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Automatic transmission or manual

I anticipate buying a Subaru Impreza Outback Sport and will be driving in the mountains a lot. Should I get the automatic or manual transmission?

I think if you search this website for prior posts on the subject of automatic versus manual, you will get as many different opinions as you want.

Which ever one you like.


You should test drive each one of the possibilities and decide which one you like better.

Personally, I think a stick shift is sportier, but you should only consider one if you are adept at shifting and using a manual clutch and you have practiced starting on hills using he hand (parking) brake.

Will this also be a commuting car? Clutching in heavy traffic is a pain.

What do you prefer to drive ? I think it’s a personal choice with frequent heavy traffic driving being one of the few uses that may make an auto a no brainer. IMO, I would always have at least one automatic in the family for safety reasons.

We had a family friend that bought a new Chevrolet station wagon in 1961. This person went to Colorado every summer. The dealer recommended that he order the wagon with a manual transmission. The dealer here in the flat midwest didn’t think that the 2 speed PowerGlide was suitable for mountain driving. Much as I hate to admit it, cars have improved in 50 years and the multipseed automatic transmissions today work well in mountain driving. I think it is a matter of which you prefer.

This like the taste of food, is a personal judgement. Two of our three cars have manual transmissions. I like a taste of each. Neither mountains nor city traffic matter. Modern manual transmissions and clutches are easy to live with.

I think the powergilde wasn’t really suited for stop and go traffic.

On my Mazda, I think it’d be neat if it coulda came with a stick shift. Sadly though, only the European market got the manual.

Either. Both will work well with Subie’s AWD system and good technique. And a good set of winter tires.

Nothing will work well without a good set of winter tires. Not a manual, not an automatic, not even AWD.