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View Poll Results: Manual 325i or auto ZHP?
Manual 325i 56 56.00%
Auto ZHP 44 44.00%
Voters: 100. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 05-12-2017, 02:40 PM   #61
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Driving a manual car for daily use, especially in the city can get old. Sitting in traffic on the highway, or stop lights, smoking cigarettes, quick snack on the way to work, or talking on the phone. All of this is made more challenging. How about if your injured, and find you can't realistically drive the car. Visiting others and the driveway piles up, someone is blocked in and leaving before you, and you are the only person who knows how to move the car. Normal daily driving is made much easier with auto.

I love driving manual. For the quicker reaction, and control. Most of all I love that it requires more attention, and makes other tasks less appealing. I pay more attention, and am more in tune with the task on hand.

This said, if you are okay with an auto, and it's a daily driven car, don't let people make you feel bad for a 330 ZHP. The standard 325i is really basic anyway.


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Old 05-12-2017, 02:48 PM   #62
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Exactly. But that's just what I can say from personal experience.
oh i can certainly see why. 330-ZSP manual and 330-ZHP automatics have about the same 0-60. Sport and ZHP basically the same sport goodies. i'd take a manual over a similar automatic everyday.

because lets face it, with a manual you're driving the car, with an automatic you're just steering it.
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Old 05-12-2017, 02:56 PM   #63
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Would you rather have a manual 325i or an auto ZHP?

I prefer also manual, driven it from the day that I've got my drivers license until 2 years ago.
Bad knee and made my decision to buy automatic.
In my case the steptronic is the best of both worlds, riding it in manual with sequential shifting or just relaxed in auto.


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Last edited by Rob76; 05-12-2017 at 02:56 PM.
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Old 05-12-2017, 03:55 PM   #64
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I prefer also manual, driven it from the day that I've got my drivers license until 2 years ago.
Bad knee and made my decision to buy automatic.
In my case the steptronic is the best of both worlds, riding it in manual with sequential shifting or just relaxed in auto.


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Sequential shifting on the automatic is really nothing like driving a stick shift. Unless you got a high-performance sports car with an actual clutch in it and paddle shifters. Otherwise you're just doing a computer's job for it.
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Old 05-12-2017, 04:16 PM   #65
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I'm really surprised that most of the pollers would have a base 325i in manual over a 330 ZHP with steptronic... guess it depends on what you're using the car for. Still feel like the ZHP would be way more fun, faster, and IMO more comfortable and better looking.

I get the feeling that a lot of members that answered in favor of the manual have little to no experience with the ZF automatic - truly, it's nothing close to a "slushbox" at all.
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Old 05-12-2017, 04:41 PM   #66
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Originally Posted by hodgkinsc330ci View Post
I get the feeling that a lot of members that answered in favor of the manual have little to no experience with the ZF automatic - truly, it's nothing close to a "slushbox" at all.
if it has a torque convertor it's a "slush box". this refers to how an automatic/fluid makes a torque convertor perform and power is lost.

also i don't think it's only the point it's not as quick as it's manual counterpart. but rather the "driving experience" those who like the 3 pedals are use to.

like the saying goes, one you drive the car, the other you steer the car.

but heck, this comparision isn't about apple to apples, it's a non-sport suspension/packaged 325i to a 330i-ZHP automatic.
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Old 05-12-2017, 04:45 PM   #67
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if it has a torque convertor it's a "slush box". this refers to how an automatic/fluid makes a torque convertor perform and power is lost.
I'm familiar with that, but I feel like it's also a term used to refer to the poor performance and slow shifting of bad automatic gearboxes. I could very well be wrong though

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Old 05-12-2017, 04:58 PM   #68
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I'm familiar with that, but I feel like it's also a term used to refer to the poor performance and slow shifting of bad automatic gearboxes. I could very well be wrong though
if it has a torque convertor it absorbs power and is not as quick with gears as a manual properly shifted.
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Old 05-12-2017, 05:10 PM   #69
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Originally Posted by hodgkinsc330ci View Post
I'm really surprised that most of the pollers would have a base 325i in manual over a 330 ZHP with steptronic... guess it depends on what you're using the car for. Still feel like the ZHP would be way more fun, faster, and IMO more comfortable and better looking.
I think it's probably because they've never driven a ZHP automatic or perhaps not even any zhp for that matter. As for me I've had both ind there is no comparison whatsoever. Also if you turn the DSC completely off on a zhp automatic you can smoke the tire like crazy. No LSD so it's just one tire fire.

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Old 05-12-2017, 05:19 PM   #70
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I think it's probably because they've never driven a CHP automatic...
here in CA i think all the CHP cruisers are automatic

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Old 05-12-2017, 07:03 PM   #71
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If the 330 were DCT, then that'd be a different story.
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Old 05-12-2017, 07:04 PM   #72
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330 all day long!!!

I'm the guy that wrote the book on the 6-speed manual conversion. IF it makes a big enough difference to you to have 3 pedals vs 2 then do the conversion.

You'll regret getting a 325 after you feel the difference in power from a 330.
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Old 05-12-2017, 07:56 PM   #73
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There is absolutely no comparison.

A manual 325i will blow the doors off the auto ZHP

A 325i can be shifted at 6000 where it makes about 200hp
A ZHP AUTO will typically shift itself at 3000 where it makes about 125hp

Having a stick shift is like DOUBLING your useable horsepower instantly.
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Old 05-12-2017, 08:11 PM   #74
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There is absolutely no comparison.

A manual 325i will blow the doors off the auto ZHP

A 325i can be shifted at 6000 where it makes about 200hp
A ZHP AUTO will typically shift itself at 3000 where it makes about 125hp

Having a stick shift is like DOUBLING your useable horsepower instantly.
HAHAHHAA, you're joking right? Because if your not, you are just talking out of your ass. My auto ZHP will go straight to the redline. No 325i regardless of auto or manual will beat the ZHP Auto.
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Old 05-12-2017, 08:18 PM   #75
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Originally Posted by OnTheFence View Post
There is absolutely no comparison.

A manual 325i will blow the doors off the auto ZHP

A 325i can be shifted at 6000 where it makes about 200hp
A ZHP AUTO will typically shift itself at 3000 where it makes about 125hp

Having a stick shift is like DOUBLING your useable horsepower instantly.


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Old 05-12-2017, 08:29 PM   #76
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Originally Posted by hodgkinsc330ci View Post
I'm familiar with that, but I feel like it's also a term used to refer to the poor performance and slow shifting of bad automatic gearboxes. I could very well be wrong though
It has nothing to do with the speed of the ZHP or the quality of its auto trans; it has to do with the fact that a 3-pedal manual gives you total control over the way in which the power is delivered to the wheels. Once you've experienced that level of control, especially in an enthusiast car, it's very difficult to settle for an automatic anything.
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Old 05-12-2017, 09:12 PM   #77
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It has nothing to do with the speed of the ZHP or the quality of its auto trans; it has to do with the fact that a 3-pedal manual gives you total control over the way in which the power is delivered to the wheels. Once you've experienced that level of control, especially in an enthusiast car, it's very difficult to settle for an automatic anything.
Unless you are coming out of a 325i manual and in to a ZHP auto. Hahaha...
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Old 05-12-2017, 10:24 PM   #78
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There's no question whatsoever, manual only for me. I'd even have a manual 318i over the auto ZHP.

Ever since I got my first manual (I had a 5-speed conversion done on my '89 325iX after the automatic failed) and learned how to drive it, I hate driving automatics. They're always in the wrong gear. I've never understood the appeal. I also don't buy the sitting in traffic argument - I do a whole lot of that myself, and it's no big deal. The sloppy on/off of an automatic when applying and removing the gas in traffic is more stressful for me than working the clutch.
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Old 05-13-2017, 04:25 AM   #79
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I know I'm new here and am not as zealous about BMWs as some of you guys... but in my experience...

A BMW without a manual transmission is much like a Volvo without a Turbo.... "Why bother?"

I'd get something else if I wanted an automatic that was "fun." Mercedes E550 bi-turbos are getting down in price, and talk about scary fast when you stomp on it. If you've never driven one with a tune, you're missing out.
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Old 05-13-2017, 04:58 AM   #80
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... I also don't buy the sitting in traffic argument - I do a whole lot of that myself, and it's no big deal. The sloppy on/off of an automatic when applying and removing the gas in traffic is more stressful for me than working the clutch.
Not gonna lie, this is something I've felt, too.

I was leery about making my Manual 325xi my everyday commuter car. my area traffic is out of control. you can average 3-8mph for 5-7 miles at a time. sitting still for 15-30 seconds at a time. Soul draining.

What I found with all my other cars (automatics) is that my knee starts to hurt... a lot... after about 15-20 minutes of gas-brake, gas-brake, cooaaast. You have to use quite a bit more force to keep the car from rolling forward, and more force to bring it down from speed with automatic transmissions.

With my manual 325xi, i've found myself being that douche keeping lots of car lengths between me and the people in front of me when I see traffic come to a stop 20-30 cars ahead. it allows me to use overrun fuel cut to save gas.

If you timed it right, the brake lights will cascade off toward you as you approach the car in front of you and you'll never actually have to come to a stop... OCD nirvana

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