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      02-04-2013, 10:12 AM   #1
ticamihai2003
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Fuel economy manual transmision vs auto/sport auto

Hi,

This is bugging me in a while now and I want to be 100% convinced of what I want/afford before I make an order for an F20.

Has anyone had experience with both manual and auto transmission for a longer time than just a test drive, and also both transmissions coupled with the same engine? Mainly I am interested in fuel economy of the auto versus the manual gearbox(there are other threads comparing the driving fun of each).
I would also like to know from someone who had experience with both, if getting the auto/sport auto box is worth the money if you get it only for the extra fuel economy. This can be done easy by calculating the BMW official figures but real life economy is different thing and also the auto may or may not be more economical than the manual one.
Let's say I would like comparisons, if this is possible, for speeds of 65km/h , 90 km/h, 130 km/h and 160 km/h.

Hope this is not going to be an empty thread.

Thanks
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      02-04-2013, 11:08 AM   #2
vladberca
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It depends quite a lot where the test is done, the engine, the fuel type:
In the city (Bucharest) I don't think there are important differences between manual and auto.
On motorway, at higher speeds you can see the advantage of the auto because it has more gears than the manual so it's possible to have the real advantage hear.
Moreover I'd buy an auto for a diesel version due to higher torque than petrol.
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      02-04-2013, 11:18 AM   #3
Aspe
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Why don't you check
http://www.spritmonitor.de/en/search.html
(english version).

There you can search for the engine type you want and then search for manual or automatic transmission. For the 116i (e.g.) the automatic ones in average consume 1 l/100km more than the manual ones.
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      02-04-2013, 11:52 AM   #4
ovekvam
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The most variable factor is the driver. This weekend I drove with two different driving styles. The average speed was almost similar, but one driving style ended up with 5.6 L/100km, and the other was 19.6 L/100km. Same car, same transmission.
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      02-04-2013, 12:08 PM   #5
Dim73
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ovekvam View Post
The most variable factor is the driver. This weekend I drove with two different driving styles. The average speed was almost similar, but one driving style ended up with 5.6 L/100km, and the other was 19.6 L/100km. Same car, same transmission.
+1
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      02-04-2013, 02:45 PM   #6
tawia
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At £1500 for a couple of mpg you would be mad. I bought auto for the sheer luxury of the driving comfort and not having to change gears. The fact it is a few mpg better that manual is just an added bonus.
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      02-04-2013, 03:49 PM   #7
ticamihai2003
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well I would say my driving style is normal. I do not drive fast/accelerate fast from stop lights/junctions, neither do I change gears very early or drive slow to get good fuel economy.I would say I am reasonably careful when it comes to driving economically. Also I do quite a bit of driving in the city of Pitesti. It's a small city near Bucharest and I do know the streets in order not to get stuck in traffic jams or stop lights. As a comparison, I was doing 8,5 l/100 km in my 2010 Mini Cooper S and the manufacturer urban fuel consumption was, I think, 7,5 l/100 km.
I did check out the website Aspe recommended and it is confusing . Some users do worse with automatics and some do better...
In the end I may take into consideration what I was doing in my Mini and ad 1l/100km , but for the auto it may be different and also the 1er has more weight.
I would be interested in a 125i or M135i by the way.
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      02-05-2013, 02:42 AM   #8
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If you are buying an auto only for the fuell economy (which is minimal or even non-existent), then you are buying it for the wrong reasons. There is no way you will recover the cost by the fuel economy....even if you do, it will take you many years!
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      02-05-2013, 06:10 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fanis View Post
If you are buying an auto only for the fuel economy (which is minimal or even non-existent), then you are buying it for the wrong reasons. There is no way you will recover the cost by the fuel economy....even if you do, it will take you many years!
Exactly... well put.

In reality either will give pretty similar mpg, if driven to the engine/gearbox characteristics.

Manual has to be the cheaper for running costs. Mpg is not always the best measure of running costs, unless you drive very high mileage.

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      02-05-2013, 11:22 AM   #10
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The ZF 8 speed box can lock up from just 1200rpm in the 2nd of it's 8 ratio's so torque converter losses are kept to a minimum. The 8 ratio's allow the engine to be kept in the most efficient rev range more of the time and the taller 8th gear allows for lower revs at higher speeds.
So yes it's easy to see why the ZF 8HP is much more economical than earlier conventional auto and can match or exceed manual and dual clutch boxes.

But as others have said at 1500 it's still going to be added cost even if you do a lot of miles and even if you get some of the costs back when you sell.

The reason to buy is because it's probably the best automatic box on sale today and it makes the 1 series a joy to drive. On top of that I felt the manual box was notchy, very stiff when cold and the gear lever had a springy feel (116i, 118d, 120d). And on RHD cars the pedals are very offset in the manual.

Cheers
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      02-05-2013, 12:16 PM   #11
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The manual gearbox in our 116i is not stiff in temperatures around -15C. Haven't noticed any springy feel either. Feels just fine.
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      02-05-2013, 04:21 PM   #12
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Thank you for the replies. I must say there are some good answers here, thank you.

One other thing though. I am no expert and I may be wrong, but aren't service costs more expensive for automatic cars compared to manual ones?
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      02-05-2013, 05:02 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ticamihai2003 View Post
One other thing though. I am no expert and I may be wrong, but aren't service costs more expensive for automatic cars compared to manual ones?
Probably it is the other way around! In a car with a manual transmission you need to change the clutch at some point. In an auto box you do not have to do anything (well, apart maybe from an oil change of the box after 100k kms, but that is advised for the manual as well).
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