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I myself always had MT for off and on road. When I got my TJ Rubi, in 04 I got it with a MT. After 6 years I was done with the MT. I swap it out for an AT. 10 years later no regrets. It’s my DD. I drive my TJ way more than all my other Jeeps (all with AT).
my next Jeep will most definitely have an AT. And if not I’ll swap one in. I to am in my 50,s. One thing I’m sure of is that MT or AT you will love your Jeep
Good luck with your decision.
 

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I too have an 04 Rubi and love my manual trans. The best reason for MT is that you'll be the only one to drive it. Why let someone else have all the run driving your rig? I have control issues: 1) I want absolute control over which gear I'm in; I maintain absolute control over the driver.

And guess what, auto trans break. All those new fangled AT with 7+ gears are merely trying to increase MPG, and when they break they cost $$thousands to replace and your rig will be out of commission for a while. I've had to get several new AT's over the years, but I've never had a broken MT. So just call me old fashioned, I'll take that as a compliment and a reference to the wisdom I've gained over my 65 years. :) (FWIW, I'm not opposed to new tech, I'm a computer geek with all the latest, best stuff.)
 

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One other benefit of a manual tranny is there's no torque converter to suck up energy from the engine and release as heat. My first car was a 1958 Chevy Biscayne (no chrome, low end trim line) with a two speed Powerglide auto. My wife's new 2020 Lincoln Aviator has a ten speed auto, very smooth tranny which will skip gears as required according to their drivetrain algorithms.
 

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The wife and I are also in our 50s and we've had both manual and auto Jeeps. Our first JK was a manual and I ditched after 9 months for an auto. The manual isn't sealed and it will suck up water/gunk into the clutch if the clutch is depressed while submerged. Our trails have a lot of water crossings and deep mud sections where it's not uncommon for the group to stop while the Jeep is submerged in it. Not fun with a manual.
Auto I can lock it into a gear if I need to, like a manual, but that's rarity.

Without a doubt AUTO is our preference off road. Your needs and preferences may differ.

Good luck!
 

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I agree with a number of these answers....manual transmission is the way to go. Great control, low maintenance and hell I've been driving a stick for 50 years. I wouldn't know what to do with my left foot if wasn't for a clutch. That's why I got MT on my 04 Rubicon.
 

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Your neighbor? How does she handle the brake if she always pushes to feet? lol
One foot works the pedals while the other one just jumps around.

I also tried to teach her to use cruise control. She literally panicked going a safe speed on an empty wide road.

Remember; people like her are out there and they're driving. o_O
 

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My wife and I went cruising in the Caribbean for about 15 months and in all of that time I drove a car maybe two times. When we returned and I started driving again I wouldn't go over 30 mph for two weeks 🚗.
 

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Discussion Starter #28
I too have an 04 Rubi and love my manual trans. The best reason for MT is that you'll be the only one to drive it. Why let someone else have all the run driving your rig? I have control issues: 1) I want absolute control over which gear I'm in; I maintain absolute control over the driver.

And guess what, auto trans break. All those new fangled AT with 7+ gears are merely trying to increase MPG, and when they break they cost $$thousands to replace and your rig will be out of commission for a while. I've had to get several new AT's over the years, but I've never had a broken MT. So just call me old fashioned, I'll take that as a compliment and a reference to the wisdom I've gained over my 65 years. :) (FWIW, I'm not opposed to new tech, I'm a computer geek with all the latest, best stuff.)
I understand your points entirely, I currently drive a Ford Exploder Sport Trac with MT, 256,000 miles and never had trans problems. Thanks for chiming in.
 

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Discussion Starter #29
The wife and I are also in our 50s and we've had both manual and auto Jeeps. Our first JK was a manual and I ditched after 9 months for an auto. The manual isn't sealed and it will suck up water/gunk into the clutch if the clutch is depressed while submerged. Our trails have a lot of water crossings and deep mud sections where it's not uncommon for the group to stop while the Jeep is submerged in it. Not fun with a manual.
Auto I can lock it into a gear if I need to, like a manual, but that's rarity.

Without a doubt AUTO is our preference off road. Your needs and preferences may differ.

Good luck!
Interesting, I never thought of stopping in the middle of a water crossing, or a mud puddle - lol
Thanks for your insight.
 

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Discussion Starter #30
I agree with a number of these answers....manual transmission is the way to go. Great control, low maintenance and hell I've been driving a stick for 50 years. I wouldn't know what to do with my left foot if wasn't for a clutch. That's why I got MT on my 04 Rubicon.
lol Many times I have been out with my wife, driving her car. When we get in and I go to start the car I almost always try to press on the clutch that isn't there - lol
 
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