Automatic MH

Discussion in 'Motorhome Chat' started by Biggles, Nov 22, 2013.

  1. Biggles

    Biggles Funster

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    I've been to look at an automatic MH today 180hp 3l Fiat.

    What should I be aware of. The salesman seems very keen on pushing it my way and I have to say it does it all other ways tick the boxes.

    Advice please.
     
  2. DavidG58

    DavidG58 Funster

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    For me auto every time

    I find the Fiat seat position cramped compared to my Mercedes, I am sure the seats are much closer together, once in though much the same

    But I am of a generous frame size!! that may be the problem

    David
     
  3. kickstart

    kickstart Funster

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    Couldn't imagine going back to manual now,good luck.:Smile:
     
  4. Spottycatz

    Spottycatz

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    I've got the Fiat Ducato Auto 160 and just done 3,500 miles+ round Europe in it. Hills, mountains, motorways, bouncy tracks and still got 27 mpg. Not bad for 3.0L engine either.
    Love the auto. :thumb:
     
  5. makems

    makems Funster Life Member

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    If you are used to proper automatics like the Merc you will find the Fiat takes a little getting used to. We had a Merc auto before and now have the Fiat comfortmatic
    The comfortmatic can't be trickled slowly as you manouvre on a slope (especially in reverse) without getting a loud warning that you are burning the clutch (your nose will tell you that anyway)
    You will also find it rolls back on hill starts which the Merc wouldn't do.
    In normal driving the comfortmatic is good enough and smooth enough and economical enough. How long ours will last before the clutch is b*ggered though heaven knows.
    Still wouldnt have a manual though!
     
  6. Biggles

    Biggles Funster

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    So you say clutch. Is it not a fluid flywheel type auto?

    Is it the same system my mum has on her Citroen Picasso?

    How many gears?

    We both drive auto cars and unless there was no option on any future car we buy we wouldn't go back either.
     
  7. TheCaller

    TheCaller Funster

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    Yep - automated clutch, assuming it's a Comfortmatic. If you are used to conventional torque converter automatics, you should probably go for an extended test drive. They feel very different. No clutch pedal, but the feel of the gearchange is just like a manual. It automates the 'foot off throttle - change gear - accelerate again' manual change rather than the 'ease off a touch - slip into next gear, let the torque converter drag the revs down' type auto that you will be used to.

    It's also quite a slow change. The engine must have a biggish flywheel - my 2.3 150 doesn't drop it's revs in a hurry, so because you are just sitting there waiting, rather than working the pedals yourself, it seems very slow. In reality, I don't think it's all that much slower than a relaxed manual change, but there is no option to rush it.

    Slow speed manoeuvring when not on level ground needs to be re-learnt whether you come from either a manual or TC auto background - you have to use brake & throttle & let it control the clutch slip that you would have done for yourself in a manual. I'm still mastering that one but only had to do it once in a confined space so far (& in reverse). You can't let the clutch take the strain as you would the torque converter or you'll kill it, just as you would kill a manual clutch if you did the same thing.

    On the other hand, you get (almost) all the advantages of a conventional auto with the fuel economy of a manual - maybe even more so because it encourages a more relaxed style - you can't hammer it as hard as you could an fully manual box.

    6 speed, same as the manual clutch version.

    I quite like it. It's growing on me as I learn how to get the best out of it. But it's no good expecting it to be the same - if you do that you will hate it.
     
  8. jhorsf

    jhorsf

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    You will love the comfortmatic its a great drive well worth the extra money
     
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  9. cranky

    cranky Funster

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    The salesman seems very keen on pushing it my way
    Really!!!! I find that hard to believe::bigsmile:
     
  10. Techno

    Techno Funster Life Member

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    I would not swap mine for anything. Arriving at the back of a traffic jam is just so much less stressful.
    We too did 3 thousand miles through France including the Ardeche this year.
    I'm carrying 4000kg of my 4250kg allowance and ignoring the trip computer info the actual mpg was 24.5mpg by brim to brim calculation which is pretty good considering the roads we used.
     
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  11. Biggles

    Biggles Funster

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    I saw what looked like a tiptronic option on the gear stick. It this in anyway usefull?
     
  12. Mel

    Mel Funster

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    I find it usefull but dont use it a lot sometimes i change up if i think its needed.
    There is also a switch on the dashboard that will old the lower gears longer if you require.

    Mel
     
  13. DavidG58

    DavidG58 Funster

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    Yes an excellent feature, but as I posted earlier mine is a Mercedes, I have no experience of Fiats

    Allows you to move up and down the gearbox when you want, rather that when 'the computer says yes', good when anticipating a hill up or down and particularly good for steep tracks on sites where you want to hold a gear

    David
     
  14. Techno

    Techno Funster Life Member

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    The Fiat has a manual mode selection that allows you to dictate the gear.
    In practice I have found no need for this as the computer is damn good!
    There is also a switch for heavy loads and steep hills that makes faster changes for you.
     
  15. SteveandDenise

    SteveandDenise Funster

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    Auto

    So you took the plunge then when we last saw you it was touch and go hope you enjoy your new van.:Smile:
     
  16. old-mo

    old-mo Funster Extra Special Life Member

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    Done approx. two & half thousand miles in ours, since we got it..

    And well impressed with the Man/Auto box... I intend to use the manual side of things mostly..

    Gear lever is set in a superb place to just flick with one finger up and down the gears without taking hands off steering wheel...

    Good bit of kit... :thumb:
     
  17. makems

    makems Funster Life Member

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    Yes. Couldn't get planning permission for the extension to the bungalow we were gong to buy so pulled out of that deal and bought the new van instead!

    Still trying as described above to come to terms with the comfortmatic when manoeuvring in tight spaces. Because the new van is 9 metres a lot more spaces are tight than before:whatthe:
     
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