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    Thread: DSG VS. MT (Would you switch if you could?)

    1. Member Rugrat Anklebiter's Avatar
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      09-26-2012 05:14 PM #1
      Who here would switch from their current transmission to the other and why?

    2. Senior Member Aonarch's Avatar
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      09-26-2012 05:45 PM #2
      I prefer MT, so I have a manual.

      DSG is fine, but I prefer standard.
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      09-26-2012 06:17 PM #3
      ive driven manuals in all my cars, and the jsw is the first DSG i've had. I'm real happy with it. If i didn't have a manual alternate car i may miss it, but it's a perfect balance imo.

    4. Member Rugrat Anklebiter's Avatar
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      09-26-2012 07:22 PM #4
      My ignorance shall be revealed! I thought DSG has paddles for the occasion that you want to shift?

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      09-26-2012 09:10 PM #5
      Quote Originally Posted by Rugrat Anklebiter View Post
      My ignorance shall be revealed! I thought DSG has paddles for the occasion that you want to shift?
      no paddles unless you swap in a GTI steering wheel.

      The shifter is fun and shifts smoothly. Also underrated is sport mode. it's a very good mode and shifts when it is "supposed to" . I use sport mode just as much as dsg.

    6. 09-26-2012 11:36 PM #6
      Aside from preferring manual, I wouldn't want to pay the extra maintenance cost for DSG.

    7. Member rhinoVdub's Avatar
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      09-26-2012 11:38 PM #7
      I have dsg in my gli and it's... OK... I would rather a MT any day, and plus better mpg

      Sent from my SGH-T769 using Tapatalk 2

    8. 09-27-2012 12:10 AM #8
      'Have the DSG in an '09 SEL. First VW I've owned (a whole bunch) with a non-MT and it's mildly entertaining, and is good for a break from urban traffic with a stick, but, yeah, I guess if it had a stick I would probably be a little happier with it, but it's still pretty slick technologically, so I guess I'll keep it around a little while longer.

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      09-27-2012 12:13 AM #9
      Quote Originally Posted by TDInh View Post
      Also underrated is sport mode. it's a very good mode and shifts when it is "supposed to" . I use sport mode just as much as dsg.
      x2!

      I don't have a DSG or Manual in my JSW so I can't comment on that. But the Sport mode is awesome! It holds gear just right, and downshifts when I would if I had a manual.
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      09-27-2012 03:09 AM #10
      I commute through downtown L.A. every morning so the DSG suits me just fine.

      Keeping it in neutral when traffic is at a stand still helps keep the DSG cooler by uncoupling both clutches, which in the long run should help with the life of the transmission.

      That plus the extended warranty I have will keep me happy for a good long while.

      Manual mode works just fine when I want control during spirited driving on the weekends.

      One thing I will not pay for is any of that transmission software being sold on this forum.

      The $500 will be better spent on a good handling package.

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      09-27-2012 09:25 AM #11
      JSWs have four basic transmission choices:
      6MT in TDIs and the '09SEL
      5MT in the 2.5L
      DSG in TDIs and SELs
      Tiptronic in the S 2.5L

      I have no experience with the 5MT used in the JSW, nor with the Tiptronic. I hear the 5MT is decent, though.

      6MT is great, shifts well (relatively short throw and generally smooth engagement).

      The DSG is great, too. Never blows a shift. No gas mileage penalty. It's way more precise than a typical "slushbox" clutchless automatic because a DSG is really a manual transmission with pre-programmed automatic shifting. Opinions on the desirability of this trait vary, but a DSG offers drivers a reduced workload in heavy traffic.

      Downsides to the DSG? It's more complex than a regular manual transmission. The DSG has a regular 40K service that's expensive, ever for DIYers. From a driver's perspective, there is slightly less control or, if you prefer, you have to work harder to control the transmission. Gearshift paddles on the steering wheel help immensely with control, but that won't solve every control problem.

      Getting to neutral / behavior when coasting are perhaps the best examples to compare DSGs and manuals.

      In a manual, neutral is always a flick away when your hand is on the gearshift. Because a driver's hand is so often on the gearshift, getting into neutral generally feels like no extra effort. And it's very easy to tell whether you're in neutral or not.

      In a DSG, a driver's hands are almost always on the steering wheel as there's generally no need to fiddle with the shifter. But there's no way to get to neutral without making the extra motion of reaching down. And it's harder to be sure you've found neutral in an automatic than in a manual.

      This may be my bad habit, but if I know I'll need to stop from speed a long way from the stop point, I like to coast to a stop rather than to brake at the last moment. In a manual, I'll take my foot off the accelerator and pop the car out of gear. In a normal automatic you can just take your foot off the accelerator. In a DSG, just taking your foot off the gas keeps the car in gear. In a diesel DSG, you'll slow down quickly because you're engine braking, not coasting. So with a DSG, you must shift to neutral to coast. Not a big deal, but it's more of an effort than coasting in a manual.

      Ask me what I like...I generally prefer the 6MT for any driving other than traffic. The DSG isn't a bother, though, and the wife strongly prefers an automatic.

      In the end, there are three considerations:
      • comfort/convenience (A personal choice about whether you want to shift or not)
      • cost (The manual is far cheaper. No extra-up front cost and lower maintenance costs.)
      • availability/resale (Most cars sold in the US are automatics, which means manuals can be harder to find and harder to resell later on.)
      Last edited by Outrider6; 09-28-2012 at 11:19 PM.

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      09-27-2012 09:37 AM #12
      I learned to drive a manual after buying my car with DSG. I sometimes regret getting a DSG. I love the DSG but I think it would be more fun to drive a manual now that I know how.

    13. 09-27-2012 09:51 AM #13
      Outrider, we have similar driving styles, and you reminded me of one thing I don't care for in the DSG. On a sloping freeway onramp, I can often leave my MTs in neutral and let it roll down the ramp while following the car in front for the metering lights, but with the DSG I have to step on the brake and stop before it'll go into gear. I guess VW doesn't want uncontrolled acceleration, but still...

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      09-27-2012 01:42 PM #14
      LA driver here as well...I actually bought the JSW TDI because of the DSG. I drove a DSG GTI a couple of years back when it was just me on So Cal canyon road...and I fell in love. I think it is the perfect mix of "fun" and comfort. Soon I will convert to paddles on my '13 JSW TDI as well. Flicking a car into neutral is more that difficult in a DSG, but firstly it is illegal to do so (seems dumb to me, but you must be in a gear while driving) and it really does not save much (esp fuel as gassers go pretty lean at idle) in my opinion. I think the TDIs actually do not "engine brake" at all since diesels do not have a throttle plate, but they do exhaust brake by manipulating the turbo veins (well I need to confirm this on my new TDI...but my last several diesel trucks all did it). If that is the case I am sure that the turbo veins are a programmable item and likely can be fixed or at least eliminate the "braking" aspect.

      I really love my DSG and look forward to years of good service from it. I am hearing a lot of noise about DSG tuning and I am sorta confused about what to do. But that is how it goes on the interwebs I suppose.
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    15. Member O'doyle's Avatar
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      09-28-2012 06:28 AM #15
      If I didn't have three pedals on the floor, I wouldn't own my Jetta anymore.

      X...

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      09-28-2012 09:40 AM #16
      Quote Originally Posted by Cat Butt View Post
      ... I think the TDIs actually do not "engine brake" at all since diesels do not have a throttle plate, but they do exhaust brake by manipulating the turbo veins (well I need to confirm this on my new TDI...but my last several diesel trucks all did it). If that is the case I am sure that the turbo veins are a programmable item and likely can be fixed or at least eliminate the "braking" aspect...
      Here's what I've observed over the life of my TDI:
      In Drive or Sport: Take foot off accelerator, car slows down quickly
      In Neutral: Take foot off accelerator, car rolls along

      From that combination of observed behaviors, I assume the difference is caused by the car being in gear and coupled to the engine. This slows the car due to the compression associated with rotating the crankshaft and moving the pistons and valve train through their full range of motion. I'll call that engine braking. No reason to think there are bad wheel bearings or faulty brakes to cloud the issue.

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      09-28-2012 06:01 PM #17
      Quote Originally Posted by Outrider6 View Post
      Here's what I've observed over the life of my TDI:
      In Drive or Sport: Take foot off accelerator, car slows down quickly
      In Neutral: Take foot off accelerator, car rolls along

      From that combination of observed behaviors, I assume the difference is caused by the car being in gear and coupled to the engine. This slows the car due to the compression associated with rotating the crankshaft and moving the pistons and valve train through their full range of motion. I'll call that engine braking. No reason to think there are bad wheel bearings or faulty brakes to cloud the issue.
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Engine_braking Pretty good description here. The only thing in the exhaust stream is the turbo and by manipulating the veins you can create a restriction and therefore "braking" Putting your car in neutral does exactly what you say it does...decouple the engine and trans. However just because you connect them (put it in Drive) and slow down more does not mean the "engine" is doing the slowing. I cannot not confirm that the turbo veins in the VW act as a brake, but many new car and trucks do this. But do not confuse the sensation of slowing rapidly with engine braking in a gas car.
      Last edited by Cat Butt; 09-28-2012 at 06:06 PM.
      1984 GTI bought new...Auto X queen
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      09-28-2012 08:08 PM #18
      Quote Originally Posted by Cat Butt View Post
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Engine_braking Pretty good description here.
      Agreed. And the JSW doesn't have the dedicated engine braking system that big trucks have...that's for sure. Never said it did.

      From your wiki source:
      "Engine braking occurs when the retarding forces within an engine are used to slow a vehicle down, as opposed to using an external braking mechanism such as friction brakes or magnetic brakes."

      There are definitely retarding forces that affect a DSG-equipped JSW that are generated by the engine's forced motion and by the drivetrain. Are those forces as great as, say, a dedicated jake braking system? Not hardly. But those forces will still slow a car down and what I was talking about certainly falls within the basic definition of engine braking according to Wikipedia.

      That said, it would be pretty cool if there was some feature that provided dedicated engine braking in the TDI's turbo. My sense is "not likely" due to the economics (probably expensive) and the car's light weight (doesn't need 18 wheeler engine braking). These points are uninformed speculation though, and I'd welcome an actual answer as opposed to my guesswork.

      Back on topic, if the OP is wondering whether a DSG car coasts farther in neutral or in drive...the answer would be "coasts farther in neutral...much farther."
      Last edited by Outrider6; 09-30-2012 at 09:40 PM.

    19. 09-28-2012 09:53 PM #19
      Mt ftw

    20. Senior Member Aonarch's Avatar
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      09-29-2012 12:03 PM #20
      I am extremely bias'd I have never owned an automatic.

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    21. Member luckeydoug1's Avatar
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      09-29-2012 08:21 PM #21
      I would trade the 6spd manual in my Golf R for the DSG in my R32 in a heartbeat! I absolutely HATe the 6spd. I didn't much care for the 5spd in my 09 SportWagen, either, but I liked it better than the 6spd. I don't have use for 4th very often and have never had use for 5th. 1-2-3-6 or 1-3-6 is still too much shifting. I really would like to have a 2nd OD gear, truth be told. I really hate running at 2800 at 65 mph... it really feels and sounds like its time to shift at 60.
      Last edited by luckeydoug1; 09-29-2012 at 08:26 PM.

    22. 09-29-2012 11:08 PM #22
      Quote Originally Posted by luckeydoug1 View Post
      I would trade the 6spd manual in my Golf R for the DSG in my R32 in a heartbeat! I absolutely HATe the 6spd. I didn't much care for the 5spd in my 09 SportWagen, either, but I liked it better than the 6spd. I don't have use for 4th very often and have never had use for 5th. 1-2-3-6 or 1-3-6 is still too much shifting. I really would like to have a 2nd OD gear, truth be told. I really hate running at 2800 at 65 mph... it really feels and sounds like its time to shift at 60.
      I like the six speed in my wife's JSW - right around 2K RPM @70mph in 6th. In contrast, my 2000 A4 with 5MT is doing almost 3500RPM @ 70mph.

      Funny thing is I'm so used to my A4 that on the highway in the JSW I often forget to shift out of 4th.

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      09-30-2012 12:56 AM #23
      Quote Originally Posted by yamato72 View Post
      I like the six speed in my wife's JSW - right around 2K RPM @70mph in 6th. In contrast, my 2000 A4 with 5MT is doing almost 3500RPM @ 70mph.

      Funny thing is I'm so used to my A4 that on the highway in the JSW I often forget to shift out of 4th.
      70 in a DSG JSW is @7200 just FYI.
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    24. Senior Member Aonarch's Avatar
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      09-30-2012 01:01 AM #24


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    25. Member jeepwreck's Avatar
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      09-30-2012 01:46 PM #25
      i love MT that is why i ordered my wagon that way lol

    26. n00b
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      09-30-2012 05:55 PM #26
      I have a MT TDI. My mom has DSG. Every time I've driven her car, I've been underwhelmed by the acceleration of the DSG. Granted, part of it is likely that I struggle to shift with DSG correctly because I'm used to a standard. Suffice to say, I wouldn't switch.

    27. Member jni3's Avatar
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      09-30-2012 08:36 PM #27
      My cars are manual transmission and will always be. I can't see spending $1000+ extra and quite possibly less fuel economy on automatic. I have always felt more in control while driving manual especially in the winter. Of course my wife and I feel differently about manual and automatic.
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    28. 10-08-2012 06:00 PM #28
      We have one of each:

      '07 GTI DSG
      '10 Golf Wagon (JSW) Manual TDI, APR Stage 1.

      I worry a little about the reliability of the DSG. It is fun and quick, but I don't like how it will not allow me to hold a gear at/near redline; but that is only an issue when autocrossing, for example. In autocrossing, I find it hard to remember which gear I'm in if it shifts for me when hitting redline.

      I also don't like how the steering wheel paddles are fixed to the wheel rather than the steering column. I find myself needing to shift via the "stick" on sharp turns so I need to shift using both paddles and "stick" when driving, which isn't optimal.

      I enjoy manual transmission more personally, but my wife prefers the DSG and drives it in auto mode. It gives me a bit more control, I have a nice haptic/feel reminder for what gear I'm in .

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      10-08-2012 06:50 PM #29
      Quote Originally Posted by TDInh View Post
      ive driven manuals in all my cars, and the jsw is the first DSG i've had. I'm real happy with it. If i didn't have a manual alternate car i may miss it, but it's a perfect balance imo.
      Same here, and I agree with you, I purposefully bought my JSW with a DSG, coming from a Mk4 R32 I do not miss my manny trans when sitting in a 30 mile traffic filled commute.
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      10-09-2012 02:09 AM #30
      Quote Originally Posted by rhino03gti View Post
      I would rather a MT any day, and plus better mpg
      DSG vs. Manual fuel efficiency is almost exactly the same.. the DSG is essentially a computer controlled manual gearbox, so there is no extra drivetrain loss introduced.
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    31. Senior Member Aonarch's Avatar
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      10-09-2012 11:48 AM #31
      Quote Originally Posted by rootrider View Post
      DSG vs. Manual fuel efficiency is almost exactly the same.. the DSG is essentially a computer controlled manual gearbox, so there is no extra drivetrain loss introduced.
      I think he was referring to specifically the gearing of the JSW TDI 6MT vs. 6DSG.
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      10-10-2012 12:09 AM #32
      Quote Originally Posted by Aonarch View Post
      I think he was referring to specifically the gearing of the JSW TDI 6MT vs. 6DSG.
      ahh yes. Well, that's not true for the 2009's
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