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Old 14 September 2014, 10:05   #1
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Automatics Vs manuals

Which is better for towing?

Will be looking at getting a diesel estate soon but wondering wether an automatic or manual would be best?

Launched and recovered my 17ft fletcher a few times with a manual 2.0d vauxhall zafira & that does fine but can struggle if on the steeper side of the slipway (swanage)

Would an automatic help out any better? Less wear and tear?
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Old 14 September 2014, 10:19   #2
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Are you only interested in better on the slipway? Fuel consumption on autos used to be poor (not looked for years) so taking with auto = need for own oil refinery? ?
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Old 14 September 2014, 10:27   #3
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Auto better for towing. Smoother and more progressive. Modern autos can be as economical as manuals. Bmw. Mazda. Audi VERY econ autos.
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Old 14 September 2014, 10:29   #4
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Cheers! So the main thing would be fuel economy?
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Old 14 September 2014, 10:31   #5
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Just compared two vauxhall astra estate sri's, 1.9tdi. Auto-40mpg manual-50mpg
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Old 14 September 2014, 10:35   #6
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You cant compare the above luke with a German gearbox..if you want fuel econ in a auto. Needs be german or now Jap in the later made cars.
Of course budget is something ive overlooked.of course the latest auto cars are more this and more that..

But much easier to tow luke. Plus. Get a good gearbox and they become as fun when ranting as a manual. Manual boxes are soooo the last decade!
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Old 14 September 2014, 10:36   #7
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Autos are defiantly cheaper to buy also! Will have to have a think
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Old 14 September 2014, 10:44   #8
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and its easier to eat a sandwich while driving an auto
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Old 14 September 2014, 11:16   #9
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Luke, it all depends which flavour of estate and budget.

If you have the cash for a super clever 8sp auto Kraut autobahn stormer, then the difference between an auto and a manual maybe minimal. Back on Earth, an Auto will burn more fuel, how much depends on what you buy.

As for autos for recovery? No huge gain IMHO as long as the vehicle is up to the job. I prefer the control that a manual gives, especially with a 4x4.

When the torque converter spools up and begins to turn the wheels, there is little or no additional control. When used in super slippery conditions, this is not helpful. I know this from driving my Auto Disco and manual L200 on ice/snow.

In short, if you're towing a trailer/boat which is well within your car's towing capacity and doing so with a bit of care and consideration, the wear and tear on the car ain't worth worrying about IMV.
Whereas, the reduced MPG of an auto is with you for every mile that the car travels towing or not.

However, if you fancy an auto, get it bought.
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Old 14 September 2014, 12:31   #10
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Got both. For what it's worth the auto is fantastic for towing, easy and eats the miles stress free but lacks the fine control of a manual when launching or on the beach even with having the low range.
I tend not to fret about the mpg but it may be more of a consideration if you use it a lot !
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