AS Kingham - Manual Or Comfortmatic ? - Motorhome Forums, Motorhome Discussion, Motorhome Chat

User Tag List

LinkBack Thread Tools
post #1 of 72 (permalink) Old 14-08-2016, 18:15 Thread Starter
Senior Member
Blizzard's Avatar
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: County Durham
Posts: 1,201
Thanks: 31
Thanked 38 Times in 36 Posts
AS Kingham - Manual Or Comfortmatic ?

Planning ahead to my April 2017 retirement, in a couple of months I'm hoping to be placing an order for a new Auto Sleeper Kingham (Panel Van Conversion) which is based on the Peugeot Boxer and comes as standard with the 2.2 litre 150bhp engine and 6 speed manual gearbox.

I am tempted to opt for the Fiat Ducato 130bhp variant, with Comfortmatic "auto" gear box for those longer trips.

I know the auto box is a robotic manual, rather than being a true auto, but that aside what are your thoughts on the pros and cons of each option ?


2005 Bailey Senator Wyoming - 2009 Bessacarr E769 - 2012 Swift Bolero 712SB - 2017 Auto-Sleeper Kingham (On Order)
Blizzard is offline  
Sponsored Links
post #2 of 72 (permalink) Old 14-08-2016, 19:07
Senior Member
Mrplodd's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Weymouth
My Motorhome: A Caravan of all things !!
Posts: 9,448
Thanks: 117
Thanked 535 Times in 456 Posts
I ran a Merc Sprintshift for a few years, (same technology) It IS a very relaxing drive BUT you do need to remember that if you just hold it on a hill with the throttle you are slipping the clutch exactly the same as a manual and that gets VERY expensive VERY quickly. (All that heat very quickly knackers Dual Mass Flywheels)

Plus ask yourself how much driving you will actually be doing in heavy traffic/towns where there will be a need to be constantly changing gear?? A long continental trip will probably be spent mostly in top gear anyway, so no real advantage to a Comfortmatic in those circumstances

I didnt have any troubles with mine but I know others did. The Comfortmatic is a very complex system and there is a lot to go wrong. Having said that any vehicle will come with 3 years worth of warranty.

Its very much a judgement call on what will suit you.

Dont rush it as the Comfortmatic option adds a fair bit to the bottom line.

Blizzard and Blizzard like this.

Its not the destination that matters.

It's who you share the journey with (even if like me, its in a caravan!)
I am very fortunate to have Mrs Plodd to share mine with
Mrplodd is offline  
post #3 of 72 (permalink) Old 14-08-2016, 19:31
Senior Member
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Kent
My Motorhome: Chausson Welcome 630
Posts: 1,524
Thanks: 21
Thanked 42 Times in 35 Posts
Comfortmatic anytime. I've had three and never any bother. As Andy said you cannot hurry the gear changes but soon adapt to that. You also avoid the dreaded 'judder' with the smaller Fiat/Peugeot engines with the Comfortmatic box for some reason. As for holding it on hills, with ASR you only have to hold it on the footbrake instead and it will give you time to get on the accelerator before releasing the brake, so no problems there.

Blizzard, Blizzard, DBSS and 1 others like this.
ob1 is offline  
post #4 of 72 (permalink) Old 14-08-2016, 20:14
Senior Member
Join Date: May 2012
Location: Liverpoool
Posts: 679
Thanks: 11
Thanked 52 Times in 45 Posts
When I bought mine I opted for the comfortmatic. I had never driven one and thought it would be like a normal Auto. When I drove out of the showroom I was gutted. I hated it Thought it was a bad mistake. But once I got used to it not being a normal Auto. After about 100 miles. I decided. I loved it. Now I would not even consider going back to a manual.

The one thing you have to learn to live with is when you pull away in first gear, you are never going to win any drag races. It is VERY SLOW at pulling away and you have to take this into account. But if I was getting a new motorhome I would put this on the top of my list of must haves.

Have a test drive first. Unlike I did
ob1, ob1, Blizzard and 1 others like this.
Revise is offline  
post #5 of 72 (permalink) Old 14-08-2016, 21:17
Senior Member
Stanner's Avatar
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Cambs
Posts: 11,521
Thanks: 5
Thanked 85 Times in 79 Posts
I have twice had the similar Quikshift box on Renault Masters and there is just one situation when the box can be a real PITA that is when you need to use levelling ramps.
You need a very delicate right foot and judicious left foot braking to get into the right position on the ramps, this is particularly so if the ramps are being used on any loose surface that allows them to move or squirm about.

That said that is just about the only time I've ever even slightly regretted have that box.

Renault also has the advantage of only charging half as much extra for the auto box as Fiat do.
Blizzard and Blizzard like this.
Stanner is offline  
post #6 of 72 (permalink) Old 15-08-2016, 01:22
Senior Member
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: Cheshire
My Motorhome: Burstner Elegance 890i
Posts: 242
Thanks: 12
Thanked 14 Times in 14 Posts
I was a 'manual' guy everytime and wouldn't hear of anything else.....but the deal was so tempting when I bought the 890i I decided I would give the Comfortmatic a chance and tbh am so glad I did. The days of constant gear changing in towns etc are a thing of the past and cruise on the autobahn, peage etc are bliss. Even improved my fuel economy, as on my last trip down to Italy I actually managed 30.4mpg cruising at 58mph.
The only drawback I can find with the auto box is you need to have a delicate right foot when manoeuvring into tight spots and asking to move just a couple of inches..

Fully converted now..!!

Blizzard and Blizzard like this.
DBSS is offline  
post #7 of 72 (permalink) Old 15-08-2016, 05:50 Thread Starter
Senior Member
Blizzard's Avatar
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: County Durham
Posts: 1,201
Thanks: 31
Thanked 38 Times in 36 Posts
Cheers Gents, it's looking like Comfortmatic is the way forward for someone who is a fairly recent convert to Automatics.

I've always enjoyed 'proper' driving, with manual gearboxes, both at work and home, but I suppose that over the last few years with work moving away from manual gearboxes, that I've got used to 'lazy, but comfortable' driving.

Our fleet largely consists of BMWs with 8 speed autos, which are so smooth, even when driven hard, boosted by a few Audi autos, but my favourite car for the Autumn years of my career has to be my LR Discovery. Not many of my colleagues like driving it as it's slow and doesn't handle so well at speed, but suits me down to the ground.

I can't imagine the Comfortmatic being anywhere near as smooth as the BMW and common sense dictates a test drive before the final decision.


2005 Bailey Senator Wyoming - 2009 Bessacarr E769 - 2012 Swift Bolero 712SB - 2017 Auto-Sleeper Kingham (On Order)
Blizzard is offline  
post #8 of 72 (permalink) Old 15-08-2016, 07:57
Senior Member
Pudsey_Bear's Avatar
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Keighley, Still in Gods County.
My Motorhome: 2002 Bessacarr E745.
Posts: 37,627
Thanks: 1,539
Thanked 973 Times in 913 Posts
Send a message via AIM to Pudsey_Bear Send a message via Yahoo to Pudsey_Bear
I love proper auto slush boxes, I've tried the various other types of automated manuals and don't like them, don't see the point of them really, I'd either go full manual or full auto, full auto is the more reliable and more understood in small garages which is where it'd end up one day, used prices may not be that good either as most will not understand them, more parts to go wrong too.

Unless I had a need for a clutchless gear change I would stick with the devil you know, the most common for a reason.

Just my opinion, it's further reduces buying choice too, as it'll probably have to be a new van, with all the losses associated with that, which will include having to fault find everything the factory didn't bother with, and also the cost of all the toys you are used to having.

We will never be able to afford a new van, but have discussed more than once what we'd get, and a 5 year old van with low miles and all the toys would be our target regardless of wallet size.

I hope all the contradictions don't spoil your enjoyment of picking your next van.
Blizzard and Blizzard like this.
Pudsey_Bear is offline  
post #9 of 72 (permalink) Old 15-08-2016, 10:34
Senior Member
Dill's Avatar
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Wakefield
My Motorhome: Burstner Elegance
Posts: 440
Thanks: 0
Thanked 11 Times in 11 Posts
I have always insisted on a manual box until I drove a Comfortmatic. I don't think I would go back to manual now.

Blizzard and Blizzard like this.

If you want to annoy me, send me money.
Dill is offline  
post #10 of 72 (permalink) Old 15-08-2016, 10:48
Senior Member
greygit's Avatar
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 5,287
Thanks: 14
Thanked 77 Times in 75 Posts
We have just bought our first auto car and we wish we had done it years ago, I know it's a car and not a van but believe me if you have the chance to try both do it as I am sure you will go for the "Autoish" one.
Blizzard and Blizzard like this.

As I'm a dyslexic and I've had two stokes you are going to see spelling/grammar mistakes, so please don't act superior and point them out!

The reward for conformity is that everyone likes you but yourself. Rita Mae Brown.
greygit is offline  

Quick Reply

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the Motorhome Forums, Motorhome Discussion, Motorhome Chat forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:


Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome