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Hey All!


After many years of saving (along with a recent raise from work), I'm finally going to be buying my dream car! However, I'm unsure about what transmission to go with.

Should I go manual or auto? I'll be honest - I only know a little bit about manual from my dad teaching me how to drive his '70 road runner but that was only in the parking lot. I have since moved across the country, so now this doesn't happen often (only a couple times per year), so I forget a bunch of it every time I go to "drive" it.

I feel a manual would be more "fun" for this type of a car, but again, I did not grow up on a manual and am not very comfortable driving one (at least not yet). Does anyone have any regrets getting a manual over an automatic? How about the other way?

How does one learn to drive a manual when they don't have any friends/co-workers that know how to? Unfortunately I can't have my dad teach me since we now live states away. I see there are some driving schools that have a class for it but I'm not sure what would be the best way to approach it, if I decided to go with a manual.

If this makes any difference, I'm currently living in the bay area, so traffic here can be pretty brutal at times.

Also, what are peoples opinion about the optional upgrades like the dynamics and/or leather interior? Are they worth the extra money?


Thanks!
 

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In the last5 years I’ve had a 2010 SRT8, 2015 Scat Pack and a 2017 Hellcat. All were 6m’s. I prefer to row my own. All the stats say the A8 is faster on the track. Many Muscle cars over the last 40 years and I always found the manual cars more fun. If my car was a daily driver I might consider an automatic. But for a weekend warrior I will stick with a manual. Plus it keeps my wife from asking to drive it.
 

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get the auto......in traffic manual sux......the novelty will wear off quick, besides, you will have PLENTY of fun with the A8 and 485hp......to top it off the A8 only costs 500 in a scat b/c there is no guzzler tax on A8 but there is on M6....
 

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Hey All!

I feel a manual would be more "fun" for this type of a car, but again, I did not grow up on a manual and am not very comfortable driving one (at least not yet). Does anyone have any regrets getting a manual over an automatic? How about the other way?

If this makes any difference, I'm currently living in the bay area, so traffic here can be pretty brutal at times.

Also, what are peoples opinion about the optional upgrades like the dynamics and/or leather interior? Are they worth the extra money?


Thanks!
I'd say that if you're not familiar with a manual - buying one probably wouldn't be the best thing for you. Even more so if this would be your sole vehicle for day-to-day driving.

I lived in SF for nearly 20 years; always had manuals - the only "drag" to it was before the 880 / Nimitz Freeway was rebuilt (after Loma Prieta Quake). It could take 45 minutes to get back into SF at the Bay Bridge toll plaza...

In the later years of living there, I had a 2nd vehicle that was automatic trans (only way offered), so if I had a visit over the East Bay and depending on day / time of day, it might opt for the auto trans to drive.

The Leather Interior Group will gain you:
*Heated Seats
*Ventilated Seats (makes A/C feel even more effective, or just vented seats on milder day)
*Heated Steering wheel
*Power tilt/ telescope wheel

and the alcantara / leather seats are nice - the standard seat for a '17+ SP is the houndstooth cloth and the '18+ have the SP Bee logo. The optional seats would also have the logo.

I moved away from SF in 2007 - traffic has only become worse and traffic everywhere on the peninsula and East Bay is heaver yet.
 

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The auto is more fun if you ask me.
 

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Auto is faster!
 

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If you deal with heavy traffic and it's going to be a DD no question I would get the auto. I've owned two A8s (SP and Hellcat) and my current M6 Hellcat. The manual is a blast in wide open areas. I daily drive an A8 Grand Cherokee and definitely choose that for my trip if I'm going to anticipate heavy traffic. I think the SP is geared a little better than the Hellcat, but it's still probably not much fun in stop and go.
 

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383, when this question comes up, I always say the same thing.....................do you want to have to shift all the time or not? Only you can answer this.


Folks love both trannies for various reasons, but what do you really want to do?


Best of luck deciding.
 

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Something that wasn't mentioned yet is that you can drive the A8 in auto-stick mode if you want the feel of manually shifting. It's kind of like driving a manual without the clutch.
 

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I had the same issue choosing between the auto and manual.

Manuals are fun, and the ability to buy a fun car with one is rare.

In traffic, I hated that clutch after a while.

Pros for the Auto:
Remote start
Traffic
Faster in the quarter mile
Probably cheaper in the long run to maintain (no clutches)

Pros for the Manual
FUN
All that horsepower is great and rowing through the gears really gives you a better feel of being connected to it

If you need to learn to shift, you may want to find a cheap beater car or vehicle to learn with. Maybe buy a worn out small car or truck? If you can take a motorcycle training class, they do a great job explaining the clutch and friction zone, and supply the bikes to learn with.

I bought the auto and have no regrets, but I do sometimes wish I could have one of each. The remote start, traffic and a bad foot and a bad knee make this a perfect daily driver.

I have a 2015 and the only thing I'm jealous of on the new models is the dynamics package. I'm a big fan of the Brembos and more is better. I also like the 9.5" wheels.

The HID's are a must and like I said, I like the remote start.

Good luck, hard to go wrong with these cars
 

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Hey All!


After many years of saving (along with a recent raise from work), I'm finally going to be buying my dream car! However, I'm unsure about what transmission to go with.

Should I go manual or auto? I'll be honest - I only know a little bit about manual from my dad teaching me how to drive his '70 road runner but that was only in the parking lot. I have since moved across the country, so now this doesn't happen often (only a couple times per year), so I forget a bunch of it every time I go to "drive" it.

I feel a manual would be more "fun" for this type of a car, but again, I did not grow up on a manual and am not very comfortable driving one (at least not yet). Does anyone have any regrets getting a manual over an automatic? How about the other way?

How does one learn to drive a manual when they don't have any friends/co-workers that know how to? Unfortunately I can't have my dad teach me since we now live states away. I see there are some driving schools that have a class for it but I'm not sure what would be the best way to approach it, if I decided to go with a manual.

If this makes any difference, I'm currently living in the bay area, so traffic here can be pretty brutal at times.

Also, what are peoples opinion about the optional upgrades like the dynamics and/or leather interior? Are they worth the extra money?


Thanks!
Best answer I can offer is test drive both and decide. However, it is unlikely you will get a test drive opportunity that will give you a chance to experience both cars in conditions which highlight their respective transmissions and also in conditions that bring out the worst of their respective transmissions.

Where in the bay area do you drive? If you spend time in stop/go driving every day an automatic might be the best choice.

(I came across a car -- not a Dodge but I think the info has merit here -- needing a new clutch. Always curious I asked the tech the miles, etc. Tech said not too many miles, I forget the number but the tech said it wasn't the miles that killed the clutch. The driver got stuck on the Bay Bridge in heavy heavy traffic leaving SF heading towards Oakland and in that stop and go -- I guess at some point the bridge has an incline? (I haven't been on the Bay Bridge or the GG Bridge in ages) fried the clutch.)

My commute fortunately doesn't involve crossing any bridges. I live out in Livermore and drive 30 miles on I-580/I-880 to Hayward and back again every day. I made this commute uncountable times in my previous cars, all manuals. While the traffic could be bad I had scouted out alternate routes which allowed me to avoid the traffic. While I still had to drive on surface streets except for the occasional stop light there was no stop/go driving, no creeping along at under a walking pace.

Since almost all of my driving has been with a stick I could handle this driving through town in my sleep.

For me where the stick was less than acceptable was under hard acceleration. While I do not engage in stop light gran prix races or visit the drag strip or even a road course track with my cars I do enjoy once in while when conditions permit letting the cars stretch their legs, so to speak. There are mountain roads in my area and there are at some times empty stretches of straighter roads where hard acceleration can be experienced.

With my manual equipped cars for the sake of clutch life and to avoid abusing the drive train my take off is fairly gentle (but still rather quick) but once under way...

What I noticed was with my Boxster (2.7l 215hp coupled with 5-speed manual) shifts were very quick. That was one fine transmission matched with an equally fine engine in the sweetest chassis this side of heaven. As a result even with "just" 2.7l the car accelerated smartly and just as important the acceleration was almost jet like, with only slight/brief let offs as I up shifted.

After I bought a 996 Turbo (3.6l turbo-charged 6-cylinder with 415hp, 413 torque coupled with a 6-speed manual) when driven under the same conditions as the Boxster of course the Turbo accelerated way beyond smartly. (0 to 60mph I think is around 4 seconds.) But the acceleration experience was muted somewhat, less than what it could have been, because of the time it took to up shift. The transmission was a very nice shifting transmission, too. Coupled with the better 997 shifter (the stock shifter broke under warranty and was replaced, but I opted to on the tech's recommendation to have him install the 997 shifter and this proved to be much better than the stock shifter.)

The problem is a high performance engine requires a very substantial transmission to withstand the loads/stresses the engine produces. As a result the transmission components are heavier. The net result is it just takes longer to move those heavier components around and for the gears (synchros/gear dogs) to match speed and engage with no wear/tear.

(Might mention I also noticed this back in early 2007 when I bought a new 2006 Pontiac GTO with a 6.0l 400hp/400lbft V8 coupled with a 6-speed manual. Brutal acceleration to be sure, but interspersed with albeit brief nonetheless distracting pauses in acceleration as I up shifted.)

With all of the above in mind when I decided to buy a Challenger R/T Scat Pack with a 6.4l 485hp 475lbft engine I decided to get it with the A8 transmission. My research was this was one fine automatic. Not the new F1 style or dual clutch style Porsche uses (and which I got to sample occasionally with a loaner vehicle) but still a superb transmission nonetheless.

I was thinking acceleration would be better with the transmission handling the up shifts and at all times the automatic would be better able to withstand the brute power of the R/T Scat Pack engine. And since I intended to use this car as my daily driver -- alternating it with the use of my new Mini JCW -- which I bought with a 6-speed manual -- I could elect to leave the transmission in auto mode when I found myself in traffic or just wanted to get through town without any real drama.

Now I did note the transmission also offered a manual mode -- where I could shift using the lever -- or even use paddles on the steering, so it was not like I was giving up all shifting responsibilities to the transmission.

So while there were two nearly identical cars -- both in white even -- with the biggest difference is one was equipped with an A8 the other a manual I decided to first try to buy the A8 equipped car. As it was a test ride had me convinced while the car was equipped with an automatic the engine's power/torque would not in any way be muted. (The test ride was nothing crazy either I could just tell by how the transmission shifted and how the car reacted to the salesman's right foot the automatic was a very good match for this engine.) So I bought the A8 car and never even visited the dealer with manual equipped car. And in the 2 months and around 2K miles I drove the R/T Scat Pack I never once regretted getting the automatic.

Around town in automatic mode, or in less congested areas in manual mode or the occasional hard acceleration the transmission handled up shifts beautifully and made the most of the engine's considerable power/torque.

So after just 2 months when I decided that I wanted a Hellcat and I didn't want to keep the R/T SP (no room for 3 cars, and I decided to keep the JCW as my primary commuter car and errand car due to its size, and much better gas mileage -- but with 2845lbs with 228hp and 236lbft coupled with a lighting quick shifting 6-speed (with rev matching oh boy!) a beast in its own right) I traded in the R/T SP for a new Hellcat fitted with you guessed it the 8-speed automatic.

My experience with the Hellcat matches that of my experience with the R/T SP. In automatic mode around town or on the freeway in some traffic the car is rather easy to drive -- although I still have to keep in mind there are 707 horses lurking under the hood.

However, when the mood strikes me -- and it is often -- and I elect to use the transmission's manual mode, it brings back the experience of a manual in that I have to decide when to up shift I just don't have to work the clutch.

Last but not least the few times I have had a chance to "unleash" the Hellcat the acceleration is brutal. Sure the 707hp 651lbft accounts for that but the transmission shifts so quickly even under full throttle acceleration the drivers' seat bottom has a permanent fold from me clinching my butt cheeks.

I could call up a link to a video in which an automatic Hellcat was pitted against a manual Hellcat which clearly shows the automatic is faster but while it is nice to know my automatic Hellcat is faster than a manual Hellcat it is the fact the automatic helps tame the beast when I want it tame but is equally adept at letting the beast be a beast when I want it to be a beast is what I really like.
 

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So I can tell you that I learned to truly drive stick in my '18 SPS. If you can get behind the wheel of any stick car before you take delivery of yours, it will help. If not, the first time you get behind the wheel, let off the clutch as slowly as you can until the car starts to move (these cars will absolutely move with the clutch all the way out and no gas) and you'll be driving manual in a day or two.
I generally say that manual would be the way to go, not necessarily because of the involvement, but because, even though the 8-speed is regarded as the best torque-converter automatic on the market today, an automatic will feel dated eventually. Shift speeds will continue to get faster and firmer or softer as the market demands, but manuals will always shift at the same speed. Consider if you were to drive an old Hemi car equipped with the 727 Torqueflite (which was about the best automatic of the time), the transmission would detract from the car as it has become outdated. A Hemi car with the 4-speed will shift just as well as a manual car today (especially since we don't have active rev matching lol).
 

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It's all a matter of personal preference. My '12 R/T has been with me almost 6 years and 106K miles now with 5.7 hemi and M6 manual trans because that's what I prefer with all my vehicles. I'd recommend that, if you are not as familiar/comfortable with a manual trans, get the automatic version, it works well and you can't go wrong.
Keep us posted!
 

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I'd say it definitely depends on you. Some people here NEED to have a manual and won't feel complete without. Can't argue with that.
For others like myself it's a toss up. If it's a daily driver and a commute that might involve stop and go traffic and you do care about comfort then I'd say consider automatic. It will be easier on you after a long day of work and will get much better gas mileage/range due to higher gearing and MDS. Comfort when you want it or can't drive it hard cause there are cars around you and thrill when you need it. Comes with a more aggressive 1st gear for more torque and a taller 8th gear for cruising . The paddles are very responsive and will shift immediately when you demand it so you do have total control. Best of both worlds IMHO.
 

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Good luck whatever you do.
 

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ROCKSTER....can you try to be more thorough with your responses? :grin2:

383, based on your original post I'd say you'd be happier with the Auto.
 

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Here’s my $.02...
In 2015 I ordered my ‘15 SPS A8 in Sublime. Love the car to death, but from early on, always wished I had the m6. I am always driving in manual mode, just more fun to drive when you’re rowing through the gears. That’s why my ‘18 SPS that I ordered has the m6. Only down side is no adaptive cruise control. But I’ll gladly take the trade off for a car that in my opinion will be a lot more fun to drive. Also, very happy to be able to get the Dynamics package...
 

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ROCKSTER....can you try to be more thorough with your responses? :grin2:

383, based on your original post I'd say you'd be happier with the Auto.
Yeah, I know.

But I don't like to just offer "Do this" or "Do that" without trying to provide some info that has led me to my recommendation.

In cases of questions like what transmission should I buy really only the buyer is the person who can or should make that decision. He needs to really think about what he wants from the car, think about his situation, and make the decision that is best for him.

My posts are intended to get the person thinking about the question so he can answer it himself. After all he has the most riding on the decision. The last thing I want is to convince someone to do "this" when "that" would have been better for the person.
 

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Yeah, I know.

But I don't like to just offer "Do this" or "Do that" without trying to provide some info that has led me to my recommendation.

In cases of questions like what transmission should I buy really only the buyer is the person who can or should make that decision. He needs to really think about what he wants from the car, think about his situation, and make the decision that is best for him.

My posts are intended to get the person thinking about the question so he can answer it himself. After all he has the most riding on the decision. The last thing I want is to convince someone to do "this" when "that" would have been better for the person.
:grin2: I know, just ribbing you, your posts are great!!
 
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