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    Thread: Anybody else dislike the DSG?

    1. 08-16-2019 10:16 PM #1
      I have 2017 GSW S 4motion with the DSG that I have owned for two years and 37K miles and this is by far my least favorite part of the car. Regardless of regular D or Sport, this thing never seems to be able to figure out when to shift appropriately (or what I deem appropriate). The lag is my biggest complaint. For example, coming into a roundabout (which we have all over the place), slow down and then step on it, the car just sits there and doesn't move. I got a Sprint Booster which definitely helped, but it's still "dumb" for lack of a better term (and more PC that what I usually have in mind). And then there is the whole left turn issue, begging the car to go and praying I don't get t-boned in the process.

      I know I can use manual mode, but just haven't really gotten into it that much. I drove a manual WRX for over 15 years. The lack of feedback (feel, engine noise, etc) have just made it harder for me to get in sync with the paddles. I guess i would consider the VW "numb" when trying to consistently use the manual mode. Why did I get a DGS if I am used to and prefer a manual one might ask? One word: wife.

      I figured I would eventually get a stage 1 Unitronic for the ECU and probably do the DSG flash at the same time, but have read conflicting reports if the DSG flash changes some of the undesirable behavior. Car has more oomph so the lag is less noticeable? For $600, none of the companies really outline what exactly the DSG flash does to improve drivability.

      I have read quite a few threads on the DSG and how to better compliment it when driving, but wouldn't mind hearing any other feedback from other users.

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    3. Member
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      08-16-2019 10:28 PM #2
      I'm not a fan of the DSG myself, I find the shift points are not the greatest at times. The transmission is much better suited for the R IMHO, but driving the R with DSG around town in "race/sport" mode is torture. No question that the DSG is better than any CVT out there, but I'd rather have a more simple torque converter auto because you don't have to baby it as much as the DSG and honestly, transmission wise, I don't see much difference between my Alltrack with the DSG and the GF's Tiggy with the standard auto.

      I miss my manual transmissions, and every time you bring that up people keep telling you to just use the paddle shifters, makes you want to strangle them

    4. Member logicallychallenged's Avatar
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      08-16-2019 10:32 PM #3
      I agree. However I am surprised the sprint booster didn’t take care of the ETB delay. That is my biggest peeve about all newish cars. This is my 2nd DSG and is better than the first gen DSG. But the shifting delay is still there when using the paddles. That pricey trans recalibration should solve that but hasn’t been confirmed.


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    6. 08-16-2019 11:06 PM #4
      Have an Audi with dsg and it totally kills gsw dsg. I suspect the dsg tune offered by several different companies would make the vw more in line with the Audi. If so... then I would have zero complaints. It’s great.


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      08-16-2019 11:25 PM #5
      I have the same complaints about the DSG, similar purchase reasoning, and I didn’t notice the thing I currently dislike about it during my test drive. Pretty frustrating. Constantly wishing I bought the 6MT.

      I really want to get the tune but also not completely sure which to go with.


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    8. Member MidnightGSW's Avatar
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      08-17-2019 12:50 AM #6
      I had driven PDK and DSG equipped cars. I'd found both neither pleasant nor annoying. Just Meh for street driving. PDK was less Meh than DGS.

      PDK blows DGS right out of water when in manual mode. However, I'd never tried either on the track, so I can't comment on that. Also, PDK has substantial engine breaking over DGS unit, moreso in manual mode.

      I reckon, there is chatter among VW boffins to ditch DGS in favor of PDK in most VW road going cars. We shall see.

      And to avoid all those trepidation with DGS and alike gearboxes, I simply got more enjoyable 6M gearbox. I get to control my own shift points.

      Cheers!
      Last edited by MidnightGSW; 08-17-2019 at 01:00 AM.
      How hard can it be!

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      08-17-2019 01:00 AM #7
      Just got back from a 600 mile drive from Maine to Philly in our 2018 GSW 4MO DSG...used the paddles CONSTANTLY - downshifting up steep grades or passing on I-95, I-84 and ahost of other “I”’s...

      I think it is great.

      I have owned some decent manual gearboxes - including a modified E34 540i and an S4. I understand why folks around here get a chubby for their 6MT GSW’s and Alltracks. But I think it is silly to compare the DSG in the GSW with an Audi or a Golf R...much less a true stick.

      You like three pedals? Great! You want to throw in a tune and other toys to muscle up a 6MT GSW? Have fun.

      For what it is, I think the DSG in the GSW works just fine (especially for $20K OTD). When I want manual control, it is there. When I don’t (which, at this stage of my life, is probably the best for reducing stress and stupid situations that I would put myself in with the cars I emntioned above), the DSG in both our GSW and Alltrack is just fine, thanks.
      Last edited by bebopdeluxe; 08-17-2019 at 01:01 AM. Reason: Addition

    10. Member KarstGeo's Avatar
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      08-17-2019 06:43 AM #8
      Quote Originally Posted by bebopdeluxe View Post
      Just got back from a 600 mile drive from Maine to Philly in our 2018 GSW 4MO DSG...used the paddles CONSTANTLY - downshifting up steep grades or passing on I-95, I-84 and ahost of other “I”’s...

      I think it is great.

      I have owned some decent manual gearboxes - including a modified E34 540i and an S4. I understand why folks around here get a chubby for their 6MT GSW’s and Alltracks. But I think it is silly to compare the DSG in the GSW with an Audi or a Golf R...much less a true stick.

      You like three pedals? Great! You want to throw in a tune and other toys to muscle up a 6MT GSW? Have fun.

      For what it is, I think the DSG in the GSW works just fine (especially for $20K OTD). When I want manual control, it is there. When I don’t (which, at this stage of my life, is probably the best for reducing stress and stupid situations that I would put myself in with the cars I emntioned above), the DSG in both our GSW and Alltrack is just fine, thanks.
      I really like mine, may be the best tranny I've ever had..manual or otherwise.

      The TCU tune I have (Unitronic) really helps with the shift mapping. I still use my paddles from time to time in DD. I get the slight delay from a stop sometimes, nothing you can really do about that but get used to it and manage it.
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      08-17-2019 03:49 PM #9
      If I put my 2017 Allrack in gear and leave it there (sport or normal), I can live with the DSG. It shifts smoothly, although either too early in normal, or too late in sport. Thus, the purpose of the paddle shifters. I have to use them to be totally satisfied with the DSG.

      If I am running around town I put it into sport and use the paddle shifters to upshift when accelerating, then let the transmission down shift automatically. When I am on the highway I am in normal and use paddle shifters to downshift to get a bit of extra power when I need it, such as passing. Both cases the DSG holds the gear long enough to do what I want, then it goes back to auto. Is this perfect, no, but it is much better than the awful 9 speed transmission in my wife's Honda.

      In the next few days I'm going to test drive a new Acura TXL with the 8 speed DSG. I hope it shifts better by itself, as I may be buying one of those soon.

    12. Member EBG 1.8T's Avatar
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      08-17-2019 05:49 PM #10
      I’ve been very happy with the DSG. But I think a lot depends on how/where you drive.

      I was happy with it prior, but I use the GIAC Stage 2 DSG tune currently. I have the GIAC Stage 1 ECU also.
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    13. Member MNJetta2013's Avatar
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      08-17-2019 07:26 PM #11
      I have an '18 AT SE with the 6MT. One of the loaner cars I had for one of the times it was in for the pano sunroof leak, it's leaking again, I had an '18 AT with the DSG. I couldn't wait to get back in my SE. I really did not like the way the DSG shifted.
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    14. 08-17-2019 09:38 PM #12
      You and I are in sync on the DSG. I drove a 2004 STI (highly modded) for 14 years, and I had no idea what throttle lag was. If I wanted to "send it" I could count on the power delivery to be right there with me as I sort things out mid-corner. With the Alltrack I can't even play that game: there is the soccer-mom throttle mapping and delay, combined with loads of turbo lag, combined with slow and dumb shift logic, combined with not knowing when the Haldex will engage. If you get off the power it feels like you coast and when you get back on it there is a jolt as the power re-connects. Honestly not sure if this is DSG related, or more engine.

      I really think pairing a DSG with a low-power motor was a terrible idea. My wife has a GTI Sport DSG, and the shifting experience in that is much better. I think it comes down to all the extra low-end torque the 2.0 has, because shift logic seems to be identical. My friends S3 is an even better experience than the GTI. Loads of power seems to pair well with the DSG.

      I got an APR 91 flash with their TCU tune. The DSG dumbness is mostly gone. The shift points are MUCH better, and I think Sport mode is nearly perfect. One major disappointment was the tunes did nothing for the throttle mapping/delay. I wouldn't have got this tune if I knew that. I want D to take off like S, and I want S to be something new. Feels like way too much money to keep the OEM throttle and clutch engagement. Another thing with the ECU tune - that difference between boost and no-boost that I tried to explain - it is now far more pronounced. The good news is passing power is pretty impressive now. I think if I got used to manual shifting I would be much happier, but just like you - I didn't buy an auto to shift all the time, so it is hard to force myself. Right now I am trying a pedal tuner (I'll review after I play with it for a month), and I will do an IS20 in the next couple months. I have mixed feelings... I suspect I am a control freak and the IS20 still won't give me the driving experience I seem to be craving. Love the rest of the car though. Next car will be 1000% manual, and if they don't make them by then I will buy something old.

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      08-17-2019 10:29 PM #13
      Quote Originally Posted by KarstGeo View Post
      I really like mine, may be the best tranny I've ever had..manual or otherwise.

      The TCU tune I have (Unitronic) really helps with the shift mapping. I still use my paddles from time to time in DD. I get the slight delay from a stop sometimes, nothing you can really do about that but get used to it and manage it.
      I am sure a tune helps a lot. I saw the post below where someone thought the DSG is let down by the underpowered 1.8T in the GSW/Alltrack, and I hear that. I am not in love with how it feels when the DSG is trying to get to 4th gear RIGHT NOW...but when I downshift from 6th to 4th to pass someone on a grade on an interstate, the shift is virtually instantaneous and the 1.8T digs in just fine.

      It's not an S4. I got it. I am sure the car is WAY more engaging with a tune, but I don't want to mess with the warranty and I would beat the car like a f'n drum if I did it.. It was actually the point of getting the Alltrack in the first place; to chill out with some CarPlay. These cars have to get me 10-12 years - until my younger daughter graduates from college. I got that with my Passat 4MO wagon, and I am hoping to get that with these two.

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      08-18-2019 11:04 AM #14
      Yes - I also dislike the DSG

      I've driven a few VWs with them and they were/are annoying transmissions. Much prefer the standard ATX in a GSW S, if I had to get an auto.

    17. 08-18-2019 01:02 PM #15
      I like the DSG in my 2019 AT. I've had manuals in a Golf, GTI and Passat, and DSG in a GLI and my current AT.

      I never drive in auto mode...I think that's the key to happiness with it.

      One of the best tranny's is on my wife's MB GLC. 9 spd DCT. Even on auto mode, shifts are spot on and no lag up or down shifting...always on the right gear...transparent is the best description.

      Whether manual/auto, it is good to have options.

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    18. 08-18-2019 09:13 PM #16
      I drive the 2017 AT SE with DSG and couldn't be happier . I have a NEW beetle 2019 convert with a slush box, very mediocre performance. I've owned 3 DSG trannys and think they are head and shoulders more fun to drive than a standard Tranny. I drive a Standard shift Alfa spider .so I know all about standard transmissions and like to drive them,but for an automatic I really like the DSG. To each his own.

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      08-19-2019 08:38 AM #17
      Throttle response to direct took away about 80% of my complaints.

      Only thing i loath still is the rolling 2nd gear starts, if I'm under 5mph, it needs to be in 1st, I don't care what you think. the worse is when I've completely stopped for .5 seconds and it still takes off in 2nd, seriously wtf?
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    20. Member neu318's Avatar
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      08-19-2019 10:58 AM #18
      I don't hate DSG. In it's stock form it seems sluggish to me but nothing a tune can't fix. Had the DSG tune for my 06 A3 and it was way better than my AT's DSG. Just need to save up and get it tuned.
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      08-19-2019 12:19 PM #19
      Quote Originally Posted by Dieseldog12 View Post
      Throttle response to direct took away about 80% of my complaints.

      Only thing i loath still is the rolling 2nd gear starts, if I'm under 5mph, it needs to be in 1st, I don't care what you think. the worse is when I've completely stopped for .5 seconds and it still takes off in 2nd, seriously wtf?
      Same. I dislike the stock DSG map, D mode just rushes to get to 6th while S mode holds the gear for way too long. I usually end up just driving in D and adjusting how I apply throttle or just put it in manual mode if I feel like driving like a moron. I do use S mode sometimes because it upshifts way faster than Manual mode during launches/WOT.

      Although I really dislike the stock transmission map with a passion, I'll just live with it for the next 6yrs/72k miles due to the warranty lol.

    22. 08-19-2019 01:50 PM #20
      The DSG is not the problem, it's that car enthusiasts hate innovation and technology. Let me give you a few examples:

      1. Leaded gas - With this you had cushioning of the valve seats and that high octane, thus cars made massive amounts of power. Show me an engine that can make 300hp with unleaded gas. I bet you can't.
      2. Fuel injection robs hp. That's right, side draft Webers will make massive hp. Show me a 1600cc motor that can make 150hp. I bet you can't.
      3. ABS systems - As we all know, we can brake better than a computer. So take away the ABS and I'm more connected to the car
      4. Use the argument of point #3 and apply it to TC, EDL and Stability Control.
      5. Hydraulic Power steering - Don't need it because it makes me feel that I'm disconnected to the car as compared to manual steering.
      6. Electric Power Steering - Don't need it because it makes me feel that I'm disconnected to the car as compared to hydraulic power steering.
      7. Distributor and points ignition - I don't need a computer controlling my car. I can tune it to the best performance by myself and a timing light.
      8. Turbo chargers just wear out motors in record time, so non turbo is the way to go because they last forever. Give me a VR6, they never break.


      So that's just a few examples where the car enthusiasts hate change and technology. They all would rather have a 1976 VW Rabbit as it's the pinnacle of the driving experience. You are connected to the road with all manual stuff and none of the fuel injection to take away the power. In this day of age, we are forced to drive these eco cruisers that make no power and have zero connection to the road. Thus this makes perfect sense why the DSG is garbage. That 1976 Rabbit will run circles around any Alltrack or GSW. There's a reason why, it's void of all tech.

      I'm not a car buff or enthusiast. So I like the threshold braking where the ABS does the work for me. I like that I can use the paddleshift (with extensions) and feel like I'm racing a Golf TCR DSG car. I can't screw up on downshifts (aka no money shifts) and my hands are always on the wheel. I also like that my car starts in -15 to 115 F weather. I like that i can have some fun because it gives me adjustments. Things like the rear diff application, throttle input, TC and steering assist. Something that I couldn't do before. I also like I can plug in a box and get 40hp without having to do anything else. Call me the car non enthusiast. I'm just like soccer mom. Plus my next VW purchase will be Electric. That shows you right there I am not the one to listen to when it comes to what the car owner needs.

      So, if the DSG is not what you like, sell it today and get a 6 speed manual. Then when the EPS is something you do not like, then better buy an older VW. Soon yo'll be to the point of the 1976 Rabbit and that will still be high tech as it has vacuum assist, disk brakes and that dreaded FWD. Don't forget radial tires. I then suggest a 1968 VW Bus. A 1967 might be better as it has a swing axle.

    23. Member
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      08-19-2019 01:51 PM #21
      I bought an Alltrack instead of a Passat specifically because of the DSG; the first and only automatic that I actually like.

      The people complaining about shift points do have a case, but that's a function of draconian CAFE rules forcing auto manufacturers to scrape every little drop of mileage they can to comply and not directly related to the transmission technology itself.
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    24. 08-19-2019 03:46 PM #22
      Quote Originally Posted by FLHJR View Post
      I bought an Alltrack instead of a Passat specifically because of the DSG; the first and only automatic that I actually like.

      The people complaining about shift points do have a case, but that's a function of draconian CAFE rules forcing auto manufacturers to scrape every little drop of mileage they can to comply and not directly related to the transmission technology itself.
      I agree with all your points. I really like the DSG, and sure, I wish it would upshift a little later, but, the solution is to just put your foot in it a little harder and it will shift at higher rpms. And yes, many people want to blame VW, but you're correct that they're only doing what they need to do to satisfy efficiency and emissions regs that are out of their control.

      On the other hand, there's very little excuse for the shift logic in sport mode, which doesn't upshift early enough in gears 2-6!

    25. 08-19-2019 05:01 PM #23
      Quote Originally Posted by jdbgsw View Post
      I have 2017 GSW S 4motion with the DSG that I have owned for two years and 37K miles and this is by far my least favorite part of the car. Regardless of regular D or Sport, this thing never seems to be able to figure out when to shift appropriately (or what I deem appropriate). The lag is my biggest complaint. For example, coming into a roundabout (which we have all over the place), slow down and then step on it, the car just sits there and doesn't move.
      I couldn't disagree with you more. Your experience is completely different from mine, and so too is my opinion of the DSG. I think it's the best transmission I've ever driven, by far, and I like it a lot.

      Not sure what "lag" you're talking about, I don't feel any lag, but if you're ghosting along slowly at ~1200 RPM and almost no throttle and now you need faster pickup without mashing the gas hard enough to induce a downshift, a flick-of-the-left-paddle downshift will instantly add a few hundred RPMs, geting you up into the low 2000s where response is quite lively even to small throttle changes. Maybe the problem is how you drive it. There are things you can do that confuse the transmission and wrong-foot it so the preselected next gear is exactly wrong and the subsequent shift can take a fairly long time; or you can drive in a way that the transmission has no trouble figuring out and the preselected gear is the correct next one, and shifts are astoundingly fast. Perhaps that's what's happening.

    26. 08-19-2019 05:03 PM #24
      Quote Originally Posted by maxeymum View Post
      On the other hand, there's very little excuse for the shift logic in sport mode, which doesn't upshift early enough in gears 2-6!
      However, the right hand paddle takes care of that.

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      08-19-2019 05:49 PM #25
      Quote Originally Posted by palincss View Post
      I couldn't disagree with you more. Your experience is completely different from mine, and so too is my opinion of the DSG. I think it's the best transmission I've ever driven, by far, and I like it a lot.

      Not sure what "lag" you're talking about, I don't feel any lag, but if you're ghosting along slowly at ~1200 RPM and almost no throttle and now you need faster pickup without mashing the gas hard enough to induce a downshift, a flick-of-the-left-paddle downshift will instantly add a few hundred RPMs, geting you up into the low 2000s where response is quite lively even to small throttle changes. Maybe the problem is how you drive it. There are things you can do that confuse the transmission and wrong-foot it so the preselected next gear is exactly wrong and the subsequent shift can take a fairly long time; or you can drive in a way that the transmission has no trouble figuring out and the preselected gear is the correct next one, and shifts are astoundingly fast. Perhaps that's what's happening.
      So much this.

      I understand that forums like this can have purists with a REALLY high bar when it comes to things like this. When I downshift from 6th to 4th on the highway, the shifts - and resulting engine responsiveness - happens LIKE THAT with the DSG.

      Am I missing something here?

      If you want faster response, and you want to plow $2,000-3,000 into a bunch of aftermarket addons to a manual gearbox to get “faster” downshift response than the DSG provides, then go for it.

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