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Old 06-07-2007, 04:25 PM   #1
anik
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Question Want opinions automatic vs. manual transmission

I'm in a situation where I'm assisting another family member in buying a car - this is the first time they've bought a new car in many years (and I've always bought used) so we're not used to having options to pick from. We visited the local Toyota dealer the other day and were pretty sold on the Yaris liftback but the major reason we didn't place an order then and there was because we couldn't decide between automatic and manual transmission.

The primary driver of the car is 55 years old and most of his previous cars have had manual transmission. He lives approximately 50 miles from the dealership and absolutely hates taking a car in for service of any kind (other than oil changes at the local quick lube place), which is one reason we're looking at a Toyota in the first place. He also wants great gas mileage.

But at the same time, he's getting older, and his reflexes aren't what they used to be. We took both a manual and an automatic for a test drive. To me the automatic seemed a bit sluggish in changing gears (but remember I'm not used to automatics either) and it seemed like there were only three gears in getting up to 55 (maybe I missed a gear change). But, he had no trouble driving it at all. With the manual transmission, he did okay, but his current car is a four-speed manual. Maybe that is why a couple times he accidentally downshifted into 3rd when he was actually trying to go into 5th, and I could see that really bothered him. So I guess the bottom line is, he likes the convenience of not having to shift (though that's not a major issue at this point) but he also worries that an automatic will require more maintenance and/or have significantly lower gas mileage.

He is the type that will take a car in at recommended service intervals (at least in the first year or two) but other than that he sort of treats auto shops as though he might catch the bubonic plague by walking inside one (his biggest problem is that he hates to sit around and wait anywhere - he avoids doctors' visits for the same reason) - which might be fine IF he were mechanically inclined, but he isn't (one reason he's ready to trade in his current car is because he's having to add oil ONCE between 3,000 mile trips to the quick oil change place, and he doesn't like to get under the hood at all). So I'm thinking a Toyota is definitely the best choice for him, but wonder which transmission would be the best option. Believe it or not, that choice is the only reason an order hasn't been placed for the Yaris. He can't make up his mind, and I don't know enough about Toyota transmissions to make an informed suggestion.

As long as I'm posting this, I have two other things to ask. First, is there any significant reason that anyone knows of that we might want to wait for the 2008 models to come out? And second, is there anything we should specifically ask of the dealer - in other words, can the dealers offer any discounts, rebates, additions, etc. that you only get if you know enough to ask for them? We're in Michigan, if that makes any difference.
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Old 06-07-2007, 05:10 PM   #2
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The choice between AT and MT is the main reason I haven't placed an order yet myself. It's a really tough call, especially if you live in the city.

To those in the know: does the auto REALLY get gas mileage comparable to the stick? Every time I try to search for this info, I end up with the EPA estimates, which are not to be trusted.
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Old 06-07-2007, 05:15 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by adamschneider View Post
The choice between AT and MT is the main reason I haven't placed an order yet myself. It's a really tough call, especially if you live in the city.

To those in the know: does the auto REALLY get gas mileage comparable to the stick? Every time I try to search for this info, I end up with the EPA estimates, which are not to be trusted.
There isn't much difference in the gas mileage on auto or manual on these cars. I get great mileage in town with my auto. I find it shifts much better than my truely sluggish golf. I personally hate manual transmissions. I live in the city. I drive in the city.

The gas mileage is affected by how you drive----> if you lay on it and slam on the brakes it will suck.

also there are several threads on this already, have at it
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Old 06-07-2007, 05:24 PM   #4
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From your description, my first impression would be that an automatic sounds safer, especially if the other driver is not used to a stick.

I have a manual, and my experience is that you are always shifting--have to keep the revs up to get any power out of it.

Good luck!
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Old 06-07-2007, 10:21 PM   #5
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Manual, manual, manual; it's such a fun car to drive! Pep is the word; this car has plenty of pep; it's so light and nimble on it's "feet". A joy to drive. Shifting is smooth and the clutch is light, albeit, a bit touchy -- only took a few weeks to get used to it. I would never go to automatic, and I live in Pittsburgh where there are hills upon hills, and still, I prefer the manual.
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Old 06-07-2007, 10:28 PM   #6
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automatic is for american tanks.

it is a crime to even offer an automatic on a small econobox!!

a crime against Nature!

Manual all the way!!

fun fun fun!
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Old 06-07-2007, 10:38 PM   #7
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Your better of getting a standard transmission IMHO, not to mention you’ll save some more money for upgrades later.
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Old 06-07-2007, 11:04 PM   #8
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The EPA ratings have become easier to believe. Please see:
http://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/calcu...umn=1&id=22749
Be EPA ratings realistic or not, if you compare the fuel economy of the auto Yaris with that of the manual, using EPA ratings in both cases, you are comparing orange with orange. The field is level. Here is the comparison:
http://www.epa.gov/otaq/cert/mpg/overall-high.htm
You will see that the auto is almost as economical as the manual. A rare case indeed!
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Old 06-07-2007, 11:13 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by swng View Post
The EPA ratings have become easier to believe. Please see:
http://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/calcu...umn=1&id=22749
Be EPA ratings realistic or not, if you compare the fuel economy of the auto Yaris with that of the manual, using EPA ratings in both cases, you are comparing orange with orange. The field is level. Here is the comparison:
http://www.epa.gov/otaq/cert/mpg/overall-high.htm
You will see that the auto is almost as economical as the manual. A rare case indeed!

Thanks for backing up what has been said a thousand times and retards like the posters above don't want to believe because they have some kind of syndrome.

Have fun shifting numbnuts. I prefer my comfy armrest while driving.
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Old 06-07-2007, 11:34 PM   #10
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Old 06-08-2007, 12:06 AM   #11
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The fueleconomy.gov page with the real-world mileage reports is very handy, thanks. (I think I ran across it the other day as well, but my head is spinning with all the sites I've been visiting...)
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Old 06-08-2007, 12:16 AM   #12
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Can you actually “use” the armrest in our cars? I don’t have one but as i see in the pictures its to low to be comfortable.
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Old 06-08-2007, 01:04 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by anik View Post
.........But at the same time, he's getting older, and his reflexes aren't what they used to be. .......
HaHaHa are you researching the nursing homes yet!!!! I'm 56 and dreaming of retirement so I can play!!!

I drive the automatic and love it....my last 4 tanks have been over 40 mpg, but I don't drive much town or freeway on my daily route. If the "old guy" is into hypermiling I would recommend the manual, but normal everyday driving shows very little if any difference in mpg. You never mentioned what driving conditions or what part of the country you're in, so can't recommend much else. My manual tranny toys are in the garage to enjoy when I want, my auto Yaris is where I spend the most time.

By the way my 83 yo Dad hates power windows and drives auto in his cars but 5 speed in his truck.... but I love power windows!

...and give the "old guy" a break, he may outlive ya.....and our reflexes may be slower than 40 years ago, but we can still throw a good sucker punch!
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Old 06-08-2007, 01:06 AM   #14
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One thing to keep in mind with an "older" driver is that if they plan to have the car for a few years, the troubles they have now will be nothing compared to what they'll have in a few years. That isn't to say they'll be a bad driver, but if they're already struggling, there's no reason to make it worse. Near the end of your driving life (not saying it is, but this is what you're preparing for, right?), it's better to be comfortable, safe, and happy, than making it more complicated. I vote automatic just because there are fewer things to think about.

When my Grandfather neared the end of his driving life, it was embarrassment more than anything that affected him. Something to keep in mind for the next twenty years or so.
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Old 06-08-2007, 07:08 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by webomatics View Post
Can you actually “use” the armrest in our cars? I don’t have one but as i see in the pictures its to low to be comfortable.
i don't know about "low" - mine comes very handy
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Old 06-08-2007, 07:11 AM   #16
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Automatic for me. Why not choose convenience? My sedan auto gets consistently 44-46 mpg ( suburbia driving)
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Old 06-08-2007, 08:13 AM   #17
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Automatic for me too. I hate shifting up and down in traffic.
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Old 06-08-2007, 08:39 AM   #18
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I prefer the manual on a low torque/horsepower engine. It allows me better control of the power-band in critical areas like merging, passing, etc. It also is more enjoyable for me as I am driving and not simply riding. My VW is pretty much a luxury ride with all the bells & whistles, but I find it almost boring if not hypnotic to do interstate travel with.
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