Next time use the search bar youd find plenty of threads on this. But it depends on what your going to do with the jeep how much traffic are you going to see? How much are you going to wheel it and where are you going to wheel it if so. Is your wife/gf going to drive it how well can she drive a stick. Those are the things that you need to take into consideration. If your going to wheel it often see a good amount of traffic and your wife/gf doesnt know how to drive stick get auto if its flipped around get stick. If its somewheres in the middle then think good and hard about it.
I know a few diehards love manuals but the new automatics just have more ability. Yes you don't get that feel a manual gives you and I use to love to drive a manual for that reason but there is a reason most pros and serious rock crawlers use autos now. Not to mention there is a reason it is hard to find a manual on the dealers lot. Autos just sell better. But in the end it is what you want to drive. But if your not 100% comfortable with a manual it may not be your choice on the trail.
I went with the auto on my Rubi-U, because (i) most of my driving is on pavement going to and from work while smoking cigars and drinking coffee; and (ii) when driving over bad rocky terrain off-road, I use BTM, which works a lot better than any other method I have seen or tried. I know some people say they can use BTM with a stick-shift, but that sounds too difficult to me.
I bought the auto because at my age(50), I enjoy driving, but find I am less tolerable of discomfort or distractions. I like a relaxing drive and feel the auto provides that without the additional distraction of shifting contiuously.I then find i can actually enjoy some of view that my passengers are enjoying.
The new auto on the 12 provides for additional low speed crawl as compared to the the 11 auto. So i do not feel i am sacrificing much as some manual lovers feel.
I agree the that a manual provides for more "control" of your vehicle when wheeling. But that is not as apparent as it used to be with the advent of the new state of the art autos. With more gears and lower and closer ratios in the autos, the manual has lost the good majority of it's appeal to the hard-core wheelers because you can still crawl quite well with the autos but still have your DD and eat it to.
And with added benefit of a better resale value, you cannot go wrong with the new 5 speed auto.
But as always, to each his own. They both are very capable 4wd vehicles, whether auto or manual.
I do not feel it is necessary to argue whether one is better than the other. I do not need the discomfort or the distraction.
Remember thats why I drive an auto, no discomfort or distrations.
I'm old, what can I say.
And with the new 5 speed auto having the quasi-manual ability to shift like a manual. It just adds to it's utilitarian function as a vehicle and it's unique ability in transfering it's power to the wheels.
Much better than my 71 K5 with it's TH350 auto and three speeds.
On my K5 with the TH350, I have to decide, do I want to make it a DD or a Wheeler. I cannot have the best of both worlds as well as my JK can with it's 5 speeds. I have to either give the K5 low gears and make it a crawler or give it taller gears for better DD and sacrifice my wheeling ability.
I think that having the 5 speeds on the JK, you have a little more "wiggle" room with the gearing and the ability of having your cake and eating it to.
I think we need a Poll for auto or manual on 2012 JK's. And a another Poll for auto or manaul on 2007-2011 JK's.
I bet you will find that there are more people who prefer the auto over the manual on the 2012 JK.
Wheras I bet more people prefer the the manual on the 2007-2011 JK.
Or at least a closer ratio of preference.
I have a manual in my vette and would have it any other way, but I won't be driving the Jeep the same way, so I'm not giving the manual much thought - sticking with the auto. My wife can drive it, stop & go LA traffic is a lot easier to deal with, and I think I'll be happier with it off-road. I've driven manuals of one type or another for 35 years. There's nothing magical about them - just go with what you think will work best for you...
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