Manual or Automatic?

tcinlex

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Just joined the site and about to buy our 1st Wrangler. Great site, have learned much, thanks! We are planning to order a 2020 Sahara with options we want (8.4 Infotainment, Cold Weather Group, Tow Package). Live in SW Virginia, it will be my primary car but am retired so not a commuter and live in a rural area so not much traffic. Plan to ride country gravel and dirt back roads but not serious off road stuff. Thinking of buying a manual, haven’t had one in years but have always enjoyed (other than when sitting in traffic) and figure heck if I’m getting a Jeep, manual seems to be the way to go. Any reason or benefits that would make you say we should go with either the regular automatic or Turbo automatic over the manual? Any other options you think we should get (and why)? Thanks!
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DaK

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Automatics don't stall going over obstacles. Also, you only have two pedals to worry about instead of three as well as being able to keep two hands on the wheels while offroad vice one.

Last time I drove a Wrangler manual the clutch felt weak as did the transmission but that is comparing it to a tremec and HD racing clutch. All I know is, I didn't like it so bought the auto and never looked back.
 

rustyshakelford

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We have both. The auto is great in the JLs. I love my 6 speed but there’s times I wish I had gone auto though. However, when wheeling I’ve found I really like the manual.

Brett
 

multicam

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The automatic is a pretty good transmission, from the test drives I've done, but I do not for a moment regret getting my manual transmission JLR. The Aisin transmission is great. You may have trouble finding one to test drive though and for some people clutch feel is very important.

For the uses you describe it sounds like a manual transmission would be perfect. I don't think you'll have to worry about stalling over obstacles; doesn't sound like you'll be doing much rock crawling.
 

Uhdinator

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Haven't driven the manual. The 8 spd auto is smooth.
8 spd auto = 6th gear is 1:1 and 7th and 8th are both overdrive.
6 spd M = 4th gear is 1:1 and 5th and 6th are both overdrive.

Because the auto has 6 gears to get you to 1:1 that are closer together.......than the 4 gears of the manual. The consensus of many is that the auto handles upgrading to bigger tires a little better than the manual.
 

OldGuyNewJeep

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pablo_max3045

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The 8-speed auto unit is a fantastic bit of kit. It is really smooth and by most accounts more than robust enough for the Wrangler.
I guess you need to consider your off roading conditions.
If you need to descend a lot of steep hills, then a manual is better.
For nearly all other conditions the manual is easier. Especially given that it will "lock" the gear you "manually" select in manual mode. Rock crawling with 2 feet than with needed 3 feet ;)
If you cross deep water you dont need to worry about getting crap between the clutch plate and flywheel.
Like others, I do enjoy driving a manual from time to time, but for daily stop and go traffic.. which realistically is 70% of most folks driving, a manual just sucks. IMO anyhow. Maybe some folks like to continuously be pushing the clutch like 600 times on the way to work.

I am not sure about service costs down the road though. However, given that like 90% of the Jeeps sold are automatics (Pulling that stat out of my ass, but it is clearly the vast majority) economies of scale come into play for replacement unit costs. Also for finding a mechanic who as actually worked on one.

What I can say is this new auto is so much better than the 6-speed auto from my old JK that there simple is no comparison.
 

Jimmy_jak

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I won an auto jLU sport s but test drove a manual as well. I will say that the manual was a joy to drive. Super smooth. If it were just me and the wife and a JL not a JLU then I would be inclined to consider the manual.

However I have the unlimited and my kids to haul around Soni chose the auto. It's great as well.
 

pablo_max3045

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I won an auto jLU sport s but test drove a manual as well. I will say that the manual was a joy to drive. Super smooth. If it were just me and the wife and a JL not a JLU then I would be inclined to consider the manual.

However I have the unlimited and my kids to haul around Soni chose the auto. It's great as well.
Wait... you won a Jeep?
 

RangerRobAZ

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If you’re considering the manual, just buy the manual
I owned manual on my first 2 jeeps. I was going to get it again, but after reading a bunch about how fantastic the auto was, I went with it instead. I got the impression that the main benefit to the manual is because you like driving / the feel of manual better. I also don’t like hassling with the manual for tricky off-road situations. I haven’t received my new Jeep yet so I cannot comment on how I will feel driving with an auto. Another deciding factor was when I did a search for jeeps, out of 256 rubicons at Arizona dealers , only one had a manual. I do care about the trade in value/how easily sold my vehicle is and the auto has an edge there from what I could see.

Regardless, as the SecondTJ said, if you want a manual, get one. Your driving situations will not bring out any of the potential negatives associated with a manual.

Also, here are some other threads on the topic.
https://www.jlwranglerforums.com/forum/threads/2018-sport-jl-transmission-auto-vs-manual.10272/
https://www.jlwranglerforums.com/forum/threads/manual-vs-automatic-for-first-wrangler.17318/
 

Maverick909

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I have the manual transmission and i wouldn't change it unless i was doing major rock crawling. the manual trans is cheaper to fix in the long run than a 8 speed that is gonna break the bank if and when it fails. i do enjoy the smooth clutch that is in the jeep though. takes a little getting used to after driving an f350 5 speed. to me it sounds like a manual trans is a great way to enjoy the jeep more!
 

TTEChris

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My wife has a 6spd JLU Rubicon which I drove/wheeled for a little over a year. We recently purchased a Gladiator with the 8spd due to the increased towing capacity.
While the 8spd is a fantastic transmission, I miss daily driving the manual. I didn't realize how much I missed it until I swapped Jeeps with my wife for a couple of days last week. You can't compare any of the past Wrangler manuals to the JL. The new 6spd is much smoother and car like than the TJ/JK ever was.
The manual is a little tougher rock crawling, but that also makes it more fun(for me).
 

UKCATS

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I bought a auto this time around. It is awesome, very smooth, great transmission. That said, I really miss my manual. I foresee another in my future.
 

TaxPhan

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Manual, for the win. Smooth, fun, and not boring.
 
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