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      01-13-2011, 08:47 AM   #1
SHEEDI
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2009 BMW 335i  [4.67]
Automatic M3 or Manual M3

Hi All M3 Owners,
currently i own 2003 Z4,looking forward to buy M3, i am not sure what to buy,,Stick shift(manual) or automatic M3? how much is the difference in performance, what other things i should look out for? please help me. i will be buying year between 2008 to 2009.

Thanks in advance
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      01-13-2011, 08:50 AM   #2
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1) Its not an automatic, do some research because the lack of a torque converter will change the operations of the transmission considerably. The complexity of the transmission, whether you like it or prefer a MT, should not be underestimated or pushed under the rug. It deserves more appreciation than that.

2) Try the button, because there are about 100 threads with 1000s views and input on this subject that should give you more insight, though test driving one is the only way to know which one is right for you.

Cheers,
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      01-13-2011, 08:51 AM   #3
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Not to be a smartass (well, maybe a little), but there is not an automatic offered in the M3.
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      01-13-2011, 08:59 AM   #4
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well on BMW site it says automatic, please take a look at the link,i know Ms should not be automatic, doesnt make any sense

http://www.bmwusa.com/standard/conte...fmJUzz4yYtqk4H
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      01-13-2011, 09:13 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Soomro View Post
well on BMW site it says automatic, please take a look at the link,i know Ms should not be automatic, doesnt make any sense

http://www.bmwusa.com/standard/conte...fmJUzz4yYtqk4H
All that shows is the search options. As stated before, there is no automatic M3.
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      01-13-2011, 09:14 AM   #6
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some people get sensitive on whether or not the DCT should be called an auto, a manual auto, an auto manual, or just DCT...

the only way to know is to test drive... good luck !
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      01-13-2011, 09:19 AM   #7
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Its quite funny, but people here are pretty sensitive about their DCTs being called automatics. Just say "DCT or 6MT?", leave out the word "automatic" and you'll get a much better response to your question! That is... if you don't get flamed for starting a topic that has been covered about a million times already.
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      01-13-2011, 09:22 AM   #8
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I knew there'd be some AR comments on the "automatic" before I even opened the thread. HAHA.

As stated above, go drive it. Decide for yourself. A 2008 or 2009 DCT (automatic) may require a software update to get the best performance. So drive a 2010 or 2011 to get the best idea of how you will like it.
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      01-13-2011, 10:05 AM   #9
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You cant go wrong with either, Its personal preference.

Go and test drive both and make your decision.
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      01-13-2011, 10:05 AM   #10
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I think its rubbish that people deny a DCT is not an "automatic" It is not the SAME automatic in years past and is not what most have come to learn is an automatic but technology will improve and just because the TC has been replaced with two clutches and the right software, it is still an "automatic function" transmission-which 99 percent of people would agree that 95 percent of the great things about an auto are still present in the DCT-including not using your feet, not having to shift gears and put it in D mode and get a smooth ride.

Now these cannot be said about an SMG which I would argue would be harder to call an automatic equivelent as it didnt provide comparable function to a true auto.

However to me if you dont use your feet and dont have to shift to drive the car very well or faster, than its an automatic.

You could get anal and say current modern true manual boxes are not TRUE manuals as you have all sorts of computer gadgets helping you with roll-back/hill control, clutch feel, shifting feel-its not "all manual" like it was in a 65 chevy
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      01-13-2011, 10:25 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by M14 View Post
Not to be a smartass (well, maybe a little), but there is not an automatic offered in the M3.
Gimme a break Mr. Bureaucrat. If you want to bust balls, it should be for not searching the 10,000 treads dedicated to this debate, not symantics.
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      01-13-2011, 10:37 AM   #12
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When I was going to the dealer for a test drive, I was determined that I'd get a manual. My first test drive, due to lack of M3s at that time was with a DCT M3. I ended up ordering one. It is THAT good. This is coming from a guy hated himself to buy an automatic Z4 roadster, then traded for a manual (there wasn't any auto anyways) Z4 M Coupe.

Don't get me wrong, I still love manuals. But for this occasion, I wanted to have DCT.

At the end, you need to test drive the DCT to understand what it can do.
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      01-13-2011, 10:54 AM   #13
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I used to be a manual only person, my last 4 cars were manuals and I never thought I could give them up. Then I drove a DCT M3 and it change my opinion forever. Maybe it's just the soft squishy nature of the BMW clutch/transmissions, but IMO the DCT is the only option for a M3 these days. It's faster and arguably more fun, although some will disagree, and I can understand that, some things about a manual transmission you do miss in a DCT, but the benefits outweigh the costs.

There's a reason all of the sports cars in the world are using DCT's/Paddle shifters or whatever you want to call it. They are the fastest and best transmissions, no debate about that. If its good enough for F1, its good enough for me

And yeah, I like to put it in D mode (automatic) and just drive sometimes and not worry about shifting. I'm sure at one point in the life of a MT owners life they wished they could do the same

Is it an automatic transmission, if by automatic, will it shift for you always. then No, you can bounce that gear off the red line if you wanted to all day. If by automatic does it mean you don't have a clutch, then No, it has two You just don't have to use it yourself. If by automatic does it mean it "can" shift for you, then yes, it has that option if you desire. I could care less what other people think, from a technical point of view its a better transmissions hands down and that's why I bought it.
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      01-13-2011, 11:10 AM   #14
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lol at the DCT owners getting sensitive. Automatic is not a bad word! If it automatically shifts for you then most people call that an automatic! Automatic is simply refering to the fact that the computer will automatically shift for you if you want it to.

But anyway...just search like others have stated. No one can tell you if you should buy an automatic or manual, its a personal preference for each individual.
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      01-13-2011, 11:12 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kurohouou View Post
I used to be a manual only person, my last 4 cars were manuals and I never thought I could give them up. Then I drove a DCT M3 and it change my opinion forever. Maybe it's just the soft squishy nature of the BMW clutch/transmissions, but IMO the DCT is the only option for a M3 these days. It's faster and arguably more fun, although some will disagree, and I can understand that, some things about a manual transmission you do miss in a DCT, but the benefits outweigh the costs.

There's a reason all of the sports cars in the world are using DCT's/Paddle shifters or whatever you want to call it. They are the fastest and best transmissions, no debate about that. If its good enough for F1, its good enough for me

And yeah, I like to put it in D mode (automatic) and just drive sometimes and not worry about shifting. I'm sure at one point in the life of a MT owners life they wished they could do the same

Is it an automatic transmission, if by automatic, will it shift for you always. then No, you can bounce that gear off the red line if you wanted to all day. If by automatic does it mean you don't have a clutch, then No, it has two You just don't have to use it yourself. If by automatic does it mean it "can" shift for you, then yes, it has that option if you desire. I could care less what other people think, from a technical point of view its a better transmissions hands down and that's why I bought it.
And just for comparison I put no value whatsoever in all of the things listed in this post !!! so I say manual all the way.
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      01-13-2011, 11:54 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken37.73 View Post
And just for comparison I put no value whatsoever in all of the things listed in this post !!! so I say manual all the way.

Haha, fair enough

This debate will never officially end, DCT's are faster at the track. But in the end, it really depends on the drivers preference since you will be driving it 99% of the time on the street. Drive both and pick which one you like.
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      01-13-2011, 12:32 PM   #17
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Well, for starters, what type of transmission do you have in your Z4?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Soomro View Post
Hi All M3 Owners,
currently i own 2003 Z4,looking forward to buy M3, i am not sure what to buy,,Stick shift(manual) or automatic M3? how much is the difference in performance, what other things i should look out for? please help me. i will be buying year between 2008 to 2009.

Thanks in advance
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      01-13-2011, 12:35 PM   #18
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I love the manual it is fun. I know that I can't shift as fast as DCT, but I found it more fun.
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      01-13-2011, 02:12 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 5erman View Post
I think its rubbish that people deny a DCT is not an "automatic" It is not the SAME automatic in years past and is not what most have come to learn is an automatic but technology will improve and just because the TC has been replaced with two clutches and the right software, it is still an "automatic function" transmission-which 99 percent of people would agree that 95 percent of the great things about an auto are still present in the DCT-including not using your feet, not having to shift gears and put it in D mode and get a smooth ride.
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      01-13-2011, 02:18 PM   #20
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Agreed. The DCT is no less automatic than the Steptronic. Just sounds like people are fishing for acknowledgment, and need to get over it.

With that being said, OP simply needs to test drive both. You can't go wrong with either choice. Just remember that it's not exactly the cheapest option for the car.
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      01-13-2011, 02:36 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Soomro View Post
well on BMW site it says automatic, please take a look at the link,i know Ms should not be automatic, doesnt make any sense

http://www.bmwusa.com/standard/conte...fmJUzz4yYtqk4H
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      01-13-2011, 02:43 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 5erman View Post
Now these cannot be said about an SMG which I would argue would be harder to call an automatic equivelent as it didnt provide comparable function to a true auto.
Not to mention the SMG is the same goddamn gearbox as the manual and can be converted to a 6MT. But I disagree with your logic as in auto mode it operates identical to an automatic, just not nearly as smooth as modern slushboxes. Putting it in "auto" isn't so conventional either as the typical P to D from a center console lever.
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