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      02-28-2012, 11:20 AM   #1
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Question SMG transmission?

Bought another car

Last edited by AnotherCar; 04-21-2012 at 11:25 PM.
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      02-28-2012, 11:47 AM   #2
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Interested in possibly moving to a E60 M5 once my 335 is sold. I drove an M5 & M6 both w/SMG trans yesterday. Didn't like the M6 at all.

I loved the M5, but driving the SMG trans around town seems to be a huge PITA & kills any enjoyment you get from having the car unless you are mashing the gas. I don't know about you, but I don't mash the gas pedal every time I get behind the wheel.

So how do you get the SMG trans to shift pleasant enough to be able to enjoy normal driving around town?

I played w/the M Drive settings via iDrive, but nothing made it enjoyable.
I owned one for a year (DD), around town SMG is not good and will not be good. You can learn to make it better, but it is a system built for speed not town use.
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      02-28-2012, 12:46 PM   #3
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Interested in possibly moving to a E60 M5 once my 335 is sold. I drove an M5 & M6 both w/SMG trans yesterday. Didn't like the M6 at all.

I loved the M5, but driving the SMG trans around town seems to be a huge PITA & kills any enjoyment you get from having the car unless you are mashing the gas. I don't know about you, but I don't mash the gas pedal every time I get behind the wheel.

So how do you get the SMG trans to shift pleasant enough to be able to enjoy normal driving around town?

I played w/the M Drive settings via iDrive, but nothing made it enjoyable.

Actually its the best, most enjoyable transmission that doesnt have a 3rd pedal. The M6 is my daily drive for the past 3+ years and I love SMG for all driving situations.

Suprised you didnt love the M6, but thats a different question, but, you will never ever get to enjoy SMG though until you own it, no test drive or even weekend in the car will be useful. However, once you drive the car for a period of time, it becomes natural and feels exactly like you are driving a traditional manual transmission, except you dont have to press the 3rd pedal. But as I write this, understand the implications, if you dont like driving a manual car, you wont like the SMG, its not meant to be an auto, nor a DCT, so you have to go in understanding this, and then you can set the proper expectations.

good luck
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      02-28-2012, 01:24 PM   #4
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Actually its the best, most enjoyable transmission that doesnt have a 3rd pedal. The M6 is my daily drive for the past 3+ years and I love SMG for all driving situations.

Suprised you didnt love the M6, but thats a different question, but, you will never ever get to enjoy SMG though until you own it, no test drive or even weekend in the car will be useful. However, once you drive the car for a period of time, it becomes natural and feels exactly like you are driving a traditional manual transmission, except you dont have to press the 3rd pedal. But as I write this, understand the implications, if you dont like driving a manual car, you wont like the SMG, its not meant to be an auto, nor a DCT, so you have to go in understanding this, and then you can set the proper expectations.

good luck
I must disagree on a couple of points. DCT and PDK are better (I still don't love them).

I agree that a test drive will not sell you on SMG, in fact quite the opposite.

I do like driving a manual transmission, and that is the reason I don't really like automated transmissions around town (they are great when you are up to speed). It always feels like the car isn't quite sure what you want it to do, it slips the clutch a little more then I would, then the clutch engages an quickly releases (resulting in a 'knocking' sound).

Enjoy your M6
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      02-28-2012, 01:32 PM   #5
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Actually its the best, most enjoyable transmission that doesnt have a 3rd pedal. The M6 is my daily drive for the past 3+ years and I love SMG for all driving situations.

Suprised you didnt love the M6, but thats a different question, but, you will never ever get to enjoy SMG though until you own it, no test drive or even weekend in the car will be useful. However, once you drive the car for a period of time, it becomes natural and feels exactly like you are driving a traditional manual transmission, except you dont have to press the 3rd pedal. But as I write this, understand the implications, if you dont like driving a manual car, you wont like the SMG, its not meant to be an auto, nor a DCT, so you have to go in understanding this, and then you can set the proper expectations.

good luck
I love driving a manual, but this thing feels like it bogs on every shift if you're just driving around town. So what is the key to driving the SMG around town?

If it's not an auto or a DCT or a manual what is it?
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      02-28-2012, 01:37 PM   #6
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I love driving a manual, but this thing feels like it bogs on every shift if you're just driving around town. So what is the key to driving the SMG around town?

If it's not an auto or a DCT or a manual what is it?
For best results, I turned shifts to the most agressive setting, and you have to be very deliberate with the accelerator, if you 'feather it' the car gets confused and does some of the things I mentioned before.
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      02-28-2012, 01:37 PM   #7
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all the AT MT SMG DCT PDK are good when you need it. i have E46 M3 SMG, E92 M3 DCT, E63 M6 SMG. M3 DCT is best for daily drive as i can use on D4 or D5 all the time. but DCT does not give how MT feel but SMG does when you on "race mode". DCT is just too smooth! sometime we want more "feeling"
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      02-28-2012, 01:54 PM   #8
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all the AT MT SMG DCT PDK are good when you need it. i have E46 M3 SMG, E92 M3 DCT, E63 M6 SMG. M3 DCT is best for daily drive as i can use on D4 or D5 all the time. but DCT does not give how MT feel but SMG does when you on "race mode". DCT is just too smooth! sometime we want more "feeling"
I know all about DCT trans. Driven many & love them. The other half's daily is DCT.

Trying to sort out the SMG stuff here so I can pick up an M5.
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      02-28-2012, 02:36 PM   #9
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SMG was a single clutch, computer controlled manual. It's similar, but not as complex as the modern, dual clutch setups. I've only driven the Ferrari F1 single clutch setup, and like you said, it really only works right when given the boot. It was unbearable as a daily driver, especially in stop and go traffic like on the 405.

There are a few E60 M5's with six speed manuals around, but they have non defeatable stability control. Pity. Such a glorious engine with such a turd of an auto-manual. I've just written off E6x M cars because of the SMG.
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      02-28-2012, 06:58 PM   #10
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I must disagree on a couple of points. DCT and PDK are better (I still don't love them).

I agree that a test drive will not sell you on SMG, in fact quite the opposite.

I do like driving a manual transmission, and that is the reason I don't really like automated transmissions around town (they are great when you are up to speed). It always feels like the car isn't quite sure what you want it to do, it slips the clutch a little more then I would, then the clutch engages an quickly releases (resulting in a 'knocking' sound).

Enjoy your M6
Again, Im not arguing the merits of SMG vs DCT or PDK, these are completely subjective comments, as are yours. Each have their benefits and limitations, but I dont agree that the DCT nor the PDK is better, its just different.

But also understand that SMG is NOT an automated transmission, it is a Sequential MANUAL gearbox, and if you drive it as you would a traditional manual, you can achieve similar levels of feel and enjoyment.
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      02-28-2012, 07:05 PM   #11
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I love driving a manual, but this thing feels like it bogs on every shift if you're just driving around town. So what is the key to driving the SMG around town?

If it's not an auto or a DCT or a manual what is it?

Id suggest you ensure that you atleast test it in the S5 drivelogic program, which is very quick and where gearshifts can be as smooth as any slushbox. By default the car starts in 3 so you would have to have changed it to feel the difference. Also, you'd want to have the power settings set to P500S to get the best engine response. I can easily drive the car and shift gears while the passenger does not even notice the shifts, so it really just comes down to a little practice where you will get a feel for how it works. You would want to lightly 'feather' the gas while you're shifting to get the clean gearchange, similar to how you get to learn how to smoothly shift a traditional manual.

SMG is a manual, its a Sequential MANUAL gearbox,with a single clutch thats hydroelectronic so you dont get the third pedal.
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      02-28-2012, 07:11 PM   #12
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But also understand that SMG is NOT an automated transmission, it is a Sequential MANUAL gearbox, and if you drive it as you would a traditional manual, you can achieve similar levels of feel and enjoyment.
If it wasn't automated then you would have to press a clutch pedal and select the next gear yourself. It absolutely is an automated manual transmission.

I agree when you change your driving style then the car performs better, but I still found it to be annoying around town and when parking.
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      02-28-2012, 07:11 PM   #13
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all the AT MT SMG DCT PDK are good when you need it. i have E46 M3 SMG, E92 M3 DCT, E63 M6 SMG. M3 DCT is best for daily drive as i can use on D4 or D5 all the time. but DCT does not give how MT feel but SMG does when you on "race mode". DCT is just too smooth! sometime we want more "feeling"
+1, this is my biggest compliant of the DCT that I didnt love when driving it on the track. Its just too smooth compared to the SMG which gives such great feedback and feel, as you say, its a different experience, and I liken it to a traditional manual because of the great feel that you get. I dont mind DCT, but it doesnt make me want to throw away the SMG on my car to replace it with.

Oh, and while I dont believe it necessary to drive the SMG as a 'race' car in the M6, or M5 for that matter, the OP should understand that the M5 and M6 are meant TO be driven like the racecar they are hiding under the skins. You dont buy a 500+hp high revving M powered V10 and not drive it like a race car! Therefore, SMG is just right
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      02-28-2012, 07:14 PM   #14
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If it wasn't automated then you would have to press a clutch pedal and select the next gear yourself. It absolutely is an automated manual transmission.

I agree when you change your driving style then the car performs better, but I still found it to be annoying around town and when parking.
Semantics, but its not automated in any way, its sequential, and its just an electronic clutch, but you have to initiate the change! Im playing, but trully, I know alot complain around town, but Ive never had an issue with the feel, I often think that some owners just didnt understand how to use it, and more importantly what an M is about. In local driving, you dont really need to shift much, no need to get into high gear, you can drive in 2-4 gear in most local situations and use 5 as overdrive, i never drive in higher gears in local situations, and often dont on highways unless taking long drives, its just not the way an M is supposed to be driven.
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      02-28-2012, 09:07 PM   #15
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If I had the choice to get a SMG in my e90 I would do it in a heartbeat. I grew up on manuals, my other two cars are manuals. I previously owned a SMG for a few years. Hated it at first, started to like it, I grew to love it, now I miss it. Kinda like dating an overweight girl with a great personality, and overtime she loses weight.

SMG is more manual than auto. You learn over time to understand the computer and connect with it, you can coax it to shift gears are certain times or not to swap cogs at others just with how you treat the gas pedal. Comes over time... but you'll love it no doubt.
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      02-29-2012, 12:07 AM   #16
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btw you can check the m5 / m6 forum about SMG problem/issue. i am kinda worry for my M6 too.

DCT is manual too
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      02-29-2012, 01:27 PM   #17
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If I had the choice to get a SMG in my e90 I would do it in a heartbeat. I grew up on manuals, my other two cars are manuals. I previously owned a SMG for a few years. Hated it at first, started to like it, I grew to love it, now I miss it. Kinda like dating an overweight girl with a great personality, and overtime she loses weight.

SMG is more manual than auto. You learn over time to understand the computer and connect with it, you can coax it to shift gears are certain times or not to swap cogs at others just with how you treat the gas pedal. Comes over time... but you'll love it no doubt.
Well I don't see myself buying it unless I can figure that out beforehand. Care to share your secrets?
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      02-29-2012, 01:30 PM   #18
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Id suggest you ensure that you atleast test it in the S5 drivelogic program, which is very quick and where gearshifts can be as smooth as any slushbox. By default the car starts in 3 so you would have to have changed it to feel the difference. Also, you'd want to have the power settings set to P500S to get the best engine response. I can easily drive the car and shift gears while the passenger does not even notice the shifts, so it really just comes down to a little practice where you will get a feel for how it works. You would want to lightly 'feather' the gas while you're shifting to get the clean gearchange, similar to how you get to learn how to smoothly shift a traditional manual.

SMG is a manual, its a Sequential MANUAL gearbox,with a single clutch thats hydroelectronic so you dont get the third pedal.
I drove them both in S5. Still unpleasant.
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      02-29-2012, 07:59 PM   #19
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I drove them both in S5. Still unpleasant.
you had noted earlier that you felt that the transmission felt like it was bogged, which i take to mean that the shifts were not instantaneous, which is what may be felt if the drivelogic is the default S3 setting, but in S5 if you get the feel down, you can do it in such a way that you wont realize the change. I know its impossible to describe, but it just a feel you have to develop just like when you first learned a traditional manual. You do need to get to learn how and when to shift, but it doesnt take any measurable time to be honest. Im sure that most people who've enjoyed driving manuals can pick it up rather easy--but again, you are not going to get that from driving a test around the area or even on a weekend, but it does get "natural". if you were on LI some time, Id gladly drive you around and you'd be happily surprised to not notice the shifts---that is until you WANT to feel them, which I promise you that you will in certain situations, though that is totally up to your driving desires
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      02-29-2012, 10:18 PM   #20
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you had noted earlier that you felt that the transmission felt like it was bogged, which i take to mean that the shifts were not instantaneous, which is what may be felt if the drivelogic is the default S3 setting, but in S5 if you get the feel down, you can do it in such a way that you wont realize the change. I know its impossible to describe, but it just a feel you have to develop just like when you first learned a traditional manual. You do need to get to learn how and when to shift, but it doesnt take any measurable time to be honest. Im sure that most people who've enjoyed driving manuals can pick it up rather easy--but again, you are not going to get that from driving a test around the area or even on a weekend, but it does get "natural". if you were on LI some time, Id gladly drive you around and you'd be happily surprised to not notice the shifts---that is until you WANT to feel them, which I promise you that you will in certain situations, though that is totally up to your driving desires
Do you always shift it manually or let the car do it?
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      03-01-2012, 04:49 PM   #21
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Interested in possibly moving to a E60 M5 once my 335 is sold. I drove an M5 & M6 both w/SMG trans yesterday. Didn't like the M6 at all.

I loved the M5, but driving the SMG trans around town seems to be a huge PITA & kills any enjoyment you get from having the car unless you are mashing the gas. I don't know about you, but I don't mash the gas pedal every time I get behind the wheel.

So how do you get the SMG trans to shift pleasant enough to be able to enjoy normal driving around town?

I played w/the M Drive settings via iDrive, but nothing made it enjoyable.
I dont know if i come too late, i have never drive a e60 M5 or M6 but i have read a lot of road test about them. The smg trans always get bad reviews from everyone who'd try it. The same criticts always comeback. This is why BMW came back later whit a 6MT at last. My choice for sure!
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      03-01-2012, 07:04 PM   #22
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Do you always shift it manually or let the car do it?
100% all manual shifting. I will 100% confirm that the automated function is crap, I have never, ever used it more than once to just see it work. The car is a manual, just forget it has any auto mode and if you shift every time, you'll love it.
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