I do not have the diesel but have the auto 8 with the 2.0t. The manual side of the auto was awesome in the mountains, especially when doing the trails on steep downhill switch backs when in 4 lo....just leave it in M1 or M2 and it walked right down and around the hill and switchback. I use manual mode often rather than riding the brakes....let the engine do the work.I have to Second that, Old Bear, as a die- hard manual transmission fan, I chose the 8 speed auto over the JL manual. That dual- mass flywheel, and the serious issues resulting in a " Stop Sale " recall vindicated my decision. The clutch had no " feel", and just no fun to drive. The automatic is seamless, shifts just right. And has a manual mode if you want to Row the Boat. Really surprised me, it is so good.