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Old 10-04-2010, 01:39 PM   #1
ersheff
 
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manual or automatic for newbie?

Hello.
I'm buying my first car soon (previous vehicles have been hand-me-downs) and have pretty much 100% decided on a Yaris.
I'm shopping used, but am looking for a few must-have options.
Primarily, I need a hatchback with the 60/40 split rear seats, and would prefer the 5 door.
The one thing I'm not decided on yet is the transmission.
See, I've never driven stick. So I can't really test drive one.
My girlfriend is convinced that if I bought a manual, she could teach me to drive it well enough to get to work the next day (like she had to do with her first car).
I haven't seen nearly as many used manual Yarii with the options I want (5 door, split rear) as I have used auto Yarii with those options.
I really want fuel efficiency, though I've seen some folks say an automatic is just as good, while others with manuals are hitting 50mpg tanks.
Also, I don't think that I would be happy not being able to use my hands while driving (morning coffee, changing the podcast I'm listening to).
I don't intend to do much to maximize FE other than keeping my tires filled and driving smartly. None of this 55mph on the interstate stuff for me.
I should add that my morning commute is 45 miles, about 90% highway.
So, what do you think?
If I drive conservatively with an automatic, will I see an improvement over the 33mpg I'm currently getting with my auto '96 Saturn SC2?
I'm happy to make compromises in my driving for FE's sake, but if it's going to be a pretty negligible difference with the way I drive, I'd rather have the auto.
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Old 10-04-2010, 02:45 PM   #2
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It's pretty easy to use a manual and not hard to learn, don't worry about that part. It become second nature soon enough if you go that route. If you factor in the driving time/miles/traffic you should be able to find which one is more your favor. If it's perfomance/range/options for modding one vs the other, manual has a slight edge in a few places, but not always the winner. Good luck with your choice as there are planty of gas savings tips on here.
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Old 10-04-2010, 03:42 PM   #3
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At one time in my life I swore I would never own an auto. Now I don't think that I will have a stick again.

Just filled up and got 41 mpg around town.
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Old 10-04-2010, 06:47 PM   #4
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do not buy stick if you ever have to drive in stop & go traffic.
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Old 10-04-2010, 07:35 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nemelek View Post
At one time in my life I swore I would never own an auto. Now I don't think that I will have a stick again.
Yep, same here; and I'm going to teach my kids to drive an automatic first before I introduce them to a manual shift. I want them to be comfortable with navigating a vehicle in traffic, then add the additional process of clutching and shifting gears.

As a matter of fact, my 13-yr-old son has been driving my Jeep Wrangler off-road, and can do so because it is an automatic. He focuses on where he's going, steering and keeping on track, as well as throttle control and braking.

Automatics are becoming more and more common in off-road vehicles, they give better control on tight sections and I can go places that give others with more lift but manual transmissions trouble. Plus, on the road autos are much more relaxing to drive; but can also be as sporting as a manual as you can shift them to a degree.

Cheers! M2
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Old 10-04-2010, 07:40 PM   #6
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it really is up to you. Is the car going to be primarily a commuter, or are you going to mod the heck out of it and want to show it?

If you are going to mod if for power you should go manual. If not, then it is completely up to you.
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Old 10-04-2010, 07:49 PM   #7
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For many drivers, the automatic will get as good or better mileage than the stick.

Plus, the Yaris stick isn't the most sophisticated out there. However, with a few mods it can perform reasonably well.
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Old 10-04-2010, 07:53 PM   #8
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It's a matter of preference. I have never owned an auto and don't plan on it. Knowing how to drive a stick is a good skill to have.

For example, what happens when during The Great Zombie Apocalypse of 2012 you bust into a car dealership to steal yourself a 4WD getaway only to find they have nothing but manuals? Brains!!! That's what happens.

So yeah, you should get the auto... and a shotgun.
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Old 10-04-2010, 10:43 PM   #9
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Auto is great if you do lots of other things while driving like me (eating, cellphone, hand gestures!) and it's great if you just don't like shifting gears.

Manual is more fun and allows you to shift yourself, but they are a complete pain (IMO) in anywhere hilly, or if you do lots of stop and go driving. I've had tons of vehicles that were sticks and I like both for their own good reasons.

So, as usual, I have given an ambivalent answer that helps zero. :)
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Old 10-04-2010, 10:49 PM   #10
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My first Yaris was AUTO-- and my second was Manual. I made the better choice the second time around.. good luck!
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Old 10-04-2010, 10:50 PM   #11
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Stick with the automatic
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Old 10-05-2010, 01:42 AM   #12
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I use an Auto, get a Sedan for highway driving, my small town has two main highways that you rarely ever stop its nice.

Also I believe sometimes manual can be more of a fjuel guzzler if you do it wrong, my first gen mustang was a manual, sucked gas HARD til I got the hang of it.
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Old 10-05-2010, 07:59 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kimona View Post
Plus, the Yaris stick isn't the most sophisticated out there. However, with a few mods it can perform reasonably well.
Good point. I wasn't impressed with the manual Yaris I test drove, but it was stock. Maybe I was too used to German manual transmissions but I have been much happier with the auto.

And just because a lot of people chose to drive automatics doesn't mean they can't drive sticks. I frequently get manual transmissions in the rentals I get in Europe, it's no big deal even if it's in the UK where you are shifting with your left hand. It takes a little more concentration, but I haven't lost a bit of my skill in driving a standard shift vehicle due to owning only autos!

Cheers! M2
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Old 10-05-2010, 06:10 PM   #14
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Mine is automatic, maybe just because of my girlfriend lol But for about 1k more. Think i would save that and definitly taken the manual one. OH, and, my girlfriend just bought a car. Dammit. Good luck
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Old 10-06-2010, 01:04 AM   #15
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I have 2 3 door liftbacks, one auto modded, one 5spd stock for the girlfriend. They both have pros and cons. She unfortunatley learned really now to drive a stick using the yaris in downtown Portland OR traffic. Hated it, she was in tears the first week. After a while she got the hang of it and did ok, but still hates city driving. When she gets to drive mine she likes not having to shift as much. But still, she won't let me do a transmission swap

I wish mine was a manual, but I was actually impressed with the auto so much when I test drove I bought it on the spot, and I didn't want to pay an extra grand or two the dealer wanted to ship one in for me. So really it depends on what you want. From the driving style you mentioned I dunno if you'd hit 50+mpg in a auto or a manual.


Oh, another reason your having a hard time finding a used 5 door with a 5spd and split seats is for this reason: The 5 door wasn't sold in the US until model year 2009, and for that year there was no 5spd option. That didn't come out until 2010.
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Old 10-06-2010, 06:52 AM   #16
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Sometimes i feel like my auto transmission when it goes 3rd to 4th gear, sometimes it sticks to 4000rpm at 100kmh without really pushin it and ts like its never gonna shift. Then when the speed is REALLY constant it shift finally. Guess i do something wrong.
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Old 10-06-2010, 10:30 AM   #17
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Smile Manual or automatic trans..

Manual and automatic transmission equipped cars get nearly the same mileage on the open road. I'd go for the auto for convenience!
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Old 10-06-2010, 05:29 PM   #18
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Automatic

Better high end gear ratio
Better resale (an increasing majority cannot even drive stick)
Nicer in stop and go traffic
appeals to the conservative drivers
gets decent mileage and shifts smoothly on or off hills


Manual

Better for hypermiling (coasting in neutral etc)
40 lbs less weight
Better for hyperactive drivers that like shifting gears
Appeals to rubber burner and car modifier types


Can't really go wrong with either. I drove both and chose the auto. That clutch is a bit weird. Anyway the Yaris is not a sports car to each their own though.
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