I've got a manual and it's a ton of fun. I enjoy rowing through the gears and the whole experience of it. I REALLY tried to talk myself out of getting a stick. In the end I knew deep down I would have always second guessed it. It would have driven me nuts, no doubt about it. It's my first time owning a stick shift so I cannot compare it much. So hear is my noob take on it.
-Better in snow because you can start in a higher gear
-I'm assuming with a Rubicon in 4-Low it would be nicer to be able to put it in a higher gear vs being a bit bogged down in gearing with an auto.
-Mostly the advantages would be anywhere that you want to keep the gearing in a high gear to lower torque. The new autos have the fancy auto stick thing (ERS) but it will only limit the top gear and not keep it in a higher gear then it wants.
-I'm not sure about the current Autos, in the past going damb near vertical could make an auto stall out. Something about the transmission (torque converter?) not getting enough fluid. I'm sorry for posting such a vague and un-informed point. Hopefully someone will be able to fill in the blanks. Regardless you would have to be going pretty hard-core to run into the problem.
-Slight (who gives a crap) mpg advantage
-The one that comes right to mind and drives me nuts is, not being able to safely shift in water
higher then the bottom of the transmission. Basically about at the bottom of the tub. You can start without clutching in 4-Low to overcome this sort coming. With an auto you can play in the deep stuff and not need to worry about it. No need to stress if you want to reverse out for example. Of course you would want to extend your breathers (http://www.wranglerforum.com/f33/ext...se-185089.html
-Drive by wire
. Your not directly connected to the throttle. It goes gas->computer->throttle. If you try to double clutch for example to a lower gear. You put it in neutral and hit the gas, and it will just keep the RPM's low. Then all of a sudden the RPM's will jump way the hell up to 2500. I'm guessing at some point there will be a tuner that will help put your foot more in control. I find it livable, but disappointing.
-Keeping Momentum when Upshifting
- If your going through sand, or up a climb, and need to keep momentum, but also need to upshift.
-If you hurt any limb (arm,leg) your screwed.
-Cannot hang leg out the door
-Slightly less resale value
-Autos can use the auto stick (ERS electronic range select) to do engine breaking down steep descents. I wonder if it actually works as well. Being that there is a HDC hill decent control button I kind of doubt it.
-Autos torque converter
might give you a bit more low end torque for crawling. I honestly don't understand it enough to say one way or another. With equal rear end axle ratio's I think autos get just a bit of an advantage.