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Auto v Manual

Discussion in 'General 4x4 Discussion' started by Bomber2012, Apr 16, 2018.

  1. Bomber2012

    Bomber2012 Well-Known Member

    What do you prefer auto trans or manual trans , Ive mainly driven manuals so prefer them over auto’s .
    I like the engine braking a manual gives you on steep descents (I actually have to excellerate on all but the steepest hills to keep moving) so I reckon that is an advantage over an auto box .
    I’m interested to hear what the forum has to say on this subject as the newer auto’s with hill descent etc etc seem pretty descent .
    mac_man_luke likes this.
  2. mac_man_luke

    mac_man_luke Well-Known Member

    I think a good auto (eg PX ranger 6sp) is more capable but less fun, had great low gearing for descents - never really needed brakes even in high country etc but i think the manual in my cruiser is more fun and the only time i really miss the auto is slow speed rock crawling and to some degree hill starts in real steep terrain.
    Bomber2012 likes this.
  3. time

    time Member

    Love an auto all day long ............ but I own a manual !
    Bomber2012 likes this.
  4. discomatt

    discomatt Well-Known Member

    Auto every day for me, better at rock crawling, no clutch issues in water or mud, reversing down scary steep hills in D for the worst sections, down hill is a non issue in modern or well designed 4wds, better at climbing sand dunes because there is no loss in drive to gear down, better in city driving and can be driven like a manual except the annoying clutch pedal doesn't come into it.
    First trip to Fraser we lost track of time at Champagne Pools, on the way back down the beach we got to one section where the waves were coming all the way in, I timed the run best I could but got hit 3/4 of the way across. Spray engulfed the car and we were in a foot of water and we all know what happens then...
    The car bogged down in deep soft sand and slowed from 60 odd km/h to about 10 as I planted the foot, it kicked down and the V8 just pulled us through.
    If I was in a manual and had to clutch in and gear down we would have ground to a halt without question and become yet another statistic of cars lost to Fraser.
    Modern autos are better again, the 8 speed in the D4 is awesome, changes cant even be felt unless spirited use of the skinny peddle, always at the right rpm, sport mode is there for better performance if needed and manual use with the paddle shifters is easy and turns it into a manual.
    I am yet to find a situation where I would want a manual except the steepest of the steep sections in the VHC and even then the auto in the old D1 does just fine.
    Gidgee, 80lover96gxl and Bomber2012 like this.
  5. red hilux

    red hilux Well-Known Member

    auto all the way

    rock hopping, leave it in a low gear, right foot picking up the idle, use left foot braking
    beach/dune. easy to drop back a gear if needed - negative is the torque converter slipping
    general driving is may layed back, towing, leave it in 4th ( 5speed auto)
    Bomber2012 likes this.
  6. Synchro

    Synchro Well-Known Member

    You obviously have not driven a modern auto where the torque converter locks up in low range going down hill so engine braking is the same as an manual box. So no advantage in having a manual.

    I have had hill decent in my vehicles for 20 years now and I rarely use it - it is rough, crude and noisy but does work well, however with a lock up torque converter is really not needed.
    Albynsw and Bomber2012 like this.
  7. Bomber2012

    Bomber2012 Well-Known Member

    Your right @Synchro , never driven a modern auto so can’t comment so asking the question on this thread .
    So when did the modern auto’s with torque converters start changing the game , a mate I’ve driven with a few times now has an 09 auto hilux and it’s nothing flash .
  8. Mr Rum

    Mr Rum Well-Known Member

    I’ve posted this somewhere before, but I definitely prefer my manuals.

    Not saying autos aren’t up to the task, but I feel more comfortable in a manual, and I’ve never felt I’d have been better off with an auto.
    I won’t attempt to justify my position any more than that, as in my opinion it’s purely a preference thing.

    That’s just me though.
    Spooner and Bomber2012 like this.
  9. Barra GU

    Barra GU Well-Known Member

    I have been a manual driver my whole life...
    If you drive an auto you're branded as a pretty hopeless driver stereotypically and i have to say that it may very well be the case if you'v never had a manual drivers license....

    But.... come some 20 years later and all my cars are now auto...

    Yes even my work truck,
    As for 4wding and after coming from a manual which also had crawler gears the auto just wins in every catagory for me...
    1: its comfortable - whether it be city driving, start stop traffic, highway etc
    2: less problematic- no clutch issues (but when problem arises and only "if" problems arise youre outta luck and out of pocket quite quickly.
    3: 4wding: auto just has so mamy more pros than cons here... whether its highway, up hills, on sand, through bog holes (i dont like bog holes) you just dont seem to lose that momemtum from gear changing which is vital especially up hills or mud (have i mentioned i dont like mud yet?)
    Also drag racing they have been oroven to be far more superior than manual but obviously also soak up more power.

    I will mention that my patrol is a fully manualised auto so i can choose what gear i want to be in at any given time amd my auto doesnt have a mind of its own as there is no tcm(computer) so on that behalf i like that it has that simularity to a manual bur with no clutch and dont need to take the foot off when changing (again no loss of momentum)
    I also have torque lock.

    So yeah these days auto for me too
    Bomber2012 likes this.
  10. Albynsw

    Albynsw Well-Known Member

    Definitely the modern autos are superior to a manual but I enjoy driving a manual more
    @Bomber2012 , the 09 Hilux box was a good reliable box but not up to the abilities of the current gen Hilux or other newer vehicles around.
    Basically the new autos are a clutchless manual but with the added benefits an auto brings

    Drive the one that gives you the most pleasure :)
    Mr Rum and Bomber2012 like this.
  11. cam04

    cam04 Well-Known Member

    My ranger auto on 33’s in low first gives about the same engine braking as my diesel gq manual on 35’s did. Neither are a cruiser in low range but not bad. The descent control on mine is automatically variable and is surprisingly intuitive to use - much better than others I have used. With the torque multiplication an auto gives off-road I don’t see myself ever buying a manual again unless it’s in an AC Cobra.
    80lover96gxl, Bomber2012 and Albynsw like this.
  12. Aaron Schubert

    Aaron Schubert Moderator

    Always had manuals, and always thought they were better. New Dmax is an auto, and I will never go back. It's so much less tiring, and you can concentrate on where you are driving as a pose to maintaining revs and changing gears at the right time when you are off road. It's also much more controllable for slow rock work and the like.

    These days they are all tiptronic and you can control what gear you want to be in anyway, if that's your thing. I use it occasionally, but more often than not the auto just does its thing.

    I won't be going back to a manual any time soon

    Bomber2012 and Albynsw like this.
  13. RBJET

    RBJET Active Member

    I drive both and like both for different reasons. Also just went from an auto Prado to a Manual BT50.
    On road I prefer the manual as the auto was too slow when driven hard and it didn't like the heavier tyres too much.
    Off road the auto was awesome though. Just put your foot down and go.
  14. silkwood

    silkwood Active Member

    'Nuther one who enjoys manuals more, but drives auto and believes they are the better performance choice overall.
  15. rogerazz

    rogerazz 4x4 Earth Contributer

    I suppose with today's technology their is no problem that you may get a flat battery.
    So their will never be a situation where you need a roll start.
    However if you do, at what speed do you have to push an auto to kick it over?
    Mr Rum likes this.
  16. Neddysmith

    Neddysmith Active Member

    Ive only driven one auto when 4x4ing and didnt really like it, in manuals i feel much more in control, yes in todays city traffic occassionally a manual can be a pain but in nearly all other forms of driving i just prefer manual.
  17. rogerazz

    rogerazz 4x4 Earth Contributer

    I assume that @Bomber2012 is asking the question for off roading ability of autos V manuals , rather then for general driving.
    So I reckon also that it has nothing to do with comfort etc. etc. but to do with capability.
    I admit that I have never really driven late model auto 4wd's, well I have driven down a road in a couple, but not had them off road.
    As I am not into rock crawling, mudding, off road racing, dune racing, desert racing, etc. etc. I do not need a you beaut modern techno vehicle.
    I have driven High Country, done tracks like Billy goat ridge, crossed some small rivers, done lots of sand driving, dunes, etc. in my old manual Troopy. I even drive without using the clutch sometimes for fun and enjoy keeping my driving skills.
    If talking about comfort, which I was not going to, when arriving back from Tassie a couple of weeks ago at 7.00 a.m. I drove through the heart of Melbourne towing my Van with the old manual girl,in peak traffic.
    I am well into the other side of seventy and driving a manual is no big deal.
    Wait until you get your electric 4wd,s then you can argue the benefits of electric over diesel, etc.
    The no more fun brigade will win again, Doh! :rolleyes:.
  18. Albynsw

    Albynsw Well-Known Member

    Push speed is not important Rog, you just need stamina to push it to the nearest battery place :D
  19. madmonk

    madmonk Member

    I started 4wding in an older model manual . When it came time to replace it, I did with an updated Suzuki Grand Vitara but still in manual. However, my circumstances changed over time and I went from a single bachelor life to being married with two children. All of a sudden, the Zook, whilst still having admirable off road capabilities, did not have the space to carry the amount of gear needed for my new family.

    I then purchased my 80 series in automatic. It was quite a big change for me but to be honest, I find that the Cruiser is a much nicer vehicle to drive offroad. A lot of this probably has to do with the fact that it is bigger and heavier with a much stronger engine and diff locks but I think a lot of it has to do with being an automatic.

    I still take the Zook out for smaller, solo day trips in the Brindebellas but for everything else, it's my Cruiser that gets the nod.
    discomatt likes this.
  20. peterfermtech

    peterfermtech Well-Known Member

    Driving an auto off road reminds me of this
    I have all sorts of things in my vehicle to make life simpler and less stressful. Why complicate your life with gears and clutches.

    Bomber2012 likes this.

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