Auto Hold: Most convenient yet neglected feature!

I am still clueless as to why the manufacturers skip this function in their budget automatics.

BHPian Marinerandy recently shared this with other enthusiasts.

Since the time I started driving back in 1994, manual transmission were only the available gearbox for a middle class family. Good old ABC paddles and you never complained as the traffic rarely required you to operate all three at once.

Fast forward to 2023 with a sub 20 lakh automatic car (in my case Sonet D AT) plying in peak Bengaluru b2b traffic gives my foot more exercise than a basic manual. Reason – no auto hold function. Each time you have to crawl/creep your car with intermittent braking for undefined period, the auto hold function comes in as a Godsend function albeit your car has it. Even if you have to hold your car for under 10 seconds, you either keep applying brakes with car slotted in D or you bring it to N/P. In both the cases it beats the idea of having a true automatic transmission. What angers me more is that with same engine and gearbox, it’s bigger sibling gets this important function. For me if I have to choose between sunroof or auto hold, I will without a thought choose auto hold function. Even the reviewers when reviewing any new lauches casually skip through this important function with only just mentioning it, if only the launched car has it.

I am still clueless as to why the manufacturers skip this function in their budget automatics? When cruise control can find it’s way in a sub 10 lakh car, then why this function is not being mainstreamed?

Fellow BHPians what’s your thought on this. I know many of you who are not residing in any metro city might not be dealing with mammoth traffic situations, but in my opinion this is very convenient feature and now it should trickle down to budget automatics also.

Here’s what GTO had to say on the matter:

This is truly not just a neglected feature, but also one that’s highly misunderstood (going by the thread replies).

Auto-Hold: Long-press the brake pedal at a traffic light (in “D”) and then take your foot off the brake pedal. The car will stay in place. When the light turns green, simply press the accelerator to drive away.

Creep / Crawl: Both are largely the same thing. Almost all ATs (except some AMTs) have it. Basically, with the gear position in “D”, the car will move forward at a speed of 6 – 7 kmph without accelerator input. This is very useful in bumper-to-bumper traffic. When the car ahead of you moves slightly and stops again, you have to only take your foot off the brake pedal, and the creep / crawl function of the AT will move the car forward slowly (without any accelerator input).

Do note that crawl in the offroading world means something entirely different .

Cruise Control: Well-known feature needs no explanation.

Here’s what BHPian sjcherian had to say on the matter:

There is one group which would prefer the auto hold while the other group would prefer the creep function in traffic. Manufacturers should give auto hold/creep as a configurable setting which can be used per preference.

Personally I think the creep function makes more sense and am okay with keeping the leg on the brake. If the halt is longer then move to N/P and use the hand brake and even switch off the engine is the way to go depending on how bad the traffic is.

Here’s what BHPian Stratos had to say on the matter:

I absolutely loved this little feature in my Toyota’s and Nissan Qashqai. None had any jerks and would smoothly release the brakes.

Very useful at a redlight ensuring the car does not roll forward / backward.

Only annoying thing about it; Toyota resets it to OFF every time you turn the car off.

The Qashqai kept it ON for good!

Here’s what BHPian shipnil had to say on the matter:

I am yet to drive a car with this feature but few years back when I got to know about such feature, I had decided my next must have this as and when I decide to have it. It would be a big relief for your right leg.

For users of cars with DSG/DCT, I have a question. Do you know when the auto hold is enabled, does it disengage the clutch of DSG/DCT gearboxes, when the car is stationary during stop-go traffic? If it does, then it would address the biggest painpoint of DSG failures which are attributed to stop go traffic of India. VW had recommended to keep shifting the stick of DSG boxes from D to N in such traffic to save the clutch, which may not be required when you have auto hold

Read BHPian comments for more insights and information.

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