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Old 07-18-2012, 07:49 AM   #1
Scooby Specialist
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Join Date: May 2004
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2008 Forester XT
WRB! One for the team!

Default Auto or Manual

I know it is a personal choice but I will be dd the car and I am thinking about an automatic. I love running thru the gears of my STi but sometimes after a long day it might be nice to just cruise home.

Anybody driven an automatic and care to offer their thoughts? Think I'll miss my 6 speed manual?

I spoke to my dealer last night and I'm getting ready to place an order

For delivery in December

Also can someone point me to Thread about the different packages and additional options available.
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Old 07-18-2012, 09:50 AM   #2
made in china
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2005 Saabaru 9-2x


I'm a big fan of automatic cars. I drive in bad traffic all the time. My current DD is an auto, but it's a pretty fast/powerful car, so that makes up for it. But for the 86, it's a bit underpowered for me to get one with the auto. But, I'd probably consider the auto once FI is available.
Insideline did a road test last week on a automatic BRZ, and they liked more than they thought they would.
Me, I'd like both a NA automatic and a 6MT FI 86. The automatic for the weekday slog, and the 6MT for the weekend. The 86 is inexpensive enough for some people. A base model AT FR-S would make sense against a Civic EX AT as a DD.
If you are going to get an automatic 86 as your only car, you'll likely miss the power and gear shifting of your last car. You're gonna hear a bunch of purists brow beat you about getting a automatic 86, that's for sure!
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Old 07-18-2012, 12:36 PM   #3
Calamity Jesus
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Originally Posted by WRXGurl View Post
Also can someone point me to Thread about the different packages and additional options available.
There's a nice rundown at cars101:
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Old 07-18-2012, 10:04 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by made in china View Post
Insideline did a road test last week on a automatic BRZ, and they liked more than they thought they would.
Some highlights:

With its quick manual shifts and aggressive operation changing gears on its own, it's natural to assume the BRZ's six-speed automatic transmission is a dual-clutch device like the setup found in various Audi, Porsche and VW products. It even feels like a dual clutch. But it's not.

The software here is optimized for spirited driving. It's not trying to be squishy soft around town during commutes; even in its laziest setting it still shifts firmer and more suddenly than most average drivers would find comfortable.

It may only be an electronic switch, but the shifter operates with a mechanical feel that matches its looks. The detents for each gear need to be muscled through, and when shifting manually it requires a firm push or pull. The only automatic shifter that feels better is the PDK in the new Porsche 911.

Paddles mounted behind the steering wheel can also be used to trigger shifts even when the transmission itself is left in automatic mode. The paddles are plastic but also well weighted, with quick positive action that simulates actual mechanical connection.

OK, it's all simulated mechanics. But it's solid fakery.

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Old 07-18-2012, 10:56 PM   #5
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You should consider the differences in gear spacing between the BRZ manual (close ratio) and the auto (wider ratio spacing between gears).
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Old 07-19-2012, 12:11 AM   #6
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I have the Auto BRZ and really love it. I went to the dealer and test drove it assuming I would hate it and the drive really turned me around. Using it as my DD and only car, I am now glad I went with an Auto.

Few highlights...

The manual shift still gives you the feel of running it up through the gears. Its not like the "shifter" auto you find in most cars (like my honda I had before) that lets you shift, sort of, but will shift for you should you get the rpms high. This really feels more like a manual and lets you take the revs all the way up and hold gears. Like the inside line article mentions it is a torque converter auto but it really feels more like a double clutch auto you'd find in the high end Euro cars (granted i've only driven a handful of those and just for a short period). Then you hit all the traffic and pop it back over and relax.

The various settings (normal, sport, snow) are really nice in my limited use so far. You can definitely tell a difference, the snow setting is great for the rain at least around here when the rain makes the roads super slick.

Being a bigger guy with bigger feet (size 13 shoes) I am not sure how much space I'd have around the pedals with another one there. Kinda tight as is, but that its totally a personal preference.

The auto shifter shifts way faster than I ever could.

If I was building a competitive AutoX car or a HPDE/Track Day car I would go with the Manual for sure, (some people point out the manual is faster in the 1/4 mile but if you're worried about 1/4 miles times i'd buy another car) but for a DD first and "fun" car second I'd say at least take a look and test drive in the Auto.

Sure the "purists" hate, but I am a fan of technology and anything that makes my life easier

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Old 07-19-2012, 08:07 AM   #7
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The auto is a double overdrive model (5th/6th both overdrive gears), while the manual is only 6th gear overdrive. It means the Auto is spaced wider as others have mentioned.

That being said, the local dealership only had an auto and it was very peppy and reacts nicely to spirited driving if you put it in sport mode.

I think it comes more down to personal preference and how much driving you do in traffic or in town, and of course what sort of shape your knees are in. If your knees bug you a lot go ahead and get the auto, it isn't a massive step down and you might be able to get one before December as the Auto's seem to hang around the dealership lots longer.
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Old 07-19-2012, 09:21 AM   #8
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I've driven the AT and the only thing the AT gives up for 'sprited driving' is the launch.

You can rev and drop the MT and get a much better shot out of the hole than the AT rather sluggish takeoff.

But once moving, it's a draw.

If you're autoxing, or trying to shift with the wheel turned, make sure you get your hands on the paddles very well and not the windshiled wiper stalk! I'm sure after a while I'd get used to it!

If it came out as an AT convertable, I'd own one right now.

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Old 07-19-2012, 10:13 AM   #9
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I own an automatic, and around town I think it's great. If I want to enjoy a coffee or soda while going stop light to stop light, I can just put it in full automatic mode and have a hand free to hold my cup. When I'm in the mood to build the revs up a bit more, then the manual/paddle shift mode is plenty fun and will let you ride the RPMs to redline.

For Autocross or track, the manual is the way to go (duh! lol!). The mechanics of the automatic aren't an issue at the track, but the gear ratios are. The automatic has longer ratios and you can definitely tell the difference on an autocross course. The manual noticieably pulls out of slow speed turns just a bit better due to the better ratios. With that said, I think the automatic is plenty competitive for your local autocross region. I plan to combat the longer ratios of the automatic with lower side wall tires whenever I run autocross events.
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Old 07-26-2012, 06:30 AM   #10
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Its nice that the automatic isn't a crappy watered down version of the manual like some other automatic sporty cars have been in the past (celica gt-s, rsx, rx-8, 97+ nsx, the automatic sti that you can get overseas that has a detuned engine, etc.)

That said, if you are already used to driving stick I really don't understand why you would want this car in with an automatic. Unless you are have an injury that makes it hard to drive stick or you live in an extremely high traffic area like Manhattan it seems like a recipe for regret and disappointment.

The BRZ has one of the easiest manual transmissions to operate in my experience. Then again somebody noods to buy up those automatics to inflate the sales figures so they keep producing the cars.

I wouldn't listen to what "made in china" said about the brz/frs being too under powered for an automatic, the car has a surprising amount of mid range torque and I think it would drive just fine with the 6 speed auto aside from launching. It felt much more punchy than the 2011 impreza 2.5 5 speed I drove despite the supposed torque deficit...probably because its so light.
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Old 07-26-2012, 12:25 PM   #11
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I test drove an Auto and they are surprisingly nice on this car. I purchased a manual, as was my intention going in, but was very tempted by the auto. If I was commuting long distance to work I might of ended up with one. I would suggest you try to find one to test drive.
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