First off - love the pic, glad you're enjoying your jeep. I'll agree to disagree with you on the manual v automatic and off-roading. The whole manual is better for off-roading is old logic and thinking IMHO. I've been off-road in both and maybe it's my age, but I prefer the automatic now. Hill decent (or whatever it's called) takes care of you having to brake down steep declines as well so you don't have to ride the brakes. As far as "faster" goes...yeah, it's a Jeep so I couldn't care lessDid you just say If I get a wrangler and don’t like it?...being a first time jeep owner myself this past Feb (Rubicon JL “MANUAL”) and knowing how much I love this jeep I can’t even imagine how this could even happen! Lol
As far as manual or Auto? IMO if you are getting a Jeep and gonna do serious off roading with it, don’t even think about not getting a manual if you get the opportunity to get one. I personally chose a manual for this reason and have never looked back or regretted it one bit! The manual has a better crawl ratio, and you have a lot more control of your rig in all off road situations. I can also confirm that the manual has a little better acceleration than the automatic. I have a friend who has 2018 Rubicon JL like mine except it’s an automatic and it’s slightly slower or acceleration when we tested side by side. Also my friend comments all the time how whenever I’m in front going down a steep trail my brake lights next to never come on (hence manual transmission). My friend said going down trail inclines she just about always has to feather the brakes.
All good though, we all have our opinions. Great pic and enjoy the Jeep!