Yep - Renaults have a similar set up - On my 04 Megane, if you leave them turned off, they'll automatically go to dipped heads if it gets dark and the engine is on, unless you go through a menu to cancel that setting - but you can turn on side lights or dipped beam manually too.
I was told its not good to have auto headlights in a car with xenon bulbs as switching them on and off a lot can prematurely wear them out if you were driving in dusky conditions , tunnels etc.
Happened a lot with my Pathfinder, in certain conditions they were on and off like an indicator.
My Citroen has automatic lights. They are good. The first switch position is 'Automatic'. If the lights are off, ie in daylight, they can be manualy switched on by clicking the switch round once. If they are 'on' in auto mode, they can be switched off by clicking the switch round once. That is the same position as they were swiched on when off before, If you see what I mean. You need to switch your headlights off when boarding the Eurotunnel train when the auto wants them on. That how I found out about this quirk. But it is a French car, so what do you expect. It also has auto-wipers which, TBH, are not great.
So in answer to the OP's original question, Yes, it seems you do need a manual overide.