The BMW Steptronic Transmission—Best of Both Worlds

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BMW Steptronic

For drivers who are passionate about performance, there has long been a compromise when choosing between a manual and an automatic transmission. Sure, a manual gearbox offers more control under those conditions when you need it, but an automatic gives you the flexibility of letting the car decide the shift times when necessary—like during your morning commute.

But with BMW’s Steptronic automatic transmission, there’s no need to choose. That’s because this “manu-matic” gearbox offers the best of both worlds; a manual-shifting experience when you want it, and a multi-drive mode automatic when the situation calls for it.

BMW introduced the first generation Steptronic transmission nearly 20 years ago, and the design and engineering team in Munich have been improving on it ever since. The newest generation of Steptronic transmissions is both incredibly flexible and incredibly quick-shifting. They offer a tremendous range of performance options, depending on the drive mode selected and the driving style you choose.

How It Works

The basic functions of the Steptronic transmission include a fully automatic drive mode, a manual/sport drive mode that allows for higher engine revving before shifts, and a manual shift mode that allows the driver to manually shift gears. To move from manual/sport auto-shifting mode into the fully manual mode, simply tip the drive selector forward or backward into your desired gear, or use the paddle shifters on the steering wheel. You now have full control over what gears you’ll be driving in—up to a point. The Steptronic transmission is smart enough to not let you rev too far into the red zone, or to downshift into an unsafe gear.

Depending on the BMW vehicle model, there may also be additional options that allow you to choose between Sport, Comfort and Eco Pro drive modes. In Comfort and Eco drive modes, the shift points will be lower than they would be in Sport mode.

Why Choose Steptronic?

The newest generation of BMW’s Steptronic transmissions are so well-designed that they can actually out-perform a manual-shift transmission, even when driven by a highly experienced driver. This highly advanced transmission system has been designed to give drivers the most flexibility possible, without detracting from the driving experience. After all, choosing a BMW is about performance and the Ultimate Driving Machine.

The Steptronic transmission is available across a wide selection of the BMW model lineup. Other transmission choices are of course a fully manual transmission and a sport automatic—either standard or as an option on many models. If you are interested in seeing whether the BMW you are interested in has the Steptronic transmission available, head on over to the BMW website and build your model using the Build Your Own tool.

If you want to try out the latest BMW models with Steptronic transmission for yourself, stop on by our dealership here on Sunrise Highway in Freeport, L.I. We’ll show you just how responsive and smooth this transmission is, while still being flexible and quick. We think you’ll be very pleasantly surprised.