I’m considering buying a used Subaru Forester or Outback. What are the pros and cons of manual vs auto transmission? Will I get better gas mileage with the manual? Will the cost of replacing a clutch out weight the any savings in gas?
You might get better mileage with a manual, but how you drive matters more than your transmission choice.
The cost of a clutch only matters if you wear it out. Many people can get 200K miles out of a clutch.
Automatic transmissions can be VERY expensive to repair, and the Subaru AWD system uses a clutch pack and transfer valve inside the automatic transmission to send drive to the rear wheels. When these parts wear out, and they do, it’s a $700-800 repair bill.
Sort of balances out the clutch issue, doesn’t it?
Better gas mileage? Usually, but the differences is usually not earth shaking and if you are not good or attentive to shifting, you might actually do better with auto.
I have had 6 cars all manuals. All but one and the one I have right now had over 150,000 miles put on them by me. I had two clutches go out. The first one, and that was a used car to start with, but I really did burn the clutch and an RX-7 I bought used and I believe the prior owner killed that clutch.
If you know how to drive stick, a clutch should be good for 200,000 miles which is more than most automatics do.
If I ever had to drive in stop and go traffic in a large city, I would go for an automatic. However I have never had to drive that way on a regular bases so I have stuck with manuals.
Modern automatics are really quite nice.