I’d said I’d committed to the automatic transmission. I’m also slightly nagged by reviewers saying it made the response muted, which is really a very relative thing. It didn’t feel all that muted to me. I think what they’re really talking about is if you’re cruising and then stomp on it, the leap forward is slightly muted. I’d say barely. Near the end of this post I have a way around that if desired.
I’ve been watching a lot of 0-60 or 0-100 or quarter mile vids comparing the manual and auto. It still seems to me that the auto shifts just as quick as the best shifting guys, and definitely better than the average shifting guy. The final drive ratio and all the transmission gears are quite different than the manual. So it seems like each car pulls faintly better than the other within certain speed ranges, with it all being a wash by the time you get to 100 mph. I’d say the manual is a little better off the line in 1st but the auto does better in 2nd. But the car will still burn a strip of rubber with the automatic in 1st, so being slightly taller there might be a good thing anyway.
There’s also the issue of the console sitting a bit high for easy shifting of the manual. A non-issue with the automatic.
If I didn’t mention it previously, the auto this year has a manual overide. You put the auto in D and it has a “normal” behavior. Sport mode has earlier and more aggressive shifts, works pretty well. While in Sport mode you can also use a little button on the side for manually shifting up and down. No critic likes that button and they all want paddle shifters, but that’s hardly realistic considering Ford is smart to keep the price down. I don’t personally see that as being a problem for the way I’ll use the car. It just adds a bit of flexibility.
Plus I also have the option (mentioned previously) of switching the chip after the warranty is up. It can be mild or wild. Even mild, the auto would shift faster than the world’s best driver with the manual and grab more firmly. The chip can simultaneously control the engine and transmission for mild or aggressive (within a reasonable range without blowing up something).
I’m still going to go with the automatic.