MONTERO AUTOMATIC TRANSMISSION: ANO NGA BA ITO?
I am used to handling and driving manual transmission vehicles and seldom, if at all, impressed with A/T (automatic transmission) ones. For me, the automatic is only for girls. Hindi yun maka-overtake if I am in a hurry. It could not even make the necessary adjustments when it comes to gitgitan. No way will I ever drive an automatic, more so in a traffic, congested, siksikan and gulangan sa kalye situation. Ang pagitan ng sasakyan if traffic stands still is only gapintura!
Worst, in Manila’s traffic, you will not only be engaged in eyeball-to-eyeball with fellow bantam car drivers, more than that, one must even anticipate, motorcycles, especially those driven by first timers (remember, motorbikes are selling like pan cakes and costs as cheap too), then there are bicycles, pedicabs, buses, trucks—freight and cargo trucks, the rusted and oftentimes bearing unhinged 20 footers ones, all kinds of moving and flaggingly moving vehicles not to mention a gamut of street hawkers from alm seeking natives, the physically or mentally disabled, hyper street urchins, snatchers to enterprising peanut, mineral water, fruit vendors of any color. All of them on the same street where you are navigating!
On the street, one is reminded that there is no government at all, even if for a while a traffic enforcer would materialize and like street mendicants would interest on how the driver would negotiate. It would look like an honest flag down on an erring motorist but it is actually a shake-down. That is life on the street for the typical motorist.
Now going back to automatic transmission engines, aside from its usual poor acceleration attribute when needed, once it breaks down, even the hardened towing truck would find it difficult to drag it away. More so, if it stalls in the middle of the road, any driver would find it extra difficult to push the vehicle to the nearest bend. Bukod sa nakakahiya sa mga kasama mong nakasakay, minumura ka pa ng mga taong naperwisyo sa dinulot mong trapik. Kung hindi ka naman nagmamadali at nasa kundisyon ang sasakyan, masarap gamitin ito lalo na kung mabagal ang daloy ng trapko o meron pataas na kelangan ng clutch hanging o timplahan ng clutch. Masarap talagang manehuin ang automatic cars kaya lang the hassles outweigh the advantages.
But for those like me who traverse national and provincial roads more often than urban streets, the manual transmission tops it all. It can accelerate at a momen’s notice, just lower the gear and there goes arangkada. There is no such thing as arangkada, or harurot or sudden acceleration In automatic transmission engines in the past or those previous reproductions. Well, until I got hold of the recent Mitsubishi Strada model.
In one of my long travels on the road, I found that Strada had this sudden acceleration quality. Something I discovered belatedly though. I thought for a while that all automatic transmission vehicles share the same girlish predisposition on the road, feminine, reserved and aloof. Its speed would only peak depending on the velocity of the vehicle it is trailing. But the vehicle I was handling was different. Given the space I had and right after depressing the accelerator for more push, the engine roared and my head would nearly swing back. There was the sudden acceleration I needed for to overtake and the go-ahead basket.
Contented and quite enthralled, I dreamt of owning Strada’s cousin, the majestic and superior Montero Sports. It shares the same engine type and predisposition. On Strada I looked like a COO, on Montero I would definitely project like a CEO!
A few months after, successful in haggling with the requirements from my bank, I finally got the new keys for my Automatic Transmission Montero Sports Special Edition model 2015, that SUV with retractable roof guard.
And it was a good buy and a great vehicle too. I can whiz past from any street nuisance in a jiffy as long as there is a space in front, even a small one at that to get a good position on the road. I can accelerate ng hindi nabibitin. A quality no other automatic transmission vehicles could boast from my perspective.
But there is however a downside in this new version. It requires a good and alert if not a careful and skilled driver to handle the vehicle. Not necessarily someone like being schooled to pilot an F16 jet but something like being familiar with the strokes of the pedals and the routine handling of the shifting gear before one must start the engine.
Totoong merong sudden acceleration quality ang Montero pero wala naman yung sinasabing unintended ito. If at all the vehicle zooms, it is because the driver willed or intended it to be.