The charms of the automatic transmission

To the traditional mechanical box that still has its followers, many SUV offer the automatic transmission as an alternative. More comfort, driving pleasure, well controlled consumptions … So why not be tempted?

No longer having to play with a clutch pedal, always keep both hands on the steering wheel, let the automation that changes the reports in full transparency and at the right time … The least we can say is that it is difficult not to succumb to the charms of an SUV equipped with a “box car” .

Especially since technology has made notable progress in recent years, dismissing all prejudices. Slow, jerky, lack of engine braking, over-consumption and unreliability, all of this is a thing of the past. The proof: even driving schools have adopted and offer, since 2017, a “license B” special “box car” less expensive because requiring less driving hours …

Three main types of automatic gearbox predominate on SUVs: those with continuous variation (also called CVT), those with torque converter and those with double clutch .

Operating a bit like a motorcycle variator, the continuously variable transmissions have the advantage of offering very linear accelerations . Logic, there is no gear change! Pleasant, they nevertheless have the disadvantage of generating a kind of skating during strong acceleration or roads with relief: the engine “mill” and the sensation is all the more uncomfortable that it comes with a raising the sound level … A book so for a very relaxed driving …

Those with torque converter and double clutch are however much more convincing . Already, they work much more transparently: shifts are fast , smooth , without the slightest jolt . In addition, they adapt perfectly to all types of driving they are relaxed or sporty. And even better that they are embellished with different modes (Eco, Normal, Sport …) and sometimes even paddles on the steering wheel or a sequential type of lever, very useful to perform a fast overtaking or use the engine brake in descent on mountain roads.

And to top it off, they are even ” Smart “, because they know how to recognize the profile of the road (climbs, descents) and adapt to your driving style (normal or dynamic) to scale or downshift their reports at the right time .

Very pleasant in the city, relaxing in traffic jams and really good on the road, automatic transmissions bring ease and driving pleasure far superior to mechanical boxes. Finally, contrary to popular belief, they no longer burn consumption : count between 0.5 l and 1.5 liter l / 100 km more on average. One more reason to succumb to his charms!

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