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Upgrade to a "fun to drive" car

SharkBait

Executive Member
Joined
Mar 18, 2008
Messages
8,415
Let me know how it goes! I think you'll quite like it :)
I will do, but currently anything will be better than the car I am pay for now, e.g. Ford Fiesta ST. In the last 3 months, I think I have had my car a total of 2 weeks, the rest was/is spent at repair shops. R30k and counting.
 

Gtx Gaming

Gtx Gaming
Joined
Aug 25, 2008
Messages
14,124
DCT is starting to be a thing of a past, it came in took a peek but manufacturers are leaving it again. Go test drive something with a ZF transmission you will not regret it. And since you think the 135i has too much power why not look at the 125i. Just in the middle of a 120i and 135i. Front wheel drive cars will have understeer and torque steer which are not good. The GtI is an amazing car but I don’t think it’s worth the risk to be honest. That is the hilux Of hot hatches and I don’t mean it in a nice way.
Yeah you can changes gears on the paddles anyway if you buy one with sport transmission.
 

satanboy

Psychonaut seven
Joined
Sep 13, 2007
Messages
92,928
Thanks guys - I appreciate all the responses so far and have given it a lot of thought.

I think there is a lot of ambiguity as to what "fun to drive" means.
So let me clarify:
If you read up on reviews of a Ford Fiesta, many reviews will say is it "fun to drive", and it is by no means a "fast" car.
Meaning it is an engaging drive, car gives feedback from the steering, grip on the road, responsive clutch etc. Yes, speed is one of the aspects that would make it fun, but in everyday driving, speed is not the only thing that one has to take into account.
There is also a pleasure that I will miss going 2nd hand instead of new.

Perhaps, it is because I have never driven such a performance car, but to go from my Jazz (88kw) to an M135i (235kw), surely would be overkill for me? How often will I even need such power on the road?

So going forward (and like I said above, I am totally ignorant when it comes to performance cars), are you guys suggesting the BMW M135i because you are equating "fun to "speed"? If so, then perhaps based on my above comments, will your recommendation will be different? For example, within the BMW portfolio, how would a 120d (400nm of torque) with only a few hundred km on the clock compare to a M135i?
Mini
 

SauRoNZA

Honorary Master
Joined
Jul 6, 2010
Messages
28,546
DCT is starting to be a thing of a past, it came in took a peek but manufacturers are leaving it again. Go test drive something with a ZF transmission you will not regret it. And since you think the 135i has too much power why not look at the 125i. Just in the middle of a 120i and 135i. Front wheel drive cars will have understeer and torque steer which are not good. The GtI is an amazing car but I don’t think it’s worth the risk to be honest. That is the hilux Of hot hatches and I don’t mean it in a nice way.
You do realise ZF is a manufacturer/brand and that many of their gearboxes include DCT as well as CVT and manual options right?

It's not a type of gearbox.

As such nobody is leaving it, many have just stuck to the same setups they always have. Non-DCT is generally used in less sporty cars as it always has been.

DCT is still the favourite amongst sports cars and I believe will remain so for many moons to come.
 
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Sinbad

Honorary Master
Joined
Jun 5, 2006
Messages
60,866
Hi Guys - just an update of where I am so far based on feedback from you guys:

1) BMW M135i - looks great, but like I said, a little too high performance for me. I don't plan on going to the track, so a little high specced (not sure if I'm making a silly conclusion, but that is how I feel)
2) BMW 120d - really like the look of this one - but too expensive for new, and CAN NOT find a 2nd hand one that comes in manual
3) Audi A3 2.0tdi - found a manual one for under R400k and called to go test drive - it was sold :( The dealer has been looking out for me for the past 2 days, but can't get any manuals
4) Focus 1.5 Trend - I know, not an ST, but still has over 130kw power and a smoother drive than an ST (and more tech), so decided to test drive it. However, tried 4 Ford dealerships - no stock available
5) Ford Focus ST - Plan to probably go test drive tomorrow if I get a chance
6) Opel Astra 1.6T Sport Plus - Test drove it today. Absolutely loved it (well mostly, see below)! I'm not sure if it is because it was my first time in a turbo, but that 147kw and 280nm torque was INSANE compared to my Jazz. Probably a little "too much" if I dare say so...
However (and I'm a really surprised at this), the car under-steered when I took a turn off the highway (see the turn here - https://goo.gl/maps/horQ1n8TFQs). I started accelerating around quarter way in to the turn. It held out till the last quarter, and then I felt the back tires losing grip. I was going around 80-100km/h on the bend. Is this because Opel didn't make a good traction control system, or is it because it is a FWD?
if the back tyres lost grip, it didn't understeer.
 

Sinbad

Honorary Master
Joined
Jun 5, 2006
Messages
60,866
Ya, I think I assumed it was the back tires, I just felt a loss of grip, but most probably was the front tires (based on physics of FWD)

Regards,
Ari
GeeWiz
If the back lost grip, you'd be in oversteer and having to countersteer to stop the car spinning around ;)

If you lift off the throttle mid turn, it's quite easy to induce oversteer as the car's weight transfers towards the front, decreasing the grip on the back tyres...
 

alkit

Senior Member
Joined
Mar 8, 2009
Messages
756
If the back lost grip, you'd be in oversteer and having to countersteer to stop the car spinning around ;)

If you lift off the throttle mid turn, it's quite easy to induce oversteer as the car's weight transfers towards the front, decreasing the grip on the back tyres...
No, I was on throttle the whole time, so must have been understeer
 

epah

Senior Member
Joined
Apr 22, 2014
Messages
815
Upgrade to a "fun to drive" car

You do realise ZF is a manufacturer/brand and that many of their gearboxes include DCT as well as CVT and manual options right?

It's not a type of gearbox.

As such nobody is leaving it, many have just stuck to the same setups they always have. Non-DCT is generally used in less sporty cars as it always has been.

DCT is still the favourite amongst sports cars and I believe will remain so for many moons to come.
Yes I realize that*♂️. But what I am trying to say to him is that ZF makes some of the best automatic gearboxes out there. Unlike aison or any other gearbox manufacturers. That’s why I pointed him towards a BMW since it has a ZF.

DCT is dying regardless of what you believe.
 
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SauRoNZA

Honorary Master
Joined
Jul 6, 2010
Messages
28,546
Yes I realize that*♂️. But what I am trying to say to him is that ZF makes some of the best automatic gearboxes out there. Unlike aison or any other gearbox manufacturers. That’s why I pointed him towards a BMW since it has a ZF.

DCT is dying regardless of what you believe.
It's true that if I were to go conventional automatic I would certainly also stick to ZF over the others.

As for DCT "dying" I don't expect that to happen soon. What will happen is that you'll see it less and less in normal cars as they've woken up to the fact that it's stupidly expensive to put in and maintain in little cars and therefore harder to sell.

I don't see the likes of Porsche, BMW's M series and VW/Audi's R/S/RS lines dropping it anytime soon. Not to mention the supercar brands.
 

epah

Senior Member
Joined
Apr 22, 2014
Messages
815
It's true that if I were to go conventional automatic I would certainly also stick to ZF over the others.

As for DCT "dying" I don't expect that to happen soon. What will happen is that you'll see it less and less in normal cars as they've woken up to the fact that it's stupidly expensive to put in and maintain in little cars and therefore harder to sell.

I don't see the likes of Porsche, BMW's M series and VW/Audi's R/S/RS lines dropping it anytime soon. Not to mention the supercar brands.
BMW has already dropped it in their high performance M cars. E.g new M5 doesn’t have a DCT. The normal automatics can be programmed to be just as good as DCTs part of the reason why it doesn’t make sense to offer them anymore.
 
Joined
Aug 8, 2017
Messages
768
BMW has already dropped it in their high performance M cars. E.g new M5 doesn’t have a DCT. The normal automatics can be programmed to be just as good as DCTs part of the reason why it doesn’t make sense to offer them anymore.
The DCTs don't handle high torque as well as conventional autos. The ZF 8 Speed is used in the Audi RS7, but the DSG boxes are still used in the less powerful models.
I expect the same will happen on the BMW side. The crazy torquey cars will get a great auto, and the less powerful M models will get the M-DCT boxes.
 

epah

Senior Member
Joined
Apr 22, 2014
Messages
815
The DCTs don't handle high torque as well as conventional autos. The ZF 8 Speed is used in the Audi RS7, but the DSG boxes are still used in the less powerful models.
I expect the same will happen on the BMW side. The crazy torquey cars will get a great auto, and the less powerful M models will get the M-DCT boxes.
Yes the DCTs are still used in less powerful cars however they will phased out in small cars too since they are expensive to make and maintain and normal autos can do the job the same way if not better.
 

SharkBait

Executive Member
Joined
Mar 18, 2008
Messages
8,415
Let me know how it goes! I think you'll quite like it :)
Yeah, so I drove all the way to Woodmead on saterday and they forgot to let me know that they sold the one that I was suppose to test drive. :( Alberton also didn't have one to test drive. Now I wait...
 

NarrowBandFtw

Honorary Master
Joined
Feb 1, 2008
Messages
12,522
The DCTs don't handle high torque as well as conventional autos. The ZF 8 Speed is used in the Audi RS7, but the DSG boxes are still used in the less powerful models.
I expect the same will happen on the BMW side. The crazy torquey cars will get a great auto, and the less powerful M models will get the M-DCT boxes.
Porsche 911 GT2 RS, exact same torque figures as the new BMW M5 and a significant jump in power output from the BMW M5 ... uses a PDK (DCT in Porsche speak) transmission. So if Porsche can do it ...
 

alkit

Senior Member
Joined
Mar 8, 2009
Messages
756
Hi Guys,

An update - what I have driven so far and my impressions:

1) Opel Astra 1.6T Sport Plus - commented on this last time - really like everything about the car except the understeer on highway curved offramp.
2) 2017 Audi A3 2.0T Auto - Went to the dealer to test drive it, apparently it was "out on loan" or whatever that means, so the car wasn't there. Told him to call me back once the car is there again. I have also put in 2 online requests for a new 2.0 so wiaitng for someone to have one for me to test drive.
3) 2016 BMW 120i Auto - Very boring drive. It felt like a 2.0 naturally aspired car. Also, felt "larger" and less nimble than others, yet the car itself isn't actually larger. Also, a surprising amount of wind noise on the highway for a German car. So this car is off my list...
4) 2017 Golf 7 GTI Manual - This one was a surprising one. In terms of fun factor, it was amazing. Not AS much fun as the Astra, but still loads of fun (I think the reason could be the fact that 2nd gear goes up to 100km/h, making it less "punchy" per gear from 3rd upwards). Additionally, I took 2 sharp curvy highway onramps and the thing stuck like glue to the 1st onramp. It only skidded slightly on the 2nd onramp. What surprised me though is road noise - I could clearly "hear" the roll of the tires when on the highway, and also a bit of wind noise coming in. It also felt like the turbo didn't kick in in the higher gears as effectively as the Astra (that could be because of the gear ratio thing I mentioned above).
This one did include DCC (Dynamic Chassis Control) and I toggled between sports and normal. Not sure what was going on in sport, but it almost felt like half way through revving, the gear would downshift. Obviously that has something to do with extra torque being pushed or something. Case in point - in 2nd gear, I could only get to 80km/h in sport mode, but over 100km/h in normal mode. I guess I'd get used to this after driving it a bit and learning how sports mode works best.
5) Ford Focus 1.5T - no stock yet from Ford for me to test drive
6) Renault Megane GT - I have put in a request to test drive one and one is available, but haven't seen any glowing reviews online for this car. Is it worth comparing to the rest?

So so far, Astra has its pros and Golf has its pros.
Astra - More turbo "feel", quieter cabin (surprising), more tech features, bigger 8 inch infotainment console compared to golf 5.8 inch, R90k cheaper than the golf, 5yr service plan compared to golf 3yr, much less hijack risk than a golf, slightly bigger rear passenger space, feels more modern inside than the Golf
Golf - Probably a more reliable and well built car in general, much higher resale value, DCC to enable comfort mode for longer trips etc, almost certainly cheaper and more easily available parts, better after sales support, rear passenger air vents
 

epah

Senior Member
Joined
Apr 22, 2014
Messages
815
Told you to try the 125i but from what I have seen you don’t really like BMWs and you are afraid to just say so for some reason. Anyways happy hunting . Buy what you love
 

alkit

Senior Member
Joined
Mar 8, 2009
Messages
756
Told you to try the 125i but from what I have seen you don’t really like BMWs and you are afraid to just say so for some reason. Anyways happy hunting . Buy what you love
Not at all - I really gave BMW a fair chance by going to BMW and driving the 120i.
If you say the 125i will be a vastly different experience to the 120i, I'm willing to try that too (and up budget a bit). Would you say it would be very different?
 
Joined
Aug 25, 2008
Messages
14,124
120i is bit crappy, engine does not have any poke!

When you buy a fun to drive car, it needs to kick you in the seat when the turbo kicks in!
 
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