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Old 05.06.2019, 11:32
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Re: Automatic v manual on Swiss Mountain Roads

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Not sure why you thought it was sarcastic. It was simply pointing out your claim that the quattro system gives more grip, which it does not, and suggesting that you're probably confusing it with more traction, which it certainly does.
True. I appologise! Easy mistake to make though! Anyway, i think we get the gist of what we are both talking about. More traction with Quttro or similar set ups.
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  #62  
Old 05.06.2019, 12:26
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Re: Automatic v manual on Swiss Mountain Roads

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Lots of posers with money to burn is the general reason people buy 4x4 off roaders. Probably less than 1% of those actually go off road, none of those mentioned are actually any good off road.
A modern 4x4 is imo not an "off-roader" and people buy them for mainly practical purposes. By "off-roader" I meant more the Land Rover Defender rugged style of car than the practical modern family cars.

Last edited by Chuff; 05.06.2019 at 13:01.
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  #63  
Old 05.06.2019, 13:35
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Re: Automatic v manual on Swiss Mountain Roads

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A modern 4x4 is imo not an "off-roader" and people buy them for mainly practical purposes. By "off-roader" I meant more the Land Rover Defender rugged style of car than the practical modern family cars.
And in terms of stability even these are not really that bad. My Defender 110 is perfectly stable at motorway speeds (even, very occasionally, pushed up to >150kph), tracking perfectly well even in high side-winds.

On twisty mountain roads there is a lot of body roll compared with the low-slung road cars we use, so slower cornering speed is required, for comfort more than anything else, but I'd still take issue with the idea that it's in any way inherently unstable.
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  #64  
Old 05.06.2019, 15:32
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Re: Automatic v manual on Swiss Mountain Roads

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With a powerful enough engine the gearbox shouldn't be an issue wrt snowy/mountain conditions.

I have had problems in the past with underpowered cars (rentals in North America) where the gearbox could not hold a consistent desired speed on the climb, as the pedal depression required made it keep changing down to third, but then it would quite quickly accelerate, change into fourth, be unable to hold the speed, change into 3rd, gain speed, etc. Something you absolutely don't want to happen in dodgy conditions.

This was clearly a poorly matched engine and transmission, but it convinced me that a traditional slush-box without the ability to force it to stay in high gear was something I'd never be happy with.

These days nearly all auto boxes have 'manual' modes, although I'm not overly familiar with the BMW ones, so I would check, specifically, that you can override the 'kick-down', especially if considering less powerful versions. What I mean is like in VW/Audi semi-manuals, of which I have two, which will not change down in Manual mode unless you press the pedal to the floor, or the engine revs drop below tickover speed, which gives total control to be sure they're never going to change gear when I don't want them to.

Conversely, going downhill is never going to be a problem, as autos have all been able to select and hold a low gear for generations. I can't imagine why your friend would have had an issue unless he only ever left it in Drive, which is just plain user error.

Read carefully this post. Lost transmission on a Ford Focus (2.0 L, petrol) exactly due to this.


With my X3, I don't have an issue at all (diesel) - cruse up mountains no problem - in the snow. However, even with 4WD, no amount of traction control or grip is gonna help you on downward patch of Ice covered road..maybe praying to what ever god you believe in, if any, is a better option.
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  #65  
Old 05.06.2019, 15:59
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Re: Automatic v manual on Swiss Mountain Roads

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However, even with 4WD, no amount of traction control or grip is gonna help you on downward patch of Ice covered road..maybe praying to what ever god you believe in, if any, is a better option.
This is a golden rule to live by.

When wheels have no grip you are just in for the drive. Coming down the hill making it way more dangerous. No modern safety features or 4x4 going to help apart from seat belts and airbags.
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  #66  
Old 05.06.2019, 16:06
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Re: Automatic v manual on Swiss Mountain Roads

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This is a golden rule to live by.

When wheels have no grip you are just in for the drive. Coming down the hill making it way more dangerous. No modern safety features or 4x4 going to help apart from seat belts and airbags.
It's important that all the wheels are moving, often a tap on the accelerator will get the drive wheels turning again at the speed of descent.
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  #67  
Old 05.06.2019, 16:44
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Re: Automatic v manual on Swiss Mountain Roads

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It's important that all the wheels are moving, often a tap on the accelerator will get the drive wheels turning again at the speed of descent.

what about the hill decent control? I have it on the car but never actually used it.
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Old 05.06.2019, 22:16
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Re: Automatic v manual on Swiss Mountain Roads

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And in terms of stability even these are not really that bad. My Defender 110 is perfectly stable at motorway speeds (even, very occasionally, pushed up to >150kph), tracking perfectly well even in high side-winds.
a) because its heavy
b) because its heavy
c) we might have different ideas of "motorway speeds"...

A defender is besides a LandCruiser and a Merc G pretty much the only off roader I find acceptable… if you actually take it off the road. Not for dropping kids at a creche. But still: same weight, engine, transmission and so on in a more roadcar shape would be the better choice for 99% of the population. I genuinely dont understand why every house wife needs these things. If they were at least practical, but they simply are not... (the people who genuinely like practical cars seem to all end up with one of the Audi Avant quattro models…)
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  #69  
Old 05.06.2019, 22:17
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Re: Automatic v manual on Swiss Mountain Roads

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what about the hill decent control? I have it on the car but never actually used it.
HDC is mainly for off road use (at least in my 2008 Jeep, speed is limited to 8 kmph or so and only works when the 4LOW is engaged). Basically it allows the driver to concentrate on the driving path rather than hitting the brakes. I do not know if it ever be useful during driving down a normal swiss road.

I am an oldie.. so not sure about HDC of modern and more cool looking SUVs
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Old 05.06.2019, 22:20
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Re: Automatic v manual on Swiss Mountain Roads

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A defender is besides a LandCruiser and a Merc G pretty much the only off roader I find acceptable… if you actually take it off the road.
Do not forget Jeep Cherokee, Nissan Patrol and Mitsubishi Pajeros. These are beasts as well in off roading scene.

+ Suzukis made some good off roaders
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