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Shiftable Automatic Best Practices - 2015 Jaguar F-Type R Coupe Long-Term Road Test

Edmunds.comEdmunds.com Posts: 10,059
edited August 2014 in Jaguar
imageShiftable Automatic Best Practices - 2015 Jaguar F-Type R Coupe Long-Term Road Test

There are plenty of shift-able automatics out there, but only a handful, like the one in our Long-Term 2014 Jaguar F-Type R Coupe test car, that get it right.

Read the full story here


Comments

  • grijongrijon Posts: 147

    Great writeup! I agree on all points, ha ha!

  • legacygtlegacygt Posts: 599

    Nice post. I agree on all points except for the direction (front vs. back) for upshifts and downshifts. I drives a Mazda that does this the "right" way but I'm not hung up on it. I think a driver can get used to either and I've never had a problem overcoming the inertia of the car in order to move the lever. Why do so many make a big deal about this? Enthusiasts love manual transmissions. Did an enthusiast ever complain that upshifting into 3rd or 5th requires pushing the stick forward. Or that downshifting into 2nd or 4th requires pulling the stick back. About half the shifting you do with a manual transmission car is against the inertia of the car. But nobody ever complained about this. Why? Because it's not really a big deal. Nor is it a big deal with automatics.

  • seppoboyseppoboy Posts: 93

    I agree with all of those except the action of the manual shift, because it is not intuitive for a road car on the road, not a race car on a race track. PRNDL automatic transmissions have conditioned road drivers to D being forward of L, pull back on the automatic lever to go to a lower gear, push forward to go back to Drive. Now the -/+ system requires road drivers to unlearn automatic transmission standard functions, but ONLY when in manual shift mode. That is not a best practice for the vast majority of drivers conditioned by years of automatic transmission layout. Most people are not inclined to quickly change long-established mental patterns for movements that should occur without conscious effort. Then again, I have many years of owning only manual transmissions, and am having difficulties adjusting to my first ever two-pedal car (it still feels like a rental car!)

  • cracknutcracknut Posts: 17

    I enthusiastically agree that up shifts should be pull back and downshifts push forward, just like a sequential on a racecar. My 2013 Touareg is the opposite and I have never and will never adjust to it.

  • greenponygreenpony Chicago, ILPosts: 531

    Like @legacygt and @seppoboy I agree on all points except push/pull shifter action. For those who drive race cars, maybe this doesn't seem right. But for the 99.99% of the driving public that does not drive race cars with sequential shifters, push-to-upshift/pull-to-downshift is the intuitive orientation, because the PRNDL layout has conditioned people this way. If automakers had standardized on a PRNLD layout, we wouldn't be having this discussion. But since they didn't, your continued assertion that push-to-downshift/pull-to-upshift is the "right" way - or now, a "best practice" - is rooted in flawed logic.

    But, unlike Congress and the President, I'm willing to compromise. Let me propose a solution. Automakers can provide an option in their software to reverse the upshift/downshift manual gate action. Set it how you want it. Both sides of the fence are happy.

  • joner800joner800 Posts: 80

    this is the best explanation i have ever read of the "right" way to actuate up- and down-shifts on the console. i learned this on a Mazda, so it always felt right to me, but i didnt know why. i drove an Infiniti G37 with it reversed and it felt wrong. now i know why.

    as for the paddles, i have never driven a car with them fixed to the column, but i am very intrigued by that proposition. my intuition tells me that always knowing where they are would be a best practice, but my gut tells me its best to only use the function when my hands are actually at 10 and 2 (ahem - NOT 9 and 3 - ahem).

    excellent article, and yet another reason why i know my heart is not wrong to lust after this car the way it does...

  • 9 and 3 was considered proper when I learned to drive back in 19- er, a while back - and then 10 and 2 somehow became acceptable for a while. Currently, as far as I know, driver education once again says 9 and 3 is right.

    All I know is that if 9 and 3 is used by every type of professional driver in every motorsport, then it's good enough for me.

  • joner800joner800 Posts: 80

    @misterfusion said:
    9 and 3 was considered proper when I learned to drive back in 19- er, a while back - and then 10 and 2 somehow became acceptable for a while. Currently, as far as I know, driver education once again says 9 and 3 is right.

    All I know is that if 9 and 3 is used by every type of professional driver in every motorsport, then it's good enough for me.

    funny things is, as i wrote it i wasnt sure myself, but that is how i learned. IMO, i feel more in control of my car at 10 and 2, and i have better access to the paddles there. and its fine to defer to what racecar drivers do, but every day driving is not typical of what they encounter on a racetrack (i just looked up a video of Randy Pobst doing a hot lap in a Lamborghini, and his hands were at 9 & 3).

  • Food for thought:

    If your first paragraph is about bringing people together, especially those with conflicting viewpoints, to set some sort of standard, general attitude, "best practices", or harmonization in place...

    Then your next paragraphs should NOT be a highly opinionated, partial, and unaccommodating rant about how your way is the best. I realize that you're just trying to create a conversation, but if you're actually trying to persuade people with this approach then the number you'll convert starts with "z" and ends in "ero".

    By the way, my preferences seem to be similar to yours, though I could live with any of the methods you mentioned.

  • I thought the ever repeating shiftable auto record on here was broken along with the InsideLine name. Greenpony is spot on with his push-pull comment. Personally, I just find out which way a machine wants to operate and do it. Others require medical attention if the A/C controls are above the radio knobs. Different strokes. The only one that does get me is manual recline with a lever rather than an infinite wheel. I have the perfect build to ensure that the recline increments are exactly wrong for me.

  • bassracerxbassracerx Posts: 188

    i think up should be up-shift and down should be downshift. its just a personal preference i dont care what race cars do that is what is most comfertable to me. i guess im stuck in my ways because thats how ive always played in video games.

  • I think it's safe to say that the vast majority of the driving public rarely use the manual shift mode on their car. After the first few weeks of owning the car the novelty wears off the average person is going to drop it in drive and forget about it. I believe that a well programmed automatic doesn't need to be shifted manually. GM said that when they were running the CTS-V at the Ring they got the best times not with the manual transmission but with the automatic and when it was just put in Drive. My Acura has the old 5 speed automatic but it is never in the wrong gear. It downshifts quickly when power is needed, it also will downshift when climbing and decending hills to maintain speed. It doesn't rush into the highest gear but it still averages 30 mpg. It has manual sport shift mode but I've never had the need to use it.

  • dgcamerodgcamero Posts: 148

    @joner800 said:
    funny things is, as i wrote it i wasnt sure myself, but that is how i learned. IMO, i feel more in control of my car at 10 and 2, and i have better access to the paddles there. and its fine to defer to what racecar drivers do, but every day driving is not typical of what they encounter on a racetrack (i just looked up a video of Randy Pobst doing a hot lap in a Lamborghini, and his hands were at 9 & 3).

    The reason you're supposed to not use 10 and 2 (or higher), is because theoretically you will punch yourself in the face if the airbag goes off. If you have your hands at 8 and 4 (or lower), you will punch your crotch if the airbag goes off. So, 9 and 3 are the magic punch to the side locations.

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