What is a semi-automatic car?

Eager to learn what a semi-automatic car is and how it functions?

Explore a new way of driving and benefit from the ease of semi-automatic control on your next car and discover how it differs from the familiar manual and automatic cars.

What does a ‘semi-automatic car’ mean?

A semi-automatic car is a vehicle that uses a mix of manual and automatic features through having the option to easily switch to either. This leads to a semi-automatic being comparatively better as it is more energy and fuel-efficient than the likes of its manual/automatic counterpart.

You can use either method of driving at arm’s length – manual or automatic – they are both interchangeable options that you can mix whenever you need to. Due to the flexible driving possibilities semi-auto offers, this unique feature is frequently included in most sports cars to offer drivers smoother control and driving accuracy at high velocities.

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What’s the difference between an automatic and a semi-automatic car?

Semi-automatic vs Automatic cars: what’s the difference and which is better?

Unlike an automatic car, a semi-automatic car can use the gearbox for manual control and gear shift if necessary or preferable when on the road. With the option for manual, you can take over whenever you like for a smooth drive at slower speeds.

A semi-automatic car does not include a clutch pedal, as this function is performed automatically much like an automatic. A manual car on the other hand wouldn’t include this and an automatic wouldn’t have the option for manual control either.

A semi-automatic car is a crafty combination of the two that is the best of both worlds for auto and manual drivers.​

How do semi-automatic gears work?

A semi-auto car’s gearbox has two options: manual and automatic.

However, transmission settings are a little different to the auto and manual gearbox you may be used to.

For instance, a semi-auto gearbox most commonly has modes as letters A, N, R, M or P, R, N, D, M.

Discover how to drive a semi-automatic car and get acquainted with its various gearbox settings:

A = Automatic

When you want to initiate auto-driving which automatically switches gears, use ‘Automatic.’

N = Neutral

When your car is stopped at traffic lights or idle in congestion for a short time, use ‘Neutral.’ Additionally, use the handbrake at the same time if your semi-auto car has one.

R = Reverse

Use ‘Reverse’ only if you need to reverse your car.

M = Manual

When you want to switch to manual gear-changing with an automatic clutch, use ‘Manual.’

P = Park

When you need to ‘Park,’ this mode will operate as your handbrake.

D = Drive

‘Drive’ mode is like ‘Automatic’, you should use ‘Drive’ when driving so your computer can change gears for you as your car is actively moving.

With these transmission settings, you can enjoy complete convenience when driving a semi-auto car. This offers the same familiar driving experience as automatic whilst having the option to take back control with manual – the choices are endless.

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What are the benefits of semi-automatic cars?

Whilst semi-automatic cars are slightly more expensive than average, they more than make up for their price through the mass of benefits that come with semi-auto driving, such as:

  • Electronic and automatic clutch control – clutch duties are not needed, as they are performed automatically, leading to more room in the footwell and comfort when driving.
  • Semi-auto gearbox– you can easily and swiftly change to auto-control for faster roads and manual to confidently manage driving uphill or in tougher weather conditions.
  • Energy efficient – fuel lasts longer by switching between auto and manual modes, meaning extra savings can be spent elsewhere.
  • Stress-free driving –stalling is less likely to occur with more flexible auto-driving options readily available.

Can a semi-automatic car be driven with an automatic license?

Yes, if the semi-auto vehicle is not included with a manually operated clutch pedal. If you have an automatic driver’s license, a semi-automatic is perfectly suited to what you are used to.

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Find the perfect car for you

By choosing Foray Motor Group as your next dealership for your new car, you are guaranteed both exceptional customer service and a high-quality assortment of new auto, manual and semi-auto cars to choose from.

Interested in seeing if a semi-automatic is suited for you? Book a test drive and experience the comfort of a semi-car for yourself at any of our various Ford dealership locations local to you.

Contact us today with any enquiries so we can help find your next new Ford car at a price that’s right for you.

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