POLL: Which is better - Automatic or Manual Transmission [Gearbox]? - Mercedes Benz SLK Forum

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View Poll Results: Which do you prefer in an SLK - Automatic or Manual Transmission [Gearbox]?
Automatic Gearbox [transmission] 38 82.61%
Manual Gearbox [transmission] 8 17.39%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 46. You may not vote on this poll

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#1 Old 1 Week Ago
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POLL: Which is better - Automatic or Manual Transmission [Gearbox]?

I recently bought an SLK R171 for my wife.
She wouldn't have anything but Auto gearbox.
Ironically I drive it more than she does.
Although I have been happy to buy and drive cars with automatic gearboxes for 20+ years, I can't help but wonder if I am missing out by not having bought an SLK with a manual gearbox.

Maybe Europeans [inc UK] prefer manual, and Americans prefer Automatics?

What do you think?
Specifically in the SLK, and putting aside any technical issues, do you prefer auto or manual gearbox [transmission]?

Thanks

If you haven't contributed, I also have a couple of other POLLS running:
Which model do you prefer - R170 / R171 / R172 ?
R170, R171, or R172
Which colour do you prefer for your SLK ?
POLL: What is best paint color [ colour]

Last edited by SLK-350; 1 Week Ago at 09:58 AM.
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#2 Old 1 Week Ago
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On balance, for every day use, I am happy with my Automatic gearbox.
I fear that with a manual gearbox I'd drive faster!
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South coast should mean that the Kent or Cotswold meets are within range.
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#4 Old 1 Week Ago
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Auto gearboxes all the way for me. I drove manual cars up until 6-7 years ago when I had some ankle problems and losing the clutch pedal was brilliant. Even though I am not so troubled now I will still choose automatic.
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Should be a "both" selection since I have one of each. 170-clone has a six speed and 171 a 7 speed. First is better for autocrossing and other for parades Coupe is 250 lbs lighter than the retractible & has something to do with it..
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Since there is no automatic answer, I will attempt to manually add my opinion. Of course my opinion shifts from time to time,so my answers could be polar opposites depending on how I'm geared at the moment.
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Agree with Tim. I would prefer a manual (my beater Civic is a 5-speed) but for the amount of cars on the road here, auto is pretty well a necessity.

Lesser traffic, I tend to like jack-rabbit starts so would prefer the stick. I like to drive my car, not go along for the ride

Open road driving is 6-of-1 half dozen of the other.

I've also got paddles but really don't like using them as I'm soooo conditioned to punching the clutch, I just have a hard time coordinating paddle shifts.

Gotta shove my foot down and when there's nothing to push down on, throws my timing off
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auto - I'm now too lazy
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As 50% of my driving time is in traffic around London, auto wins every time. I would not go back to a manual now unless in a track car. Flappy paddles kind of give your the best of both worlds though.
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Hi,
On the whole I prefer an automatic because as others have mentioned most of my driving involves queuing at some point in the journey. On the negative side, some of the modern 7 speed plus automatic gearboxes seem to shift up and down gears too often. I actually prefer the 3 speed auto in my Toyota Hilux best of all, but it's not built for performance .
There are sometimes when I would prefer a manual as I think you get more of feel for the performance of the engine with a manual gearbox.


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Quote:
Originally Posted by Padgett View Post
Should be a "both" selection since I have one of each. 170-clone has a six speed and 171 a 7 speed. First is better for autocrossing and other for parades Coupe is 250 lbs lighter than the retractible & has something to do with it..


I did consider a "BOTH" option, but decided to configure the POLL to permit multiple choice, so one can select Automatic AND Manual, but it is not clear that multiple choice is an option. Sorry.
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Easy ... Auto with paddles.
Best of both worlds


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Had a 171 in manual and it was great for track and twisty country roads but not so good for town driving. My 172 is auto which I love and am getting used to. For comfort I suppose the auto, for messing about definitely manual.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mike350 View Post
Easy ... Auto with paddles.
Best of both worlds
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I have played with the paddle gear shifts behind steering wheel but I didnít like them.
If memory serves me right, when I am firmly holding onto steering wheel I can only comfortably reach the up-shifts.
If I want to down-shift, I have to change my grip and it feels like I am compromising my grip on the steering wheel.
I am contemplating rewiring the paddles, so outer switch on right is up-shift, and outer switch on left is down-shift.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SLK-350 View Post
I have played with the paddle gear shifts behind steering wheel but I didnít like them.
If memory serves me right, when I am firmly holding onto steering wheel I can only comfortably reach the up-shifts.
If I want to down-shift, I have to change my grip and it feels like I am compromising my grip on the steering wheel.
I am contemplating rewiring the paddles, so outer switch on right is up-shift, and outer switch on left is down-shift.
Have a look at this,paddles are easy or tap the drive selector
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SLK-350 View Post
I have played with the paddle gear shifts behind steering wheel but I didnít like them.
If memory serves me right, when I am firmly holding onto steering wheel I can only comfortably reach the up-shifts.
If I want to down-shift, I have to change my grip and it feels like I am compromising my grip on the steering wheel.
I am contemplating rewiring the paddles, so outer switch on right is up-shift, and outer switch on left is down-shift.


Or... change the switch units to proper paddles that are on your fingertips (up on the right, down on the left). Search the site and you'll find a few answers on how to do this.
It's a fairly easy upgrade and well worth it.


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I suggest you indeed upgrade to extensions on your paddles. This past weekend, using the extended paddles was so much more fun passing and generating speed very quickly.

I added extensions to mine making it very easy to use especially if your steering wheel grip is typically the 10-2 o'clock.

Extensions are pretty cheap for the R172s and you can find these on EBay or Alibaba for as low as $20.....



Quote:
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mike350 View Post
Easy ... Auto with paddles.
Best of both worlds
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I have played with the paddle gear shifts behind steering wheel but I didn?t like them.
If memory serves me right, when I am firmly holding onto steering wheel I can only comfortably reach the up-shifts.
If I want to down-shift, I have to change my grip and it feels like I am compromising my grip on the steering wheel.
I am contemplating rewiring the paddles, so outer switch on right is up-shift, and outer switch on left is down-shift.
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#18 Old 1 Week Ago
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Which is better: manual or automatic?

It's kind of like asking what is your favorite ice cream, chocolate or vanilla? I like both. Manual transmission has it's fun, but automatic is also fun, especially with paddle shifters. My wife's lexus has paddles and it's a blast. I wish my SLK (2006) had paddles.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gary Wolfe View Post
It's kind of like asking what is your favorite ice cream, chocolate or vanilla? I like both. Manual transmission has it's fun, but automatic is also fun, especially with paddle shifters. My wife's lexus has paddles and it's a blast. I wish my SLK (2006) had paddles.
As long as you have the 7 speed box, you can always add the paddle shift. See my post on this (there are others as well if you search).
Retro-fit gear shift buttons onto steering wheel


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Quote:
Originally Posted by b82012 View Post
I suggest you indeed upgrade to extensions on your paddles. This past weekend, using the extended paddles was so much more fun passing and generating speed very quickly.

I added extensions to mine making it very easy to use especially if your steering wheel grip is typically the 10-2 o'clock.

Extensions are pretty cheap for the R172s and you can find these on EBay or Alibaba for as low as $20.....
Thanks for info.
I have R171 and I believe that the paddle extensions wouldn't be suitable as the gear change rocker switches run horizontally on steering wheel rather than vertically, and both rocker switches incorporate up and down shift. I'll have a search later to see what others have done.
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