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Hello,

I've been reading these forums for a few months now (tremendously helpful) and am seriously considering a Murano. We're also looking hard at the 2004 MDX. We're a family of 4, two children 7 years and 6 months.

My question is about the new 2004 models and specifically the drive options. I know the SE has a manumatic mode with 6 speeds/settings, which replaces Ds and Dl it seems. Does the 2004 SL still have those drive modes (Ds and Dl)? Did it have them in 2003?

I was interested in waiting on the 2004 models for the SE manumatic mode but after reading the thread below about it - it doesn't seem to be very advantageous with the CVT transmission. Everyone with an SE seems to enjoy Ds so much that it makes me think I may want to avoid the 2004 SE if the 2004 SL has it.

Any information about it would be helpful...and any additional thoughts about the 2004 vs. teh 2003 would certainly be appreciated as well.
 

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I haven't seen a 2004 yet, but every dealer with whom I raised the question said that the SL retains the Ds and L settings, which both the SL and SE have in the 2003 models.
 

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Grok

Like DavidG, everything I've seen/heard says the SL will retain the "normal" gear selection, while only the SE will get you the new manumatic. IMO, the manumatic completely defeats the purpose (and enjoyment) of the CVT. Being a former "nothing but 5-speeds" guy, I can honestly say I missed my 5-speed for about the first week. Something about the activity level while driving, I guess (though I didn't miss it at all in bumper-to-bumper rush hour). After the first week, and still to this day, I absolutely love the CVT and could care less if I drive a 5-speed again. OK, maybe that's a bit of a stretch, but the CVT is soooo smooth and (for me) so responsive, I just can't imagine why anyone would bother.

Good luck with the decision either way. They're both nice but of course, I'm biased to the Murano. Like you, I don't need the third row of seats -- for me, it was a useless feature. There's just something about the MO's styling that I like better.
 

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I have a 2003 SE AWD and I can say for certain that Ds and Dl really do show off what makes the CVT a superior platform. I sure hope the 2004 SE has Ds in addition to the manual gate, although from what I have read over here and on Freshalloy, it does not. It would be a shame if the SL models ends up having better performance than the SE because of Ds.
 

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We have a 2004 SL and it retains the Ds and L modes found in the 2003s. It is my understanding the 2004 SEs lose the Ds and L for the manuamatic.
 

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Enforcer said:
Well hang on before we get too carried away...it could be one of the six presets in the +/- slider is essentially the same as Ds...same with L. Not even sure how we could verify this without driving one and comparing.
I thought the six presets in the manual mode acted as preset CVT ratios, aka "simulated gears." My guess is that you can probably hit the rev limiter in each other those manual gears. So, probably no function similar to Ds. Oh well.
 

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Enforcer said:
Not sure. Could be either they are 6 different rpm range biases or six fixed cone ratios. One of us is going to have to drive one and report back...:2:
Oooh that would very cool, six equivalents of Ds in different ranges. Now I think that would be a fantastic addition.
 

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My bet is that it will NOT be 6 different looks at Ds.
I would bet a weeks pay that it emulates a stick shift.
To do otherwise would be very questionable marketing AND engineering.

So there will be profiles that may sorta act like "mini" Ds. But you can bet your soul that the top speed in D1 will be like 30 and D2 =50, d3=66, D4 = 85, D5=108, D6=115, as a "for instance".

So then you think, hmmmn. so therefore if I'm cruising and I want to "downshift" to say, d4, that will be sorta like Ds.......
Well actually it will be like 4th gear in a six speed gear box. If you slow down too far you will have to down shift again (Because I believe that, as opposed to Ds, when you are in D4 and slow down, you will lose Gearing).

The other issue with these manumatics is that you can't just pick out D3 or D5 like you can a stick shift.
You can only get there one way, abd that is sequentially. So you can "slap" it quickly thru the gears and get to D4, but you do HAVE to slap it through to get there.
Anybody here drive a new 911?
I drove one with the paddles and that is most certainly how they work.

Bottom line IMO , the Fun factors will be different, but about even.
But this will be strictly a personal preference.
Some will really enjoy the game of shifting.
And if you tire of the game, the thing will do regular auto CVT for you.

Performance will go to the SL with Ds. But it won't be a biggie.

Control, coming down a mountain on rain, ice and snow will go to the SE. This cannot be match IMO by the SL.

Anyway, it's all opinion at this point I guess, and I have just shared mine, having driven Tiptronic. Of course Tiptronic operates over a more or less standard automatic transmission.
And we all know that the CVT is a whole other animal.

Homer
 

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I agree with everything except:

"Control, coming down a mountain on rain, ice and snow will go to the SE. This cannot be match IMO by the SL."

Fixed ratios will give varying degrees of engine braking depending on the RPM, plus you will have to attend to the shifts.

Selecting either D, Ds or L will give you more consistant engine braking abilities regardless of speed, as the engine RPM will be more tightly controlled, leaving you to focus on driving, with both hands on the wheel.

As far as one of the positions of the new manumatic, I would expect that it would step through the ratios, not act like a Ds. If you forget to shift (intentionally) it should pop you into the next ratio.

I'm curious and might search out one to try... But so far, other than the apparent "cool" factor, I don't think it's desirable over Ds. Too bad they didn't slip Ds in there as well!
:(
 

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Sorry folks...according to the manual in my 12 hour old SL the SE loses Ds (Manual covers both)
Manual Shift Modes are explained as follows:
M1 - Steep hills, snow, mud etc
M2,3&4 - Hills again and engine braking
M5 - Driving up/down long slopes, engine braking
M6 - Use this position for normal forward driving

If you follow the conservative tone of the rest of the manual, I would assume M6 = Ds?

Other than that you would need to live in the himalayas to appreciate all those gears for hill work! :2:

By the way, love my new MO already. Would have slept in it, but the wife wouldn't bring my dinner out to me! :)
 

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Yeah, even in the pictures released over a year ago, there was no Ds. I would expect M4/M5 would be closer to Ds, but I'd have to drive one to really see if it acts the same way... Somehow I doubt it, as it's trying to emulate a standard transmission with fixed ratios.
 
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