Manual or Automatic?

David F.

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Went with manual because it was cheaper but really its because I like driving pretty much in its entirety and shifting makes driving more fun to me. I shifted in my two door coupe's, I shifted on my bikes and I shifted in my previous jeep. Really enjoy shifting into second to take a turn then revving up too where it feels like it needs YOU and you make the decision to change gears...

IDK, I like changing gears but I was also the kid with the steering wheel toy in the 80's where I would make noises every time I turned (wheel screeching) and engine noise (Vrrrooommm?) when I would "shift".

Has its times when it gets old but not very often to me.
 

me109stock

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Gears 1, 5, and 6 are pointless, I drive it like it was a 3 speed, and do just fine.

@OP, the Turbo Automatic seems to get 20-21 mpg, or that is what I read from others on this site. The manual, with 3.6L, I get 16 mpg, and that is great for me. If I want fuel efficiency, I drive my Civic.

I say get the manual, it's too much fun to drive any other way.
I went with the manual. But then again, I've NEVER owned an automatic transmission vehicle except for my trailer tow vehicles (F350 - blew the transmission, and now F450).

I get 20-22 in my 6-Speed manual JLUR, but then I don't drive it like my 6-Speed manual Porsche either. For general commuting, at speed limit, I am guessing you can attain the same MPG in a manual as in an auto. Mash the pedal in either and you will see it at the pump. Keep the clutch in at lights and the auto stop doesn't take affect like it would in an auto so in stop and go traffic the manual might get less MPG, unless you put the trans in neutral and let the clutch out at stoplights (which takes some getting used to).
For simplicity purposes, I love the manual and know it won't ever let me down. The chances of someone stealing it is less too as fewer and fewer people know how to drive a manual anymore. And if you are buying it for the driving experience, and want to DRIVE, then get the manual! My left foot never knows what to do when I'm in an automatic.
 

Fire Burns

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Do like the Pointer Sisters
 

Rockywoolf

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I have had many a Jeep, crawler and other 4x4s. All but one was a manual. I prefer a manual. The only time I wish it was an auto is on steep hill climbs that may require you to shift, an auto will make that a lot easier. Other than that, a manual, in my opinion is much more versatile than an auto. You can always push in the clutch to roll back instead of search for reverse, you can better control a lot. An old jeeper and I were talking once and his comment on manual vs auto is, “they are both better”.
 

iznthesky

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I have driven the automatic 8 speed and it’s great....I have the Manual 6 speed and I really love it. No regrets. Many forum members who do NOT have the Rubicon complain about the manual transmission not having enough power.....but the Rubicon,s lower gearing matches the power of the Manual transmission perfectly with the V-6 engine.
Since your looking into a Sahara.....I recommend that you drive the 6 speed manual before committing to it...and driving the 8 speed auto also. Both are great transmissions...but they respond differently due to the gearing.....so keep this in mind.
 

HealthRebel

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I have owned a 2002 and 2012 Wrangler. Both 2dr. and manuals. My 2020 JLRU has the 8-spd. automatic and I love it. If I had purchased the 2 dr., I probably would have gone with the manual.

Having just returned my leased Mini Cooper S in a 6 spd. manual, it was so much fun. But, in a larger vehicle, like the Unlimited Wrangler, I prefer the auto.

Another consideration... with a manual transmission, you may have to sit a little closer towards the dash so you can push the clutch in all the way to shift. This becomes the “limiting factor” on how far you sit back. You don’t have this potential issue with the automatic. I have to say, being able to sit a little further back from the dash and steering wheel is actually more comfortable.

Another plus for the automatic is if you go with larger tires. The auto has some advantages with its 8 forward gears vs only 6 in the manual.

Find you a manual and drive both. No right or wrong here.
 

BeachNJeep

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For durability and reliability, I went with the manual. The JL has an electronic automatic transmission. There is no linkage to the transmission from the shifter. So, if the computer fails, you're stuck. You can't bump start an auto and if one of the bands goes, you're done.
I've limped home with no second gear shifting from first to third to fourth in a manual. In an auto, if you lose a gear, you're not going anywhere. As for wheeling, it can be hard as hell around obstacles, but it's also a helluva lot of fun.
I can swap out a clutch with my eyes closed, but working on an auto? I can only imagine the bill...
 

xtopherm

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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!
I chose the six speed manual for three reasons: (1) more fun to drive (2) better crawl ratio (really hard to stall a vehicle with an 84:1 gear reduction...) (3) because it makes a terrific old school hill descent control. No electronic nonsense - if you want to go down hill slow, put it in first and it will crawl down slowly. If you want it to descend a little faster, put it in second.
 

RangerRobAZ

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I chose the six speed manual for three reasons: (1) more fun to drive (2) better crawl ratio (really hard to stall a vehicle with an 84:1 gear reduction...) (3) because it makes a terrific old school hill descent control. No electronic nonsense - if you want to go down hill slow, put it in first and it will crawl down slowly. If you want it to descend a little faster, put it in second.
I am curious if you could elaborate a bit more on points 2 and 3. I currently have a jku sport with manual and find stalling out while going slow over rocks to be a problem. I do realize that the rubicon and JLs have better crawl ratios, so I imagine this would not be an issue so much on them with a manual. But how is that an advantage over the automatic? How do you stall an auto while rock crawling? Sorry if this is a newbie question, I ordered an auto on my soon to arrive JL in part because I didn’t want to have to worry with stalling or getting in and out of gear. Or are you just saying with such a high crawl ratio, having the manual is not an issue.

And for 3. I’ve seen this mentioned before. I haven’t done steep downhill off-roading in an auto before. But going down mountain roads in the past, I would just put the auto in a lower gear manually. Seemed to slow me down. Why does putting the auto in 1st gear manually not work about the same as putting the manual in 1st? Again, sorry if this is obvious, but I’ve been curious about this for a few weeks now.
 

Steven79

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My first Wrangler was a manual, and my recently ordered 2020 JLUR is an auto. 95% of this vehicles life will be in urban city driving with heavy traffic (Houston). 5% of the time will be used to fun and offroad. Auto was a easy decision for "me". Just get whichever u want and don't settle.

The manual is super fun, but in traffic, its terrible to me.
 

Roubaix19

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I test drove both, but knew I wanted a manual. Both were great but since I prefer the manuals that's what I went with. Very happy with mine and yes, the sixth gear is really for over 70 mph. Also, I regularly get 24 MPG around town. Not bad for a vehicle that is so heavy. I'm a former Honda customer & so glad I looked at the JL's. First american vehicle in over 35 yrs!
 

Wabujitsu

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This thread is testament that FCA nailed it, by offering it in manual and auto.

My wife and I have both owned a number of vehicles in manual and auto. We never had either type fail. But once I got my FJ40 as a young man, it was all manual for me!

When I joined the military, the M151 Jeep was a stick. I LOVED that piece of crap! Yes, it wobbled all over the road, but on tank trails it was unstoppable. The deuce-and-a-half was the same way - manual. Heck, I was driving a deuce in convoy when the engine caught on fire. I pulled over and left it running; a fire extinguisher took care of the problem and we traveled on. Tough trucks!

Then the military switched to all-auto. And I started to get older, autos started to get better, and I guess I got a little lazier, after driving HMMWVs, HEMTTs, etc. all over hell and back. So I got the 8-speed auto in my Jeep, and I LOVE the fact that I can also manually shift it. If I get another Jeep, who knows - I may get the manual.

In retirement and at the age of 58, my tastes changed a bit I guess. But I still yearn for a manual.
 

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