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  1. #1
    Fellow Frogger! Trixie's Avatar
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    Default Tell me about Sensodrive.

    I'm quite taken by the C2 and C3, but the 2 and the better-specced C3's are Sensodrivel only. The press seem a little down on this setup, but I know that a lot of Alfa drivers grow to love their Selespeeds.

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    Can you experienced Sensodrive bods give me a run down on the pros and cons, plus a bit of an idea how best to drive them? Sorry if much of this has been covered - I did a search but didn't see an answer to this particular question.
    John

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    1000+ Posts kermit's Avatar
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    There have been a couple of threads recently detailing the problems with Sensless Drive. The gear box is a clutchless manual managed, or mismanaged in many cases, by software. I would never buy one. Anyone that doesn't like using a clutch should buy a proper auto.
    Cheers Simon
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  3. #3
    1000+ Posts kermit's Avatar
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    Is your avatar the Harry Seidler house in Sydney?
    Cheers Simon
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  4. #4
    Fellow Frogger! Trixie's Avatar
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    The Avatar is indeed Rose Seidler House in Turramurra.

    I know a lot of people HATE Sensodrivel, but I did spend a couple of days in that clutchless manual GS some time back and really liked it once used to it. I had actually searched the general forums (instead of Citroen threads ) and have since found a few references from some months back.

    I'd still be interested in people's techniques to get the best from it.
    John

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  5. #5
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    i think sensodrive is great..and most ppl grow to love it..
    most ppl are impressed after driving a C2.
    generally most complaints about sensodrive seem to be when someone first buys a C2 because it has an early version of the software...but as soon as they get it updated..they notice the improvement..
    nothings perfect but i have never had a problem with it yet..
    i give credit to citroen for there technology..
    its worth test driving one and if you want a better understanding how it works, there is documentation from citroen about sensodrive.
    and now Peugeot has brought out the same thing as well..
    what more could you want!

  6. #6
    Tadpole soafie's Avatar
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    As jasC2 said, Sensodrive is great once the software has been sorted out. . .the choice of full auto or manual (albeit clutchless) is as close to the best of both worlds as I've seen achieved. My Skyline has a tiptronic auto. . .almost the same result as Sensodrive (but approached from the opposite mechanical direction) but when used in 'manual' mode, shifts far more harshly than the Citroen.
    Yes, Sensodrive car still be caught out - hard standing starts are not it's forte. . .unless clutch shudder and ther pong of cooked friction material is your thing, and it can get 'confused' when almost coming to a stop before taking off again (like approaching a roundabout or something). I've found that the second of these problems is simply overcome by driving the car manually.
    I am a bit worried about how long the clutch is going to last. . .and what it's going to cost me to replace. . .and how long it's likely to take to replace given how eager to please WA Citroen dealers seem to be. . .
    But, for the time being, I've gone from being a pre-software up date Sensodrive hater to a post-update Sensodrive advocate.
    Make of that what you will!
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  7. #7
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    what more could you want!
    A proper manual or a proper auto.

    These automated manuals seems to be thrown upon us by manufacturers unwilling or unable to get an up to date automatic mated to their engines. Therefore it is usually european brands... specifically italian or french (though BMW seem to persist with them - SMG)

    The only one that seems to work is VW's DSG. Then again they are also able to supply the buyer 6 speed manuals and fully automatics.

    One wonders how much better a C2/C3 would be with a 5/6 speed auto.

  8. #8
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    Default SensoDrive...OK!

    Trixie...

    I have driven my C2 for 28000 km now, over 15 months...and have found it to be a very good transmission, especially after you learn its idiosyncracies, and it learns yours....my changes are nice and smooth, and each software update seems to make it better and better.

    I suggest that you take either the C2 or C3 for a long drive - like for a whole morning, or afternoon, as I did, since the dealer insisted that it would take me a couple of hours to become accustomed to the SensoDrive.

    In that time, it has been caught out a couple of times, going into snow mode when I am stopped at a traffic light. Apart from that, it operates very well.

    Everyone has an opinion - but the folks who drive one every day tend to have the experience of how bad or good it is.

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  9. #9
    Fellow Frogger! BlackC2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trixie
    Can you experienced Sensodrive bods give me a run down on the pros and cons, plus a bit of an idea how best to drive them? Sorry if much of this has been covered - I did a search but didn't see an answer to this particular question.
    I bought my C2 after considerable research and test drives of rivals of the same size. The Citroen got the nod both for and in spite of the Sensodrive.

    Pro: Choice of changing gears yourself our handing over to the computer.
    Pro: Unlike the automatics with "tiptronic" shifts at this price - Sensodrive has five gears, not four. A big advantage.
    Pro: The paddle shifts are fun.
    Pro: Despite being a manual purist, I do like being able to hand over to the computer when in the city or just feeling lazy.
    Pro: Being a manual rather than an auto; the efficiency advantages are there in the fuel economy.
    Pro: It does impress friends and rellies (who don't read car mags).
    Pro: Great sounding downshifts.

    Con: Failed to proceed last Monday morning: The software declared it to be all too hard and wouldn't choose a gear.
    Con: Read through this forum and hear about the various reliability tragedies people have had with this thing.
    Con: Sometimes it takes an age to shift down for you and you sit there waiting for gear to turn up for work. Usually when something large and non-negotiable is bearing down on you.
    Con: Upshifts do surge a bit. (Though I seem to have got used to that).

    There you go. The C2 itself is a wonderful experience . The sensodrive can be your best friend or...
    I can't recommend a sensodrive gearbox vehicle, simply because of so many documented problems. But, if you're willing to take the chance it may be just what you want. Drive a C2/C3 and see what you think.

    (Now if they could just put Honda's 7-"speed" CVT auto from the Jazz in there - perfect!)
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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by kermit
    There have been a couple of threads recently detailing the problems with Sensless Drive. The gear box is a clutchless manual managed, or mismanaged in many cases, by software. I would never buy one. Anyone that doesn't like using a clutch should buy a proper auto.
    In fact the drivetrain does have a clutch plate assembly, just like most other cars with a manual gearbox. It does not have a clutch pedal.

    I seem to recall that Citroen had success with another clutch pedaless model some years ago . It too was controlled by a computer - admitedly the computer was powered by high pressure fluid and not electronics. This computer can be programmed too for speed of changes.

    Now of course if people were talking about the new Ferraris or Lambos with clutchless manuals it would be a whole different story.......
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    Quote Originally Posted by UFO
    In fact the drivetrain does have a clutch plate assembly, just like most other cars with a manual gearbox. It does not have a clutch pedal.
    From what I have told, it is exacly the same gearbox used in 1.6L Xsaras, 307's etc. The electronics are bolted on to handle the clutch action and gear change.

    Troy.

  12. #12
    1000+ Posts kermit's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BlackC2
    (Now if they could just put Honda's 7-"speed" CVT auto from the Jazz in there - perfect!)
    That is a great gearbox and should be an option in all small cars. The Sensless Drive is an under developed, over complicated manual for people who can't/or don't want to use a clutch pedal. Let the buyer beware.
    Cheers Simon
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    1000+ Posts kermit's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by UFO
    Now of course if people were talking about the new Ferraris or Lambos with clutchless manuals it would be a whole different story.......
    JC says the Aston Martin Vanquish's gearbox is garbage because it is a flappy paddle manual, were as the DB9 and Vantage use a flappy paddle auto. The only worthwhile flappy paddle manual is VW's DSG.
    Cheers Simon
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  14. #14
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    I have noticed that Citroen are running out the C2. Do you think they will drop the sensodrive version and bring ina normal 5 speed manual version? Now that would be a fun car.

    In fact my sister would have bought one (instead of a Barina Sri) if it had a "normal" transmission. Even she could see it was a possible source of future "issues"

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    Quote Originally Posted by mantra
    I have noticed that Citroen are running out the C2. Do you think they will drop the sensodrive version and bring ina normal 5 speed manual version? Now that would be a fun car.
    That would be the C2 GT sold in Europe.

    There is the mildest of facelifts on the way just released over there. I haven't seen a front view, but the rear has clear indicators and they've splashed some worthwhile "silver" highlights around over the dash. Maybe when the new model gets here some of the home-market features might come with it - ESP, knee Airbags, Cruise control, heated seats (haven't we needed them in Sydney the last few days!), etc.
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  16. #16
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    Default Sensodrive

    I reckon this discussion should be limited to people who actually drive a car with Sensodrive rather than people who have an 'opinion' about it but actually dirve another car!
    I've done over 30,000k in my C2 and in my view it does take a bit to get used to but after that it's much more fun to drive than most other cars. In manual mode there is absolutely nothing to complain about and much to enjoy.
    The C2 is great value at $21990 - just so many good things to say about this car - comfort, economy (better than a Getz!), handling, looks, what more do you want!!!
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    Quote Originally Posted by BlackC2
    Failed to proceed last Monday morning
    That comment is a dead giveaway of a Rolls-Royce fan!

    I've had my Pluriel for a little over 6 months now (they only come with Sensodrive).

    It took some time to get used to it, but I love it. Yes, it has some quirks. The biggest is found when approaching intersections at a roll (about 10-15kmh) in auto mode. It is second gear and upon application of the throttle, it shifts back to first before taking off, resulting in a fraction of a second delay before going. If you are aiming for that small gap in the traffic it can be a little scary.

    There is a thread on the UK site where some joker stubbornly refuses to accept this quirk and claims the car is unsafe to drive. All I can say there is "be real!"

    Essentially, one has to "manage" it manually at times. These times are very rare and predictable. You quickly get to know when it will struggle to make up its own mind (which gear to select) so you either patiently wait for it to sort itself out or make the decision for it with a quick flick of a paddle. But, if you are aware of these characteristics so they do not catch you off guard, then they are great.

  18. #18
    UFO
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    Quote Originally Posted by cbgb
    I reckon this discussion should be limited to people who actually drive a car with Sensodrive rather than people who have an 'opinion' about it but actually dirve another car!
    I've done over 30,000k in my C2 and in my view it does take a bit to get used to but after that it's much more fun to drive than most other cars. In manual mode there is absolutely nothing to complain about and much to enjoy.
    The C2 is great value at $21990 - just so many good things to say about this car - comfort, economy (better than a Getz!), handling, looks, what more do you want!!!
    How about people who have driven Sensodrive Citroens enough to form a valid opinion on them, and therefore would buy one, yet are currently driving other Citroens?
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  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by JamesII
    That comment is a dead giveaway of a Rolls-Royce fan!
    That's Rolls-Royce Motor Car fanatic to you!

    I fully agree with your sensodrive comments - very eloquent for a commoner.
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  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by BlackC2
    That would be the C2 GT sold in Europe.
    The C2 GT was a limited edition car sold in the UK. It was simply a stripped down VTR minus Sensodrive. It's not sold anymore.

    The one to sell here should be the VTS, with normal 5 speed manual and 125bhp engine (compared to 110bhp in the VTR). That would be good.

    Troy.

  21. #21
    1000+ Posts kermit's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TroyO
    The one to sell here should be the VTS, with normal 5 speed manual and 125bhp engine.
    I wouldn't mind a C2 with that spec. Though still not a patch on a 138. Why don't Citroen go head to head with Peugeot. They can beat them in WRC but don't have a hero car to followup with.
    Cheers Simon
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    Quote Originally Posted by kermit
    I wouldn't mind a C2 with that spec. Though still not a patch on a 138. Why don't Citroen go head to head with Peugeot. They can beat them in WRC but don't have a hero car to followup with.
    Not sure what is behind Citroen's thinking. Citroen's sporty models always seems to be restrained, a sporty and luxury mix. (Xsara VTS was like that)

    Perhaps the 2L doesn't fit in the C2 (C2 VTS is still a 1.6L). C2 is seen as the replacement of the Saxo, so it's not quite in the 206/207 ballpark.

    Still not a bad performer though. 0-100 in 8.3 seconds.

    Troy.

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    1000+ Posts kermit's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TroyO
    Still not a bad performer though. 0-100 in 8.3 seconds.
    That equals the time of a 138. Didn't realise they were that fast. Pity you can't buy one.
    Cheers Simon
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  24. #24
    Fellow Frogger! Trixie's Avatar
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    Now I've tried it.

    Strikes me its an alternative to an automatic, and viewed as such its good. It changes too slowly to be a true manual alternative, but has more control than most tiptronic type autos. I had absolutely no trouble driving it impercebtibly smoothly at first acquaintance although did find it a little frustrating when accelerating briskly changing 1-2. Agree that downchanges are great.

    Not that impressed with auto mode for briskish driving, but it seemed just fine for pottering which, after all, is what autos are for.

    My only real concern was reverse parking on a hill; I suppose I'm used to the clutch foot doing the controlling and once adapted it would be fine. Meanwhile I could use the handbrake a la manual.

    I liked it - I'd prefer it to an auto in a small car, but would still go manual every time.
    John

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  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by TroyO
    Still not a bad performer though. 0-100 in 8.3 seconds.
    Quote Originally Posted by kermit
    That equals the time of a 138. Didn't realise they were that fast. Pity you can't buy one.
    To be honest, I don't believe that figure - if those are CitroŽn's figures, where did they test the car? The runway at Wellington airport with a tailwind? (Wellington's bloody windy)

    Auto Motor und Sport (arguably Europe's most respected magazine) clocked the C2 1.6 Sensodrive at 11.8s for 0-100km/h and weighed the car at 1113kg (61.1/38.9 weight distribution). Plus, at 140km/h in 5th gear interior noise is 76dB

    11.8s probably is a wee bit slower than I expected, but then when you factor the slow Sensodrive changes/its inefficiency, it's not so out of the question. The C2 Sensodrive isn't particularly light for its size.

    Interestingly, in the test yearbook, the 307 1.6 managed 10.4s for the 0-100km/h run.

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