Which goes against the findings of most large organisations who now
specify autos even for things like light vans. The beauty of an auto is it
is virtually driver proof. And remember you don't get a synchro
transmission without a clutch, so the two should be considered together
when assessing life. Not many will get anything like 300k miles out of a
*What am I? Flypaper for freaks!?
Dave Plowman firstname.lastname@example.org London SW
I agree completely with Dave that the most prominent virtue of the automatic
transmission is that it is much more 'foolproof' than the manual
transmission and if your situation requires it by all means buy an
automatic. That's why commercial operators do it - many of their drivers
have no respect for the hardware. On the other point, if a clutch goes out
it costs you $150 and a Saturday spent under the car whereas band clutch
failure in an auto will cost you about 20 times that amount and will often
result in scrapping the vehicle. Automatic transmissions have their place -
it's just not in any of my cars.
You're taking a very simple example here. Some clutches these days aren't
simple and aren't cheap. The flywheel may also need replacing.
Well it's quite possible to DIY auto box repairs if you take a simple one
as you have with a clutch. Nor are the parts that expensive. I've done
several. Not a modern electronically controlled 5+ speed, though. Yet. ;-)
*Many people quit looking for work when they find a job *
Dave Plowman email@example.com London SW
Could be. The SMG in the Z4 is actually an SSG, an Italian-made
less robust version of the SMG used in the M-class cars.
"Everybody wants a normal life and a cool car;
most people will settle for the car." Chris Titus
2003 BMW 325i Black/Black, 2003 BMW Z4 Black/Black
My wife and I took a trip in the convertible last weekend to the local Fry's
Electronics store to get a monitor. While there, we opted to buy a computer
for one of the kids for Christmas. I'm glad we had the 3 Series convertible
because we could not fit the stuff we bought into the trunk.
Buy the 4-seater and use it for weekends. You'll spend about the same money,
but you'll appreciate the extra space. Guarantied. Trust me, the 330
convertible is not a very practical car either, but it is more practical
than the Z3 or the Z4. Frankly, the 325 or 328 convertible (whichever they
sell these days) is as fun to drive as the 330, and it looks damn near
identical. Personally, I prefer the tire package on the 330, but that's just
Now THAT is very good advice. I get the whole two-seater thing, and I drive
a convertible so I even understand the attraction there. But, as much as I
like the looks of the two-seaters (pretty much all of them), when I get to
my retirement and can have such a toy, my choice will be another 3 Series
with 4 seats. We rather enjoy going places with the top down, and storage
space is handy with the back seat available.
When I retire the choice will be made for me and I will have to abandon two
seaters because I will not be able to get in and out of them. Right now
the 2 seater appeals more to me. If I need to haul something I will use the
4-runner and if it doesn't fit in the 4-runner I will rent a pick-up. But
if I am going for an overnight trip down the coast I will throw a bag in the
trunk and take the Z4.
BTW, the new Z4 coups look tremendous.
I have a preference for a stick, especially in a roadster. As you say
in another post, the Z4 would not be your commuter car, so why worry
about manners in traffic? An automatic demands less involvement of the
driver in the actual driving. If you want a fun car, get a standard
(with clutch) car. How could anyone consider a sports car with an
I'm kind of the same way... If you just want to steer, get an automatic. If
you actually want to drive, get a manual. But that's just me... automatics
have their benefits too, so it all depends on what's important for you and
what you enjoy. Hence, it's a personal preference, so I don't even see a
point of asking what others think.
Ever drive in San Francisco? I have - with a stick and believe me it is
not fun. I had to take my 4-runner in a few weeks back and there is nothing
worse than climbing one of those hills and seeing the traffic light at the
top turn red. Driving a stick in heavy stop-and-go traffic is not fun
either. Over the years I have just gotten sick of them. Initially I chose
a stick because it was more dependable than an automatic but that cannot be
My original post stated I wanted an automatic and why. But I thought it
would be interesting to hear other viewpoints. At first blush I can see
why someone couldn't understand why someone would choose an auto over a
stick for a sports car.
Some of us buy fine automobiles because we've reached a stage in our lives
where "fine" is more imporant than other stuff. When one reaches that point,
one buys what they want not what othere think they might want.
I've seen you say that you want a stick, but you make several pursuasive
arguments for a manual (your original post is confusing both ways). Think
about what it takes to make YOU happy and buy it. Fuck everybody else.
Pardon me for being crude ...
If you are gonna ask, and follow the advise you asked for, blow off the Z
and get a 330 convertible -- your choice, manual, automatic, or SMG. (I'd
get the manual, but that's me.) Having said that, I'd really like to drive
an SMG, anybody near San Diego that wants me to drive their car?
Get whichever makes you the most comfortable. If you want a manual
transmission, then get one. If you want an automatic, get one of those.
Whatever you do, do not get a transmission according to what somebody else
thinks is good.
A BMW transmission in either form is going to give you excellent service.
My wife just bought a Z4si a couple of weeks ago with the automatic. The si
version also has the "sports" mode and the 255 hp engine version.
To be honest, I was not overly impressed I first drove the car in the normal
"D" mode. (I drive a Porsche 996TT manual, so the Z wasn't really a fair
The Z4si was ok ... but goes through the gears quickly .... like an American
built sedan, so at 45 mph on a back road it is in 5th or 6th gear at low
RPM. If you give it a bit of gas, it's response was sluggish, IMO, unless
you caused it to downshift. That is, until I tried the sports mode .....
We've had several BMW's before, some with a "sports" mode that makes subtle
changes to the shift points and the suspension stiffness. In the Z4si the
sports mode is not subtle at all.
It causes the automatic shifts to behave very much like how you should drive
a high revving, manual sports car. It selects a gear that keeps the engine
RPM up and won't shift until it should ... rather than trying to get into a
higher gear quickly. It also automatically downshifts when you are slowing
down as if it were a manual, again keeping the engine RPM up in a sweet spot
on the hp and torque curve. It really is effective and makes the Z perform
like a European sports car.
I think the sports mode is only available in the si version .... it isn't
offered in the Z4i as far as I know.
You can also shift "manually" with the BMW Steptronic (or whatever they call
it) but I was very impressed with the auto/sports mode.
BTW ... this is an '06 model. I don't know about earlier years.
I have the step-tronic in my 740 and it makes the car a totally
different animal so if you can get one with the manual option I'd
recommend it. I often use it to lock the car in gear on twisty roads
etc so it's not running away or doesn't kick down on a corner.
I have the regular torque converter and I'm sure one with a lower
stall speed (like in the sport model) would reduce the slushiness feel.
Mine has the adaptive box and it's alright but it takes a while to
learn. I'd prefer a manual override other than the full sports mode.
We've had two 750's ... an '01 (12 cylinder) and an '06 (8 cylinder).
Obviously, both had the Steptronic automatic transmission with the "manual"
shifting capability and both had a "sports" mode that modified the shift
points and suspension dampening settings. They worked, but neither of these
sport modes had the same effect of the sports mode in the Z4si. Using
sports mode in it has a much more pronounced effect and makes it feel like a
true sports car. It doesn't simply modify the shift points ... it will hold
the car in the appropriate gear to maximize engine RPM in the power curve
and maximize responsiveness for a given speed. You can do the same thing
with the manual shifting setting, but I found the automatic mode (in sports
mode) to be very effective and fun.
Well I'm buying a E92 335d and with the massive torque it has at low revs,
the Steptronic is a standard option, since the MT can't handle it. I took
the car out for a testdrive and really love it! DS mode really reads my
thaughts, and you can always go in manual mode :)
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