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Thread: Automatic or manual

  1. #1

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    Automatic or manual



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    Im considering a newish motorhome and wonder....is there much of a difference in fuel consumption between modern manual v auto boxes? There used to be a noticeable difference but modern autos from what I know are much better on fuel.
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  2. #2

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    I'm sure there will be folk on here with much more experience, but we had two manual motorhomes, both 2.5 Fiat manuals then went for a brand new 3.0 tag axle auto with cruise control. Can't honestly say that there was much difference in the fuel comsumption - oh, we were towing a Peugeot 107 as well. Round about 25 - 28 mpg. However, the automatic was a MUCH better driving experience. Maybe it's because I'm getting older, but it was great just pressing the loud pedal and sitting back to enjoy the scenery. It hardly ever changed down on motorways, just sat steady at 60-ish. Change of circumstances meant it had to go but, boy, do I miss it! P1130065.jpg
    Last edited by Northumborman; 19-07-2019 at 08:25.
    Ah, but I was so much older then, I'm younger than that now

  3. #3
    Nabsim's Avatar
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    Name: Nabs (Neil)
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    With cars the older autos ran off a torque converter which gave a much better gear change but did soak up power meaning fuel consumption wasnít as good as a manual.

    For some time now most autos actually use a manual gearbox but have electronic or robotic clutches. In theory really a modern auto should be better as it would always be in the correct gear for revs and road conditions.

    I am not sure what the system is on my Merc 6 speed sprintshift but itís a nice smooth change and I seem to get better mpg to some others I speak to so long as I keep it around 60 on motorways (4tonne, 7.8mtr coachbuilt). When I first got it and drove it like my car and 80+ on motorways it was giving around 24mpg which is actually more than I expected, much better going that bit slower. Itís a 2007 but base vehicle chassis is 2005 Sprinter 316 but with the ambulance box (they may all have that I donít know).
    Don't Worry, Be Happy

  4. #4

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    Biggest change AND improvement in modern autos is the number of gears AND the involvement of the engine management in the changing....
    Old 3 speed autos were notoriously thirsty... Some modern manuals are up to 8 gears now making some of them more efficient than the manual version.

    My best advice would be to drive whichever one your considering...
    Some folks don't take to driving autos.

  5. #5

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    Doubt if theres much difference these days. As already said, conventional autos with a torque convertor are 7, 8, and even 9 speed now, not that there are many vans with conventonal autos.
    The automated manual boxes should get very similar MPG to a manual, and thats the route most manufactures have chosen for their auto option, exceptions being Sprinters after 2006 and the new VW Crafter, both going back to conventional autos. Not sure what type of auto Ford use.

  6. #6
    Nabsim's Avatar
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    Name: Nabs (Neil)
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    Quote Originally Posted by mark61 View Post
    Doubt if theres much difference these days. As already said, conventional autos with a torque convertor are 7, 8, and even 9 speed now, not that there are many vans with conventonal autos.
    The automated manual boxes should get very similar MPG to a manual, and thats the route most manufactures have chosen for their auto option, exceptions being Sprinters after 2006 and the new VW Crafter, both going back to conventional autos. Not sure what type of auto Ford use.
    I donít know in the vans but in their cars Ford started moving to CTX gearbox (constantly variable) years ago. I had a new fiesta when they first started with them and didnít like it in spite of always having automatic in cars. The early ones were reported to go as fast in reverse as forwards but donít know if it was true, was going some when I bottled out though lol
    Don't Worry, Be Happy

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