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Old 13-07-2012   #1
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Question Are you happy with your dualogic transmission?

Seems to be a lot of negativity around Dualogic. Please tell me what you think. Happy: yes/no?
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Old 07-10-2012   #2
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Re: Are you happy with your dualogic transmission?

I am extremely happy with my Dualogic transmission; I think it's the best part of the car.

It surpassed my expectations when I stepped out of a 2003 Alfa 156 Selespeed and into the 500. I felt that the Dualogic was better engineered in the gear selection mechanism (a light 'snick' rather than a loud 'chack' accompanies selection of first or reverse).

The clutch control is exemplary, far better than I would manage with a manual clutch. Gear changes can be undetectable, especially when it 'plays' with the throttle in its non-Sport mode.

It really ought to be named Quadrologic, as there are really four modes on my 500 with 1.4 engine:
- Auto, normal
- Manual, normal
- Auto, Sport
- Manual, Sport
I drive in the last mode most of the time, but occasionally switch to the first mode - Sport causes the automatic changes to be more aggressive than necessary when slowing down.

In manual mode, the system still changes down by itself as I slow down, just when I would want it to, but it is also very clever at prioritising driver inputs, overriding its own logic. So, for example, if it was about to change from 4th to 3rd as you slow for a roundabout, but a split second earlier you double-click the left paddle, it will give you 2nd immediately (and not first).

I don't think of it as an automatic transmission, but instead as a better alternative to a conventional manual. An automatic transmission will always be in the wrong gear at some time, and brings a penalty in performance and fuel efficiency. Dualogic gives you the advantage of a manual transmission (no fluid coupling so a direct feel with 'engine braking', always your own choice of gear ratio) yet also the relevant advantages of an automatic transmission in that gear changes are easy and consistent.

It takes very little time to master the Dualogic, whereas it is always possible to stuff up a manual, even after many years of experience. For example, when a wet shoe slips off the clutch pedal, or 5th is selected instead of 3rd due to a sloppy, rubbery shift action that should or could always be better.

Given the option of Dualogic, I can't really understand why anyone would want a manual transmission any more than they would want a manual choke, or crank handles to wind the windows down.

I suppose there is a price saving to be had by choosing a manual transmission, but the day that the car has to be driven by an auto-only driver, the price saving seems quite irrelevant as they won't be able to drive at all. With a Dualogic, the worst-case scenario is that they will complain about its jerky gear changes. You can bet that if you gave that same person a manual transmission, the gear changes would be a LOT more jerky...

At some point, the Dualogic's clutch will need replacing, just as for a manual transmission, and there is the chance of an electrical fault or a fluid leak, just as there is the chance of a manual gearshift linkage breaking or dropping off (or feeling sloppy or stiff for years beforehand.) If you are going to compare reliability, you would have to measure the whole experience, including things like a heavy clutch pedal that squeaks!

In summary:
Comparing Dualogic against manual: the Dualogic wins in every respect: smoothness, ease of use, reliability (right up until it dies at some point. It's even designed to allow a push start).

Comparing Dualogic against a standard automatic, such as the 6-speed automatic available on the USA 500: I can understand how the standard automatic will make better gear choices and smoother gear changes regardless of driving style and with no skill required; the standard automatic might also last longer. The standard automatic has a weight penalty, a performance and economy penalty, and it alters the feel and sound, even when shifted manually. Many drivers will see all this as unimportant. Standard automatics will always sell well, particularly in Japan and the USA.

It's just a shame that most people will never discover the happy middle ground, as the Dualogic isn't thought good enough to sell in the markets that expect autos, and the markets that expect manuals will continue to rubbish the Dualogic at every opportunity.

-Alex
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Last edited by alexGS; 07-10-2012 at 12:27.
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Old 29-10-2012   #3
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Re: Are you happy with your dualogic transmission?

Quote Originally Posted by alexGS View Post
I am extremely happy with my Dualogic transmission; I think it's the best part of the car.
Quote Originally Posted by alexGS View Post
It surpassed my expectations
When the engineers designed the Dualogic, did they really want something that had a ponderous change, something that was unable to swap cogs without frequently causing the car to lurch. The result suggests they were working to provide a cheap alternative to a conventional auto in a budget car.

Quote Originally Posted by alexGS View Post
The clutch control is exemplary, far better than I would manage with a manual clutch. Gear changes can be undetectable.....
Good clutch control is the Hallmark of a competent driver.
I'd be embarrassed if I couldn't achieve a better change than the Dualogic.

Quote Originally Posted by alexGS View Post
An automatic transmission will always be in the wrong gear at some time....
And Dualogic won't?

Quote Originally Posted by alexGS View Post
With a Dualogic, the worst-case scenario is that they will complain about its jerky gear changes.
So jerky in every model I've tried that I chose not to buy a car fitted with it.

Quote Originally Posted by alexGS View Post
I can understand how the standard automatic will make better gear choices and smoother gear changes regardless of driving style and with no skill required....
Your concession that the Dualogic isn't as effective in its operation.
The only thing the Dualogic offers is convenience, like beans on toast.

Quote Originally Posted by alexGS View Post
It's just a shame that most people will never discover the happy middle ground, as the Dualogic isn't thought good enough to sell in the markets that expect autos, and the markets that expect manuals will continue to rubbish the Dualogic at every opportunity.
People buy automatics for a number of reasons.
I wanted convenience, refinement and performance.
The Dualogic offers the first as a cheap alternative to an automatic.
For the other reasons I bought an Audi with the 7 speed S-tronic.
I'm not embarrassed to admit that the gear change is better than I could achieve; almost always undetectable and apparently instantaneous. It really is brilliant whether simply driving in traffic or when pressing hard through the box in manual or sport modes.
Good luck to those of you who love your Dualogic; there are better alternatives and it's the only reason I didn't buy the 500.
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Old 06-11-2012   #4
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Re: Are you happy with your dualogic transmission?

I value your opinion, Fubar 500, thank you for taking the time to write.

I do concede that a standard automatic will work more smoothly for many drivers, especially those that expect an automatic. And you're right - the benefit of Dualogic over manual is convenience.

I stand by my claim about the clutch control being smoother than most drivers of manuals will manage, and yes, in manual mode the Dualogic has a better probability of being in the right gear than a standard auto does.

Of course I disagree with the claim that it's a ponderous (slow) gear change, and I think Lamborghini would agree that a single-clutch system is sufficiently fast - they went with that rather than a dual-clutch system. It's also attracting similar criticisms to the Dualogic. I bet there are some people who like it and some that don't.

Meanwhile I think by considering Audi's S-tronic as an "alternative", you are being a little unfair - the only real alternative to a Dualogic 500 is a manual 500, and for me the Dualogic comes out on top. I presume the S-tronic is a development of the earlier DSG, which I have driven and didn't like any more than my experience of a 7-speed CVT (on which I felt the ratios were quite arbitrary and unnecessary).

Anyway, I'm glad you're happy with your purchase. I'm happy with mine
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Last edited by alexGS; 06-11-2012 at 12:58.
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Old 06-11-2012   #5
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Re: Are you happy with your dualogic transmission?

I voted for charlotte because she isnt here, no end of problems with hers
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Old 11-11-2012   #6
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Re: Are you happy with your dualogic transmission?

i'm not a fan, i've driven my mams panda a lot and it's jerky, rides the clutch a lot more than it has to, dumps the clutch so fast it clunks sometimes, sometimes it wont go into gear at all and fiat don't know what's wrong with it.

i love automatics but wouldn't have a dual logic, proper automatic all the way!

my dad had an audi s-tronic and the gearbox on that was not much better! that eventually packed in at a meer 70k miles!
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Old 11-11-2012   #7
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Re: Are you happy with your dualogic transmission?

Quote Originally Posted by x Alex x View Post
i'm not a fan, i've driven my mams panda a lot and it's jerky, rides the clutch a lot more than it has to, dumps the clutch so fast it clunks sometimes, sometimes it wont go into gear at all and fiat don't know what's wrong with it.

i love automatics but wouldn't have a dual logic, proper automatic all the way!

my dad had an audi s-tronic and the gearbox on that was not much better! that eventually packed in at a meer 70k miles!
I will admit the Dualogic setup on my MJ Bravo is better than on our Dualogic Panda. But we've no juddering. Tried bleeding the hydraulic system Alex as previously mentioned
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Old 11-11-2012   #8
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Re: Are you happy with your dualogic transmission?

More than happy with our 500c dualogic.my missus had an operation on her left knee so finds it painful to drive a manual she loves it,when i drive it i normally drive it in manual mode so i decide when to change i find the changes very smooth in both modes, just wish my company grange punto van was dualogic because most of my driving is stop start in town.
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Old 16-11-2012   #9
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Re: Are you happy with your dualogic transmission?

Quote Originally Posted by Most Easterly Pandas View Post
I will admit the Dualogic setup on my MJ Bravo is better than on our Dualogic Panda. But we've no juddering. Tried bleeding the hydraulic system Alex as previously mentioned
no juddering on it, it just clunks if you tried to pull away quickly, sometimes if your doing 5mph at a roundabout and tried to pull away again it can jerky too.

for what it is, it's not bad, i get the point of it, convenience of an auto with the fuel economy of a manual.

i wouldn't have one myself, if i wanted an automatic i'd get a proper one.
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Old 16-11-2012   #10
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Quote Originally Posted by x Alex x View Post
for what it is, it's not bad...
I think it's pretty good; and a rather neat solution.... However, the moment I get back into my Speedgear (CVT) Punto, I do realize it's not quite as smooth as it could be...! Mrs Homeward loves it, though... (the Dualogic gearbox, that is...)!
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Re: Are you happy with your dualogic transmission?

I do prefer a CVT box, but it'll always be smoother than a Dualogic due to their setups.
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Re: Are you happy with your dualogic transmission?

Quote Originally Posted by Most Easterly Pandas View Post
I do prefer a CVT box, but it'll always be smoother than a Dualogic due to their setups.
Agreed... -- although it's strange to me (and perhaps you know the reason why...) that FIAT switched from an auto with 'fake' ratios (Speedgear), to an automated/robotized manual (Dualogic) for their semi-automatic cars... -- especially for ones aimed at more city-based driving....
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Re: Are you happy with your dualogic transmission?

Quote Originally Posted by homeward View Post
Agreed... -- although it's strange to me (and perhaps you know the reason why...) that FIAT switched from an auto with 'fake' ratios (Speedgear), to an automated/robotized manual (Dualogic) for their semi-automatic cars... -- especially for ones aimed at more city-based driving....
Cost and emissions I suspect, and possibly reliability (would you credit). CVT boxes are fairly reliable, but when they do go, boy oh boy do they go!
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Re: Are you happy with your dualogic transmission?

My Father has a Grande Punto with Dual Logic Transmission and I think it is a fantastic car to drive in Manual Mode. Don't try and drive it like a normal automatic as you will be disappointed, but drive it as a clutchless( No Pedal ) Manual and it is superb. I drive a 2012 BMW 5 Series with 8 speed Auto. Only 2 things I would change is Paddles on the Steering wheel (Not fitted on this model) and the annoying beep when you ask it to change up and it doesn't want to, would rather it just didn't do it than make a loud beeping.

But the concept is great - as long as you realise what you are driving and drive it accordingly

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Re: Are you happy with your dualogic transmission?

It almost sounds to me as if a lot of you are almost driving different cars; with your descriptions of the dualogic gearbox. Very different to my experiences.

Amongst my cars of a 2 litre 42 year old manual Citroen DS, a 3 litre 24 valve V6 Citroen XM; I also have a 1.2 litre dualogic Fiat Panda from 2007 with 16,000 miles.

The Fiat's starts and "take offs" are totally smooth. Whether fast or slow. This jerky moment and juddering that people talk about (or whatever reasons are stated); simply does not happen on our 2007 dualogic Fiat Panda 1.2.

Only very occasionally when feathering the throttle at an uphill or slow pull off, may you feel it caressing and lightly pumping the clutch. Just as anyone may need to do in a manual car in certain situations.

So dualogics can be fine and as perfect as one can get.. Which leads me to wonder if these peoples cars that have the problems need servicing or have the gearbox sensors "tuning". For instance is it certain Fiats/engines that these apparent problems are on?

My issue with the gearbox is that in off road conditions in can not sometimes cope. I have to drive along part of a beach regularly. The front wheel drive manual cars are fine (rear wheel drives get stuck on the turn). My heavy automatic Citroen is fine.

But once the Fiat Dualogic got stuck; as embedded into the beach. Too much friction by the beach material around the wheels; and the clutch would not feed enough power in to turn them. It just slipped the clutch. Then smoked the clutch.

But generally the gearbox is exceptional. I like the flexibility of it.

We have owned the Fiat Panda 9 months. I believe I have a technical enough background to back up my opinion to a high degree.

The problems that some people describe; assuming they are not exaggerated for effect; really make the description of their perception of the dualogic system sound like a different car.

Our car shows the gearbox can work perfectly. So what cars are these problem gearboxes on?Is there a theme?

Our 2007 Fiat Panda 1.2 Dualogic is fine. You get a "proper" gearstick, and not flappy paddles. Uphill starts are a delight. Use the handbrake the "conventional" way; or left foot braking to save the handbrake adjusment ;-) .

I think once you have had a good one, most people would never want to go back to a manual OR automatic. Nice system to use.

I drove a manual Fiat panda mk 2 once. I found the gear shift on that one a bit stiff and lacking feedback; from what I remember. So prefer the light dualogic.

Certainly on the Fiat Panda , the dualogic is they way forward I think. It is converted me from a manual to a semi-automatic preference on this car.
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