Why Can't I Enjoy the Convenience of the DSG? - 2015 Volkswagen Golf GTI Long-Term Road Test

Edmunds.comEdmunds.com Member, Administrator, Moderator Posts: 10,237
edited February 2015 in Volkswagen
imageWhy Can't I Enjoy the Convenience of the DSG? - 2015 Volkswagen Golf GTI Long-Term Road Test

I should enjoy the convenience of the DSG automated manual transmission in our long-term 2015 Volkswagen Golf GTI, but its idiosyncrasies drive me nuts and seem out of character for VW's hot hatch.

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Comments

  • kirkhilles1kirkhilles1 Member Posts: 863
    As a person who has enjoyed manual transmissions, I really don't understand why it has to be so complicated from a driver's perspective. There should be 2 modes: Automatic and "Manual". My wife should be able to put it in Automatic mode and it should drive smoothly and smartly. I should be able to put it in Manual and then use high quality material steering wheel shifters and change gears. It should change when I manually change and ONLY when I change unless the car sees that a specified RPM will be exceeded or the car will stall. I should be able to shift it back to Automatic at any point should I enter heavy traffic or whatever.

    That's it. There shouldn't be an option for anything other than this (no Manual, no Automatic, just this hybrid) and that should be the target. It shouldn't be a "suggestion" if I put it in Manual mode and tell it to shift and Automatic mode should have smooth shifts.
  • henry4hirehenry4hire Member Posts: 106
    Long Live Manuals!!!!! It's either an automatic or a stick. You could always manually shift automatic cars, just put it in 1,2,3, then D. They just made it easier and labeled it "auto-manual". Sure they are easier and faster around a track by one second, but where is the connection? It's not all about numbers like 0-60 or how many milliseconds it takes to shift. What I want to know is what automatic transmission instills the same passion as a stick? There isn't one. Flicking your fingers on some little paddles will never ever match a perfectly timed downshift where you are using your whole body to make it happen. I suppose to each his(her) own, but it just saddens me that it has come to this. Everything is dumbed down for the masses who are too lazy to learn how to drive stick (on sports cars). I drive a 2006 Acura TSX and I track it and really enjoy the car and I never would have bought it had it come with an automatic because it would have killed the personality, just like they have with almost every other car nowadays. Rant over.
  • carcorecarcore Member Posts: 3
    I share this experience and I thought it was just me given all the glowing reviews out there. I really like this car except for the DSG. I have test driven the car a few times but always the same result. In "normal" mode the car is unresponsive and under powered. This should be an economy mode. In sport mode the car is always one gear too low and you are begging it to shift. It should be named sport + or track mode. They really have to rework their shifting algorithms or develop a few modes in between. I am wondering if the Golf R has the same issue?
  • allthingshondaallthingshonda Member Posts: 878
    And this is why Honda's new DSG has a torque converter. No jerkiness in traffic.
  • dgcamerodgcamero Member Posts: 148
    edited February 2015

    And this is why Honda's new DSG has a torque converter. No jerkiness in traffic.

    She didn't say it wasn't smooth, just that it isn't responsive enough in D and is overly enthusiastic in S. I agree, S is not usable in any conditions other than flat out...my next car will be a stick.

    Curiously, what is the service schedule on Honda's DSG and what is the cost of the fluid or fluids? My first VW DSG fluid and filter change was $320 in early 2010, and the second was $230 in late 2012, and so I'll be due for another soon (every 40k miles)...and now the kits with the fluid and special tool to DIY are only $140! Is the fluid in the Honda separate for the gearbox, clutches, and torque converter (Porsche's DSG has separate clutch and gear oils)? I can't find any information online.

  • chol92594chol92594 Member Posts: 208
    Excellent post, Erin.

    As far as the DSG: if I recall correctly, doesn't the new GTI have a standard drive mode selection feature? If so, could that be configured to compensate for the DSG's response issues in D? Also, I'd imagine that the GTI, like most modern cars with automatic-type transmissions, incorporates some sort of adaptive shift logic that is supposed to learn a driver's driving style and adapt its behavior to the driver over time. If so, there's a possibility that this function isn't able to account for the various types of driving styles that the GTI is subjected to (due to it being a LT car), causing the transmission's behavior to be undesirable.

    True, the DSG could just be designed to operate this way in D as a means of conserving fuel, but it could very well be a software issue outside of its normal programming. I'd mention this behavior to the dealer next time you stop by. They might be able to reset any parameters associated with shifting behavior.
  • allthingshondaallthingshonda Member Posts: 878
    dgcamero said:

    And this is why Honda's new DSG has a torque converter. No jerkiness in traffic.

    She didn't say it wasn't smooth, just that it isn't responsive enough in D and is overly enthusiastic in S. I agree, S is not usable in any conditions other than flat out...my next car will be a stick.

    Curiously, what is the service schedule on Honda's DSG and what is the cost of the fluid or fluids? My first VW DSG fluid and filter change was $320 in early 2010, and the second was $230 in late 2012, and so I'll be due for another soon (every 40k miles)...and now the kits with the fluid and special tool to DIY are only $140! Is the fluid in the Honda separate for the gearbox, clutches, and torque converter (Porsche's DSG has separate clutch and gear oils)? I can't find any information online.

    Unknown. The DSG was just introduced on the new TLX. Honda/Acura service schedules are determined by the maintenance minder system that determines what systems need service based on your driving style and environmental conditions. My TSX's traditional auto tranny didn't require it's first fluid change until about 60,000 miles and it cost $90.00. Honda automatic transmissions, traditional and CVT (older versions don't know about the current one in the new Accord), are simple drain and refill. No filters are changed and Honda does not approve of flushing. I know VW requires special tools and refilling requires VAG COM software to access the computer.
  • DebunkerDebunker Member Posts: 49
    Before I bought my 2015, I test drove both the stick and the DSG. Once you get up a head of steam, the DSG is excellent. But puttering around town, it's very slow to respond with any vigor. You've got to press hard on the accelerator, and then of course, you get too big a shot forward. Not a pleasure. On the other hand, the stick is excellent, except maybe in stop and go. Pick your poison.
  • emajoremajor Member Posts: 332
    Spot-on post, Erin. It seems the whole of the automotive press is in love with the VW DSG, but this is the one feature that could torpedo this as my next car. The manual is out; for logistical reasons it must be PRND and the DSG can be just infuriating around town. Unresponsive to throttle input, reluctant to downshift, sluggish off the line, and way too frenetic and high strung in Sport mode for street driving. Throw in the abnormally high maintenance costs and iffy reliability proposition and I wish they had just put a quick-witted torque converter auto on there. Less enjoyable on the track but far better in the real world.

    One thing is certain if considering this car take it for a real test drive. A long one where you pay attention to how this tranny behaves in a variety of situations. And make the salesman shut up, especially if he's the type who reaches over and presses the dash button to engage the Sport mode saying: "watch this, it will be a race car now" as one did with me.
  • veedubber86veedubber86 Member Posts: 57
    edited February 2015
    Man, I wonder what they did to the transmission logic because only very rarely, on the order of once every few months, did I ever have a problem with my mkV's DSG behavior in traffic. It was smooth under stop and go conditions but still responded smoothly and rapidly when I'd lead-foot it, even in D. And I learned to drive on a manual car, so I am sensitive to the tendency of automatics to get things wrong on occasion.

    Maybe the fact that you guys are always changing cars has something to do with it. I might have just gotten accustomed to how I needed to treat the throttle for the best driving experience.
  • funcarguyfuncarguy Member Posts: 5
    I've never driven a 2015, but my 2011 DSG drives just fine. Yes, throttle response is soft but the power is there once you get used to it. My problem with manuals is reliability issues. Every manual I ever owned eventually had problems. I've never had any problems with the automatics I've owned, however, this is my first Dual Clutch trans.
  • morganchiumorganchiu Member Posts: 8
    edited December 2015
    My wife and I drove the 2015 GTI and 2016 Golf. We liked the Golf better. The GTI even lurches forward whenever I took foot off the brake. Weird behavior.
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