Still the Best Automatic Transmission - 2015 Volkswagen Golf GTI Long-Term Road Test

Edmunds.comEdmunds.com Member, Administrator, Moderator Posts: 10,237
edited February 2015 in Volkswagen

imageStill the Best Automatic Transmission - 2015 Volkswagen Golf GTI Long-Term Road Test

Driving our 2015 Volkswagen GTI reminds me that its Direct Shift Gearbox is still one of the best automatic transmissions on the market today.

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Comments

  • veedubber86veedubber86 Member Posts: 57
    I totally agree with you Ed.

    I autocrossed my car once and S was perfect if I didn't want to change manually. The DSG is tuned more conservatively in the TDI cars and can be used in regular traffic though.
  • diondidiondi Member Posts: 71
    The only downside is the extremely expensive service, and herky-jerky in stop and go traffic.
  • dgcamerodgcamero Member Posts: 148
    diondi said:

    The only downside is the extremely expensive service, and herky-jerky in stop and go traffic.

    VWAG approved Liqui-Moly brand DSG fluid and a genuine VWAG DSG filter are about $100. Add an hour of labor at a dealer and you've accomplished your DSG change. Add $45 and you get the tool to do it yourself. Add an infrared thermometer and a drain pan and you're set.
  • atariatari Member Posts: 10
    All we're missing now is a post from someone that likes both transmission options equally. I don't know what to think anymore. Guess I'll have to go drive one.
  • jasond52jasond52 Member Posts: 37
    I've driven both, but I still like BMW's 8 speed autobox better.
  • carcorecarcore Member Posts: 3
    I agree with jasond52. The BMW just does it right. You don't have to ask yourself what it is doing because it is so seamless and so natural. The VW was my less expensive alternative to the 2 Series but I think I will spend the extra cash and treat myself. There is a night and day difference between the cars and I am thinking the price delta is worth it. The normal mode of the VW is far too sluggish and jerky in stop and go traffic and the sport mode is too hyped up. It needs to be reworked or this will just not work for me.
  • DebunkerDebunker Member Posts: 49
    Agree with car core. Before I bought the stick, I test drove the DSG. It's great on the open road, but is indeed sluggish around town. You have to really stab it to get a reaction, and then it's a bit of an overreaction. On the other hand, the stick is very enjoyable in all situations.
  • cjasiscjasis Member Posts: 274
    The ZF 8 speed gearbox is better, IMO. So is Porsche's PDK.
  • desmoliciousdesmolicious Member Posts: 671
    "The changes are ultra-quick and so smooth you almost don't notice them sometimes."

    Ed, are you also talking about city traffic conditions or just on the open road driving briskly? Because this does not jive with other people's, including Edmunds staff, experiences.
  • fordson1fordson1 Unconfirmed Posts: 1,512
    "Either way, it's a solid setup that I would gladly take over the manual shifter any day."

    With the traffic they experience, understandable, but sad nonetheless for an enthusiast website.
  • funcarguyfuncarguy Member Posts: 5
    I totally agree with everything Mr. Hellwig says, and I have no problem what so ever with
    the way my 2011 DSG drives in traffic. The 8 speed trans in my 2015 BMW X3 works flawlessly.
  • ez2beez2be Member Posts: 8
    I just placed an order for a GTI Autobahn with all the options (PP, DCC, DAP, LP). The only thing I didn't order was the DSG. It was a really tough choice as I was still confused after taking both cars for an overnight test drive. I commute everyday in bumper to bumper traffic so the DSG had some appeal. The fact that VW’s pedal placement in the manual makes heel and toe downshifting virtually impossible was a strike against it and the exhaust note in the DSG is more sporting (at least in the non-PP versions I drove). But the DSG has its problems too. As others have stated, it shifts up too quickly when driven in D mode and holds gears too long in S mode. S mode works well if you’re driving aggressively but there isn't a happy compromise if you’re not, although you can override it with a manual paddle shift. The DSG has its benefits but doesn't provide the same tactile feedback or sense of involvement. It adds needless costs and complexity which adds to my still lurking concerns about VW reliability. In the end it comes down to who you are as a driver and what you’re used to. I’m 56 and every car I've ever owned has been a manual. So I’ll continue to use two feet when driving in traffic. I've done it all my life; it’s really not that big of a deal.
  • ducky10ducky10 Member Posts: 27
    I had doubts when I bought my 2010 GTI DSG. It now has 110,000 miles and operates as it did when new. The gear changes in D are generally smooth and only get tripped up if you hit the Gas creeping at maybe 1 mile an hour at which point the car may lurch more than expected if you are accustomed to a conventional automatic.. I find that the best thing to do is think of it as what it is, a manual transmission with the computer-controlled clutch. If you try the same antics with the clutch driven car you would get a similar jerky result.
    It is a simple matter to use the sport mode if you are driving in the sporting manner , and switch to D if you want improved fuel economy. The paddle shifting is delightful and overall it is the best automatic I have experienced in many years and miles of driving.
  • morganchiumorganchiu Member Posts: 8
    ducky10, I know what you're saying. I just bought a 2016 Golf. I noticed the same "characteristic" you described from mile 1. I had entered the garage and was inching forward (I estimate maybe at 1 or 2 mph) to finalize the parking position when the DSG lurched. I thought I was going to collide with the garage wall :) The lurch also happened couple times at the stop sign.

    I don't k now I buy the argument it's a normal behavior. If it is, wouldn't you see the lurch happen in every single situation that would induce it? If it is, wouldn't you see the lurch in every VW model that uses DSG? The fact that there are plenty of DSG car out there not exhibiting the lurch makes me lean toward believing it to be an abnormal behavior of the DSG.

    I dread going into the dealer only two weeks after the purchase. I may hold off the visit to see if the problem worsens.
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