I couldn't agree with you more Jim, on both counts
I remember test driving my first automatic, Mercedes CLK coupe, the chap came with us and I asked him to drive it out and onto an open road as I was a tad nervous, this he did and then got into the back seat. The road was from Lydney to Chepstow, which is wide with a few inclines, dips, and bends and fortunately it was quiet at the time, so good to drive on as well as get a feel of the car.
Needles to say there wasn't much to be nervous about, as once in 'drive' I didn't have to do anything else, so I settled into the drive pretty quickly really and obviously I wanted to test the oomph, now with the BMW I had and Audi before this, the engines would be similar, so I was expecting the same sort of performance if not better, but with manual, if you want to floor it you can drop a gear and deck the peddle ... no can do with an automatic. So I took my chances and just dropped the peddle instead ... uh-oh ... big mistake!
G-force or what? Cheeks rattling, Anita pinned to the back of her seat no need for Botox and bloke in the back wet himself
Soon learnt that hitting the accelerator in an automatic has the same effect of dropping a gear ... I learn fast
The best test drive I ever went on was when a mate was getting a new Volvo estate, we went in on the Friday, they handed him the keys and told him the tank was full and to go and enjoy it for the weekend. Now that's what I call service and it paid off too, as when he returned the car, he placed an order for the colour and spec he wanted and again two years later.