Auto VS Manual Abarth: I'm Going Crazy - Fiat 124 Spider Forum
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post #1 of 39 (permalink) Old 10-10-2016, 11:51 PM Thread Starter
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Auto VS Manual Abarth: I'm Going Crazy

Now that the Abarth is arriving, I'm trying to decide between Auto and Manual (I test drove both). I change my mind every day. Here are my pros/cons:

AUTO:
1. Way easier to drive in Los Angeles freeway stop & go traffic, even though I don't commute anymore. Go figure.
2. Living near the beach, I can drive it wearing my flip-flops.
3. My partner is a senior, whom I might want to encourage to to drive it on occasion, despite historic fear of my cars.
4. Sometimes I like to daydream rather than focus on engaging with the vehicle.
5. I'm lazy

MANUAL:
1. F*CKING fun.
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post #2 of 39 (permalink) Old 10-11-2016, 12:22 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LongBeachJim View Post
Now that the Abarth is arriving, I'm trying to decide between Auto and Manual (I test drove both). I change my mind every day. Here are my pros/cons:

AUTO:
1. Way easier to drive in Los Angeles freeway stop & go traffic, even though I don't commute anymore. Go figure.
2. Living near the beach, I can drive it wearing my flip-flops.
3. My partner is a senior, whom I might want to encourage to to drive it on occasion, despite historic fear of my cars.
4. Sometimes I like to daydream rather than focus on engaging with the vehicle.
5. I'm lazy

MANUAL:
1. F*CKING fun.
Jim, I agonized over the same thing here. And I have decided to go with the automatic.

I've been driving for 46 years. All but two of those years were spent driving manual transmission cars, which should make me predisposed to rowing gears. But times have changed. The freeways and cities and parking lots in San Diego are like war zones filled with combative drivers fighting for the last square inch of gridlock. This is my daily reality, not a winding country road. My current car is an automatic with paddle shifters. It keeps me relaxed and relatively stress-free as I creep through bedlam at speeds ranging between 0-7 MPH. Whenever traffic begins to flow again, my automatic transmission and I practice deep-breathing exercises to regain sanity. I don't need to curse people anymore, and I don't feel the need to play Boy Racer like an idiot when I could be texting-and-driving instead. (Just kidding, folks!) In all seriousness, though, a manual tranny would be entertaining for about three days. Three days. But when the new car novelty wears off, the automatic transmission is still a pleasure, still has paddle shifters to give me supreme control, and still has what the 124 does best: handles great. I find many more reasons – for this diehard manual transmission lover – to go automatic, with no apologies.
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Last edited by stevenvillatoro; 10-11-2016 at 12:28 AM.
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post #3 of 39 (permalink) Old 10-11-2016, 12:29 AM
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Of the many newer cars I have driven, Mazda's transmission and FIAT's ecu is one of the last DBW setup's that lets you freely rev match without any noticeable hang, its a sin to pass up. The only thing missing is that vintage V12 going around a corner, but hey, I'm not a millionaire and nothing is perfect lol.
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post #4 of 39 (permalink) Old 10-11-2016, 01:01 AM
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I liked the manual transmissions in my '90 and '00 Miatas... but I hated the manual in my '12 Miata.

Sadly, the same manual that was in my '12 is now in the 124. Notchy. Stiff. Grumpy. And slow synchros.

I still have nightmares thinking about it, even though I sold the car just two months after buying it new.
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post #5 of 39 (permalink) Old 10-11-2016, 01:22 AM
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Originally Posted by stevenvillatoro View Post
I liked the manual transmissions in my '90 and '00 Miatas... but I hated the manual in my '12 Miata.

Sadly, the same manual that was in my '12 is now in the 124. Notchy. Stiff. Grumpy. And slow synchros.

I still have nightmares thinking about it, even though I sold the car just two months after buying it new.
lol, don't ever buy a VW with a manual, you want to talk about horrible...
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post #6 of 39 (permalink) Old 10-11-2016, 02:47 AM
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lol, don't ever buy a VW with a manual, you want to talk about horrible...
Hahaha. I couldn't even count how many hundreds of air-cooled VWs and Porsches I've had to row. It was part of the 'experience' back then. I even worked for VW during college.

Hey, maybe a manual again wouldn't be so bad!
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post #7 of 39 (permalink) Old 10-11-2016, 04:01 AM
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I had a manual 2006 miata and that transmission was great!
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post #8 of 39 (permalink) Old 10-11-2016, 09:01 AM
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I really expected most Abarths to be manual as its the sportier version of the car, and 40 of the 50 cars listed on cars.com are auto. Crazy. It's a shame the automatic in these aren't better, like a nice, sporty dual clutch.
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post #9 of 39 (permalink) Old 10-11-2016, 09:18 AM
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Here's to having a choice. Not many cars available with manual these days.
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post #10 of 39 (permalink) Old 10-11-2016, 10:11 AM
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Here the Miata was considered a Girly car and Auto trans. cars were mainly sold. But what I hear from the dealers the Manual Trans are the ones getting sold and auto trans stay in the show room.
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