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NEW Berlingo but which, auto or manual
hey you guys, I'm sure many have seen my posts about me and my 63 plate Berlingo 90 over the last year and 3 months, well in that time I've added Cruise Control and not had any real issues in the 72,500mls I've done since getting the van, so we will be getting another one for sure, what are my options, quite like the 6 Speed auto's the lorry world is embracing the automatic gearbox in a work vehicle, maybe I need to do the same.. any one got the auto box? any issues?

the van does 64,000mls a year, on town and country roads and a very little bit of fast dual carriageway driving, will the auto gearbox cope,  we don't carry weight but the chiller van conversion is about 150KG
[Image: 3EFBC042-F259-4F62-B9F9-A74E2BAF1B62_zpssyqgs7fm.jpg]

what are your views? 
63 plate Berlingo working hard.....
I got mine in October - it's an XTR Multispace. I had no intention of getting an auto, but the fact it was about £400 extra, you save £100/year in road tax, get 6 gears instead of 5 and get cruise control thrown in for nothing made it a no-brainer.

I've never had an auto before. That may actually make me more suited to it - perhaps those who criticise it are used to traditional autos. It's generally very smooth. I've had the odd jerk from it, but I think that was the Stop-Start rather than the auto - if you accelerate while it's just in the process of stopping then it judders a bit. Other than that very rare event it's great.

It's a single-clutch with a normal gearbox, so to change gear it has to do what you do manually - open clutch, change gear, close clutch. This is quick but you do get a delay. It's probably faster than any driver could change gear manually, but in a manual you're busy during that time so you don't notice the pause as much.

I'd say its gearchanges are smoother than most drivers are. I could change gear smoother if I went out of my way to change smoothly, but it would take longer and wear the clutch more. It's a good compromise between speed and smoothness. It's much smoother than the other half's gearchanges (don't tell her I said that).

It's very clever at deciding what gear to use - it's not just a case of "this speed = that gear". If you're pushing uphill in a low gear then it will hold onto that gear for a long time, way beyond the speed at which it would have gone up a gear if you were pootling along on the level. I've also noticed that it blips the throttle to change down if I've been going up a steep hill and slowed to too low a speed for the current gear. I don't know about you, but I've never managed to train myself to do this manually, but it certainly makes it smoother and easier on the mechanicals.

The only very rare occasions I've used the paddles have been to knock it down a gear or two when going down a steep hill, just to save the brakes. I didn't actually need to - it would have been fine otherwise. In fact, I think I've detected it hanging onto a lower gear on its own when it is using engine braking.

You don't need to select M mode to use the paddles - I just use A mode and if I want to make the odd change then I can, and it just carries on after. It doesn't fight against you - it accepts that if you've used a paddle then that's the gear you want, until the revs change significantly.

You don't (as I wondered) need to release the throttle while it's changing gear. The computer actually controls the throttle, and the pedal is just a control that tells it what you'd like to do - it's a direct connection most of the time, but it controls it while it's changing gear.

I've always enjoyed driving - I was once a bit of a road-racer, but inevitably you mellow over the years. I'm completely converted to this now. I'm really really pleased with it, and I doubt I'll ever buy or drive a manual again.

I haven't had mine long enough to comment on reliability, but it should be just as strong as any other gearbox really. OK, there are the actuators to do the work, but I wouldn't worry about your pretty light load - I have relatives that weigh almost the same as your conversion.
Had one in the other day with the clutch worn out, , had done @ 85k miles , cost to change was about £900 with a new flywheel, just saying !
(19-02-2015, 09:33 PM)Lighty Wrote:  Had one in the other day with the clutch worn out, , had done @ 85k miles , cost to change was about £900 with a new flywheel, just saying !

mother had a focus manual that needed that @50,000 costing over £1000, that's all cars now days, manual or auto

I drive fairly well  smooth but fast, never worn a clutch out myself haha
63 plate Berlingo working hard.....
so anybody else have a view on these, good or bad?
63 plate Berlingo working hard.....
I've had two autos, and love them both. Had previously driven a fully automatic Scenic, and it didn't take me long to adapt - I now prefer the Berlingo.

Interesting to read Doofer's comment about not needing to release the throttle. You don't need to, but I felt that if you do lift off just as you feel it changing, and then put it down again, the change is smoother. Might be my imagination, and it doesn't bother me enough to do this consistantly and religiously.
'13 Berlingo XTR with Modutop
you can force an early change as well by lifting off on the throttle, if you feel its necessary. autos are more relaxing to drive. had three over the years but none recently. in the second hand market, auto would not matter to me really
(26-02-2015, 11:58 AM)Chris__M Wrote:  Interesting to read Doofer's comment about not needing to release the throttle. You don't need to, but I felt that if you do lift off just as you feel it changing, and then put it down again, the change is smoother. Might be my imagination, and it doesn't bother me enough to do this consistantly and religiously.

I've concluded that it makes no difference - it basically ignores the pedal while it's changing gear, and changes completely smoothly. It seems to sort of fade you back into controlling the throttle after it's finished the change too - there's no sudden jolt.

The first thing the salesman did on the test drive was to floor the throttle to get the worst case jerkiness, and it's still pretty smooth - it's well worth a try as an experiment just to prove you're wasting your time bothering. With normal acceleration it's perfectly smooth.

I'm surprised at just how sophisticated this thing is. This gearbox is a much more expensive upgrade on other models, but they throw it in for peanuts on the Blingo.

My advice to anyone buying would be - why would you want a manual? I can't think how you could justify it logically. I doubt many cars will have gearsticks in ten years anyway, as more gears are becoming the way forward to reduce fuel consumption - the 2018 VW Golf will have a 10-speed gearbox, and there's no way you can control that with a gearstick, so auto will become the norm - perhaps except for very low price hatchbacks.
[-] The following 1 user says Thank You to doofer for this post:
  • bluebob
my daily retro Honda is a little automatic and I prefer it for driving around, but the gf's kangoo is a sporty petrol engine and I love the manual for the proper balls out driving experience, if that's possible in a kangoo MPV,

I will be awaiting a test drive but I'm pretty sold on the Berlingo auto's 6 speed and no clutch, just yes...
63 plate Berlingo working hard.....
I had an 06 Kangoo Expression auto and wanted to buy a new one last year, but Renault had stopped  importing the Kangoo MPV into the UK.

So I bought a new Berlingo TVR with the auto diesel engine, and after 10 months and 6K miles it's still a brilliant car. The auto is better than any previous ones that I had on a succession of new Volvo estates, and the low emissions means low road tax too.

I've said for years that every car should be auto; you've then got two hands on the wheel instead of faffing about with a gear stick. Who buys a manual camera  these days?

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