Is a Dual-clutch That Much Better Than a Manual or Standard Automatic?

January 9th, 2018 by


Are dual-clutch DSG automatic transmissions better?

If you’re the average driver, you likely think of transmissions in terms of automatic or manual. Possibly even a continuously variable, or CVT, if you’ve been following the latest automotive trends. Then you get to models like the 2018 Volkswagen Golf Alltrack, which offers a six-speed dual-clutch DSG and you’re likely wondering how that is different than a regular automatic transmission and is it really any better? Here’s what you need to know.

What is a DSG transmission?

A DSG, or Dual Shift Gearbox, is a dual-clutch option that is automatic. Now, you most likely associate a clutch with a manual transmission, but both transmission types have a gearbox. When we say that a transmission has six gears, there is typically just one clutch operating them. With a DSG, you have two gearboxes and two drive shafts. One gearbox is responsible for odd gears and the other for your even gears. The advantage is not only optimized shift points that are smooth and quick, but you’ll find that Tiptronic Shift Mode can be optimized with paddle shifters. This creates something of the engaging driving dynamic that is often missed in manual transmissions but without having to take your hands off the wheel.

Another advantage of DSG transmissions is that they are often more fuel efficient, partially due to the optimized shifting.

Which VW models offer the DSG?

Much like how turbocharged engines slowly took over in the VW lineup, we’re seeing more and more models offered with a dual-clutch. Here are the ones you can find for 2018:

  • 2018 Volkswagen Jetta GLI
  • 2018 Volkswagen Passat GT or SEL
  • 2018 Volkswagen Golf SportWagen with 4Motion
  • 2018 Volkswagen Golf Alltrack
  • 2018 Volkswagen Golf R
  • 2018 Volkswagen Golf GTI

Remember, in most models the DSG is an option, and as you can see it is often available based on the trim selected.

Have you ever driven a DSG-equipped model? Share your thoughts with a comment here at the Brandon Volkswagen Blog.