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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Just thought I'd pass this along, since the question often comes up about which transmission to buy in the F56 JCW. I'm not wanting to start old discussions on which is better! Just passing this along.

I'm a fan of the manual, of course, but I've also seen & felt the automatic in the new JCW and it is quite something for sure. I had already ordered my JCW 6MT, so I was locked in...and with my limited knowledge of the Auto and desire to have the Manual, it didn't bother me waiting for the manual back in the spring of 2015.

It's taken awhile for the reviews of the manual to be put into print, so here goes:

1. February issue of the "Roundel" (BMW CCA's monthly magazine), page 43. I agree with much of what the writer/driver says about the manual, but he gets a few things wrong about the new JCW, and he makes some good points about the tires and the clutch feel being a bit "light" (I have often said this...I'd agree). Bottom line though he loves the manual transmission JCW, but he's waiting for the GP version! Pretty good overall review, but it's not a direct comparison of the manual vs. automatic.

2. Modern MINI magazine (March/April 2016 Edition) This is a better overall review, since the writer also drove the automatic JCW back when they first came out. The article was more specific with regard to the comparisons between the Automatic & the Manual. The title of the article is, "JCW - Manual or Auto?" This article also quotes several other reviews of the manual. The writer says, "So with the manual gearbox, the question you're going to ask is, does the MINI JCW deliver more driving thrills than the auto? The simple answer is yes. In fact it's surprising how just changing your own gears brings another level of welcome involvement to the latest JCW package."

If I was in the market today, hopefully both versions would be available to test drive because that's the only way to really compare for each driver/owner. In the end, it's all about being happy with what you bought. I can see both sides, but I haven't seen much written about the manual transmission JCW, so I put this up for documentation...not just personal opinion.

Happy Motoring (Manual or Auto!),

John
 

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Yes, I still love the manual as well, but the automatic has made a believer out of me as it is faster shifting and with both hands on the wheel during shifting. But, honestly sometimes I really miss it even though being able to roll start isn't much of an issue anymore! I will stick with automatics most likely from now forward simply because easier is better for me now. Whether manual or automatic the mini is a ton of fun packed into a tiny car!
 

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I wanted to get a manual JCW but the missus can't drive manual, so we had to get Auto. Now I don't know if I should sell my manual car because I know I will miss shifting through gears and rev-matching around corners.... but I guess the Auto does have launch control which i'm curious to try when I take delivery :D
 

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There is no right or wrong answer, it all comes down to the individual driver and what they want. Mine is an auto and it suits my purpose perfectly especially in heavy traffic and I also have the option for a little more fun with the paddle shifters but they dont replace the manual. I loved manual cars as they give you more control and driver excitement but how often in the daily drive will you be looking for this uniqueness so I chose the auto as it really is a more refined transmission.

On a slightly skewered path, 4WD auto's these days are almost better than manual transmissions especially with the reduction box, electronics have come along way and the 8 speed ZF is simply brilliant, smooth, efficient and strong.

Manuals are actually a dying thing so if you like them over auto's, get in before there are no manuals left as an option.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
There is no right or wrong answer, it all comes down to the individual driver and what they want. Mine is an auto and it suits my purpose perfectly especially in heavy traffic and I also have the option for a little more fun with the paddle shifters but they dont replace the manual. I loved manual cars as they give you more control and driver excitement but how often in the daily drive will you be looking for this uniqueness so I chose the auto as it really is a more refined transmission.

On a slightly skewered path, 4WD auto's these days are almost better than manual transmissions especially with the reduction box, electronics have come along way and the 8 speed ZF is simply brilliant, smooth, efficient and strong.

Manuals are actually a dying thing so if you like them over auto's, get in before there are no manuals left as an option.
Agreed!

I'm fortunate in that my commute is via back country roads that are mostly "twisty"! and, well, it just doesn't get much better! LOL! Love my 6MT JCW! Definitely a "keeper"!

John
 
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In my 1 series I had to go for the auto because the manual is renowned for being difficult to shift, and I was happy to try the auto (my first one) with paddle shifters for some fun, but as said they don't involve you as much as a manual does, so there is a bit less driver satisfaction.
With the JCW the decision was the other way around, I found the auto slightly more hesitant than my 1 series 8 speed and the JCW manual is a peach, or art least it its in my wifes MCS, so I hope the JCW is the same. I couldn't find a manual JCW to test drive!
My commute is 50% twisty's and 50% city so I had to compromise somewhere, three manual will be a good reason to just go for a drive to nowhere ;-)
 

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I'll be long gone before the demise of the manual transmission. I prefer it over auto in my cars and will continue driving them as long as I'm able. My Suburban is a different story. Last year I came close to losing my left arm to cancer and the first thing that went thru my mind was that both my cars were 6 speed and you can't drive a manual one handed. Right after I finished surgeries and treatments and got to the point that I could start driving again I traded my '07 MCS for a '15 with... you guessed it. A Six speed. I plan to keep rowing through the gears as long as possible.
 

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It is most definitely personal choice and circumstances ie lots of traffic jams etc. Makes an auto make sense. EVO mag says the car doesn't accelerate fast enough to need the auto flappy paddle thing and that the manual change is really satisfying and gives greater involvement. Not my views what EVO said. Sorry I'm a committed manual man till my hips require an auto!
 

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The JCW is peferct if you own a house in the Alps at least during the summer month.:D:D





 

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Test drove an automatic JCW today and I can say that it is very impressive. However, being an old car guy I just cannot say that I love it. Almost every fun car I have owned has had a manual. My current car, a BMW X1, has an outstanding automatic. However, I find that I seldom drive it in manual mode because it works so well as an automatic. In fact, it works so well it is boring ... and it's a pretty nice driver otherwise.

Same with the automatic JCW ... I started out in manual mode, but rapidly found that to be very irritating in city traffic. Again ... as an old manual guy, I find it hard to determine which gear I'm in after a while (I know the dash displays it). Guess I'm just used to the old ways ... you always know what gear you are in with a manual.

Bottom line ... the manual is the way to go for me. That said ... it is a great shifting automatic.
 
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