The Old "Manual vs Auto" With a twist... - Toyota FJ Cruiser Forum
Transmissions / Transfer Cases / Traction Aids This area is for discussion, questions and problems with the FJ Cruiser's gear train, including topics on A-TRAC, VSC, locking diffs, gear ratios, manual vs. AT, etc.

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post #1 of 29 (permalink) Old 02-23-2018, 08:47 AM Thread Starter
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Question The Old "Manual vs Auto" With a twist...

I know this is a question thrown around a lot: manual or automatic?

I've read a few threads on this forum and some other websites already but my twist is this:

If you were previously a die hard manual transmission driver, why did you choose an automatic transmission in the FJ? Do you regret it? Are you bored driving an AT after driving manuals?

Background:

I'm a manual snob. I prefer manuals, all my DDs have been manuals and I'm searching for my first FJ currently but the problem is I can't find what I want in manual. I'm toying with the idea of getting an AT but I am super worried about regretting it.

99% of this will be DD, but I would like the ability to get into off-road as well if I want it (which seems an option regardless).
Towing is a real possibility.
I'm not concerned about 1-2 MPG differentiation.

Being in Pennsylvania we get a lot of snow in the winter and rain in the spring.
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post #2 of 29 (permalink) Old 02-23-2018, 09:04 AM
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Re: The Old "Manual vs Auto" With a twist...

The Fj feels like less of a pig with the manual due to better gearing. We do some actual crawling with our FJ so it had to be an automatic. The transfer case gearing will not work with the manual, not near low enough. I would want the auto for towing.
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post #3 of 29 (permalink) Old 02-23-2018, 09:35 AM
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Re: The Old "Manual vs Auto" With a twist...

Most of the 20 vehicles I have owned were manual. I am sure the FJ with a manual is a fun truck, however it was auto for me this time around. Combo of a low side motorcycle accident on pure gravel some truck had dumped all over the road in a steep curve (clutch foot took the brunt) and my older / non racing ways meant I was looking only for Auto FJ's. I love the auto, it works fine, you can still downshift in the winter stuff, and I can cruise around town. I would love the full time 4WD, but I manage just fine with the part time.
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post #4 of 29 (permalink) Old 02-23-2018, 09:55 AM Thread Starter
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Re: The Old "Manual vs Auto" With a twist...

Thanks for this! I am in a similar situation minus the serious injury. My car got totaled on 2-2-18 when a truck struck us head on in my tC and my ankle got super messed up (I was driving, manual). We are hoping it's just a serious inversion sprain (it kept buckling after the accident) because x rays weren't showing serious bone damage but the ankle bone is extremely tender still even just to a touch of a finger tip! I am not sure I can drive manual yet but I am sure I will be able to again as time goes, but I'm not really looking to replace my car months down the road either.

I'm currently driving my husbands 2004 WJ which is automatic and for the daily trips it hasn't been too bad or boring but I'm also still recovering so half the time I just want to sleep lol!
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post #5 of 29 (permalink) Old 02-23-2018, 10:00 AM
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Re: The Old "Manual vs Auto" With a twist...

I am in Pittsburgh, and it was impossible to find a manual when i bought mine. the dealership ended up trading with one in cincinnatti to get it! I love it, and it is a lot of fun; but i am 2 miles from work - if i had to deal with traffic, i would probably get the auto.
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post #6 of 29 (permalink) Old 02-23-2018, 10:01 AM Thread Starter
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Re: The Old "Manual vs Auto" With a twist...

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gkreitzburg previously said: View Post
I am in Pittsburgh, and it was impossible to find a manual when i bought mine. the dealership ended up trading with one in cincinnatti to get it! I love it, and it is a lot of fun; but i am 2 miles from work - if i had to deal with traffic, i would probably get the auto.
I'm about an hour South of Pittsburgh and that struggle is still very real. I found a 14 TT in Virginia in Manual but the dealership is way less than reputable.

I've basically resigned to either an AT or driving 4 hours to get it.
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post #7 of 29 (permalink) Old 02-23-2018, 10:25 AM
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Re: The Old "Manual vs Auto" With a twist...

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I'm about an hour South of Pittsburgh and that struggle is still very real. I found a 14 TT in Virginia in Manual but the dealership is way less than reputable.

I've basically resigned to either an AT or driving 4 hours to get it.
you should check with @gearwrench , I believe he lives in the south -- I am out by the airport, but i'll keep an eye out for you
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post #8 of 29 (permalink) Old 02-23-2018, 10:39 AM
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Re: The Old "Manual vs Auto" With a twist...

Having had my MT for.....well....ever....

Traffic - between the gearing and the torque I have found the manipulating my low speed with the brake is much easier than clutch in....clutch out....clutch in scenario. The FJ will dip sown past 400 rpm before stalling.

Towing - I tow a 2 place or a 4 place sled trailer - neither has been a challenge to tow with the MT

slippery conditions - No problem....start in 2nd and you will roll away with little to no slippage

Off Road - my skill level I doubt transmission choice will have an advantage either way.
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post #9 of 29 (permalink) Old 02-23-2018, 10:55 AM
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Re: The Old "Manual vs Auto" With a twist...

I’ve always driven manuals, I learnt old school off roading in manuals and competed in them too, no electronic aids etc. Then I started driving Pinzgauers, 4 and 6 wheelers in both transmissions and was totally converted to driving auto off-road...how easy it was to ‘balance’ the trucks with gas and brake, a foot on each pedal. Since then I’ve had two auto’s as DD’s, a Volvo and a Subaru and so much easier in traffic, (though both tiptronic so had a choice when I wanted it) before buying the FJ. I went for an auto FJ, no regrets, at first I missed the tiptronic but it’s nice to have an ‘old fashioned, proper’ auto over an automated manual that comes with too many options to fail.
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post #10 of 29 (permalink) Old 02-23-2018, 10:55 AM
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Re: The Old "Manual vs Auto" With a twist...

I've always driven manuals (had one automatic commuter for a couple years). My three current vehicles are all manual. I test drove several FJs before buying, including a couple ATs. I just couldn't bring myself to do it. I was warned off-roading/ crawling would be more difficult in a manual, and it may be, but once you are in 4-lo it is nearly impossible to stall it in first gear. 4-lo in first gear with the clutch released is damn near Crawl Control.

I can't say I would have regretted buying an AT, but after five years I have no regrets buying an MT.
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