Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!





Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Did you get a great deal? Let us know in the Values & Prices Paid section!
Meet your fellow owners in our Owners Clubs

Great Transmission, But ... - 2016 BMW 340i xDrive Long-Term Road Test

Edmunds.comEdmunds.com Posts: 10,059
edited May 2016 in BMW
image
Great Transmission, But ... - 2016 BMW 340i xDrive Long-Term Road Test

As good as the BMW 340i's eight-speed automatic is, Edmunds editor James Riswick still prefers the optional six-speed manual transmission. Sorry, old habits and preferences die hard.

Read the full story here


Comments

  • opfreakopfreak Posts: 106
    "...and the manual is the best way in which to control it. "

    why? Auto is faster. m235 racing car setup came with the 8zf.
  • mojo_mikemojo_mike Posts: 11
    Yet another tiresome screed about "driver engagement". How original. By opting for the manual, you likely cost yourself $2k-$3k at trade in time.
  • longtimelurkerlongtimelurker Posts: 455
    edited May 2016
    I would doubt that it would cost that much at trade-in time. And I don't buy my cars for how much they'll get me at trade-in time, as opposed to how much I enjoy driving them while I have them. A new car is a depreciating asset...buying something other than what you want, in exchange for a slight improvement in the rate of depreciation, is a bad idea.

    Here is the reason they should have gotten the stick - even though they said that most of these cars came with the autobox and that's why they got it, they just got rid of another BMW with the previous version of this engine and that autobox...so there was no need to check that transmission's performance out in this car. Here's the deal - the 2015 M235i had the autobox. Their 2014 328i GT had the autobox. The 2012 X3 had the autobox. The 2011 528i did, too. The last time Edmunds had a BMW with a stick was...their 2009 M3. Yeah - seven years since they had a long-term BMW with a manual transmission.

    I don't think it would have killed anyone (well, maybe people who can't drive stick...) if they had gotten this car with the manual. And not really interested in the "because racecar" rationale for getting the autobox. It's a loaded 3-series - not a race car.
  • schen72schen72 Posts: 433
    I also don't consider trade-in or resale value as I drive my cars to the ground. Hence I only buy new cars once every 15-20 years. But I still wouldn't get a manual, even on a BMW. It's just too painful in a traffic congested area. Plus for pure performance, the automatics are actually faster.
  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 12,119
    I agree that a manual BMW would have been a welcome change of pace. That said, I'm coming around to the opinion that a manual tends to be more entertaining when the car actually needs a manual gearbox. For example, my 318ti(with a Turner Motorsports Conforti chip) makes around 140 lb-ft of torque at 4500 rpm. You simply must keep the engine wound tight to make anything close to rapid progress- and it's a lot of fun to drive it in that fashion. In contrast, my M235i makes 330 lb-ft from 1300 to 4500 rpm- with such a flat torque curve there is almost always a ton of thrust available regardless of the gear selected.And it is nice to have a car that can convert from cruise mode to track toy mode with the press of a button. If I was buying an M2 or M3 I would go with a manual every time, but in the less intense BMWs an automatic transmission does not detract from my enjoyment of the car- but then at 59 I'm fast approaching geezer status. ;)

    Mine: 1995 318ti Club Sport; 2014 M235i; 2009 Cooper Clubman; 1999 Wrangler; 1996 Speed Triple Challenge Cup Replica Wife's: 2015 X1 xDrive28i Son's: 2009 328i

  • darthbimmerdarthbimmer Posts: 606
    I would consider a manual transmission just to get rid of that ugly pork chop of a mode selector.
  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 12,119
    I like the shift lever Dodge uses for the 8HP in the Challenger/Charger- it's more substantial and its use is intuitive.

    Mine: 1995 318ti Club Sport; 2014 M235i; 2009 Cooper Clubman; 1999 Wrangler; 1996 Speed Triple Challenge Cup Replica Wife's: 2015 X1 xDrive28i Son's: 2009 328i

  • s197gts197gt Posts: 485
    edited May 2016
    i do wonder how many auto journalists actually own a car that (when not driving a company vehicle) they use as a daily driver AND it has a manual. it is easy to say you'd choose a manual for a daily driver if you don't actually have one... just like people say all the time on the Net, "i'd by that car if only they offered XYZ... IF i were in the market..." yeah, sure you would.

    i say this 'cause honestly... i'm getting a little tired of my mustang's manual transmission after 40k miles; and it isn't even a daily driver. if i didn't live in the city i am sure i would feel differently, but modern autos are just... so... good; performance-wise usually better.

    we also own a Z3 with a manual. it is definitely easier on the left foot than the mustang's but my wife doesn't drive it as much because of the manual.

    That said, I'm coming around to the opinion that a manual tends to be more entertaining when the car actually needs a manual gearbox.


    i do agree with roadburner... manuals are still great for low-powered vehicles.

    let me just say that, IF i were in the market, i'd very likely buy a HR-V EX in FWD with the manual. some other car mag just got a long-termer and they got the manual; but they had to order it. you can't find one on a lot (i checked four dealers near me) so i can't test drive one and i would never put money down for a car having never driven it (or one comparable).
  • carguydarylcarguydaryl Posts: 27
    No matter how good an auto is, there is no way it can fully anticipate what you are thinking. You always have more control with a manual. My Wife and I both hands down prefer manuals and until just recently we always voted that way with our bank account. We went from a 6 speed Mazda 5 and 6 speed Xterra OffRoad selling both for my wife's Honda Pilot after our 3rd kiddo arrived. If we could have gotten a larger 3 row car with a manual we would have bought it. Since I don't need a daily driver I picked up an E39 BMW 530i that I tried to find in a manual but ended up with an Auto (for now) because I got into a BMW for less than $5k and couldn't be too picky

    Even the 5 speed auto in that BMW is so intuitive and never leaves me hanging in to high of a gear, but I still long to row my own gears. One day after I get comfortable owning an older BMW with this one, I'll trade up into another with a manual, less miles and better condition.

    I've slogged in traffic, off-roaded and driven in just about every other traffic condition with manuals and still prefer them hands down. If I could somehow swap the 6 speed from an accord into our Pilot I would!
  • desmoliciousdesmolicious Posts: 671
    My last manual BMW was a 2006 330i. I actually was really disappointed with that gearbox, it was notchy and baulky at times, no matter if the engine and transmission was hot or cold. Is the 6 spd trans in the 340i different?
  • darthbimmerdarthbimmer Posts: 606
    Years ago manual transmissions were the only way to go for driving enthusiasts. 1) Automatics sapped a lot of engine power, greatly reducing acceleration and, to a lesser extent, fuel economy. 2) Automatics often had 2 fewer ratios than manuals, limiting driver control over the powertrain and also acceleration and fuel economy.

    With today's automatics these weaknesses are largely gone. Automatics in sports cars routinely deliver better acceleration than an expert driver with a manual, and with their higher gear counts they deliver better fuel economy in everyday driving. It seems the only reason left to prefer a manual is for that slightly higher degree of control over the drivetrain, e.g., holding a gear based on what you plan to do a few seconds in the future. I think that's what most people mean by "driver engagement". It's that more direct control versus letting a computer-- even an increasingly smart computer-- guess and react to your inputs.
  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 12,119
    I don't know how the 8HP45 is programmed in the 340i, but in the M235i if you put the car in Sport+ mode and the transmission in manual mode the transmission acts like a true manual above 40 mph. The transmission will only upshift or downshift when commanded. You can even bounce off the rev-limiter if you feel so inclined. The only thing the transmission won't do is allow a downshift that would cause a mechanical over-rev.

    Mine: 1995 318ti Club Sport; 2014 M235i; 2009 Cooper Clubman; 1999 Wrangler; 1996 Speed Triple Challenge Cup Replica Wife's: 2015 X1 xDrive28i Son's: 2009 328i

  • vvkvvk Posts: 193
    Full disclosure: I do own an automatic car. Yes, after spending about 6 years looking for a manual equipped Suzuki XL7, which is the only three row non-minivan vehicle you can buy with a manual in the US, we have finally given up and leased a 2015 Chevy Traverse. I actually really like it, it feels "European" to me. Great suspension, excellent ride, good seats, etc. The aspect of it I like the least? The automatic. Yep, drives me MAD. I hate it.

    Other that this, I have had many BMW and Mercedes cars with manuals. I have never regretted it. They have all been absolutely fantastic in terms of shift and clutch feel. The worst was the only AWD BMW I have owned -- never again. People who buy AWD BMWs miss the point. My E46 5-speed manuals were sublime. The 6 speed in my SLK350 is amazing. The 6 speed in my M Sport 550i is beautifully smooth and slick, with very short and precise throws. The 6 speed in my M Sport E93 is exquisite. I enjoy shifting all my manual cars immensely. I don't understand people who by cars like these with automatics. And AWD. They are just so horrible these automatics. Whenever I get an automatic loaner BMW/Mercedes I want to pull my hair out. They are just so incredibly horrible. I literally cringe when I drive them.
  • prndlolprndlol Posts: 140

    I would consider a manual transmission just to get rid of that ugly pork chop of a mode selector.

    Correct.


  • s197gts197gt Posts: 485
    it isn't just that automatics have gotten better but engines are much more powerful now, too. if you were an enthusiast who wanted the most out of your 140 hp accord in the 90s then you wanted the manual because the auto back then sapped power and the manual was faster.

    but now the 4 cylinder in an accord sport makes, what, 190hp? oh wait, they use a CVT... bad example...

    so the mazda6 4 cylinder now makes, what, 184 hp? add in a slick 6-speed transmission and the performance is there for most people. only hard core enthusiast and true-believers are going to demand a manual.

    to say nothing of the v6 options...
  • henry4hirehenry4hire Posts: 106
    Manuals forever! 'Nuff said.
  • rwatsonrwatson Posts: 144

    Manuals forever! 'Nuff said.

    Yessir, correct.

  • carboy21carboy21 Posts: 760
    edited May 2016
    People who pine for manual tranny are like those or who still pine for gramophone record and VHS tapes.
  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 12,119
    As I alluded to in my earlier comments, the optimum transmission choice really depends-for me anyway-on the car and its expected use. I love the manual gearboxes in my E36 and Wrangler Sahara, but I my F22's 8HP45 is equally good- and it will be fun to see how a sophisticated automatic performs in my HPDE instructor car.

    Mine: 1995 318ti Club Sport; 2014 M235i; 2009 Cooper Clubman; 1999 Wrangler; 1996 Speed Triple Challenge Cup Replica Wife's: 2015 X1 xDrive28i Son's: 2009 328i

  • schen72schen72 Posts: 433
    carboy21 said:

    People who pine for manual tranny are like those or who still pine for gramophone record and VHS tapes.

    Agreed! The last manual I owned was a 92 Integra. Never again. Maybe if I lived somewhere with no traffic but in the bay area... forget it. Too painful. I recently picked up a 16 ILX and it has an 8sp DCT. It seems to be the best of both worlds. Faster-than-manual shifting and automatic convenience. And downshifts are very satisfying with rev-matching. It's awesome!
  • I don't own an auto-transmission car - but then again I don't live in one of the traffic hellholes like NYC, Bay Area, SoCal, Boston, DC, etc.

    I love big cities to visit, but my preferred mode there is to leave the car behind.
Sign In or Register to comment.