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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all from the Netherlands !

Thinking of trading my current car (Porsche 996 Turbo) for a new JCW 3-door. Need something newer but cheaper to run.

My wife loves the new Mini's and has a 3 month old Cooper Clubman which I really enjoy driving.

I took a fully optioned JCW out last weekend - sport automatic with adjustable dampers, sports seats, heads up display and switchable exhaust and loved it.

My only quandary is - manual or auto ? I just cannot decide !

I'm 50 but a 17 year old petrol head at heart. I've never owned an automatic - driven loads - but never owned one.

The demo car I drove I liked the noise the exhaust made on both upshifts and downshifts, and loved the launch control - but realistically won't be racing "kids" away from stoplights :)

I do plan on getting a plug in box to increase BHP as opposed to a full remap, and have read the topics here on the subject.

I found that first the flappy paddles a little slow to respond and awkward to change whilst turning the wheel and moving my hands - but got used to that.
I liked that in sport mode the auto box in manual mode would not change up for me and allowed me to hit the rev limiter.
I did t like the downshifts as it would not allow me to control exactly when I wanted to downshift - felt a bit hesitant.
But I did like hanging into the down paddle and letting the box select the lowest possible gear - certainly quicker than I could do with a manual.

However from all reviews the manual is more fun and more engaging, but the one thing that irritates me with my wife's manual Clubman is the throttle blip the car does for you before changing down - I have always rev matched on downshifts and feel something is being taken away from me.

For those of you who have gone to the sport auto from manual cars - can you give your impression of this car with an auto box please - or it is a no brainier, and go with the manual ?

Cheers
FC
 

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I tried and enjoyed the auto (steptronic) gearbox. But I felt a manual gearbox was the only way to get the most out if the 'MINI' experience.
No regrets for manual.
 

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I think it's a difficult one. Being nearly same age, I have chosen auto box as I like it more now than the manual one. I think you need to look at the length of ownership. Once you get a manual, you can't change it..... However the auto has 3 seperate option, manual with 'up and down, or option of the flappy paddles or or option of just auto.

Also just a tip, it you are driving with flappy paddle you need to keep your hands on steering wheel more (at 10 and 3) to change up and down. Once you think of it, it makes sense.... You can't change if you are crossing your hands. Lol

A manual means doing the up to 12 and slide. Avoiding this will help you enjoy the flappy paddle more.

My view for what it is worth!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Also just a tip, it you are driving with flappy paddle you need to keep your hands on steering wheel more (at 10 and 3) to change up and down. Once you think of it, it makes sense.... You can't change if you are crossing your hands.

Hi - thanks for your view. And yes, that was something that frustrated me on the test drive - that when I turned the wheel, I had to move my hands to change gear :)

Will probably keep the car a couple of years.
I'm still leaning towards the manual to be honest as I think it might offer a little more involvement. But the thought of having a flappy paddle box is quite appealing
 

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Hi - thanks for your view. And yes, that was something that frustrated me on the test drive - that when I turned the wheel, I had to move my hands to change gear :)

Will probably keep the car a couple of years.
I'm still leaning towards the manual to be honest as I think it might offer a little more involvement. But the thought of having a flappy paddle box is quite appealing
I was like you with my initial thoughts and I waited for the manual to be available and then after two trips to the Indianapolis Speedway and driving minis on it and listening to my instructors (All of them were Indy car drivers) and they insisted that the automatics were faster I ordered the JCW with the automatic and now after 8 months of driving it I am glad that I did. If you do track the car at all get an automatic. I have the JCW PRO exhaust and the NM plugin module. The exhaust adds 9 HP and the NM module after the learning period adds another 30 HP for a total of 269 HP, and an equal increase in torque. It totally transform the performance of the JCW. BTW, I also have an automatic in my C7 corvette as I am now a believer. All this said I still miss the manual transmission on occasion.
 

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Only you can decide, drive both back to back if possible and see how you feel?

Manual for me as it suits the nature of the car more. The auto box is fine but not class leading like the ZF8 box in my last car (M135i)


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Only you can decide, drive both back to back if possible and see how you feel?

Manual for me as it suits the nature of the car more. The auto box is fine but not class leading like the ZF8 box in my last car (M135i)


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Thanks. Agree the box is not class leading. I don't have experience of the BMW box but have driven several Porsche's with PDK and also a couple of Maserati's, and in comparison found the Mini box much slower to react, particularly on downshifts.

My wife has a new Cooper Clubman so I drive that regularly. I like the feel of change and the clutch has a good feel. I just dislike the throttle blip on downshifts.
 

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Interesting. I walked out of the m135i auto test drive - straight into mini showroom and preferred the mini auto box. For me the 135 was too harsh at changes. Guess we all have different experiences. Lol
 

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Interesting. I walked out of the m135i auto test drive - straight into mini showroom and preferred the mini auto box. For me the 135 was too harsh at changes. Guess we all have different experiences. Lol

True Laew, everyone has different views which is what life is all about...

...but a lot more people have the auto in the M135i than the manual, which I think is testament to the excellent ZF8. Silky smooth when cruising and super quick when pushing on!

Rumours of the the ZF8 coming to the Mini platform too.


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Thanks. Agree the box is not class leading. I don't have experience of the BMW box but have driven several Porsche's with PDK and also a couple of Maserati's, and in comparison found the Mini box much slower to react, particularly on downshifts.

My wife has a new Cooper Clubman so I drive that regularly. I like the feel of change and the clutch has a good feel. I just dislike the throttle blip on downshifts.

That might be your issue FlyingClog, comparing the Mini autobox to those in higher class marques (PDK etc). It's like comparing your wife (not your wife per se) to a supermodel

Let us know how you get on please?




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I love these discussions! I truly believe there is no wrong answer....I'm on the back side of my 60's and I only ever considered the Getrag 6 Speed Manual Trans.....heck I waited long enough for it over a year ago!....and I'm glad I waited...my 2015 JCW 6MT is quite rare now! Absolutely love it....I agree with you about the rev-matching though...still catches me by surprise sometimes....but it can save your engine if you accidentally downshift into the wrong gear!

All that being said, after I ordered my JCW my dealer "finally" got an auto JCW in stock for a demonstrator....1st one they had gotten...I was too dumb trying to tacked the paddles so my MA took the wheel (he owned a M235) so he knew how to use the paddles and give the auto a run for the money! WOW! I was impressed...I needed a motion sickness pill for that ride on the passenger seat! lol! Glad I had a grab handle to hold onto! ;-)

I'm not sorry I bought the manual as I still like having more involvement when I drive but with practice behind the wheel I have no doubts that the a automatic would make me smile just as wide as I do with my manual!

Whatever you choose you will WIN!

Cheers,

John
 
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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
That might be your issue FlyingClog, comparing the Mini autobox to those in higher class marques (PDK etc). It's like comparing your wife (not your wife per se) to a supermodel

Let us know how you get on please?




Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Ha ha ha ha. How do you know I not married to a super model ? :D

I get your point though. I had assumed that the box was a BMW box - but given that people are suggesting that the BMW box is quicker or "better" its a little surprising that this would be a different box or different software
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I love these discussions! I truly believe there is no wrong answer....I'm on the back side of my 60's and I only ever considered the Getrag 6 Speed Manual Trans.....heck I waited long enough for it over a year ago!....and I'm glad I waited...my 2015 JCW 6MT is quite rare now! Absolutely love it....I agree with you about the rev-matching though...still catches me by surprise sometimes....but it can save your engine if you accidentally downshift into the wrong gear!

All that being said, after I ordered my JCW my dealer "finally" got an auto JCW in stock for a demonstrator....1st one they had gotten...I was too dumb trying to tacked the paddles so my MA took the wheel (he owned a M235) so he knew how to use the paddles and give the auto a run for the money! WOW! I was impressed...I needed a motion sickness pill for that ride on the passenger seat! lol! Glad I had a grab handle to hold onto! ;-)

I'm not sorry I bought the manual as I still like having more involvement when I drive but with practice behind the wheel I have no doubts that the a automatic would make me smile just as wide as I do with my manual!

Whatever you choose you will WIN!

Cheers,

John
Thanks for the response John - much appreciated.

I have to make my decision tomorrow and am still on the fence. Maybe I should take the demo model out for a spin again.

But either way - I'll let you know what I choose.
 

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Hi from Munstergeleen NL. We have the JCW Auto. It is is 6 speed and you can tell compared to our X6 8 speed. However, it does suit its "Fun" style of driving. Too much traffic for manual nowadays and with autos so fast it is a no brainier. Also better mpg or kpl and lower CO2.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Hi from Munstergeleen NL. We have the JCW Auto. It is is 6 speed and you can tell compared to our X6 8 speed. However, it does suit its "Fun" style of driving. Too much traffic for manual nowadays and with autos so fast it is a no brainier. Also better mpg or kpl and lower CO2.


Hoi Wing Co - Dank je wel !

Lower co2 is true but still has the same "bijtelling" (sorry don't know the word in English)

I just think I would miss the interaction of a manual - but let's see

Tomorrow I have to make my mind up ?
 

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I was torn between the auto and manual too, they are both excellent. I couldn't make my mind up between which gearbox to go for so in the end I went for the manual simply because it was cheaper (and have not regretted my decision)
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I was torn between the auto and manual too, they are both excellent. I couldn't make my mind up between which gearbox to go for so in the end I went for the manual simply because it was cheaper (and have not regretted my decision)


Here in NL there is no difference in price between auto or manual.

The more I think about it, the more I think a manual would suit me better.
 

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I'd recommend trying the auto on a few fast bends to see if it holds the gear when you expect it to. I had the auto on a 2 month demo, whilst waiting for my manual, and whilst good and quick changing, I did find that it would change gear mid corner if I wasn't using the paddles. I had come from a BMW 125d with sports auto so knew how good it could be and the Mini 6 speed is almost there...hence I went for the manual. The manual definitely gives more interaction, but with the compromise in traffic.
 
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