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Old 02-22-2013, 05:57 PM   #1
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Question Buying my first Wrangler: Auto v Manual

Hi All,

I'm new to this forum and still looking to get my first Wrangler.

I was wondering, what do you all think of the manual vs automatic in 12/13 models.

I can, and do, drive a manual and I'm loving it, but it's a Mazda3 (my first manual), nothing like a Wrangler. But if I was offered the right price I think it's possible I could be swayed to an auto.

For instance, there's a 2012 JK Sahara left on a lot that I'm going to look at tomorrow. It has all the sahara bells and whistles, but it's an auto, for $35k (MSRP $36,475). I'll test drive it, but I can't decide if I'd want the auto. I know it's a personal preference thing, mostly, but I was hoping I could get some opinions.

Also, this JK has to have been sitting on the lot for a while - any thoughts on how long? Would be good to go in there knowing the latest it could have arrived, which I'm guessing must have been some time in June/July maybe?

And how far down do you think I can negotiate the price simply given that it's a '12 and has been there for a while?

There's also a '13 JKU Sahara with all the options I really want (dual top, auto control ac, leather, heated seats, cruise) for $33.5k. This one's a 6-Speed. Any thoughts on the 12 vs the 13? And maybe an idea of what I can get this price down to?

I have the Tread Lightly 1% below invoice in my back pocket if they don't offer me something low enough, also. At least, I plan to get the membership if I can't get something without it. Doing my research!

Thanks for the help!

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Old 02-22-2013, 06:06 PM   #2
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auto's rock in the rocks, autos are nice for daily drivers, auto's allow you to sip latte's and answer your cell phone to calm ur overbearing wife who is controlling your life cause your a pussy....cause you have an auto....

honesty all benefits are pretty much equalized with todays autos... the only thing that is sorta lacking is engine braking, but even that is getting narrower with hill decent modes.

if you are going to lift the heck out of it and throw on big tires I personally like a stick, you can make autos live and I strongly suggest aftermarket trans coolers with fans on a lifted automatic rig with larger tires... the autos shine in low speed crawling but the converters take a beating.

Something I personally cannot get over is, if I buy a n auto and it needs to be rebuild one day its 3500+.....100k later on a stick... maybe 1200 bucks and a day on my back, and BOOM.... the clutch is in and I am on my way to another 100K.

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Old 02-22-2013, 06:07 PM   #3
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[Hi All,

I'm new to this forum and still looking to get my first Wrangler.

I was wondering, what do you all think of the manual vs automatic in 12/13 models.

EITHER. It's like asking which color is better ... red or blue? Get what you like to drive.

I can, and do, drive a manual and I'm loving it, but it's a Mazda3 (my first manual), nothing like a Wrangler. But if I was offered the right price I think it's possible I could be swayed to an auto.

For instance, there's a 2012 JK Sahara left on a lot that I'm going to look at tomorrow. It has all the sahara bells and whistles, but it's an auto, for $35k (MSRP $36,475). I'll test drive it, but I can't decide if I'd want the auto. I know it's a personal preference thing, mostly, but I was hoping I could get some opinions.

Also, this JK has to have been sitting on the lot for a while - any thoughts on how long? Would be good to go in there knowing the latest it could have arrived, which I'm guessing must have been some time in June/July maybe?

The sticker inside the door jamb, along with the MSRP sticker, should show the build date.

And how far down do you think I can negotiate the price simply given that it's a '12 and has been there for a while?

Depends. Sometimes manufacturers offer discounts to dealers for unsold prior model years. Hard to say.

There's also a '13 JKU Sahara with all the options I really want (dual top, auto control ac, leather, heated seats, cruise) for $33.5k. This one's a 6-Speed. Any thoughts on the 12 vs the 13? And maybe an idea of what I can get this price down to?

I have the Tread Lightly 1% below invoice in my back pocket if they don't offer me something low enough, also. At least, I plan to get the membership if I can't get something without it. Doing my research!

Thanks for the help!
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Old 02-22-2013, 06:10 PM   #4
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Chances are you won't really get a better deal on the 12' IMO anyway & some of the 12's has bad heads on them. Mine didn't but it still could be a concern. The wheels and I think seats are different but I think that's it.

As far as the auto vs manual there's already plenty of threads on that but ultimately it's whatever one YOU will have more fun with. I have the 6M & love it but others don't. They say the auto is easier to off road but I don't know 1st hand.. Mine seems pretty easy off road to me.

Either way you'll love whatever one you choose! Welcome to WF!
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Old 02-22-2013, 06:11 PM   #5
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Manual all day long
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Old 02-22-2013, 06:16 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Naiche View Post
For instance, there's a 2012 JK Sahara left on a lot that I'm going to look at tomorrow. It has all the sahara bells and whistles, but it's an auto, for $35k (MSRP $36,475). I'll test drive it, but I can't decide if I'd want the auto.

There's also a '13 JKU Sahara with all the options I really want (dual top, auto control ac, leather, heated seats, cruise) for $33.5k. This one's a 6-Speed. Any thoughts on the 12 vs the 13? And maybe an idea of what I can get this price down to?
Sounds to me like you're leaning toward the '13. And why not, if it has all the options you really want...plus it's $1.5K cheaper right outta the gate.

I'm partial to manuals, myself, but don't let that sway you.

One thing about the '12s, they've had the ongoing cylinder head issue, which you may or may not be aware of. No such problem with the '13s, to my knowledge.

Just a few of the many threads on this:

Update on ticking Pentastar..new head...
Simple Poll on Head Problem with Pentastar 3.6L
just got the call ,its the cylinder head
Another 3.6 with head problems.
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Old 02-22-2013, 07:02 PM   #7
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Auto...sticks are old school, auto can do everything quicker and better...
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Old 02-23-2013, 11:44 AM   #8
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In my opinion driving an automatic is like having sex with a condom!! That said do what make you comfortable...
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Old 02-24-2013, 07:36 PM   #9
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Especially if you're going to wheel it, get the auto. I would never get manual though.
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Old 03-26-2013, 04:10 PM   #10
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Especially if you're going to wheel it, get the auto. I would never get manual though.
That's half the fun of off roading. I have a manual and take it offloading all the time and have a blast banging threw gears
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Old 03-26-2013, 06:52 PM   #11
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Yea wait to you r on a hill and have to use 3 feet and u have 2. Then u have to install a hand throttle to use. I had a stick and sold it for an auto. Auto all the way.
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Old 03-26-2013, 07:12 PM   #12
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Don't be a pansy and get the auto. Jeeps where designed as a manual. And where supposed to be driven as manual. It gives you more control and less shit can go wrong with less expensive parts. Makes you pay more attention to the road and enjoy the drive more. Manual all the way.

A week ago I was regretting the manual, now I would never go back
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Old 03-26-2013, 07:19 PM   #13
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Don't be a pansy and get the auto. Jeeps where designed as a manual. And where supposed to be driven as manual. It gives you more control and less shit can go wrong with less expensive parts. Makes you pay more attention to the road and enjoy the drive more. Manual all the way.

A week ago I was regretting the manual, now I would never go back
Youll regret it again, whenever/if you get into the gnarly rocks and hills. Even the best manual drivers I know kill it and often. Unless thats your thing lol
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Old 03-26-2013, 07:38 PM   #14
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I personally like the manuals just because I feel like its more fun BUT I'm not buying anybody else's Jeep either. If you want an auto get it and enjoy.. If you want a manual then get it and enjoy. Just don't let anybody tell you what you want unless they're paying for it. Any of you auto guys willing to buy me one? I'll gladly take the auto in that case & like it! Lol!
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Old 03-26-2013, 10:32 PM   #15
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Youll regret it again, whenever/if you get into the gnarly rocks and hills. Even the best manual drivers I know kill it and often. Unless thats your thing lol
Agree with this. I understand wanting manual on the road, but it's a crutch when wheeling.

A guy I wheel with (forum member) just dumped his Rubi 241 tcase (TJ) and converted to auto because he was sick of it.

You can always spot the guys with a manual because they're stalled out on an obstacle.
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Old 03-29-2013, 07:16 AM   #16
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It is a personal choice. I personally prefer my manual (and had a hard time finding one I liked, most are auto). As far as stalling out, I do not have that problem. Have had both over the years and feel like I have more control with the manual, but to each his own.
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Old 03-29-2013, 07:37 AM   #17
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Get what YOU want and are comfortable with. If you plan to wheel and it's a daily driver in heavy traffic, I say go automatic.

Really someone will call you a pansy because it's an auto??? Who cares.
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Old 03-29-2013, 07:46 AM   #18
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Since you are looking at a 12 or 13 I would say go auto.
If you were looking at a 07-11 I would say manual.
Auto's are better to drive of road unless you go Rubicon, then it doesn't make a difference.
My transmission suggestion has nothing to do with the engine and everything to do with the transmission.
From about 04-11 the auto trans was a 42rle auto trans which is a great transmission but it really lugs in overdrive on factory gears with anything over a stock size tire. So if you plan on running anything over stock size its not a great transmission for hwy speeds.
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Old 03-29-2013, 09:22 AM   #19
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Something to consider. Don't know if the the 12 has it but the 13 model yr does. Whether auto or manual jeep will hold itself on a hill for a few seconds before rolling. Wish all manuals had this option. Good luck
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Old 03-29-2013, 09:26 AM   #20
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If you are rock crawling i could see how auto has the advantage. General trail riding no issues with stick. Spend most my day in 4lo and second gear. Very tough to stall it.
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Old 03-29-2013, 10:50 AM   #21
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Something to consider. Don't know if the the 12 has it but the 13 model yr does. Whether auto or manual jeep will hold itself on a hill for a few seconds before rolling. Wish all manuals had this option. Good luck
Yes the 12's have it too. Can be a real pain on road though... I've stalled a couple times because of the brakes holding when I was trying take off from a hill. I'm used to it now & just let off the brakes earlier.
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Old 03-29-2013, 10:53 AM   #22
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My wife and I have always had at least one manual between us over the last 45 years. Drove the '12 Rubi manual and thought it was the weakest part of the vehicle. Love my auto w/ 4.1.
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Old 03-29-2013, 11:06 AM   #23
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Something to consider. Don't know if the the 12 has it but the 13 model yr does. Whether auto or manual jeep will hold itself on a hill for a few seconds before rolling. Wish all manuals had this option. Good luck
I had my 2010 JK (manual) for one month before I hit the intarwebs to figure out how to turn that thing off. I kill it less often without the hill start assist. Rolling back a couple of inches doesn't bother me.

The only time I wish I had an auto transmission is when the doors are off. I don't like having to bring my foot in off of the rock rail to work the clutch.
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Old 03-29-2013, 11:23 AM   #24
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I agree with everything here except the comment about stalling. I personally have no issue. It's a basic issue with learning to properly operate a standard transmission. If you were taught properly you won't need hill assist or any of that stuff.

I took my drivers test on a standard and plan to have my kids do the same. It's a skill to learn correctly. Not just basic driving but issues that come along with it (like starting on a hill).

Again, just my opinion. Buy what you want just don't let those stalling comments hold you back.
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Old 03-29-2013, 11:40 AM   #25
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I like a standard ,a auto has its plusses too.I would say go with the one that most suits what ya plan on doin an like.
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Old 03-29-2013, 12:05 PM   #26
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auto
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Old 03-29-2013, 12:52 PM   #27
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I had my 2010 JK (manual) for one month before I hit the intarwebs to figure out how to turn that thing off. I kill it less often without the hill start assist. Rolling back a couple of inches doesn't bother me.

The only time I wish I had an auto transmission is when the doors are off. I don't like having to bring my foot in off of the rock rail to work the clutch.
Do you know if you can turn it off on the 12's & up? I can see where it could come in handy during extreme offroading but it sucks on road. It's the only time I ever stall. Oh I'm with ya on the doors off comment.. That's where my left foot stays too when I'm not shifting!
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Old 03-29-2013, 01:19 PM   #28
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Do you know if you can turn it off on the 12's & up?
Yup. There are threads about it on the JK Forum on this site. Just search "Disable hill start assist" up there ^^^

So as not to hijack the original post, I would say to get what you prefer. I love my manual, but I know a lot of guys who wouldn't give up their autos. There are times, like when the doors are off and when I'm stuck in traffic, that I would love to not have to push in the clutch, but in general I am very happy with it.
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Old 03-29-2013, 02:21 PM   #29
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I went to the dealership fully intending to buy the automatic. I drove the manual because I liked the Gecko Green and bought the manual instead. However, I will probably wind up turning the HSA off. It's annoying...it makes me look Im trying to achieve a 2 second 60' time lol
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Old 03-29-2013, 02:22 PM   #30
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And, yes, drive both. Get the one you like and enjoy.

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