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Auto Trans vs. Manual Trans

Discussion in '2nd Gen. Tacomas' started by fotofuey, Jul 7, 2007.

  1. Jul 7, 2007 at 9:32 AM
    #1
    fotofuey

    fotofuey [OP] New Member

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    I have not been able to find this question on the forum. I am going to purchase a new Tacoma 4x4 dbl cab TRD Long Bed 6 cylinder. My questions is, should I get the manual or the auto? I have always driven a manual tranny mostly because they have better gas mileage and generally don't break after 60,000 miles. (i understand mileage is currently better with auto trans)

    Seems like most of the people I know who have cars or trucks with auto trans seem to at one point or another have to spend big bucks on getting the tranny rebuilt, replaced or overhauled, often before they get to 100,000 miles.

    Currently I own a '98 Tacoma 4x2 4-banger with a manual tranny and this vehicle has been trouble free for over 160,000 miles (same clutch).

    Since 95% of Tacoma's here in California are auto tranny's I was curious as to what the expectation I could expect for the longevity of this trans. This is my dream truck and I fully expect to get the legendary Toyota 200,000 plus miles from the motor, but its the auto trans that I have concerns about. Any thoughts or insights would be much appreciated.
     
  2. Jul 7, 2007 at 9:51 AM
    #2
    maverick491

    maverick491 Towing Guru

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    I can not speak with authority on the auto trans that backs up the 4.0 V6 in the taco, however, I have friends with camrys and corollas with the auto that have over 120,000 on them and have no problems. As I am sure you know the major enemy of the auto trans is heat, and if you are looking at a TRD package then you will have the trans cooler that comes with the towing package anyway, so I suspect that you will not have any problems with the auto trans in the new truck. If you plan to do any significant towing however, I would suggest that you buy the biggest trans cooler you can find and connect it in anyway as the trans can never really be too cool under load. (also if towing with an auto take it out of overdrive, when it hunts between OD and direct it builds heat and that is bad)

    All that said.... I'd go with the manual anyway, but I prefer to shift my own gears so maybe that's just me.
     
  3. Jul 7, 2007 at 11:02 AM
    #3
    wag225

    wag225 Active Member

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    Hopefully this helps: I have an '06 Tacoma Double Cab Speedway Blue 4X4 TRD Sport short bed. It's only got 8,400 miles so far. I bought the automatic knowing Toyota's legendary dependability. Our other vehicle is a 1995 Toyota Camry. It's the 2.2 liter 4-cylinder Automatic Transmission and has 181,500 miles on it and never had a major problem!!! The timing belt was replaced at 153,000 miles. Other than that, I had my first problem just last week...my battery went dead...haha. No, seriously, obviously that has nothing to do with the car, but the transmission is just perfectly fine and shifts just as normal as it always has. I'd say if you prefer to do the shifting manually, go for a manual. But take this into consideration. After all the research I've done, the new Tacomas not only get the same fuel economy, if not better with the auotmatic transmission, the 0-60 times are actually faster than that of the manual transmission. I hope this helps!
     
  4. Jul 7, 2007 at 11:24 AM
    #4
    fotofuey

    fotofuey [OP] New Member

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    Helps a lot. I just grew up on manuals and have always been skeptical of auto trannies......
     
  5. Jul 7, 2007 at 1:23 PM
    #5
    06TRDsport

    06TRDsport Well-Known Member

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    I also grew up with manuals, but after test driving my Tacoma with the five speed auto there was no way I was going to buy a new truck with a manual. I like the quick clean somewhat firm shifts. Unlike some autos you don't feel as though the tranny is robbing a lot of power.
     
  6. Jul 7, 2007 at 8:20 PM
    #6
    bbarian333

    bbarian333 Well-Known Member

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    i have the auto. I've read that the manual is a little jerky due to the height of the truck. My last truck was a ranger manual. it was jerky . Cant speak with experience on the tacoma manual, but i love the smooth easy drive of my tacoma auto.
     
  7. Jul 7, 2007 at 8:27 PM
    #7
    ForeRunner

    ForeRunner BBC. Bring Back Clarkson Staff Member

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    You can't get a Double cab long bed with a manual trans, only the short beds have that option.
     
  8. Jul 8, 2007 at 6:37 AM
    #8
    pb2themax

    pb2themax Mod Master

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    Yup, and on these trucks it's almost proven that the auto trans gets just as good or better gas mileage as the manual.

    The only way to get a little better gas mileage is to get the 4 cylinder instead of 6.
     
  9. Jul 8, 2007 at 8:57 AM
    #9
    ZonKs

    ZonKs Can speak french in Russian.

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    =p
    I am the exact same way. I have always felt that if you are not manually shifting gears, you are not really driving the truck. "Autos are for wusses!!!":D I also was extremely wary of auto trans. reputation for reliability. No matter how long it took to find a manual, I was dead set on buying one.

    However, when I went to test drive prerunner V6's, i reluctantly drove an auto first (the first dealer i went to only had autos). Hmmm, I thought, this things got plenty of power, then shifting is smooth, hmmm...it sure nice to have a hand free, its very responsive, etc. etc. I was forced to admit to myself that I actually liked the auto trans.

    At another dealership, I drove a manual trans. My first impressions werent that great. It felt awkward to manually shift on such a big truck (i had been driving regular 4 banger 4x2 toyota pickups for years and years, so the 07' prerunners felt huge). The reach was somewhat awkward, first and second gear seemed to drag out forever, and there diddnt seem to be that much more perceived power. For me, it just felt like there was too much going on.

    So...I settled on an automatic, and Ive never looked back. Ive had my truck for about 2 months now and not a day has passed where i wish i had a manual transmission. In fact, just the opposite passes through my mind -- im incredibly happy that i did not go with a manual.

    As far as reliability issues.....Hey, this is Toyota we are talking about. My last two toyota trucks drove over a half million miles combined and both would have kept right on going if it were not for some unfortunate circumstances (not to do with either truck).

    my $.02

    Ted
     
  10. Jul 9, 2007 at 5:10 AM
    #10
    taconewf

    taconewf Member

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    My past 3 toyota trucks were sticks, my 06 double cab is the auto, spoiled now, will never go back to the manual...replaced a clutch in every one!
     
  11. Jul 9, 2007 at 6:48 AM
    #11
    007Tacoma

    007Tacoma I dub thee malicious!

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    I agree. Even on my 5 speed, the reach is a bit akward. I plan on getting a short shift kit ASAP. I didn't really care for the 4-speed automatic that came with the 2.7Ls. I purposely did not drive a 4.0L, because I knew that I would want one, and I couldn't afford it (or the gas mileage).

    The biggest reason for me to get a 5 speed. My wife won't steal my truck. She drives a manual great, but she doesn't like too (unless it is turbocharged). Sometimes I wish I had an automatic, but I really enjoy my 5 speed. I better enjoy the crap out of it. It will probably be the last manual tranny I own...
     
  12. Jul 9, 2007 at 7:36 AM
    #12
    TRDeity

    TRDeity Well-Known Member

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    I too sometimes wish I had gotten the auto, I got the six speed to cut down on cost and I enjoy shifting. The little bit better MPG would have been nice but I'm still getting 18.5-19 MPG with heavy traffic.
     
  13. Jul 9, 2007 at 8:36 AM
    #13
    007Tacoma

    007Tacoma I dub thee malicious!

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    I wouldn't worry about it - You have an AWESOME TRUCK!
     
  14. Jul 9, 2007 at 9:22 AM
    #14
    TRDeity

    TRDeity Well-Known Member

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    Thank you Mark and I'm not worried about it, I love my truck and wouldn't trade it for anything (at least not until a diesel comes out).;)
     
  15. Jul 9, 2007 at 1:26 PM
    #15
    nd

    nd Radical Town. It's a hell of a place!

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    I was in the same boat as all of you. I had never owned or driven an automatic for any significant amount of time. I originally intended on getting the 6speed with my taco, but changed my mind after driving the automatic. I drove the auto and the manual and i had the same impression as everyone else. The auto is smooth as silk, and i for one like that it actually downshifts (something i'm not use to feeling in an auto) when slowing down. Plus, a manual feels awkward in a big vehicle, a auto feels more natural. If i were buying something small and sporty then i would go with a manual in a heartbeat, but i love the taco auto and have never looked back.
     
  16. Jul 15, 2007 at 7:14 AM
    #16
    COL. Daniel A. Ness

    COL. Daniel A. Ness Active Member

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    I grew up on stick shifts; including 5X4`s.
    I chose the OD Auto.
    If I am wounded I can still drive.
     
  17. Jul 15, 2007 at 11:22 AM
    #17
    SLOTaco

    SLOTaco Ultimate Member

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    I've got the 6speed manual and I have no complaints. Sometimes it would be nice to have the ease of a auto, but every time I go off road I remember how nice the manual trans is. You just get so much more control of what the truck is doing, and no need for decent assist you just do it yourself with the trans. Plus, it is much better for towing, less strain on a manual than a auto. Also from what I have seen manuals maintain their resale value better.
     
  18. Jul 16, 2007 at 9:20 AM
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    nd

    nd Radical Town. It's a hell of a place!

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    As far as off-roading goes, you can still tell your truck what gear to be in with an auto. if im going down a steep hill, i'll just slide it into first. I've noticed that unlike most auto's i've driven, these trucks seem to utilize engine braking. I've noticed when i brake for a turn the trans downshifts as i slow down. As far as towing, i would rather have the auto. although to each his own, glad to see you're not regretting your decision, nothing sucks more than spending 25k + on something and wishing you had gotten something else...
     
  19. Jul 16, 2007 at 9:25 AM
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    007Tacoma

    007Tacoma I dub thee malicious!

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    NO JOKE, HUH? :D
     
  20. Jul 17, 2007 at 7:38 PM
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    Viper-2

    Viper-2 Secret Agent

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    Completely opposite here. I hate the auto. I grew up with auto trans' and the manual is something I opted for immediately but that's just me. I also have difficulty believing that the auto has a better MPG than a manual. There is so much more control with a shift.

    I am reading CR now and it says clearly that the manual trans gets 2mpg better than the auto in real world mpg. But then again I ride a motorcycle and I love shifting... I also get 55 mpg.
     
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