Does anybody own a Ford Fiesta 1.4 semi-auto? Looking for recommendations

9
Found 15th Dec 2015
Hi all,

I am considering getting a Ford Fiesta, the 1.4lt which has a semi-automatic gearbox. I will mainly be doing driving throughout and around London hence the reason to go for an automatic.

Has anybody ever owned this car or have one currently? I have no experience of the semi-automatic gearbox, so looking for peoples opinions on this if they have owned one in the past.

Thanks!
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AskFord
9 Comments
I have a manual, so can't speak for that (which is probably what you really want to know :p) but the car itself is very reliable I've found so far. Ford are generally quite cheap to repair should anything go wrong anyway.
Looking it up it appears the only combination of 1.4L engine and automatic available on a recent fiesta is the 1.4L Petrol Duratech Engine with the Durashift automated manual gearbox which were available between ~2002 and ~2012 on two different models of Fiesta.

I haven't tried that gearbox, but generally speaking automated manuals aren't known for their smoothness so if that's your reason for buying then it may not be the ideal choice unless you plan to change gear manually and just want the clutch pedal removed.
Original Poster
EndlessWaves

Looking it up it appears the only combination of 1.4L engine and … Looking it up it appears the only combination of 1.4L engine and automatic available on a recent fiesta is the 1.4L Petrol Duratech Engine with the Durashift automated manual gearbox which were available between ~2002 and ~2012 on two different models of Fiesta.I haven't tried that gearbox, but generally speaking automated manuals aren't known for their smoothness so if that's your reason for buying then it may not be the ideal choice unless you plan to change gear manually and just want the clutch pedal removed.




I am not 100% how the semi automatic gearbox actually works. So you still change gears like a manual however there is no clutch?

I did some research however I can't seem to find any information about this gear box, nothing on youtube either explaining how this works..
ceanth

I am not 100% how the semi automatic gearbox actually works. So you still … I am not 100% how the semi automatic gearbox actually works. So you still change gears like a manual however there is no clutch?



The term semi-automatic seems to get applied inconsistently so don't assume they're all the same.

An automated manual gearbox like the Durashift on the fiesta is a standard manual gearbox with computer controlled motors and soldenoids outside it to change the gear for you. Some automated manuals offer controls to allow the driver to tell the computer to change gear and some don't. As these controls are just buttons sending an electronic signal they can be in any form - paddles behind the wheel and pushing the gearlever up and down being the most common.

Looking around there's a good description of how the Fiesta's box and controls work in this review:
buyacar.co.uk/car…tml
Original Poster
EndlessWaves

The term semi-automatic seems to get applied inconsistently so don't … The term semi-automatic seems to get applied inconsistently so don't assume they're all the same.An automated manual gearbox like the Durashift on the fiesta is a standard manual gearbox with computer controlled motors and soldenoids outside it to change the gear for you. Some automated manuals offer controls to allow the driver to tell the computer to change gear and some don't. As these controls are just buttons sending an electronic signal they can be in any form - paddles behind the wheel and pushing the gearlever up and down being the most common.Looking around there's a good description of how the Fiesta's box and controls work in this review:http://www.buyacar.co.uk/cars/ford/ford_fiesta/review_ford_fiesta_1_4_durashift_1028.jhtml




Thanks for the link. After reading it, it appears to have some extra trickery then a normal automatic box but does practically the same thing. You can put it in ASM mode or SSM mode. ASM is a automatic mode where as SSM is the mode where you can manually go up and down gears as you choose.

What do you think are the differences between this Durashift gearbox and a standard Automatic gear box? The main thing I am looking for is an automatic gearbox so its easier driving around in the city.

I've just sold my 1.4 manual fiesta which was very reliable, can't speak for autos but you would find all the help you need if you visit The Ford Owners Club , very helpful.
The review is quite complimentary...

Earlier semi-auto's were prone to poor shifting, bad timing of shifts (with a momentary loss of power), and to wear and poor lifetime of the auto clutch.
A big advantage of the semi-auto compared to the normal (torque converter) auto, is it's as efficient as a manual ... The torque converter on a traditional auto has losses - some systems alleviate the losses by activating a converter lock when at steady speed.

Not sure how semi-auto performs "creep mode", other than by slipping the clutch.

NB. Even on a traditional auto, you should not abuse it by using any more than idle while stationary for any time. To prevent rolling back on a hill, the handbrake should be applied as holding using engine power is unsteady, unsafe and may overheat the transmission fluid.
I had a fiesta 1.4 semi auto, it was great. No clutch you could drive it like a full auto and just leave it to do its thing or change gear yourself like a manual. I liked it until the gearbox needed replacing....
ceanth

What do you think are the differences between this Durashift gearbox and … What do you think are the differences between this Durashift gearbox and a standard Automatic gear box? The main thing I am looking for is an automatic gearbox so its easier driving around in the city.



Automated Manuals are arguably the normal type of automatic for small, cheap cars.

For larger cars the torque converter automatic is most common. Instead of being a computer controlled manual it's an entirely different design that works mechanically. It doesn't use it's power very efficiently though, so it requires more horsepower which means the engine burns more fuel.

Other common types of automatic would be:

Dual Clutch Automatic. A refinement of the automated manual that has a second clutch to pre-select a gear which results in a lot lower incidence of jerky shifts.

CVT. A continuously variable transmission without individual gears. Popular on Japanese cars, the primarily complaint against the CVT is that it's behaviour in keeping the engine at high revs when accelerating hard can produce a lot of noise.

Both dual clutch and CVT automatics are more efficient than torque converters.

Implementations do vary though, so you probably want to test drive a few to get an idea of which you dislike so you can discount any that don't have a particularly good implementation of that technology.
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