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Gen4 2020. Does anyone have experience of the auto version?

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11 Nov 2022 14:55 #245891 by TFL
I'm about to buy a Jimny Gen4 2020 with auto gearbox as wife doesn't like existing manual gearbox. Any observations about auto version? Is it a good box? Is performance and fuel economy much different? Any reason not to buy an auto version?

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11 Nov 2022 15:45 - 11 Nov 2022 15:46 #245892 by Gadget
I've had a gen4 auto since January 2019, currently on 23k miles. I've been very happy with it, but it depends on what expectations you have for it. Zero problems to date and that includes a week in the Alps screaming up and down miles of steep switchbacks.

It's a basic 4 speed (3 + 1:1 lockup overdrive) torque convertor box, which feels the same to drive as a Renault 5 auto I had back in the 90s. Normal slurring gear shifts and kick down on hard acceleration.

You'll see similar rpm to a manual car - for example 60mph equates to about 2800rpm. I find it pretty relaxing to drive.

Economy does suffer over a manual. I average about 35mpg, with the best I've seen over a full tank being about 39mpg, whereas in the manual people see low 40s. My figures are with larger 215/75/15 AT tyres which are significantly heavier than stock.

I live in an area with heavy traffic and rarely regret the choice, although when I do find a nice fast country lane I do miss having a manual box.

Only other things to be aware of are that by design it won't lockup into the top ratio until the box has warmed up, so on a cold morning if you're straight onto an A road, you'll be revving high for a couple of minutes until it will shift up.

Although generally smooth and relaxing, when using cruise control if you encounter an incline, the box can kick down a gear in order to maintain your set speed, so everything gets very noisy until you hit the level again. Happens far less now than when the car was new, which I put down to the engine loosening up and being a bit more flexible.
Last edit: 11 Nov 2022 15:46 by Gadget.
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11 Nov 2022 16:26 #245894 by 300bhpton

I'm about to buy a Jimny Gen4 2020 with auto gearbox as wife doesn't like existing manual gearbox. Any observations about auto version? Is it a good box? Is performance and fuel economy much different? Any reason not to buy an auto version?

I don't think there is a reason not too.

Although in 2022 only 4 gears does sort of feel at least 2 gears to few.

Most autos of this ilk will be a bit less fun to drive, bit worse mpg and a bit worse performance compared to the manuals.

But they have other rewards and are arguably superior off road.
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11 Nov 2022 16:36 #245895 by fordem
I test drove an automatic, and in comparison to my manual, it is sluuugggiiiish. There's no way I would/could be happy with one as a daily drive. They are, however, a heck of a lot quieter than the manual versions, which have a surprising amount of gear whine.
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11 Nov 2022 16:59 - 11 Nov 2022 17:01 #245896 by Scimike
No reason why you should not to purchase Auto. 
Slightly less mpg and a massive debate as to which is best off road are the two main factors. 
However, if you can drive both or at least the Auto and decide if you like it. 
If you do great, go for it. 
I drove both (G3) and the Auto performance on the road was not for me, which I did not expect. Very personal experience, hence why you need to test if you can. 
Just a friendly suggestion, not invoking the which is best debate, they are all good in different ways. 

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Last edit: 11 Nov 2022 17:01 by Scimike.
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11 Nov 2022 18:10 - 11 Nov 2022 18:11 #245897 by lightning
lf your wife doesn't like the manual, then the auto is the best transmission for you.

Regardless of whether the manual transmission might be a bit faster/quieter/better MPG it's no good to you because your wife doesn't like it.

For you and your wife, the auto will be perfect.
Last edit: 11 Nov 2022 18:11 by lightning.
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11 Nov 2022 19:34 #245898 by TFL
Thanks for all responses, much appreciated. we are test driving the auto next week and will report on my experiences and whether I purchase it. I have an exact copy manual (even same colour) to do a direct comparison. Thanks TFL

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11 Nov 2022 19:50 #245900 by mlines
I feel that part of the reports around them being "sluggish" is that the engine is a typicaly Japanese design which is happiest at high revs. Therefore the manual gearbox lets you drive in a more spirited fashion. The Auto steps in quicker to change up, rather than holding, which means revs are kept lower and out of the zone where the engine really sings.

Martin

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11 Nov 2022 21:34 #245902 by Lambert
I can only comment on my late gen 3 automatic which is basically the same but subtly different. The automatic really does suit the Jimny, it mellows the frantic nature of the manual and makes for a really pleasant drive. I have had mine long enough now to conclude that the difference in mpg is hardly noticeable especially when cruising in top on a good A road or motorway. In traffic it's marginally worse but that's compensated by being relaxing to drive in stop and go conditions. Off road it's magnificent you can just creep about in low range and concentrate on where you are putting your wheels. Also if you do need to press on ,as much as any Jimny will let you, the automatic will hold a gap once you get off the line to the manual though I suspect that left foot braking and giving it full revs before side stepping the brake might get it away quite quickly but that's hardly mechanical sympathy.

Temeraire (2018 quasar grey automatic)
One of the last 200ish of the gen3s, probably.

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14 Nov 2022 17:29 #245940 by fordem

I feel that part of the reports around them being "sluggish" is that the engine is a typicaly Japanese design which is happiest at high revs. 


I'm not certain I would agree with this - I've had ample opportunity to drive numerous Japanese compact cars with automatic transmissions, and on the day I drove that automatic transmission Jimny, I also drove a Baleno with automatic transmission, lighter car, smaller engine, compared to the Jimny, it went like the proverbial "bat out of hell".

I've also had the opportunity to compare "like for like" second & third generation Grand Vitaras with the 2.0 J20a engine, in both cases the manual transmission version was more lively than it's automatic counterpart, but in neither case was the difference as noticeable as it was with the manual & automatic Jimnys.

My suspicion is that the transmission ratios are poorly chosen, and I'm hunting down the data to do a comparison, I have the ratios for the Jimny, but not for the GVs.

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18 Nov 2022 11:45 #245987 by Jon100
A little late to reply … initially we bought a new manual Gen4 Jimny but didn’t like the constant gear changing, so luckily we were able to sell to a dealer and buy a new auto version.

For our village and rural ‘B’ roads, so probably rarely going faster than 45-50 mph, we much prefer this transmission. It’s not really a car that’s suited to being thrashed. Driven within it's limitations - we love it.

Off road the auto box is brilliant.

We have no regrets and wouldn’t swap back to a manual.

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18 Nov 2022 17:27 #245996 by 300bhpton

It’s not really a car that’s suited to being thrashed. Driven within it's limitations - we love it.

 

I'd have to disagree there. The Jimny takes to a good thrashing very well. The engine also does its best work at high rpm, it might not be an outright screamer in terms of numbers. But it whips round to the red line very well and never feels breathless.

Volume up... 


 

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