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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi there

My first post here.

I'm about to get a V40 D3 R-Design and I wanted to hear your opinions in the Volvo geartronic automatic gb vs the Audi S-Tronic. I've always been a fan of the Audi's gb and I'd just like to see what you think on them being compared?
 

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It's the same principle, the geartronic is much older tech though. I believe the V40 will have the newer 6 speed as appose to the 5 speed geartronic in my C30. To be honest, I'd say that they would be much of a muchness. Now if you were talking DSG, that's a different story.
 

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I currently own an Audi A1 S-Tronic, and whilst the gear change is very smooth and all that dreamy eyed stuff, the DSG system from VAG has not been without its problems. There are plenty of posts around on the Internet to that effect.

My 2p worth of advice is to understand that VAG are a very large group of companies and have been working on this sort of technology for quite a few years, plus they have a vast array of cars to drop these gearboxes into and trial.

Volvo, on the other hand, have not had that luxury, but they have been working hard and I personally have only tested 1 Powershift based V40 D2, but it seemed quite OK for what it was - almost the same as my A1 S-Tronic I felt, when driving sanely.

There is a new 8-speed gearbox coming out with the D4 and T5 V40s as we speak, and I am sure that slowly, over the next 2-3 years, Volvo will start introducing that gearbox as an option on more cars.

I have not tested the older technology Geartronic, so can't comment on that, but what I can suggest is if you have not tried a car with one, pop into your $tealers and ask for a test drive in a suitable car.
 

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TBH I do think that the Geartronic is a bit slow-witted. It's great for pottering around in traffic, but I do find it a little slow to react when I'm going up steep hills and ask for a bit more go.
 

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Volvo's 6-speed auto is not one of the worlds best auto transmissions. At best its adequate. To their credit, Volvo have done wonders over the years to improve the speed and smoothness of shifting. When it first appeared in the 2007 S80 (and V70/XC70) it was a real shocker. But Volvo have worked hard with programming to at least - as I say - make it adequate. The introduction of paddle shifters in some Volvo models for manual shifting has improved its operation. In terms of speed and smoothness of shifting in no way does it compete with Audi's DSG transmission. Long term reliability of is of course another issue.

From all accounts Volvo's new 8-speed auto is at least up there with the best of the torque converter-type auto transmissions with favourable comparisons with BMW's benchmark 8-speed ZF transmission. Probably still not up there with Audi's DSG in terms of speed but still fairly good. However I would not expect this new transmission will be mated with any of Volvo's non-Drive-E engines so its rather academic in respect to your V40 D3.

Tony
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for the reply's, I kind of stuck in my choice.

I'm deciding between an A3 1.8FSI S-Tronic with Panoramic roof and a V40 D3 R-design Geartronic. The Volvo is about 15% more expensive and the fact that Geartronic seems so inferior to the S-tronic is getting to me.

I love the look of the Volvo and the features but the Audi is cheeper and has the better GB. I'm really quite stuck and I'm sure that a sluggish to change GB will just upset me every day I drive the car.

What do you guys think of the comparison?
 

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An Audi S3 was a potential alternative for me when I bought my Volvo as I wanted something quick and AWD.

It's ride was appealing. Hard, jittery. Have you driven the Audi yet, I'd really recommend a drive over your normal roads before you commit, as I couldn't live with that harsh ride.
 

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Sorry, my post above should say the Audi S3's ride was "appalling", not "appealing". Stupid phone autocorrect.

I like my Volvo. It's really comfy, effortless to drive, quick, was unstoppable in the snow this year and has some great features which I'd now struggle to live without (Active Cruise, Keyless). That said, it's thirsty, while it's very quick, it's not hugely engaging (compared to my girlfriend's 2.0 Scirocco).

I prefer the look of the S3 and the Mercedes A-Class SMG, but couldn't put up with the hard ride of either doing my daily commute across the Peak District.
 

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At the end of the day, the decision is yours, based on your specific needs and wants.

The gearbox is not as smooth on the Volvo, compared to the DSG - that is the general opinion, but then again, the DSG is not super smooth always either.

My suggestion is to pop over to some Audi forums and do some reading about what the owners there feel about the comfort and ride quality.

That is an area where, IMHO, the V40 is ahead.
 

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Well I have both dsg and geartronic in the same house hold when you have driven a car with dsg you don't want to drive a geartronic. with the dsg I have changed down two gears before the gearbox in my Volvo wakes up and say what must I do
but the dsg can be a very hard gear change so in traffic I prefer the volvo
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
After much deliberation on the issue I decided to buy the V40 D3 Geartronic, I am upset at the lack of technology in the GB considering how advanced the rest of the car is. However, weighing up the difference in the total package of the car vs the A3 Sportback 1.8FSI I think the V40 give a stupendous amount of value.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
At the end of the day, the decision is yours, based on your specific needs and wants.

The gearbox is not as smooth on the Volvo, compared to the DSG - that is the general opinion, but then again, the DSG is not super smooth always either.

My suggestion is to pop over to some Audi forums and do some reading about what the owners there feel about the comfort and ride quality.

That is an area where, IMHO, the V40 is ahead.
Thanks for suggestion, I did it and here's what I noticed.

At a rolling speed of above 40 with a smooth acceleration the difference is negligible. Dropping a gear to over take is fast in the GB's if anything a tad faster with the s-Tronic.

The biggest difference for me is at slow rolling speeds, like starting at a traffic light and turning a corner, there is almost always a small nudge from 1st to 2nd with the geartronic while the s-Tronic handled with more finesse.
 

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Thanks for suggestion, I did it and here's what I noticed.

At a rolling speed of above 40 with a smooth acceleration the difference is negligible. Dropping a gear to over take is fast in the GB's if anything a tad faster with the s-Tronic.

The biggest difference for me is at slow rolling speeds, like starting at a traffic light and turning a corner, there is almost always a small nudge from 1st to 2nd with the geartronic while the s-Tronic handled with more finesse.
I know what you mean when you refer to the finesse, that is what was a big factor when I bought my A1 3 years ago.

However, from time to time, the S-Tronic/DSG gearbox on mine has a moment of thought when changing ! And I noticed that on this almost brand new A4 that I had recently for a day. Hence my feeling that the DSG/S-Tronic gearboxes are not 100% either. And therefore, credit to Volvo for catching up and improving all the time :thumbup:

But well done, I'm sure you will be more than happy overall with your purchase.
 

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TBH I do think that the Geartronic is a bit slow-witted. It's great for pottering around in traffic, but I do find it a little slow to react when I'm going up steep hills and ask for a bit more go.
Interesting. I live at the top of a particularly steep hill and I've never noticed this. Perhaps it's merely a difference in driving techniques - I'm a very gentle pottering type of driver, as befits my age and general decrepitude. On the other hand, before I bought the V40, I tested a lot of cars, including some from the VW stable (Audi A3, Golf). When accelerating on the hill, these cars couldn't seem to decide which gear to be in - they were shifting back and forth all over the place. It was a bit disconcerting at first.
 

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IMO the Volvo looks a lot better than the audi - the audis seem to put all of their styling work into the very front and the rest of the car looks last decade. I also think the interiors in the Volvos are nicer than audis, though a lot of reviewers tend to think that audi interiors are best in their class. I haven't driven the audi DSG though I tried a Passat cc 3 litre a few years back and disliked it intensely. Maybe it is something you get used to.

The Volvo box is excellent in the T5 (geartronic) though it is a little slow to kick down even in sport. Paddles would make it much more useable, I can never work the bumping the shifter thing.
 
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