I figure the car knows better than I do....kidding. Had to be auto for the wife to drive---but I'm pretty happy with the 3-choice tranny: normal, sport, and "tiptronic". Better than my Audi's tranny, really.
I have to say automatics, preferentially. I like the technology factor. Manuals may be fun to drive but for a daily use car I always got tired of it. I think I'd drive an automatic motorcycle if I could--- hmm, almost forgot about our family having a clutchless scooter when I was a kid, was so my little sister could ride it.
I'm one of those people that like to shift the AT into lower gear in certain situations so the higher gear (and OD too) won't "automatically" come into play. Can be times getting a lot of gear shifting going on when it isn't needed.
Still get asked 'why do that if it'll shift on it's own?' from people that don't ever have a MT (or anyone else). Have to explain it bothers me to have the AT shifting up and down so much on rapidly changing inclines, up and down; or lots of tight corners and short straightaways. Not done much but it happens.
I'm sure there must be other people out there that probably do this. Admit it.
I've been driving manuals for decades. I really like the control they give you and I enjoy shifting. I enjoy driving fast, especially on twisty back roads and nothing compares to a manual for that type of driving. Almost all of the cars that I've owned have been manuals.
BUT...I think some cars are better suited to manuals than others. A WRX or STI - manual of course. A Lotus, Porsche, M3 or S2000 - manual. But somehow the Outback seems better suited to an auto. Maybe I'm just getting old...
My first car was a manual, a good car to learn on. Second car was a '97 outback w/auto, very handy in certain situations. I thought I would appreciate keeping the convenience of an automatic transmission when I got my '05 XT, but now that I have a better feel for the turbo, I wish I had bought a manual. It may be the biggest reason I don't keep this car at the end of the lease. I will definitely opt for the manual if I ever buy another turbo.
"Sport" is fun, but if you really want to play, the "tiptronic" shifts are absolutely worthless. If I'm going to tell it when to shift, it better **** well shift quickly, otherwise what's the point? I never use it.
Jazz- at least you won't kill your engine as you back out of your driveway*!
* Don't ask my why I know this!
I swear I have to back out at like 10 mph just to keep the rev's in the powerband (slight hill at end). Course, I only go 10mph if I choose to ignore the school kids walking and my neighbors heading to work.
I end up turning early (while backing) and pull onto a gravel strip in front of the house, which does wonders to freak out driver's who are driving past.
In addition to the benefits of gear ratio/ slippage in the auto-trans., you also can lay on the gas and keep those powerslides going without having to shift. Cannot say if it is real good on your tranny, but at least you can!
Well, like I said, sport is fun. You can definitely haul ass in this car, even with "only" an auto tranny. And yes, the torque converter & conveniece factors are still nice.
Still, i get the urge at least once a day to stomp the clutch, yank into second, floor it, pop the clutch and rip around some goo moo holding up traffic.
Unfortunately, it's just not possible to drive it that aggressively...the tiptronic will screw up your timing and you're liable to hit something. (Oh yea, and I'm really not a crazy driver...I get the 'urge' but I don't act on them...still, I'd like to be *able* to act on them )
I drove manual VWs for the first ten years I drove. The past 5 years I've only had autos in my Jeeps and the wifes Toyotas and now the Subaru. I really don't miss driving a stick at all. Most of my driving is in town with lots of stop and go, which makes driving an auto nice.
I do like the Subaru's auto tranny so far. I do use the Sport mode some but not a lot (I hardly get to drive it because the wifey loves it so much).