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post #1 of 26 (permalink) Old 19-11-2007, 06:32 PM Thread Starter
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Fiat Ducato Automatic Transmission

Can somebody help me please with a simple question about the new Fiat Ducato automatic transmission due to be released shortly. All I want to know is whether it is in fact a true automatic as per the Mercedes system which allows hillstarts without roll backs or do hill starts still require the vehicle to be balanced with the handbrake? I have spoken to several dealers about this and have had opposing answers...does anybody know anybody who's driven the new Fiat automatic yet so I can get a conclusive answer?
Thanks.
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post #2 of 26 (permalink) Old 19-11-2007, 07:23 PM
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I have not seen or driven one but I am sure I read somewhere that it is not a true auto like the new merc but similar to the old merc sprintshift and Renault select shift systems. These are in fact more like a manual but with a system of actuators to work the clutch and gears for you. As you rightly say, this system will not hold you on a hill like a true auto.

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post #3 of 26 (permalink) Old 19-11-2007, 08:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trevorf
I have not seen or driven one but I am sure I read somewhere that it is not a true auto like the new merc but similar to the old merc sprintshift and Renault select shift systems. These are in fact more like a manual but with a system of actuators to work the clutch and gears for you. As you rightly say, this system will not hold you on a hill like a true auto.

Trevor
That's my understanding as well Trevor.

Unfortunately due to their high cost, high weight and high fuel consumption 'real' autoboxes with a torque converter are getting rarer and rarer. Manufacturers are trying to avoid the above issues by adding on an automatic clutch system to the manual gearbox. In most people's opinion the newcomers, in general, don't hold a candle to the 'real' auto as far as driveability is concerned.

Andy
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post #4 of 26 (permalink) Old 21-11-2007, 05:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trevorf
I have not seen or driven one but I am sure I read somewhere that it is not a true auto like the new merc but similar to the old merc sprintshift and Renault select shift systems. These are in fact more like a manual but with a system of actuators to work the clutch and gears for you. As you rightly say, this system will not hold you on a hill like a true auto.

Trevor
That's my understanding as well Trevor.

Unfortunately due to their high cost, high weight and high fuel consumption 'real' autoboxes with a torque converter are getting rarer and rarer. Manufacturers are trying to avoid the above issues by adding on an automatic clutch system to the manual gearbox. In most people's opinion the newcomers, in general, don't hold a candle to the 'real' auto as far as driveability is concerned.

Andy
I am inclined to agree with this statement but the important question not answered is.....

Assuming the above statement to be true are they still (much) better than a manual for those with dodgy knees etc?
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post #5 of 26 (permalink) Old 21-11-2007, 05:20 PM
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We have ordered one on our Rapido for delivery next year.

Whilst at Dusseldorf we were able to drive it, altho Duncan decided not to actually do the driving, we were concerned whether it felt jerky as it is NOT a true automatic. We have had a Smart car which has a similar type of auto-box, and he did NOT like this at all.... but the young guy who took us for the drive in the Fiat Auto Van, showed how there is a very slight jerk from 1st to 2nd, but nowhere near the Smart and was very smooth on changing through the other gears. Due to this test drive, we ordered it.

To be honest about the hill starts, it was and is flat around Dusseldorf Messe, and the route taken, so I can't answer this with certainty.... so best say nothing.... can you not email Fiat for a definitive answer

Carol

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post #6 of 26 (permalink) Old 21-11-2007, 05:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by djchapple
Quote:
Originally Posted by Steamdrivenandy
Quote:
Originally Posted by trevorf
I have not seen or driven one but I am sure I read somewhere that it is not a true auto like the new merc but similar to the old merc sprintshift and Renault select shift systems. These are in fact more like a manual but with a system of actuators to work the clutch and gears for you. As you rightly say, this system will not hold you on a hill like a true auto.

Trevor
That's my understanding as well Trevor.

Unfortunately due to their high cost, high weight and high fuel consumption 'real' autoboxes with a torque converter are getting rarer and rarer. Manufacturers are trying to avoid the above issues by adding on an automatic clutch system to the manual gearbox. In most people's opinion the newcomers, in general, don't hold a candle to the 'real' auto as far as driveability is concerned.

Andy
I am inclined to agree with this statement but the important question not answered is.....

Assuming the above statement to be true are they still (much) better than a manual for those with dodgy knees etc?
Speaking as someone with a dodgy that clicks each time I depress the clutch pedal it's possible it could be better than using a manual and aggravating a problem.

My knee only got bad after I started driving the manual tranny following 15 or more years of automatic cars.

My Christmas List, posted on the fridge, has a Bessie E560 with 160PS engine and autobox on the very top - there's a fat chance that Santa will oblige.

Andy
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post #7 of 26 (permalink) Old 21-11-2007, 06:30 PM
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I've driven nothing but auto cars for years, so I'm not looking forward to a manual motorhome. I'm interested in anything remotely automatic, but without the big cost, much bigger engine, overall van weight gain and inferior fuel consumption. So, assuming that this new Ducato jobby is much the same as the other pseudo-automatics which have been around awhile, I'm wondering how much of a compromise they are.

For example, do they adversely affect the normal manual clutch and gears in any way? If not, I'm thinking that if the Mickey-Mouse auto could be used for most driving, with manual operation still being available for dodgy situations, such as hill starts, it sounds like a good combination. This arrangement is also cheaper, presumably lighter and better on fuel. Apart from a bit of jerkiness here and there, it sounds better than just manual operation.

So, what am I missing, as these 'compromise' autos are not as common as the advantages would suggest?

Shaun
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post #8 of 26 (permalink) Old 21-11-2007, 06:42 PM
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Sean,

I have heard tell that some cars with these 'Mickey Mouse autoboxes are claimed to give noticeably better mpg (or is that kpl) than their manual equivalents.
Whether that was just PR puff or not I can't say.
Andy
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post #9 of 26 (permalink) Old 21-11-2007, 06:48 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you very much for all your helpful replies. I think what amazed me the most was that I emailed this question last week to 4 Fiat MH dealers..one dealer replied to say that it would act just like the auto transmission on the new Mercedes Sprinter, 2 dealers didn't bother replying and only 1 dealer..Rex Kneebone of Murvi came back to me with the correct reply which was corroborated when I finally managed to get a response from a Fiat commercial dealer. Anybody interested in all the new features of the new Ducato and its various options can download up to date PDF files from this link and clicking 'brochure' then choose 'motorhome' http://www.fiatprofessional.co.uk/cg...CV_UK/home.jsp
Although the newComfort-Matic transmission is mentioned in the brochure and how it incorporates the new 'Heavy Load' and 'UP' systems it does not mention anything about how the transmission works with hill starts.
However, in the separate 'Ducato' brochure under 'Options' there is the following comment: "Preventative safety is also class beating, with dual-circuit braking, discs all round, ABS and EBD. You can also
choose optional ESP, which keeps the Ducato securely on course in critical situations, such as when you have to manoeuvre suddenly to avoid trouble. The system includes Hill-holder, HBA and LAC, a system that
continually adjusts and optimises the ABS, ASR and ESP functions."

So it seems that however sophisticated Fiat's new robotised automatic transmission is, it in no way compares with the full torque convertor automatic transmission on the Mercedes Sprinter.
Unfortunately choosing the Merc chassis option for my new Morello will cost me £14K extra with all the upgrades I need...over the Ducato price. As much as I love the relaxing experience of driving my Mercedes car with full auto I'm just not prepared to pay this exhorbitant extra cost on my new MH.... so the Fiat Comfort-Matic with Hill Holder its is.
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post #10 of 26 (permalink) Old 21-11-2007, 06:54 PM
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Hello

Has been covered a few times including here >>>Click Here<<<

I think they have named it "ComfortMatic" same thing as Agile, SprintShift, ShiftMatic, QuickShift etc.

Hope this helps, if you need any further please ask.

Trev.
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