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Manual or automatic?

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Old 12-21-2017, 11:37 AM
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Default Manual or automatic?

I got out of 4 wheeling back in the early 80's when I sold my 74 CJ5. Recently wife and I got to talking about buying another jeep now that we are both retired and have time to play and I'm looking at a JK Rubicon 2 door. I have a pretty good idea how I want it equipped but for one detail. I prefer a manual transmission but my wife can't drive a stick very well so I'm thinking automatic to keep her happy. My question is how well do the modern automatic transmissions work on trails?
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Old 12-22-2017, 02:45 AM
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They do extremely well. I'm a manual owner, and it does extremely well, too. For most people, the auto is much easier. Don't give up on the manual, though. My wife learned to drive a manual and now prefers it. I was really torn and considering the 8 speed on my new JLUR, but she insisted on the manual. In low range, the manual is particularly easy.

Don't fret over the auto, though. They are outstanding. Especially the newer 5 speed.
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Old 12-22-2017, 03:14 AM
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U will find pros and cons to both, naturally. I switched from a manual to auto for the same reason. Wife and daughter struggled. In an emergency or a vehicle back up, and rarely driving the JK other wise, inexperience and panic situations could have a disasterous outcome. Practically it wasn’t going to work out for the best. Most of my driving was stop n go city anyway. A total pain, here. Begrudgingly I switched to the auto and it has been nothing but convenience ever since. No more over using the clutch. Hands r completely available for other tasks. Stop n go , creeping traffic pains r a thing of the past. On the rare occasion some one else drives the JK, no worries. Also, just as capable off road for my needs as well as half +/- the Jeep community. (No more open clutch worries either regarding water.) These r what come to mind first off. Granted every one should know how to operate a manual. But I have first hand experience that there r those that will never be able to....and not at the risk of breaking a vehicle or getting in an accident because we put our wants in front of our loved ones. Go with your heart/instincts n not your head. Best wishes.



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Old 12-22-2017, 05:41 AM
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I ended up with a 4dr auto. My preference for driving on the pavement would definitely be a manual transmission, but for the type of wheelin I do, I love the auto. For rocks and/or technical things, I enjoy the control the auto provides. I have mad respect for people that do the same thing in a manual as it's an entirely different ball game. For some reason a manual in a 2dr just "seems" right as it's classic. Everyone should learn to drive a manual....even if you don't drive one as a daily driver. You never know when you might be in a situation requiring you to do so. Today's manuals are so forgiving.....I'd bet she'd pick it up fast and get proficient with it. I think it should come down to what you really plan to do with it offroad.
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Old 12-22-2017, 06:53 AM
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Manual, perfect time for her to get good at it. Waaaaaay more fun IMHO, easier to tune without the NAG1 Auto as well.
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Old 12-22-2017, 09:48 AM
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If you are going to crawl rocks then auto for sure. Way smoother.
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Old 12-22-2017, 09:55 AM
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The earlier JKs had a crap transmission, but anything with the 3.6 I believe has the new Auto. I love mine, wheeling rocks is a bit easier. I can drive a stick, probably better than most people who claim it's not a Jeep with an auto.
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Old 12-23-2017, 05:27 PM
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Well, to me it all depends on how you're going to use it. If its going to be an onroad jeep 99% of the time with some mild wheeling thrown in on occasion, go manual. Your wife will get better and end up enjoying it. Now on the other hand...and believe me, it pains me to say this because I'm a die hard manual guy having daily driven one from 16 years old to 44 years old, if its truly going to see significant offroad duty go auto. The auto is simply easier offroad, the manual is more work and more tiring.
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Old 12-25-2017, 05:43 AM
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I've got to say I enjoy my manual on and off road so much more than an automatic. So. Much. More. But go with your gut. I'm trying to teach my wife to drive it but so far not much luck. I'll keep at it. It does limit others driving it......which is secretly a good thing! Haha. I trust about no one else driving my Jeep!Click image for larger version

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Old 12-25-2017, 08:42 AM
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Originally Posted by Inspector86
I got out of 4 wheeling back in the early 80's when I sold my 74 CJ5. Recently wife and I got to talking about buying another jeep now that we are both retired and have time to play and I'm looking at a JK Rubicon 2 door. I have a pretty good idea how I want it equipped but for one detail. I prefer a manual transmission but my wife can't drive a stick very well so I'm thinking automatic to keep her happy. My question is how well do the modern automatic transmissions work on trails?
I have a manual 2door Rubicon. I don't play in any deep mud or water, but I try to get out into the rocks as much as possible (usually 3 to 5 times a year). As long as you get the 4.10 gears the rocks with a manual is a lot of fun. With 3.6 and the stock tires it is almost impossible to stall it in first gear 4-LO. You can literally stand on the brake pedal while rolling in first gear 4-LO, and it will not stall. It's amazing! Also, in 4-LO if you do stall it, you can put it in whatever gear you want and then hit the key and start with the clutch out, as soon as the engine starts cranking, it starts rolling, it's a really cool feature.

Either way, I'm sure you'll have a lot of fun with it.

For me personally, if there is a manual transmission available, then it is a no brainer, I hate automatics with a passion.
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