Learn to drive stick and take the 5spd. You won't regret it. I couldn't drive stick before I got my WRX...now it's only been 6 months, and I'm already heel-toe shifting and learning to take proper lines through turns. I've been told that if you take 2 cars (exactly the same) one stick and one auto, that if the stick driver is good he will win. Makes sense to me...sorta.
I have an auto WRX and I love it. Sure the 5 speed guys are a little faster, but not by much. The 5 speed experience is more involving, but my auto keeps me very very happy. My best 0-60 time was 6.1 seconds. This is stock and under ideal conditions.
I find that the auto shifts pretty aggressively and I believe that the car learns about your driving style. Rex has gotten faster with time.
I chose the auto due to driving in traffic in so-cal and due to trading cars a lot with my wife. Her Outback sedan is no slouch either by the way.
Get the manual. You'll be glad you did. My WRX was my first manual and I'm very happy that I learned. The auto is slower enough that you will loose in a race to another wrx plus you'll have to deal with everyone asking you why you bought a performance car with an auto. If you want an auto, save your money and get a Focus.
This car is my first manual as well and I crossed over. TRUST ME...there's is nothing more satisfying than being able to control your car's gearing during acceleration, turns, braking, etc. You just feel so much more in tune with you're car...its awesome.
And yes, it DOES make a huge difference in my opinion.
0-60 (5 speed) 5.4-5.6 sec.
0-60 (auto) 6.0-6.1 sec
1/4 (5 speed) 14.1 sec.
1/4 (auto) 15.0 sec.
That's a pretty significant gap. Also, often times, auto drivers can't get a significant launch without using brake torque. Why risk hurting your car like that? I'd rather use a clutch.
Also, it is so much more efficient to be able to choose your gears when going through a turn, rather than using D3 or D4...
If the WRX auto was a 5 speed auto then maybe it would be more of a difficult decision, but with a 4 speed I don't see any reason not to go with a manual. Don't worry, you'll pick up driving manual in no time. I was driving around LA the 2nd day I got my car....sure, I stalled in front of a Ferrari, but it's still fun =)
What type of driving do you do? Is it mostly city, highway or a combination?
The AWD system in the auto is a little different than in the 5-spd and I think it is a little better.
If I was dealing with a lot of rush hour traffic, I don't know what I would do. I was out crusing around the city in my 5-spd Prelude today and I really like the stick. I like to "drive" my vehicle as opposed to just turning the wheel.
Whichever model you choose, be it an automatic or a stick, you are choosing a great car. It is a little slower 0 - 60 than the stick and a little less in fuel economy.
Yesterday, I had to go pick up an '04 WRX and was very excited about driving it, looking at it, and just plain old being around it to check out.
I walked up to a 2004 Blue WRX Sedan got in and was actually disappointed that it was an auto. Oh well, cant have everything. As I drove it I was at a part that I had to floor it (dealer car's arent they great) lanes merging and as I did I got pissed the car wouldnt MOVE. So as I was driving it back to the shop I kept messing with it since I know it is new and it needs to be broken in
WHO BETTER, right?
I am sorry to say that the auto just does not drive like a 5-spd manual and was very disappointed. SO much so I didnt even want to drive it back. I had someone else drive it and they came back and said "what a terd".
Bottom line you need to learn to drive a stick if you want true happiness.
I kinda agree with ebrot.....I was back and forth on it, went with the AT for practicallity purposes...(already have a manual vette, and this is my daily driver) I sometimes regret not going MT, but everytime I hit rush hour I change my mind. I guess you should just really evaluate what you are looking for in this car. I wouldnt let not knowing how to drive manual as a deterant...What a better way to learn?
I lived in the Twin Cities and drove 4 years in rush hour traffic. I never thought my manual was a problem. I could never see myself behind a WRX with an auto. The manual just feels too "right", especially in city driving. But then again, I'm a control freak
Be different. Don't debadge. Love your RE-92s. Join the few, the proud, the 4EAT owners.
I have a 4EAT and yeah, I miss not having the 5MT every now and then, but trust me, the 4EAT is no slouch by any means. Yeah, it's maybe not quite as fast, and you'll get TONS of ribbing from the eliteist 5MT guys, but the Automatic is a great great car.
For all of you Automatic Ignorants, you can shift and automatic and make it nearly as fast as the 5MT. Sure, there's more lag at the bottom end, but there's no lack of power in the upper RPMs.
Plus, the AWD system in the 4EAT is superior to that in the 5MT.
I'm VERY VERY happy with my automatic. And hearing everyone make fun of me and then curse their toasted clutches in the same breath just makes me even that much happier.
Do what you feel is best man!
(BTW, if you do get the auto, many people will automatically believe you did it because you wimped out over shifting. I am not afraid of shifting. I love it. I just got the auto for some semi-practicality)
man, i'm really getting sick of this manual transmission snobbery and the attitude that mt is unconditionally the right choice for any sports/performance car owner. i drive a manual and i love manual. but there are times when i wish i was driving at, like commuting in bumper-bumper traffic. and the attitude that it doesn't make sense to buy a performance or sports car with an at.... doesn't make sense. given that someone has made the decision to buy an at, isn't it still reasonable to want the best performing or most fun-to-drive at?? is that so hard for people to understand?
ok, now that i've finally got that off my chest... my advice to the op would be to at least try learning and driving a stick before you make this decision. don't assume you wouldn't like it or couldn't learn it (you probably would prefer it and you definitely will easily learn it). there are legitimate reasons for wanting an at vs mt, but not knowing how to drive a stick probably isn't the best one.
sorry, that was a slight overreaction. that's been building up over a long time and after reading many posts in many different forums. and it really only took the thread's (seemingly totally uncontroversial) subject line to push me over the top.
to and from school i go highway bumper to bumper... not too bad in my manual though. unless you live in something like NYC, or a very hilly area, that it would just be a pain in the butt in, like San Fran. I dont see why to get an auto. I to was thinking about getting an auto, this was before i learned how to drive a stick. I would be kicking myself infintely if i got an auto... i advise you to learn the auto first pretty well on some other car. go for a test drive, drive both, see what you like, then decide. I have driven an auto wrx (i had to test drive an auto) bc i couldnt drive a stick well enough at the time of purchase to test drive a manual. the wrx is one hell of a car either way you go I think you will be happy... i did a poll on this a WHILE back about people, and if they were happy they got an auto, happy they got a stick, would they get the other if they could do it again... try a search maybe you can find it. This issue has been covered in many ways, so there is a lot of information out there
I understand where your coming from Eli, but I have not kicked myself once for not getting the 5MT.
What I don't understand is why there's so much hate and eliteism between the 5MT guys and the 4EAT guys. It's still a WRX. It's still fast. It's still AWD. It'll still get you a ticket very fast in any state.
And yet Auto owners are treated like a lower class of citizen.
It just sickens me.
Besides. The Auto has a superior AWD system to that of the 5MT.
To each his own, I say. I just don't want to be told I'm a soccermom because I got a Auto.
All kidding aside, life's too short for most of us to really take this debate seriously. I think the underlying message is that just because you don't know how to drive a stick (yet) doesn't mean you should opt for the auto. And if you do decide to learn the stick, be patient, really patient. It took me a half hour to drive around the block when I was learning.
Yeah, sorry if it sounds like we are hating on autos, but I really don't care which one you get. It's just fun to learn the extra pedal. As a matter of fact, I like automatics enough, I bought my wife one!
No hate here. I'll still give you a peace sign if I see ya!