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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello all!

I'm from the US, names Travis. North Carolina in particular, if anyone's curious.

I'm actually looking at a two door mini cooper, 2015. My favorite color is the BRG, British Racing Green. I've got my fingers crossed that the numbers and all that jazz will align. Then I can call myself a proud owner!

I have a question for all you mini nuts, though.

I'm torn. I've never driven a manual transmission car before. I mean, I've test driven plenty, and I've driven friends cars numerous times; however, I've never owned a car and dealt with it from day to day. My question, is should I go for the automatic (that's got a better deal 1,500 more off and the color I want), or the manual transmission? F56 owners who have both, please weigh in on this! I would definitely appreciate the insight. For what its worth, I like the standard automatic transmission. I know that the sport automatic transmission will get me close to a manual, without a clutch. I drove both today, and I really enjoyed the placement of the power in the 'non-sport' transmission. The sportier one, I felt, wanted me to engage the car into the 'M/S' mode and start clicking away. I didn't, but I did totally love the responsiveness that came with throwing it into sport mode.

Should I revisit the dealer tomorrow and test drive the manual transmission? I know my way around a clutch, but I'm just not good with starting off of hills. That's my biggest problem. Couple that in with the dealer being in a very precarious location, and the potential stress of having people blow horns at me on my test drive I don't want to be scared out of purchasing the manual. I know there's a learning curve, and I'm willing to deal with it. So which should I go for?

Any insight would be helpful!

Thanks and I hope to become a part of the mini-verse soon!


-Travis
 

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Hi Travis,

You should get back to the dealer and drive both cars with manual & with automatic. If you go automatic go with the sport auto for sure with paddle shifters. I'm a huge manual trans fan, but I understand your hesitancy about using a clutch on an incline. You'll be thrilled to know that MINI has planned for that situation and it automatically brakes on an incline to "assist" the driver during clutch release. I test drove a MCS 6MT and was on a pretty steep incline at a light...and a semi-truck came up behind me...made me a bit nervous, but when I released the brake & released the clutch to move forward it went remarkably smoothly!.....so no worries there!

The sport auto is remarkable though, and may be more to your liking, especially if you do alot of city driving.

Give both a real workout! Both are great! Remember to check if the car has sport suspension also.

Good luck!

John
 
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I have driven manuals strictly over the last 10 years. I purchased an automatic this last go around, and have some days that I regret it. What I dislike about an auto is having to keep my foot on the brake at a stoplight. Stupid, I know. What I like about the auto is, well, everything else. The sports auto is a nice option.
 

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Welcome Travis. 2 very different schools of thought. You will need to ask the dealer to let you drive the manual for an extended test. Go with what your more comfortable with. ;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Rob, Peter, and John. Thank you all so much for your input!

It is good to know that they've helped with hill assist in the new MCS's with 6MT. That does actually take a big load of stress off of my shoulders. I did drive the automatic w/ sport transmission, but I didn't really give it a real kick in the seat. I'll definitely go back tomorrow and see if I can drive both again! I am most comfortable with the automatic, but as I've mentioned I really really want to get behind the seat of a manual transmission! My driving profile will definitely be 98% city; the other 2% that I spend on the freeway, the paddle shifters are sure to keep me engaged and glued to my seat like a videogame.

Thanks again!

-Travis
 

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Rob, Peter, and John. Thank you all so much for your input!

It is good to know that they've helped with hill assist in the new MCS's with 6MT. That does actually take a big load of stress off of my shoulders. I did drive the automatic w/ sport transmission, but I didn't really give it a real kick in the seat. I'll definitely go back tomorrow and see if I can drive both again! I am most comfortable with the automatic, but as I've mentioned I really really want to get behind the seat of a manual transmission! My driving profile will definitely be 98% city; the other 2% that I spend on the freeway, the paddle shifters are sure to keep me engaged and glued to my seat like a videogame.

Thanks again!



-Travis
I had an R56 JCW with the 6 speed manual tranny and loved it. However, after 2 performance driving courses with indy car drivers that convinced me that the auto was faster I ordered the new F56 JCW with the automatic. That said, I love this mini and the automatic is faster and the paddle shifters are crisp and quick. I still miss the manual as I dearly love down shifting going into twisties and slamming it into the next higher gear after hard accelerating under full power. But, I can do it quicker and more efficiently with the automatic and paddles. BTW, which mini are you planning on purchasing? Have you heard of the MOTD? I assume that you have since you are from North Carolina. We are members of the tarheel club and participate in many of their events. The MOTD is coming up this May and they offer runs catering to all levels of drivers and speeds.
 

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I'd suggest automatic if you're predominately city driving, if you opt for the manual your clutch will not only get more wear but you'll get annoyed depressing a fairly heavy clutch every five seconds! That's the main reason I went for Automatic on my current SD cause I literally sit in rush hour traffic for most of my journeys - bonus of having an auto is being able to just put your foot down and not have to worry about changing gears and thrash that chav next to you.
 

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Drove an 2016 S on Monday with Paddles on the Wheel it is a pretty sweet transmission but I still like my MT Rush Hour or not.:)
 
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