This is just a holdover from driving manual gearboxes all that time. When I bought my first automatic, just a 6 spd, I was sold on the acceptability because it had a manual mode. After a few weeks I found it completely unnecessary to try to manually shift the transmission. With an 8 spd it is just absurd to manually shift. Most amusing is the criticism that with an automatic you don't know which gear you're in. It doesn't matter, the transmission is automatic. Always in the correct gear.
Audi fits the same ZF 8 spd to its automatic equipped cars. Each car maker is free to modify ZF standard software and most do to some degree, especially in sport mode.
The one drawback to using only D rather than S is modern fuel economy rules require that D shift early to save fuel and reduce CO2 emissions. Using S will reproduce a more manual shift experience but will use a lot more fuel most of the time. I hardly use S either and my Jaguar has a dynamic mode which delivers almost full manual control to the driver. I never use it.
It's truly remarkable that you, in a previous post, think you're "encouraging" people to think this through -- because then they'll come to the "right" conclusion that they're being blockheads (yes, you've called us that several times). That you actually think we haven't thought this through is astounding, among other things.
You. Don't Get. It. We DON'T CARE that the auto can do the job "better." Your amusement at people saying that one reason they don't like automatics is because you don't know what gear you're in. I'm at least as amused that you don't get why that's an issue. The gear I'm in is interesting
to me. Shifting the gears is enjoyable
to me. It's part of feeling connected to the car. I like
to know what gear I'm in. With a manual, I always know. With the auto, even in manual mode, I have to look at the dash display to know what gear I'm in. I don't like having to do that. To be clear, Michael, it is my
prerogative not to like that. When I want to shift, for example, into 2nd gear, with a manual 'box 2nd gear is always in the same place -- I simply move the gear lever to that slot. No matter whether the car had been in 3rd, 4th, or whatever gear, 2nd is always in the same place. With the auto, I have to look at the display to know what gear the car is currently in, and then decide how many times I have to pull the paddle to get 2nd. That is less enjoyable to me. Of course, you think I'm being a blockhead and the automatic would simply find 2nd on its own, but I DON'T CARE because no matter how well it does its job, I find that BORING. Technically impressive, but BORING. I bought an Alfa Romeo to NOT be bored.
I have ZERO interest in the automatic shifting automatically. It's very good at it, but it is NOT always in the right gear -- it is not capable of seeing ahead and anticipating road or traffic conditions. More importantly, it cannot know what is in my head. At best, I find letting the auto shift itself boring. So I shift it myself. That I find enjoyable, and the beautifully done aluminum paddles with their well-judged action and feel make a vital difference. That said, I would prefer a manual by an enormous margin.
I am among those who ultimately bought a new Giulia in spite of it being auto-only. I would have bought one immediately upon its intro had it been available with a manual 'box. Even though I now own a Giulia, this thread IS THE BUSINESS CASE for a manual Giulia that FCA (and you) refuse to acknowledge exists.