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Old 06-18-2011, 09:29 AM   #1
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Auto or Manual? Dealer Has Confused Me

I was rolling along in my research on Sport Unlimited options and decided to call a dealer...mistake . He kept telling me I'd regret not getting this, that, and the other option. Obviously he was trying to get me out of the Sport into a Sahara or Rubi.

None of that really phased me until he told me not to get the 6spd. He went on to tell me about the tranny being very efficient at putting me in the best gears around town for gas mileage and that the serious off roaders prefer autos in their Rubicons.

This Jeep, for me, is going to be an Arizona desert trail Jeep (no rock crawling) 50% of the time and whipping around town with the kids the other 50%. I have a work car and the wife has a van. The wife could go either way on 6spd or auto but agrees that power windows and locks is a must for us.

Can I get some pros/cons on the Auto/Manual debate please??? Of all the options, this would be a huge regret if done wrong.

I'll wait until another day to weigh Infinity Speakers, Satellite Stereo, Connectivity Group, Front Side Air Bags, Side Steps blah blah blah.

Thanks!!

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Old 06-18-2011, 09:32 AM   #2
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I usually wouldn't tell someone to search but...Seriously do a search because this topic has been beaten over and over in numerous threads. Almost everyday. Guaranteed you will find what you need within a matter of minutes.


My only advice is don't let the dealer persuade you at all. Get what YOU want. He doesn't know shit. Neither one is BETTER, just preferred by different people. So in the end the one that is BETTER is the one YOU LIKE.

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Old 06-18-2011, 09:37 AM   #3
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If it were not for Moab I would own a stick. Just think down the line of what you may want to do with the Jeep. Many people start out with one idea and within a short amount of time that completely changes. You said no rock crawling and that is completely fine, but before I went out and bought a stick I would go rock crawling in Moab with a rental and see if you really like it or not. Fun trip and not too far from Arizona. If you really do not want to go the rock climbing route I would say get a stick.
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Old 06-18-2011, 10:16 AM   #4
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....You said no rock crawling and that is completely fine, but before I went out and bought a stick I would go rock crawling in Moab with a rental and see if you really like it or not. Fun trip and not too far from Arizona. If you really do not want to go the rock climbing route I would say get a stick.
Moab would be cool to watch from the sidelines. I do not think the wife or kids would ever be interested in anything riskier than snow, water or dusty desert trails. I have a Land Cruiser now in Europe and the family was not thrilled with steep mountain fire trail runs.
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Old 06-18-2011, 10:23 AM   #5
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My only advice is don't let the dealer persuade you at all. Get what YOU want. He doesn't know shit. Neither one is BETTER, just preferred by different people. So in the end the one that is BETTER is the one YOU LIKE.
If it was not for the "outside experience" of a Jeep (i.e. top and doors off) I would be also be considering other make vehicle. In my mind, there just seems to be something "complete" about a 6spd while having the roof and doors off. I get the rock crawling thing for an auto after watching Moab clips on You Tube...wow.
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Old 06-18-2011, 10:44 AM   #6
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Every bit of information you will get on the subject will invariably be driven by someone's opinion, and there is no guarantee that their opinions mirror your own.

That said, my opinion is that a manual will make you feel more connected to the vehicle. I consider it worth the hassle of some tricky take-offs from a few precarious positions to get the peace of mind of knowing that the Jeep is doing exactly what you tell it to, and not what it thinks is best based on some sensor inputs and a model.

I also wouldn't take it anywhere NEAR the escalator...
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Old 06-18-2011, 10:48 AM   #7
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I own and stick and do some offroading in it....I prefer stick for town and offroad.
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Old 06-18-2011, 10:54 AM   #8
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I have both and i like them all LOL.

If im going in a really hard trail i grab my auto JK,anything less i drive the manual TJ.It really is just a matter of practice and preference...im getting if not to point now that ill drive the manual even on extremely hard trails.

To me its more convenience now.I talk on the phone alot when im driving and manual make it a bit difficult in town since i dont have bluetooth.
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Old 06-18-2011, 11:02 AM   #9
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KBR97 is right; this issue has been beat to death. And I'll agree with C.L. in that, beyond any specific application requiring one or the other, it's mostly personal preference. Based on how you're going to use the Jeep, you're not going to make a big mistake either way.

I prefer stick of course in track cars and roadsters so I can manage the torque (I don't even like the SMG). I had a 6-spd in my first Wrangler and loved it. I got automatic in my JK (DD) because I didn't want to shift gears in stop-and-go traffic. But I still find myself missing the manual.

If it makes you feel better, I have this debate every time I get a vehicle. I've gone both manual and auto and never had any real regrets. Just get one and go with it.

I've found Wranglers to be like women, the more you analyze them the less you appreciate them.

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Old 06-18-2011, 11:33 AM   #10
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I appreciate all the responses and did some looking in the archives.

My question wasn't very well pointed. I didn't mean to make it seem as though I wondered who "preferred" which. I understand that is like chocolate vs vanilla .

There were a few things the dealer said and that I've read that surprised me about manual Jeeps. I was shocked when the dealer said that gas mileage is better in the auto. I also didn't realize that driving/shifting in water can be a problem with the clutch getting debris inside. I didn't know that 1st and 2nd are very short gears in a Jeep as opposed to other vehicles and can be a particular PIA around town and traffic.

I wrote this question hoping to learn if these are true and/or if there may be some other objective issues (no...I don't mean no texting, latte drinking or Big Mac eating) against the manual.
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Old 06-18-2011, 11:44 AM   #11
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I
I was shocked when the dealer said that gas mileage is better in the auto. I also didn't realize that driving/shifting in water can be a problem with the clutch getting debris inside. I didn't know that 1st and 2nd are very short gears in a Jeep as opposed to other vehicles and can be a particular PIA around town and traffic.

I wrote this question hoping to learn if these are true and/or if there may be some other objective issues (no...I don't mean no texting, latte drinking or Big Mac eating) against the manual.
Gas mileage being better in the auto would depend on how / when you shift.
Debris from water / mud is legit concern off road.
1st & 2nd are short.

Whether it's a PITA depends on your opinion / expectations.

Eating & talking on the phone are more difficult with a stick shift; this could be seen as a positive, keep the focus during driving on driving.
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Old 06-18-2011, 12:03 PM   #12
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If you are going to be in traffic most of the time and dealing with kids then get an auto, if you are not then get a manual.
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Old 06-18-2011, 01:01 PM   #13
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If you can drive a stick, you'll wish you had one.

The only hitches are rock crawling or a physical rationale (ie, injury, handicap, constant need to speak on the phone, stop and go daily traffic, sharing the jeep with someone who insists on an auto, etc).

Yeah, shouldn't shift while trans is in the mud.
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Old 06-18-2011, 01:04 PM   #14
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It sounds like you want the manual, so that's what I would get. I wouldn't listen to the dealer about the gas mileage. You are in control of that. They both get equally horrible gas mileage, which can be slightly improved by driving habits .

The open clutch in deep mud/water is an issue but now that you know about it shouldn't be a problem. Keep it in 4L in deep mud/water and you don't have to push in the clutch. If the jeep stalls, you can start it without pushing in the clutch in 4L.

1'st and 2nd are short gears, but it's not that big of a deal. You run through them quick pulling into traffic. I think this is necessary so that you have enough low end power to crawl along slowly. That is one cool thing about the jeep...even in 2 WD or 4H you can crawl along at low RPMS without stalling.
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Old 06-18-2011, 01:10 PM   #15
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Where I live the auto suit me better, I have been stuck too many times in the past with trucks with sticks. We have sand and mud, the vehicle loses momentum between shifts and this is often enough to get bogged down. The auto shifts faster than a human is able to and you don't lose the momentum.
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Old 06-18-2011, 01:19 PM   #16
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but agrees that power windows and locks is a must for us.
If this is true, I think Sahara and Rubi may be the models you are looking at - I'm not sure that the base wranglers have this as an option.

As far as auto or manual, get what you like for your experience - I chose manual for a lot of reasons, but I agree with you - it does seem to add to the 'experience' of a Jeep.
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Old 06-18-2011, 06:53 PM   #17
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If you don't go with a Rubicon (which has 4.11 gears no matter which tranny you get) and you get a manual transmission, make sure it has 3.73 gears and not the 3.21. Automatics automatically come with 3.73 in non Rubi's. You may have to have the tow package to get the 3.73 but what ever it takes get the upgraded gears. You will hate the 3.21 gears and Jeep should be ashamed to have them as an option in a Jeep.

But you can get the Power convenience group (power windows and locks, heated mirrors, keyless entry, and security) with the Sport S package. You don't have to get the Sahara or Rubi to get any of these convenience options. The S package has the same options if you want them. The Rubicon gets you lockers, 4:1 transfer case and disconnects that the Sahara and the Sport doesn't offer but as far as other options you can get a Sport S with just as much as an Sahara without the matching fenders and top.
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Old 06-19-2011, 01:36 AM   #18
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If you don't go with a Rubicon (which has 4.11 gears no matter which tranny you get) and you get a manual transmission, make sure it has 3.73 gears and not the 3.21. Automatics automatically come with 3.73 in non Rubi's. You may have to have the tow package to get the 3.73 but what ever it takes get the upgraded gears. You will hate the 3.21 gears and Jeep should be ashamed to have them as an option in a Jeep.

But you can get the Power convenience group (power windows and locks, heated mirrors, keyless entry, and security) with the Sport S package. You don't have to get the Sahara or Rubi to get any of these convenience options. The S package has the same options if you want them. The Rubicon gets you lockers, 4:1 transfer case and disconnects that the Sahara and the Sport doesn't offer but as far as other options you can get a Sport S with just as much as an Sahara without the matching fenders and top.
Great all 'round info! I was looking at packages and noticed that the Sport with the S package is just about a Sahara. I was surprised the wife doesn't like the matching fenders of the Sahara so I guess I will be sticking with the Sport. I just don't like how black fenders turn faded and get stained by damned detailing products.
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Old 06-19-2011, 03:40 PM   #19
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If you're reason for getting the AT is so you can shave, do your make-up or talk on the phone while driving, then please DON'T. The last thing we need is another distracted driver putting many lives at risk!

I picked the manual because I like to shift. If I were rock crawling or doing a lot of trail driving I may have gone for the AT. I also had the idea that I could get better fuel economy with the manual but so far, I'm not convinced that is the case.

Also, the problems with the AT have included overheating and fires. Manual trannys have had problems with jumping out of gear. Between the two, I'd rather deal with the latter.

- Keith -
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Old 06-19-2011, 04:11 PM   #20
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I drive standard and love it. On road, off road....doesn't matter. Yes, it does require some skill to move on rocks...you'll get used to it if you are not skilled enough already.

Gas mileage....mine does pretty good. I drive on road efficiently and would most likely be able to compare it to the results of someone who drives their automatic efficiently.

I like that first and second are quick to get through because it allows me to crawl on the trails. If I'm in a hurry to get the engine into low RPMs on the paved road, I simply skip gears. That makes for better gas economy when traveling on level or downhill roads.

For my fans who are also fans of the standard I have to make the following statement:

Through man's hands God made automatic transmissions. People all over the world who are too lazy to shift and use a clutch (you are not lazy if you CAN'T do this) have flocked to the automatic. Even rock crawlers. That doesn't make the standard any less useful. This statement has more to do with; what did people do before the automatic came along....did they say no to rock crawling? I think not. It is just easier for whatever reason in the minds of auto drivers.

In the end, the choice is yours to make. I wouldn't let a dealer sway that decision. Just get it in your head what it is that you want to do and do it. Try not to look backwards too much unless you are going to get another jeep to fix this decision.
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Old 06-19-2011, 04:29 PM   #21
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...This Jeep, for me, is going to be an Arizona desert trail Jeep (no rock crawling) 50% of the time and whipping around town with the kids the other 50%...
Why don’t you think you’ll be rock crawling out here? The trails with some "bumps" on them are the best ones!







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Old 06-19-2011, 04:51 PM   #22
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sticking to the facts, and not being bias, doesn't auto have 3 gears, while manual have 6 gears...? my question would be what do you get out of those gears? you say no to rock crawling, but what about towing or any other recreational, not fully aware which would benefit?

i got a stick because it was a great deal and hard to find an automatic, and an auto cost more

in arizona i'm assumming you will have the top off anyways, so will probably be hard to talk on the phone while on the free way anyways (is for me)
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Old 06-19-2011, 04:59 PM   #23
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For my fans who are also fans of the standard I have to make the following statement:

Through man's hands God made automatic transmissions. People all over the world who are too lazy to shift and use a clutch (you are not lazy if you CAN'T do this) have flocked to the automatic. Even rock crawlers. That doesn't make the standard any less useful. This statement has more to do with; what did people do before the automatic came along....did they say no to rock crawling? I think not. It is just easier for whatever reason in the minds of auto drivers.

The first modern day manual transmission was invented in 1895, in 1904 the first automatic transmission came out and in 1948 the automatic transmission as we know it came out.
I imagine all of those pre 48 rock crawlers would've been screwed without a if they couldn't drive a manual transmission.
Did they say no to rock crawling before automatics came out...or did rock crawling even exist at that time?

What people fail to underestimate is the sheer pain of sitting in two hours of bumper to bumper traffic shifting a stiff clutch, day after day, 52 weeks a year.

I go back to my original advice, if you will be dealing with traffic get an auto, if not get a manual if you prefer it. Everything else can be changed to accommodate your other preferences with aftermarket stuff.
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Old 06-19-2011, 05:08 PM   #24
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I've drive in all types of traffic including bumper to bumper on many trips to Maine and other places. Hartford, CT traffic is always stop and go through most daylight hours. The standard seems less a factor in that traffic than my wife's automatic. I just slip it into neutral and then I don't have to be on the clutch. Tired of the brake? Just pull up on that thing between the seats and then you can rest that foot. I think the choice goes back to what you prefer. Both are equally able. The question is which one is right for you and in your mind how do you react to it?
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Old 06-19-2011, 07:25 PM   #25
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I own both, a 08 stick and an 09 auto. I like the stick. Auto just feels unnatural to me. I didnt know about the "No clutchin in the mud" thing though. Good info, but i've done it 1000's of times without isssue. Now it'll happen next time for sure now!!!!
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Old 06-21-2011, 06:36 AM   #26
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I'm not gonna lie though, with my stiff clutch, and stiff stick shift that sometimes stick, when i get to a certain age and my knees and elbows are giving out i'll probably turn in for an automatic in a old man's heart beat... though teach your kids to drive, and teaching your kids to drive a stick might be fun, though if they don't know how to drive a stick you won't have to worry about the kids taking it out for a spin...
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Old 06-21-2011, 07:42 AM   #27
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I was looking for a 2010 JK stick, time didn't allow me to find it, so I broke down and got the automatic :0( gotta say don't miss driving a stick in traffic though :0)
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Old 06-21-2011, 07:58 AM   #28
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I was always under the impression that a manual gave you better MPG. Thought I would hear that as ATs improved, they would give almost as good MPG with the emphasis on almost.
I drive a stick and would never intentionally end up with an automatic except in a station wagon or minivan, meaning I would never intentional get an automatic.
I had not heard the don't shift in deep mud or water tidbit, but I do know that both will not do well in 6 feet of water.
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Old 06-21-2011, 09:39 AM   #29
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sticking to the facts, and not being bias, doesn't auto have 3 gears, while manual have 6 gears...? my question would be what do you get out of those gears? you say no to rock crawling, but what about towing or any other recreational, not fully aware which would benefit?

i got a stick because it was a great deal and hard to find an automatic, and an auto cost more

in arizona i'm assumming you will have the top off anyways, so will probably be hard to talk on the phone while on the free way anyways (is for me)
Actually the auto has 4 gears. They call the 4th gear o/d but that is just a term for any gear ratio under 1.1. The 6th gear in the manual is technically a o/d gear also. The 2012 models will come with 5 gears in it's automatic and there is talks of the 2013 automatic having 6 gears with additional transfer case options like 2L and full time 4wd.

As far as why, there seem to be several answers. One is that the torque converter has benefits in low end torque over the clutch system. Another commonly given answer is the need to brake and gas at the same time in certain rock crawling situaltions.
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Old 06-24-2011, 03:19 PM   #30
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Gearing - why does 3.21 stink?

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Originally Posted by rics1997 View Post
If you don't go with a Rubicon (which has 4.11 gears no matter which tranny you get) and you get a manual transmission, make sure it has 3.73 gears and not the 3.21. Automatics automatically come with 3.73 in non Rubi's. You may have to have the tow package to get the 3.73 but what ever it takes get the upgraded gears. You will hate the 3.21 gears and Jeep should be ashamed to have them as an option in a Jeep.

But you can get the Power convenience group (power windows and locks, heated mirrors, keyless entry, and security) with the Sport S package. You don't have to get the Sahara or Rubi to get any of these convenience options. The S package has the same options if you want them. The Rubicon gets you lockers, 4:1 transfer case and disconnects that the Sahara and the Sport doesn't offer but as far as other options you can get a Sport S with just as much as an Sahara without the matching fenders and top.
Given the above....
I'm shopping for a 2012 Sahara JKU and trying to figure out why the gearing upgrade is worthwhile (I'm going w/ manual transmission, so the gearing offered is 3.21 on the Sahara). My driving will be 80% road, 20% light offroad (beach, open trails, etc). I don't plan to tow anything, but like having the option. I mainly want the jeep to be a solid road car that I can enjoy off-road once in a while. What's the difference in the gearing in terms of road driving feel, acceleration, etc? Also, does the increased horsepower in the new engine make a difference?? Thanks for the help!

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