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      08-19-2015, 11:15 AM   #1
SWOT1
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New appreciation for our amazing DCT (vs. Mercedes GLA)

So we all know the DCT in our M's kicks ass (with the exception of the occasional clanky 1st gear), but having just purchased a Mercedes GLA as a companion to the E93 M3, let me tell you... OMG, the 7-speed DCT in the BMW is BRILLIANT! Fast, intuitive, smooth... gears 2-7 are simply a massive joy to work up and down at nearly any speed! In contrast, The 7-speed DCT in the Mercedes, albeit, their "entry-level" DCT, is horrendously slow, jerky, non-intuitive... horrible!! Thank god there is a Sport Mode to make matters a little better, and paddle shifters to handle the changes manually, which still only slightly improve shifts... still slow! (The GLA does handle well and I love the design and MPG.) As much as I've always loved my M, it is such a pleasure to get behind the wheel now, more than ever... Once rolling out of 1st gear, I'd put our DCT against nearly any other tranny for shear joy and execution. Your thoughts?
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Last edited by SWOT1; 08-19-2015 at 11:36 AM.
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      08-19-2015, 11:17 AM   #2
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Does the GLA use a a true dual clutch system? I ask b/c I am entirely ignorant to that segment of MB cars.

On another note, I REALLY like your tennis plate. Wimbledon was epic this year.

Last edited by buddalun; 08-19-2015 at 11:24 AM.
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      08-19-2015, 11:22 AM   #3
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Yes, it's a true 7-speed DCT, but it sure doesn't shift like it... I've heard it's probably software issues that can be improved upon, but absolutely horrible compared to the M3 DCT!

(and thanks for the plate love!)
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      08-19-2015, 01:40 PM   #4
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I almost didn't buy this car b/c it was a DCT! I was a strict manual guy but it was a good deal so I bought it. Now I wouldn't trade for anything. I still shift it manually around town, but on the highway it does a great job in auto. Then there is manual with the paddles in the twisties! Yep, I love it...
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      08-19-2015, 01:50 PM   #5
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a real dct in a gla? i find that hard to believe but okay
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      08-19-2015, 02:13 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wildwestm3 View Post
I almost didn't buy this car b/c it was a DCT! I was a strict manual guy but it was a good deal so I bought it. Now I wouldn't trade for anything. I still shift it manually around town, but on the highway it does a great job in auto. Then there is manual with the paddles in the twisties! Yep, I love it...
Same here, been a manual guy since start. Went from manual 550i targeting a MT M3 for sure. Ended up with DCT due to condition, mileage etc. Couldn't be happier, what a technology jewel it is!
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      08-19-2015, 02:34 PM   #7
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I didn't even include DCT cars in my search criteria, good deal or not. I drove both and while the DCT is great for what it is, I still have no interest in it. Don't care how fast it shifts, fractions of a second don't matter to me on the street. Might be a different story if I was looking for all out track performance though. Nothing can replace the connected feeling you get when rowing through gears the old fashioned way IMO. You guys who are saying you were die hard manual fans, I don't believe you. Driving a DCT M3 did nothing to sway me. I am a die hard manual fan.
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      08-19-2015, 04:24 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Iyzmi View Post
I didn't even include DCT cars in my search criteria, good deal or not. I drove both and while the DCT is great for what it is, I still have no interest in it. Don't care how fast it shifts, fractions of a second don't matter to me on the street. Might be a different story if I was looking for all out track performance though. Nothing can replace the connected feeling you get when rowing through gears the old fashioned way IMO. You guys who are saying you were die hard manual fans, I don't believe you. Driving a DCT M3 did nothing to sway me. I am a die hard manual fan.
Me too. I respect the DCT for what it is, but have no interest in having a computer shift for me or losing the feel of physically moving cogs in the transmission.
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      08-19-2015, 04:49 PM   #9
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A lot of GLA/CLA45 reviews have also indicated that the programming isn't that great. Common complaint was delayed shifting when using the paddles in manual mode. I'm wondering if some software updates are forthcoming.

Having driven a variety of cars that all use the same transmissions yet feel very different (the ubiquitous ZF 8-speed comes to mind), I'm thoroughly convinced that 95% of the time, it comes down to the programming. I don't know if the OEMs do this entirely in-house or if it's in collaboration with the transmission supplier, however.

My B8 S4, for example, had a very smooth and responsive S-tronic (DSG), yet it infuriated me how the programming was set to shift at redline...even in full manual mode! And while in manual mode, if I went to WOT, the car would downshift. Audi's programming also has the car immediately engage first gear as soon as you took your foot off the brake and start to roll forward, more like a traditional automatic.

I really do think that the BMW programming is excellent versus others'.
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      08-19-2015, 04:54 PM   #10
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Read today that the manual is gone in new Audi R8s... another one bites the dust. As popular as the 6MT is here, I am always surprised how few higher-end sports cars are offering them. Makes good sense to have a manual in a weekend toy... unless you're in someplace like LA. Audi claims only 3% of R8 orders were manual trans for the last year. WTF? 3%???
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      08-19-2015, 05:26 PM   #11
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You are also comparing a 'regular' MB car with a M car though and not AMG vs M. I believe the GLA AMG has the same transmission but I am sure the AMG mapping, tune and upgrades certainly make the shifting a completely different experience than a 'regular' GLA. That being said, I am coming from a 2011 C63 to my E92 M3 and the DCT is MILES ahead of what I had in the C63. Granted that is before the MCT transmission they introduce in the 2012+ C63's but I would be surprised if even MCT comes close to the DCT's in our M's.
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      08-21-2015, 11:51 AM   #12
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I hear you barking about some of the 1st gear clunkiness that is present with the DCT as it comes from the factory. Have you driven an M3 that has been flashed with an upgraded shift program?

No affiliation with BPM but I have purchased both their software upgrades for the engine and DCT and the improvement in overall driveability was impressive.

Find someone local to you if you are skeptical and go for a drive. The M3 should have come from the factory feeling this way. Definitely one of the best mods I have added to my 2011 M3.
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      08-21-2015, 12:55 PM   #13
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I love the lower speed deceleration "clunkiness" of the M3 DCT. Everything about it is a work of art. Other dual clutch transmissions I have driven are engineered for the interface with the driver to feel like an automatic (think Porsche PDK) which is pretty boring in comparison. The M3 DCT is similar in interface/feel although shifts a lot faster than the Ferrari single clutch in the F430. Probably shifts as quick as the unit in the 458.
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      08-21-2015, 01:28 PM   #14
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I don't understand why Benz doesn't make better transmissions. They have the resources.
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      08-21-2015, 02:57 PM   #15
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I don't understand why Benz doesn't make better transmissions. They have the resources.
Because the majority of their target market doesn't care.
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      08-21-2015, 03:19 PM   #16
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6MT remains the superior option for our car. First on reliability undeniably 6MT it is far ahead dct. Search the forum over 7 years, there is so much material on dct quirks and reliability issues to build a library. I wont' go into it.

Second, on keeping the car fun to drive years after years, involvment with the 6MT makes a difference especially with the S65 crazy wide 8400 RPM band. There are plenty of stories of dct owners who after a few years got bored, sold then a few years later came back in a 6MT and absolutely loved it ! Never the other way round.

But then again there are plenty of automatic guys who never learned to drive shift so dct is a necessity for them.

6MT FTW
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