5 is on one box, while 2, 4 and 6 is on the other. So when for example accelerating in second gear, third is already engaged on the other box, and it's just a matter of disengaging / engaging the clutches to shift up. But how smooth is it? The Mercedes sequentronic is way too jerky to be acceptable in my opinion. If the DSG is anything like a regular auto in terms of smoothness, I would choose it over a regular auto any day of the week, but if it's jerky I would not consider it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Hi folks, first of all many thanks to everyone for their comments. I am impressed by the quick response to my query, I had originally only expected to receive a few replies in about a two week timescale.

Some forum posters have mentioned the DSG gearbox from VAG group, a fitted to the latest Audis and VW's, and this would be ideal as it is a fantastic geabox, providing automatic and sequential control of a manual gearbox. Indeed, it provides better performance figures than a straight manual gearbox. I understand that the sentronic in comparison is a sequentially shifting conventional auto, so understand there would still be some slight slurring effect, but the feedback in general appears good.

To give more background, my problem is thus. I would have been keen to replace my car with a VW or Audi with DSG,(boo-hiss I hear you say!) but at present the only Golfs available with the DSG in a 3 door bodystyle combination in the UK is the GTI. The GT TDI and FSI can only be ordered thus far as 5door, which in this size of car provides too small a door aperture for me to transfer my wheelchair accross me. Unfortuately I don't have the money to buy outright a GTI 3dr DSG or other realistic replacement for my VR6 auto.

I have thus looked at the Motability scheme which UK forum members may be aware of. This is a Government backed non-profit charity/company to assist disabled people to get cars. Motability offers cars from various manufacturers on a contract hire scheme for 3 years. Small cars have a small deposit(or nil) then the applicants mobility benefit pays for the hire (including servicing, insurance, tyres) for 3 years, then the car is reclaimed by Motability. If you choose a larger/premium specification model, so the initial deposit increases. As Motability purchase many thousands of cars each year, manufactures are now viewing it more favourably as a way of selling a higher volume of cars.

Audi are not on the scheme, but I am very attracted by SAAB, which although obviously having a higher deposit, would enable me to have a quality car, with an excellent specification. As mentioned previously, I always liked my fathers SAAB's. The 93 Vector Sport sentronic, would I feel give me the performance/equipment I seek without having to borrow a huge sum to purchase outright. Also, as a slightly larger bodystyle I am able to transfer my wheelchair in ok. Having a personal test drive is extremely problematic due to the need for hand controls. The feedback does seem largely favourable, though I am hoping to be taken out for a test drive in one, which although I wont be able to drive, I will get an idea. I will keep you posted on my progress...

any further comments appreciated,
regards,
Mike
 
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