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I'm just about to buy my first 166. I was always after a manual version but have found an automatic with good spec. How good is the sportronic gearbox will I be dissapointed?
 

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Personally, I think it takes a little while to get used to the Sportronic to get the best out of it.

Once you're used to it it'll be fine.

HOWEVER if they sold manuals in Australia I'd have bought one of them.
 

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Find ours lazy when in auto mode tbh. Very different in Sport mode (but I feel it hangs on to the gears too long under certain conditions) and mad in manual. I say mad as I find the up-down direction unnatural so I keep shifting the wrong way! Sure I'd get the hang if I used it more often but I only tend to use it for the odd overtake.

Did do an ECU reset on ours which improved it for a while...but then given most of our driving is very often sedate due to traffic, it's gone back to old-man-mode.

Don't really mind that it's lazy though - at the risk of upsetting some folk on here, IMO it's a luxury saloon, not a sports car. A manual would probably tend to encourage a more aggresive driving style I reckon.

As far as reliablilty etc, there seem to be as many (well, as few really) manuals spitting their diffs out as there are autos self-destructing.

YMMV.
 

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my sportronic is the first auto car ive ever owned and i used to say id never buy an auto, but autos do have their advantages, ok a manual is a much more engaging drive and you feel in control much more, but you cant beat a lazy auto round town, manuals can be a pain in stop start traffic, my old R5 gt turbo had a very very heavy clutch and because of that was a pain in the arse in traffic, the sportronic box is slower than the manual but in sport mode is a good drive, manual mode is ok but 1st isnt great so you end up in second when you really need first but that is too low a gear for the speed, its a good comprimise box, plus its great on the motorway, you can drop to 3rd at anything below 120mph and nail it and its off like a scalded cat:rolleyes:

chriss you say you find the up down changing unatural:confused: :confused: what other way would it be, forward to change up, back to change down, seems the most logical and natural way to do it, but i guess some peoples brains are wired differently.
 

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chriss you say you find the up down changing unatural:confused: :confused: what other way would it be, forward to change up, back to change down, seems the most logical and natural way to do it, but i guess some peoples brains are wired differently.
I can understand what he means - in racing cars with sequential gearboxes, for example, you pull the lever towards you to shift up and push it back to shift down. This is because of the forces that occur - it is easier to pull something towards you while you accelerate because you are being pushed into you seat, just as it is easier to push away as you brake.
 

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I can understand what he means - in racing cars with sequential gearboxes, for example, you pull the lever towards you to shift up and push it back to shift down. This is because of the forces that occur - it is easier to pull something towards you while you accelerate because you are being pushed into you seat, just as it is easier to push away as you brake.
Maybe it's the pilot in me - pull back for up! or the convention, as AGM155 mentioned. Whatever the reason, I always want to pull it back to go up the gears. Did even consider looking into re-wiring it to suit my preference...but it's more bother than I can be, well, bothered with, for something I hardly use. I could get used to it if I wanted to, I'm sure.
 

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The Alfa Selespeed is the same - forward to go up a gear and it is something that comes natural after a short time.

Interestingly the 156 Qsystem, same as Sportronic, has an H pattern gear change for manual control of the auto gears instead of the forward and back control in the 166. Makes for very natural gear changes and I use this at least 50% of the time.
 

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chris s its no bother to rewire - just swap wires on the two microswitches behind/infront of lever. you may even be able to rotate the +/- window on cover!
 

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I find the forward back counter intuitive also. Had not thought of changing the wires. Are all such tiptronic autos working the same way? As it is only a 4 speed compared to the 5 speed auto in my last car (and 6 or more in most exec cars now) I tend to leave it alone as it does not seem to have enough ratios for manual shifting. I do leave it in sport mode most of the time though.
 
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