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View Full Version : Are your expedition/overland vehicles auto, or stick?



robvt
10-03-2011, 03:22 AM
I feel like it's damn near impossible to find a new manual truck (unless you order it). It makes me think that quite a few of you are probably running automatics. I've never owned an automatic in my life, but I plan on getting a Tacoma in the very near future.

While I instinctively seek out manuals, I'm wondering if anyone has an argument for automatics? I know the typical answer is "use whatever works for you," but the fact that truck companies aren't making many -if any at all- stick shift trucks, I assume there must be a functional reason for it.

I'm not hugely objected to the idea of making the switch to an automatic, I just need a good reason (aside from just not being able to find a manual).

Anyone have some 2cents to put in on this?

CA-RJ
10-03-2011, 04:23 AM
Order a manual Tacoma if that's what you really want.

nucktaco
10-03-2011, 05:09 AM
wow that was a helpful post.

Dont quote me on it but ive heard that the newer autos get better fuel economy than a manual these days.

now that wasnt hugely helpful either but i have a 2008 tacoma with the automatic and with basically no maintenance done to my truck i havent had any transmission problems.

ive towed alot (over the limit a few times- obvs not recommended) and havent had any issues either.

Im not a fan of where the ebrake handle is placed on the 2nd gen tacomas when equipped with a manual trans. i found it hit my knee but i only drove a manual tacoma a handful of times so i might just have not had the seat adjusted properly.

i also think an auto would be easier to sell than a stick as anyone can drive an auto. ( resale value is always a good thing to consider):smiley_drive:

aikane
10-03-2011, 05:13 AM
I used to be "anti-auto" until buying a '09 Tacoma double-cab, I believe the 5-speed was not an option on the d-cab. The auto takes the fun out of driving on the street, but makes wheeling a lot easier. There's more control when going over obstacles and no more stalling or playing with the clutch. Overall, I think it's more comfortable.:)

Martinjmpr
10-03-2011, 02:26 PM
My current vehicle is an automatic (99 4runner.) If I have my way it will be the last automatic transmission vehicle I ever own.

My opinion is this: For 80% of driving tasks, there's no appreciable difference between an auto and a manual. For 15% of off-road driving the manual is better, and for about 5% an auto is better. If you are used to manuals (my 4runner was only the 2nd auto tranny vehicle I'd ever owned and the first true 4x4 I'd ever owned with an auto) then you will find that not being able to select gears is a PITA. Also the slushbox will soak up power that would otherwise be usable - I owned a Taco with a 5 speed and now own a 4runner with an auto. Both had the same 3.4 V6 but the Taco felt noticeably more powerful because of the ability to choose which gear I wanted to be in.

EPA estimates sometimes put autos equal to or better than manuals but I've never owned a vehicle that I haven't been able to beat the EPA estimates on anyway. My Taco got about 2 - 3 MPG better than my 4runner under similar driving conditions (of course my 4runner is only a 4 speed auto, the newer 5 speed autos are better on MPG from what I've heard.)

There are folks here who will say that once you go auto, you never go back but speaking just for me, that's not true. I bought an auto for a couple of reasons, but mainly so my wife (who can drive a stick but doesn't like to) would be able to drive it as well. Turns out she just doesn't like driving that much and has only driven my truck once in 2.5 years. So my next vehicle will definitely be a manual. Most likely a Nissan Xterra off-road, since that's one of the very few SUVs out there that can be had with both a manual tranny and a rear differential locker.

Martinjmpr
10-03-2011, 02:32 PM
BTW, AFAIK the following vehicles are available with manual transmissions (all 6 speed manuals I believe):

Toyota Tacoma Access Cab (i.e. extra cab) and double-cab short bed (long bed DC is auto only.)
Toyota FJ Cruiser
Nissan Frontier
Nissan Xterra (Xterra Off Road has a rear e-locker)
Jeep Wrangler

I think the Jeep Liberty is available with a manual tranny but I don't know how many of those are actually made with one. The Chevy Colorado/GMC Canyon might also be available with a manual, but I'm not sure (too lazy to check it out.) Some of the full-size Ford Super Duty and Dodge Ram trucks are also available with manuals, I think. At least they used to be. The Ford Ranger is available with a manual but I think 2011 was the last year for the Ranger.

NM-Frontier
10-03-2011, 03:14 PM
I just went from an auto Frontier to and 6spd Tacoma, all other differences aside the 6spd is a blast to drive on and off road. The auto was nice especially in slow and tricky off road situations. It was nice not to have to mess with the clutch and the newer 5spd autos available in the Nissan and Toyotas are nice and smooth on the highway. Other then that the manual has been more fun but off highway performance is a hard call witch is better. I think you will have to try and find a couple of the same trucks but with different trans. But that may be a hard task depending were you live. Good luck in the search, and remember get the one YOU will enjoy more.

ObGobOobaleeney
10-03-2011, 03:15 PM
I'm the original owner of my 1999 Tacoma 5 speed manual 4x4. I've never driven an auto off road. Here's some pros and cons I learned from experience and research:

manual pros:

excellent engine compression braking when going down hills
easy roll starts in dead-battery scenario
excellent gear and RPM control
Yes, slightly more power being delivered to the wheel over like-equipped autos trannys (I did research it once*, not a guess)
Very few people ever ask to borrow your truck if it has manual. :)

Cons:

I had to upgrade my suspension just to reduce amount of stopping and starting on bumps/obstacles; it was killing my clutch by requiring more clutch activity on the constants stop/starts. With better suspension I can drive over more of it without stopping or slowing, downshifting.

Dang near nobody I ride with can not drive stick, so if I'm ever injured, I don't have a back up driver for my truck.

Uphills can be nerve wracking for some stick drivers if you go from stop to start on a steep hill. I do it all the time and have zero issues*, but for some it's a skill set they never quite get.

*I've accidentally pulled it out of first gear during a steep up-hill climb- by resting my hand on the stick. The uphill angle put down hill pressure on my arm/hand, and it was just enough with a bump to knock it out of gear once. Scary moment when the truck started going backwards for a second.

Less resale value in some areas. Although some people do seek them out and pay more for them. So it can make it a bit of an item later. (My brother can't find a low mileage 2nd gen Tacoma 5 speed to save his butt. Easily 95% of Tacomas out there are pre-runners; the remaining few percent that are 4x4s are almost all autos.)

Auto Pros that I know :

Much easier to rock-and-roll between drive and reverse when trying to get unstuck.
Much easier to manage slow, intricate torque-heavy maneuvering without destroying a manual clutch.
Allows easy simultaneous braking and accelerating (for activating some lockers/LSD systems during wheel slip or lift)
Anybody can drive it in an emergency
Much easier to drive in stop and go freeway traffic
Easier to tow (although that can really put a lot of strain on the auto tranny over time-- get a tranny cooler, they say)

Cons:
If not maintained properly, theoretically more prone to maintenance issues like overheating, and shifting problems. I had one auto in a 1970 hot rod I built, and that thing was a nightmare. Today's tranny's I'm sure are much better!

not as fun as stick driving, as we stick folks like to say

Less precise gear & RPM control

more people will want to borrow the truck!

Much easier to sell an auto equipped vehicle

don't have to worry about getting a good clutch replacement job one day, a vanishing art.


*Last I researched efficiency claims in auto vs. manual, back in the 1990s, there was still the famous "10 to 15 percent factor" -- engineers spoke of auto tranny's losing about 10 to 15 percent efficiency over manuals due to auto tranny internal pump and the big power-sucking torque converter. No getting around this ever, I suspect; law of conservation gets in the way. If an auto version of a vehicle got better gas mileage, it was for other reasons like gearing or test conditions. Bottom line was that manuals deliver more power to the wheel, even if you don't notice it or it doesn't show up in the MPG. But a bad manual driver can defeat all of that, just like a clever auto driver can also sometimes.

hope this helps!

dcoy
10-03-2011, 03:27 PM
Manual all the way for me, more for subjective than any particular objective reason. It does limit some of the vehicle options though. I have investigated FJ80s and found that it would be easy to retrofit a manual transmission into these if desired since Toyota does make the components (for use in non-USA versions, naturally).

Martinjmpr
10-03-2011, 04:29 PM
One other factor that favors the manual is the cost of repair or replacement. Many off-roaders who travel in undeveloped countries choose manual transmissions because they can be repaired in almost any moderately well equipped shop. Modern automatics are so full of electronics and other highly technical parts that the only way to "fix" them on the road is to pull them out, replace them, and then ship the broken one back to the factory for repair.

I've never had to replace/repair an auto (knock wood!:D) but my understanding is that the cost for a rebuilt replacement transmission is something on the order of $2500 - $4000 installed, depending on where you are and what type of vehicle it is.

Martinjmpr
10-03-2011, 04:30 PM
PS: Forgot to add but a manual transmission vehicle is probably much less likely to get stolen! ;)

Rocket-scientist
10-03-2011, 04:36 PM
I have the 6 speed in my truck. In fact, I have never owned an auto. Some thoughts:

There were some issues with the 6 speed transmissions in the Tacoma 2nd Gens. Are they fixed? I hope so, but its always in the back of my head...

A manual can lose all its fluid and still operate, just not for long until it overheats and siezes. I can JB weld a hole or lost drain plug and fill with engine oil and get out. Try that with an auto.

You can bump start a manual.

The tacoma autos get better mileage and are easier to drive. The electronics now have replaced the compression braking advantage the manual used to have.

Changing tire size and gear ratio on a manual does not confuse the computer like the auto does. The computer will 'learn' the new driving habits over time though.

Buy what you like. If the new Tacoma had a diesel I would buy one with an auto since Im tired of SoCal stop and go traffic, but YMMV.

defrag4
10-03-2011, 05:34 PM
i like the manual for the reason of K.I.S.S, manual tranny is a much simpler piece of equipment then an auto crammed full of electronics and clutch plates. that being said, there have been plenty of "bullet-proof" autos built out there

Box Rocket
10-03-2011, 07:40 PM
I can't argue with the "fun-factor" of a manual, or the slightly easier and less expensive aspects to repair a manual trans when compared to an Auto. There is a slight power loss with an auto trans, that's just how they work, but that power can be regained with lower gears.

In answer to the original question, both my 80 series cruiser and my Tacoma are both Automatics. I had a manual 4-speed FJ40 for years prior to either one of these trucks. From an enjoyment point of view I prefer the manual and when off-road selecting the gear you want and having it stay in that gear is nice. You can select L or 1st with an automatic when offroad, but sine you are not in the habit of manually selecting a gear with an auto it can be overlooked and sometime the transmission will shift to a higher (or lower) gear at inopportune times off road. It's just something you need to be cogniscent of and select the correct gear if you need to.

All that being said, for expedition/overland use I personally have zero complaints about the automatic transmissions in both my trucks. I was skeptical of it in my Tacoma when i first got it, but I actually like it a lot. I don't think there is anything wrong with the automatic transmissions in the trucks you are considering.

dstn2bdoa
10-08-2011, 07:27 AM
I had a manual 6 speed Xterra OR edition. We loved it, although I have to admit that there were times when rock crawling that I really wanted an automatic. But that wasn't to frequent. I now have a first gen 4runner with twin sticks. It now is geared so low, you don't have to work the clutch like I did on the Xterra.

Buy the manual and re-gear the Tcase. Best of both worlds.

Applejack
10-08-2011, 02:09 PM
Buy the manual and re-gear the Tcase. Best of both worlds.

You don't have the aftermarket t-case gearing options on these newer trucks that you've got on older rigs like the 1st, 2nd and sometimes 3rd gens.
So whatever is there in the aftermarket, if there is any, is going to be veery $pendy.

My advice is to go and test drive them both. I'm sure the dealership has to have both the 6sp manual and 5sp Auto on the lot most of the time.
We bought ours with an auto and I was disappointed at first, because I wanted the 6sp but it didn't take long to find out the the Taco's auto was unlike the auto's of old. Yes there is the thing about it being computer controlled and there are valid arguments for and against. I found it to be very wheeler friendly and when I was feeling sporty the gated shifter made it fun to manually shift through the gears, though I'm sure it didn't actually make it any quicker.

NothingClever
10-08-2011, 03:39 PM
Manual transmission in my '02 Taco 4x4 and my wife's Subaru Outback, too.
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I've always preferred manual transmissions because of the touted service simplicity and fuel mileage arguments. However, my sense is those are outdated arguments now because of technological advances in the past ~15 years. The fact that almost all manufacturers are "pure-fleeting" with automatic transmissions is compelling evidence in my mind that they're sufficiently reliable. The fact that almost all manufacturers still offer manuals in many qof the world's markets speaks (I think) to profit margins and comsumer purchase power (manuals are cheaper to produce).
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We all plan for this harrowing circumstance of being on the banks of the Chagres with only an aluminum foil gum wrapper, a Filson hat and that by using a manual transmission we'll guarantee our chances of stumbling across some plucky shade tree indig mechanic to cross cultural boundaries and achieve some metaphysical state of collaborative ingenuity to repair a broken transmission which would otherwise be impossible if we had been so foolish to buy an automatic. I think that's mostly romantic daydreaming.
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Me? If I have any kind of broken transmission anywhere (beyond a self-induced hole which can be repaired with JB Weld), I'm going to flatbed my truck to the nearest big city where I know parts will be on hand regardless of the transmission and where somebody has done the job several times or has access to someone else who has. If I can flatbed heavy machinery through the most remote parts of one of the world's poorest countries (well, it WAS one of the poorest countries), I can find a flatbed anywhere.
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From the driving pleasure perspective, same as lots of others here. A manual is great for mountain driving and hauling a load because YOU pick your shift points but they're not so good for stop-and-go traffic or ultra-slow, high-torque technical off-roading.
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Best of luck with your decision.

Plannerman
10-08-2011, 04:23 PM
My 2009 taco and 2010 taco were identically equipped except for transmission (dc, 4x4, etc). The auto 2010 gets about 10-20% better gas mileage than the 2009 with manual transmission.

Corey
10-08-2011, 04:44 PM
My last two rigs (2007 FJ Cruiser, 1991 4Runner) have been automatics.
Prior to that I grew up with sticks, had been driving them since 1973 until I got the 4Runner in October of 1998.

I would not go back to stick again.
I like automatics much better since I deal with rush hour traffic from time to time, and I also like autos better for wheeling, especially if you come to a stop on a steep hill.

Also the auto is much better on my knee joints.

Less fun to drive perhaps than banging through the gears, but the autos have grown on me.
Toyota builds a nice automatic transmission.

Jnich77
10-08-2011, 07:25 PM
The ONLY reason I own an automatic is because Toyota never saw fit to put a stick shift behind the 4.7 in the Tundra.

pdugan6
10-08-2011, 07:38 PM
I enjoy my 2011 Tacoma immensely. Of course I am not doing any intensive wheeling in it. I have it as my work truck and use it for hunting quite frequently.

1911
10-08-2011, 09:22 PM
I currently have one of each (see signature). The FJC is my first ever auto tranny 4WD, but it is a very good one and makes some kinds of wheeling much easier. One thing that I didn't see anyone else mention yet, is that the torque converter slip in 1st gear will give you some of the same effect as a lower first gear, i.e. the ability to go slower with more control over an obstacle. For general fun factor and ultimate control, I still like a stick. It takes a certain skill set to use well but it is a fun challenge to learn that skill set. For the majority of folks that don't want to learn and practice that skill set, an auto tranny makes more sense and is much easier to use off-road IMO.

Karma
10-08-2011, 09:48 PM
HI All,
I prefer manuals for the reasons listed in this thread; I'll not repeat. I've owned two vehicles with automatics, a van and a Ford LTD. The vans transmission failed. The Ford was OK.

I have another reason for preferring a manual that has not been mentioned. I call it shotgun starting. This is simply starting in gear. It is most useful in low/low range in either steep up hill or down hill situations. No need to slip the clutch or judge the starting speed. Just leave the clutch engaged, give it zero gas pedal, and start. The vehicle should start immediately, just as if the clutch was disengaged, and the vehicle should proceed with the engine at idle and with everything under full control. Seldom do I need to give any gas. I just let the gear ratios do their thing. This works beautifully with my '89 YJ Jeep Wrangler equipped with a Howell throttle body fuel injection and a Tera Low transfer case. The starts never fail. I do this often even if on level ground because it is so smooth and easy.

To underline my point, I replaced the stock starter motor (which, BTW, was working fine) with a heavy duty Mean Green starter because I recognize that this could constitute cruel and unusual punishment for the starter. I'm not sure this is really true because the starter does not appear to struggle but better to be safe than sorry. The load is definitely greater than normal. Anyway, I have been shotgun starting for years with nary a problem. Some people consider this to be advanced 4 wheeling technique. I don't agree but the technique does make perfect sense because it is so useful and safe and simple.

I consider this ability to be so important that it alone would stop me from buying an automatic.

Obviously, If you have an evil clutch interlock, it must be disabled. My YJ is old enough to avoid the clutch police.

Sparky

RusM
10-13-2011, 01:39 AM
As soon as the 22re on my rig shats the bed, it's getting replaced with a 3.4/A340 and the duals are getting the full chromoly treatment. I'll also go with some RADesigns controls for the auto and one of his triple sticks. I've found that one can never have too low of a gear option.

upcountry
10-13-2011, 01:20 PM
wow that was a helpful post.

Dont quote me on it but ive heard that the newer autos get better fuel economy than a manual these days.

now that wasnt hugely helpful either but i have a 2008 tacoma with the automatic and with basically no maintenance done to my truck i havent had any transmission problems.

ive towed alot (over the limit a few times- obvs not recommended) and havent had any issues either.

Im not a fan of where the ebrake handle is placed on the 2nd gen tacomas when equipped with a manual trans. i found it hit my knee but i only drove a manual tacoma a handful of times so i might just have not had the seat adjusted properly.

i also think an auto would be easier to sell than a stick as anyone can drive an auto. ( resale value is always a good thing to consider):smiley_drive:

You must be a newbie to Toyota Trucks. Every model of Toyota truck from the beginning of time has had the E-brake handle in the same place. In-fact, if they moved it I have a feeling we would revolt. We have all bumped our knoees on the brake handle and we all love it.

upcountry
10-13-2011, 01:46 PM
HI All,
I prefer manuals for the reasons listed in this thread; I'll not repeat. I've owned two vehicles with automatics, a van and a Ford LTD. The vans transmission failed. The Ford was OK.

I have another reason for preferring a manual that has not been mentioned. I call it shotgun starting. This is simply starting in gear. It is most useful in low/low range in either steep up hill or down hill situations. No need to slip the clutch or judge the starting speed. Just leave the clutch engaged, give it zero gas pedal, and start. The vehicle should start immediately, just as if the clutch was disengaged, and the vehicle should proceed with the engine at idle and with everything under full control. Seldom do I need to give any gas. I just let the gear ratios do their thing. This works beautifully with my '89 YJ Jeep Wrangler equipped with a Howell throttle body fuel injection and a Tera Low transfer case. The starts never fail. I do this often even if on level ground because it is so smooth and easy.

To underline my point, I replaced the stock starter motor (which, BTW, was working fine) with a heavy duty Mean Green starter because I recognize that this could constitute cruel and unusual punishment for the starter. I'm not sure this is really true because the starter does not appear to struggle but better to be safe than sorry. The load is definitely greater than normal. Anyway, I have been shotgun starting for years with nary a problem. Some people consider this to be advanced 4 wheeling technique. I don't agree but the technique does make perfect sense because it is so useful and safe and simple.

I consider this ability to be so important that it alone would stop me from buying an automatic.

Obviously, If you have an evil clutch interlock, it must be disabled. My YJ is old enough to avoid the clutch police.

Sparky

Great Point. Most of the different generations of manual tranny Toyota trucks have all been equiped with a "Clutch Start Cancel" button that is intended for exactly that purpose and I have used it in a few situations to get un-stuck. Infact, it used to be included in most of the older truck owners manuals.

I have seen some build threads over on Tacoma World where guys new to Toyota truacks have actually removed the clutch start cancel to put a switch in for lights or something else. I wonder if they know the true benefit of the clutch start cancel?

I found this from http://www.toyotaoffroad.com/Articles/Information/4x4Tips.htm:

"STALLED IN A SITUATION: If you have the clutch start cancel button it can be handy. When you're going over big obstacles you don't want to roll back if you stall. So leave the truck in gear and hit the "clutch start cancel" button. Turn the key and allow the starter gear to move the truck a bit while the engine starts again. Then you're off again moving over the obstacle without having to engage the clutch."

upcountry
10-13-2011, 01:50 PM
wow that was a helpful post.

Dont quote me on it but ive heard that the newer autos get better fuel economy than a manual these days.

now that wasnt hugely helpful either but i have a 2008 tacoma with the automatic and with basically no maintenance done to my truck i havent had any transmission problems.

ive towed alot (over the limit a few times- obvs not recommended) and havent had any issues either.

Im not a fan of where the ebrake handle is placed on the 2nd gen tacomas when equipped with a manual trans. i found it hit my knee but i only drove a manual tacoma a handful of times so i might just have not had the seat adjusted properly.

i also think an auto would be easier to sell than a stick as anyone can drive an auto. ( resale value is always a good thing to consider):smiley_drive:

I looked up the mileage for a 2007 Tacoma V6 in 6 Spd manual and 5 Spd auto. EPA estimated mileage says the auto wins. See attached.

72968

Martinjmpr
10-13-2011, 02:27 PM
I looked up the mileage for a 2007 Tacoma V6 in 6 Spd manual and 5 Spd auto. EPA estimated mileage says the auto wins. See attached.

72968

I wonder what the gearing is on those, though. If the manual is geared lower than the auto, that could explain the discrepancy right there.

Mountainhound
10-13-2011, 03:01 PM
Great Point. Most of the different generations of manual tranny Toyota trucks have all been equiped with a "Clutch Start Cancel" button that is intended for exactly that purpose and I have used it in a few situations to get un-stuck. Infact, it used to be included in most of the older truck owners manuals.

I have seen some build threads over on Tacoma World where guys new to Toyota truacks have actually removed the clutch start cancel to put a switch in for lights or something else. I wonder if they know the true benefit of the clutch start cancel?

I found this from http://www.toyotaoffroad.com/Articles/Information/4x4Tips.htm:"STALLED IN A SITUATION: If you have the clutch start cancel button it can be handy. When you're going over big obstacles you don't want to roll back if you stall. So leave the truck in gear and hit the "clutch start cancel" button. Turn the key and allow the starter gear to move the truck a bit while the engine starts again. Then you're off again moving over the obstacle without having to engage the clutch." The link don't work.

upcountry
10-13-2011, 06:31 PM
Just tried it again and didn't work for me either. Not sure what happened.

Dipodomys
10-14-2011, 10:14 PM
There's been some good discussion on pros and cons here so I won't rehash. But here's my opinion, and it is just that...my opinion. I've always had manuals too, and generally thought they were the only way to go. When I bought my 2008 Tacoma I decided to go with the auto and have been very pleased. Autos have come a very long way from even 10 years ago. The power is great, and it shifts so smoothly you can't even feel it. In sand and mud it's wonderful, and you have much more control over wheel spin. Ditto for rock crawling. "Creeping" is much easier and less hard on the truck, driver, and passengers.

The latest Tacoma autos have a full range of manual gear selection, and I drop into lower gears all of the time to provide engine braking on hills, etc. I live in San Francisco, and with all of the hills around here that feature really comes in handy. Even on the freeway, sometimes I'll pop it into forth if I need to slow down a bit when traveling down a downgrade or if I'm coming up behind some slowpoke. It took a little getting used to the gear selection "gates," but I love it now.

Gas mileage on these trucks is nothing to write home about, and I doubt if the difference between manual and auto is substantial. I get about 17.5 mpg, with a stock tire size and a few bolt-on mods. Power output to the rear wheels may be marginally less with an auto due to the oft-mentioned power loss through the auto, but that issue has become less relevant as engines have become more powerful and autos have gotten better. A moot point, if you ask me. I'm very pleased with the power on my truck, and have never complained about it or even thought how it would be nice to have a few more HP. In that sense, the latest generation of Tacomas are leaps and bounds above the earlier vintages.

In fact, it is likely that people formed their negative impressions about autos in Toyotas back when the trucks were truly underpowered. My 1984 with the 22R four-banger was hopelessly pathetic. It couldn't hold 65 on the freeway if there was even the slightest incline or even a headwind. For a time back in the mid-1990's I worked for a spell as a salesman at a Toyota dealership in Tucson (not the high point of my life, I can tell you), and at that time Toyota had the 3.0L V6. With the auto it was a dog. I mean really awful. Slow and clunky. Things have come a long way since then. Better engines, better transmissions. Night and day, really. And you know what, my pathetically-underpowered 1984 only got about 18 mpg on it's best day. Now my 2008 has twice the power and is twice the truck than the mini-trucks of the old days. It's a double cab and has an auto trans. I can carry four people, load it up with gear, and still haul *** up the hills. And I get almost the same mileage as the itty-bitty '84. Amazing.

In the end it's what you like. But I'd definitiely check out the autos before you discount them.

OldSven
10-15-2011, 03:24 PM
I have had manuels in all but one of my wheeler's and still tend to lean on a good old manuel. There are time's when an auto would sure be nice like pulling a trailer up and through a trail would be a lot less stress on a clutch but being able to pick your gears when you want them not when the truck thinks it knows best is sure nice:) Also coming down a trail in 1st 4low with a stick seems to do much better than having to use your brake all the way down to maintain a certain speed.

cmayer
10-25-2011, 10:26 PM
http://www.toyotaoffroad.com/Articles/Information/4x4Tips.htm:

Good article! Take the : off the linked quote to get to the site. http://www.toyotaoffroad.com/Articles/Information/4x4Tips.htm

I learned how to drive on a stick and just prefer them for some reason. My 4runner is a stick and is a beater so it gets abused a lot more on the trail. For me the runner is a toy and as such I want it to be fun for me, so a stick was necessary for me. The F250 is the family hauler and I spend a lot of time behind the wheel in traffic. Honestly I wouldn't want anything other than an auto for it. I like being able to hop in put it in D.

I guess it's mostly just personal preference these days because newer vehicles are so good in both auto and stick that it's really just up to the end user to decide.

I would hate to have my '89 22re with an auto behind it though; it's gutless enough with a stick :sombrero:

BigAl
10-25-2011, 11:40 PM
Are your expedition/overland vehicles auto, or stick?

Unless you are being paid to deliver a small pox vaccine to the southern tip of Africa, I assume you overland/expediton travel for fun, right? What do you like to drive for fun. My DD will always be auto. My fun vehicles are sticks when possible.

elcoyote
10-27-2011, 04:27 AM
366,000 miles on my factory original AX-15 5 speed manual. it is just now starting to exhibit some syncro wear. While a manual can be a bear in bumper to bumper traffic, I like feeling more connected to vehicle operation.

Mrknowitall
10-27-2011, 05:00 PM
In the 2005+ Tacomas, the axle gearing is the same for the manual 6spd and 5spd auto. the OD in the automatic is about 0.7, while the MT has about a 0.85 OD. that means you will have slightly lower cruising RPM. In some other thrucks, like 2000-2004 V6 Tundras, the AT trucks get a 4.30 gear vs the MT's 4.10. That makes cruising RPM identical. With the gears in the Taco being the same, though, the MT deals a lot better with bigger tires. IN an AT, you probably won't be happy without a re-gear.

tdesanto
10-27-2011, 06:02 PM
Why not both? INVECS (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/INVECS)

86Runner
10-28-2011, 02:48 AM
I wonder what the gearing is on those, though. If the manual is geared lower than the auto, that could explain the discrepancy right there.

Bingo, at least in the 3rd gen 4Runners, this was the case. I believe that the overdrive on the auto was 0.705 and on the manuals, 0.838.

To answer the original question, both my 86 and 99 4Runners are sticks - I didn't want an auto.

devortex
11-03-2011, 02:40 PM
This thread came along at a good time for me...

I recently had to sell my Land Cruiser (divorce sux!) and my current DD is a 7 year old F-150 2wd which has little value and I'll probably trade as a down payment. I'm seriously looking at a new ('11 or '12) Tacoma 4 door Off Road Edition. I like this truck as it gives me passenger capability, still has a decent sized bed for hauling but appears to be relatively trail ready out of the box. I can then gradually build it into the expo rig that my LC used to be. Best of both worlds, still be able to haul some stuff, light towing like my F-150 and get me to the wilds like my LC.

Here's the conundrum. Do I go with the auto or the stick? I've driven both off road and really don't have a preference either way. Both have advantages and disadvantages. The new Tacoma has a nice auto with the ability to select gears easily, hill decent control and somewhat better mileage than the manual. I'm pressing my old SVO Mustang into DD action but I'll still wind up driving the truck to work occasionally and LA traffic in a stick shift truck would get tiresome.

Based on this, I'm clearly leaning toward the auto...guess I'm wondering if someone can talk me out of it?

phsycle
11-04-2011, 04:59 AM
My trucks will always have auto transmissions. Last thing I want to do after a long day is shift. Never had any problems with any of my Toyotas. Just keep on top of fluid changes.

devortex - I'd personally go auto without a question. The 5-sp auto is a great transmission.

GregB_00XJ
11-04-2011, 09:19 AM
I have owned probably 50/50 auto and std trans vehicles. I prefer a std trans in my cars, and while my new 2003 Dakota Club Cab was ordered with a stick, it was hard to sell with one. I had at least 4 or 5 people walk away from it, and it was cherry minty fresh as new condition. In hindsight I wish I had ordered it as an auto.

My Cherokee is an auto, and I like it. I drive it hard, not a lot of offroad, but when I do it has performed flawlessly. The AW4 is a stout box, and many go 300,000+ KM with only basic maintenance. There is the issue of 1-2 gear on them, it will pop into 2nd when you don't want it to. There is a nice mod to fix that however and you can lock it into first with a simple toggle switch...that would be the good side of electronics, a bypass. Not sure if you can do this in a Taco old or new?

It really comes down to personal taste, intended use and so on. Modern day autos are very good and should last a long time. A standard is well, a standard... reliable, easier to fix and dependable. If you are worried about electronics having issues on your new 4WD transmission... don't get a new 4WD, get an old one!! EVERYTHING on new vehicles is electronic.

dyogim
11-04-2011, 09:22 PM
My 2000 V8 tundra only came in auto but, I'm happy with. However, I converted the push button transfer case to manual. Much much better.

Mattm94
11-09-2011, 02:51 AM
Comes down to preference. That said, a slushbox is where it's at, but so is IFS.

Never had ANYTHING that wasn't stick and swore it would never happen... till 98 4Runner and then 02 DC... I would NEVER go back, esp for an expo.

Never had an issue navigating my auto shifter and selecting my own shift point with the auto. Even a window licker could do it.
In the event of emergency, ANYONE, even a 10 year old, can drive you in the auto if you're not able.
Better mileage from rigs that were same/same other than the auto/5pd.
Better offroad, and no crawlbox necessary other than straight up rock crawling.
Less perceived fatigue to the driver on long trips, especially in the hills or towing.
Easier starts and shifts on grade with the auto, esp. with heavy loads.
Less shock load and more forgiving on drivetrain with the auto.
Install a healthy tranny cooler and temp gauge, use good fluid and keep it fresh, and the auto is at least as reliable as any 5 speed, and never requires a clutch or T/O bearing project.
A FUBAR tranny in BFE is still a FUBAR tranny in BFE, auto or stick.

Only truck to ever have a tranny failure was an 86 Extra Cab 5 speed, and went 90 miles in reverse to get to a fix.

lostdreamer
11-14-2011, 06:47 AM
Are your expedition/overland vehicles auto, or stick?

All my previous cars have been manual 'boxes. I'm english, they generally come that way in this part of the world.

The new car is an auto. Why?

I got fed up with having three pedals but only two feet. If I stalled on a rocky assent then trying to hold it on the brake to stop rolling back, let the clutch out to restart and put on enough throttle not to stall again was a pain in the bum.

I like doing my technical driving softly, slowly and carefully. I find it reduces how wrong things go when they go wrong slowly and gently. Autos are really good at slow. A little bit of left foot braking, a lot of slip on the torque converter and you can loose a traffic light grand prix to a tortoise.

Gearbox settings. I have more. Manuals don't have 'park' for when I stop to take a photo on a hill steep enough I don't trust the handbrake. Yes, I can leave it in gear but even then I don't have the 'box just locked solid. They don't do clever anti-rollback tricks making hillstarts a complete non issue. As for the lack of gear control I have yet to find an auto that doesn't have options to max out which gear it uses. It won't change up any higher than you want it to. It might downshift if it feels the need, but downshifts are rarely a bad thing - and being able to downshift by just flooring the loud pedal and not have to worry about loosing momentum when I sink the clutch, that's cool too.

Ergonomics. It's one less thing that I have to do. I select 'forwards', steer and enjoy the countryside. When I am out and about in the car, I am probably out and about all day. For days at a time. Making it easier and more relaxing is big and clever, because it means I get as much fun with less effort. So I get more fun, because I have more energy to do stuff rather than get to camp and pass out.

'Let the car do the work' was the advice the offroad instructor gave me when he was teaching me to drive off piste. In context he was taking about gear selection, but it applies more generally as well.

phsycle
11-14-2011, 09:14 PM
...Only truck to ever have a tranny failure was an 86 Extra Cab 5 speed, and went 90 miles in reverse to get to a fix.

:Wow1: Ha ha, that is awesome.