Manual vs Automatic for first Wrangler

DaltonGang

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My first Jeep, a 1998 TJ was a.stick. It was needed, because the auto tranny then was terrible. Plus, I like Sticks. With the new JL 8 speed, it was a difficult decision. But, the Auto tranny is a beast, it is used in many Dodge/Chrysler vehicles, and I havent heard a bad thing about it.
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LLRubylady

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Considerations --
  • This would be my first Wrangler
  • First car was a manual, miss feeling the entertainment/engagement with driving that manuals offer
  • Young toddler, manuals = more distracting/cannot attend to child?
  • Partner does not know how to drive stick, teaching her would be a requirement if we get a manual
  • Live in an area with heavy traffic (think southern california/la metro)
Are manuals generally more reliable, easier to maintain?

Thanks in advance for your thoughts
I can chime in on the young child and a manual. Back when my son was young I had an Infiniti which was a manual and I tended to him fine. Truth is, while you are driving regardless of transmission, you can't really turn around and attend to your child. If something really requires your attention, you have to pull over, or into a parking lot or something.
As far as your partner not knowing how to drive, teach her. It's a good skill. Ever rent a car in Europe?
Now, heavy traffic, that is personal preference. I have somewhat of traffic where I am and don't mind the manual, but it's nowhere LA traffic. I have had my jeep not even a week, but I am enjoying the manual. Everyone told me I was nuts. But I am enjoying it.
One thing I do worry about is if I'm going to miss remote start. It gets cold here but the Jeep heat comes on fast so I'm thinking I won't but it's too soon to tell.
That may be a consideration for you if you like to warm up/cool down .
 

PavementWarrior

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The moral of the story is you are picking between 2 very very good choices, you win either way you go
 

Wrangles

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Manual, no regrets, sooooo much more fun to drive and you feel “connected” to your ride. I would have paid the same and even more for the manual. No regrets.
 

c20040215

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My JL is my first Jeep. I went with standard transmission. I didn't even test drive the auto I had my mind set at the beginning. My life sucks if there are only that many things in my life I have control over at least now I get to choose what gear I'm in.
 

brewskisteve

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I bought my JL Rubicon in November with the manual and I love it! It's fun to drive and you definitely feel more in control like other posters stated. I drive in San Diego area and tend to hit some stop and go traffic (Nothing like LA). It can get a bit tiresome at times in those conditions, but I'm still loving the 6 speed.

I went off roading for first time this past Saturday and climbed my first small rock garden, probably a "3-4" and definitely saw how much easier it seemed for my friends auto jeeps to navigate the obstacle. I've never done any rock crawling so I'm inexperienced, but I was jerking the Jeep around a bit trying to feather the clutch and just slow crawl the obstacle. It will definitely take some practice. But that is why I bought this Jeep, to go wheeling and test my Jeep and myself. I don't regret getting the manual, but you are younger and have different priorities. Happy Jeeping :like::jk:
 

chadly25

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My first Jeep was a manual. So much fun to drive! Second Jeep was an auto. I didn’t feel like I was part of the driving experience but it was a lot more enjoyable for daily driving in traffic. Current Jeep I wanted to go back to manual but wife can’t drive a stick. Would hate to teach her on my new Rubicon so I chose the auto. Although I miss the experience, I really love the new tranny a lot. Really happy with my choice.
 

OceanBlues

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I have an 8 month old, wife can't drive stick, and I sit in heavy traffic every day to and from work...

I couldn't be happier that I got manual.

One of these days I'll get around to teaching my wife. She was open to me getting manual as long as I teach her.

I don't find manual distracting, if anything I find myself more focused on driving in general. Manual in traffic I don't find bad either. First and second gear can both keep the Jeep creeping along at slow steady speeds, and when I'm having to stop and go, I really don't mind the clutch and shifting. This is a really nice gear box. Shifts are smooth like butter and the clutch has really nice feel to it after you get thru the break-in period.

To each their own. The 8 speed sounds really nice too, but I'm in love with my manual.
 

Hgrace

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I'm in northern Los Angeles. Automatic all the way. The 8 speed in my 2019 Sport S is awesome.
 

COBill

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A lot depends on how you drive.

For my cars I've always had a manual and when driving around the city, I typically shift 1 -> 3 -> 6.

That's something neither an automatic nor paddle shift transmissions can do.
 

roaniecowpony

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If the vehicle is an optional or extra vehicle, pick what you like. For a DD, I couldn't see myself in a stick again in this LA traffic. I'm about to retire this year and bought the Jeep to use for hunting in some areas my 4x4 fullsize truck would be difficult or risky to take. So, I could have gone manual, but to tell the truth, I don't find any downsides to autos such that they tip the scale.
 

MORTON

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Considerations --
  • This would be my first Wrangler
  • First car was a manual, miss feeling the entertainment/engagement with driving that manuals offer
  • Young toddler, manuals = more distracting/cannot attend to child?
  • Partner does not know how to drive stick, teaching her would be a requirement if we get a manual
  • Live in an area with heavy traffic (think southern california/la metro)
Are manuals generally more reliable, easier to maintain?

Thanks in advance for your thoughts
If I were you, considering your last three bullets, I'd go with the auto.
Other than the first and last bullet, I would say manual.

Here’s why:

  • You miss the feeling (they are fun)
  • Shouldn’t really be messing with a kid while driving anyways (I have 4 so I would know. No telling how many wrecks I’ve almost gotten in trying to keep them straight in any vehicle auto or M/T)
    • Note: I can still do whatever I need to do. A manual doesn’t take anymore attention than an auto IMO.
  • Everyone should know how to drive a M/T. Your partner will appreciate the fact that you took the time to teach them.
So I say M/T all the way!
 

Litfuse

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A lot depends on how you drive.

For my cars I've always had a manual and when driving around the city, I typically shift 1 -> 3 -> 6.

That's something neither an automatic nor paddle shift transmissions can do.
You can’t do that with this manual as well, are you will bog the engine. The gearing is too widely spaced. I hate to say this OP, but get the auto, or better yet, drive both and see which one you like better.
 

COBill

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If the vehicle is an optional or extra vehicle, pick what you like. For a DD, I couldn't see myself in a stick again in this LA traffic. I'm about to retire this year and bought the Jeep to use for hunting in some areas my 4x4 fullsize truck would be difficult or risky to take. So, I could have gone manual, but to tell the truth, I don't find any downsides to autos such that they tip the scale.
Aside from the fact that driving a vehicle with an automatic is boring; you might as well have a self-driving car.
 

COBill

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You can’t do that with this manual as well, are you will bog the engine. The gearing is too widely spaced. I hate to say this OP, but get the auto, or better yet, drive both and see which one you like better.
Want to make a bet? I did it when I test drove a JL.

You're not really "bogging" the engine if the RPMs are anywhere above 1500 RPM or so.

I have a simple philosophy - I've never owned a vehicle with an automatic transmission, and will never purchase one..
 
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