The EGS gearbox is superb, my car is now a year old and covered 12,000 miles.
Basically the box in a six speed manual but with no clutch pedal that is controlled by a computer. The gear selector starts off in neutral and can be mover forward for reverse and backwards from forward if that makes sense.
In neutral the car is free to move with the brakes off, the same as a manual.
You can move the selector into forward and reverse and nothing happens until you accelerate, the drive is then taken up.
With the selector pulled backwards the car is in auto and the box changes gear dependant on speed, engine revs etc. Because it is a 'manual' gearbox there is a the delay in the drive as a change is made; the same as you get with a manual but unless you are accelerating hard this is hardly noticeable; a slight lift of the accelerator (as you would in a manual) eliminates this. In normal driving this in not necessary.
You can also push the selector from the drive position to the left at any time (stationary or on the move) to enter 'manual, you can also move backward at any time. In this position you change gear using either the selector or paddles at the wheel.
To move up a gear you either tap the selector forward (it is sprung and returns the the central position) or pull the right hand paddle behind the wheel.
To go down the box the selector is tapped backwards or the left hand paddle is used. If you make a mess of it, forget to change up or down the computer protects the box and engine and changes for you, simple and fool-proof.
Even in 'auto' you can still change gear using the paddles so if you are cruising at say 55mph the box may be in 5th and won't change up because the inputs have not triggered a change (you probably got to 55 gradually). you can give a tap on the right hand paddle to go into 6th.
There is also a 'Sport' mode, selected by a 'S' button below to selector. when this is pressed all changes are much quicker and the gears are held longer to give a sporty drive; an S appears at the rev counter at the wheel boss.
There is also in incline hold that holds the brakes on for a few seconds to allow you to move your foot from the brake to the accelerator without the car rolling. This works very well and saves having to use the hand brake at every stop (I'm not advocating sitting with your foot on the brake).
With a 'normal' auto you only told that you are in neutral, drive, reverse or if you have held 1,2, 3. With the EGS system you always know what gear is selected because it is shown at the rev counter at the wheel boss.
DOES IT WORK
YES - I came to this system from an 'normal' auto and have found no problems in the change over; in fact I also drive an auto XM and moving from car to car has not been a problem.
I usually have the car in 'auto' and this works very well with the cruise control. That doesn't mean I don't you manual, i do but the auto is so easy to use.
Fuel economy has been very good. I have a really difficult commute, stop start for most of 20 miles but I've still average over 50 mpg since new. The engine appears to be loosening up a bit now and I am seeing 58+ now.
I've really enjoyed driving this car, it is great fun. I sent a right up on the gearbox to the C4 section of the Citroen Car Club mag and it was printed in this months issue.
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