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So I was at dealer today to pick up some parts for my PM and I thought what the **** I would kill some time and test drive a diesel PM again with the automated manual transmission because I been thinking fuel mileage not that great with the gas version with my driving habits, and I thought maybe just maybe diesel the way to go long term. The transmission sucks on this powertrain! The durability is probably awesome, but the drivability is absolutely awful! The shift points were erratic and rough. Honestly, I am not sure what the diesel PM owners like about this transmission? I had a Sprinter with the 7 speed Gtronic trans and thought is was smooth as silk! I think I will stick the the gas version of the PM- the engine and trans are extremely smooth and quiet and love everything about this van with the exception of the dealer support.
 

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I think the diesel promaster is great. I use the manual mode on the tranny and it is smooth as silk. My wife uses the auto **** mode and it is not as smooth as a full auto in the lower gears, but it pretty darn smooth. The computer smooths the tranny out once it develops a pattern of the driver which takes some breaking in.
 

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I love the transmission, even using it in Drive most of the time.

But then "smooth as silk" transmissions annoy the 'heck' out of me. They're not too far removed from a CVT. Bleah. I have a feeling that I would despise the new 9spd transmissions that are out there. I don't even like the 6spd in my parents; '06 Audi.

I like feeling the shifts and knowing what's going on. Even the 3spd auto in my '71 Dodge has a shift kit and different fluid so it shifts harder; and that with a stock 318 engine, not a performance monster, its just how I like the feel.

I have found that the shifting is better and more predictable under at least moderate acceleration. Easy or easy-moderate it kinda shifts high rpm for some gears and then right out of the next gear to a much lower rpm. Odd, but it hasn't been doing it as much with 400 miles on it so far.

Oh, and I will agree that first gear is a bit... odd. I can understand the extra low for starting at full GCVW, but it does make for some odd feeling while getting across an intersection.


Hmm... I'll have to do the opposite and go drive a gasser again next time I'm at the dealer. ;)
 

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I've had my diesel 159" for 15 days & 300 miles and just today I got my first low-drama shift from 1st to 2nd, now to find the RPM range to roll back throttle a bit for 3rd and 4th...

It's a torque machine, maybe like a bass guitar in a rock band, can't do the lead guitar string-bending high-rpm solos but carries the set, stage and theater with a low key get-it-done attitude.

If one forgets the drive-train logic keeps checking for 12,500 pound GCVWR and treat it like a 2400lb 4-cylinder rice rocket, the weird shifts are rudely asking the operator to take a chill-pill & reset their seat-of-the-pants acceleration sensors. Not quite the 'bus full of orphans driven by nun' mild experience but urban assault vehicle it's not unless it's carrying 15 fully outfitted SWAT officers.

The machine I've owned it most reminds me of? My '84 883cc Sportster and trials riding, doing cow pastures and power lines, creek beds.... I'm having a blast even doing errands!
 

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If you get a chance, drive one that has at least a couple thousand miles on it, it should feel very different.
Agree with all about first gear
 

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A single clutch automated manual transmission will never feel like an automatic. Shifts are too slow for that. This AMT is all about getting the mechanical efficiency of a manual transmission but with a computer deciding when it's best to make shifts so as to optimize engine efficiency.

In my opinion expectations are important with this transmission. For me it's not a good match. For others it may be close to perfect.
 
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