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Discussion Starter #1
I'm just looking for a general discussion, not a manual vs. automatic flame fest! Please keep this in mind.

I'm incredibly close to ordering a Mustang for the first time, but I'm still torn between the transmissions. I had a 2011 V6 before (hail storm) that was an automatic and I absolutely loved it, but I'm seriously considering a drastic change via switching to a stick shift this time around.

I've learned how to handle a manual just recently by driving the cars of my incredibly trusting friends. The problem is I'm still not a professional or natural by any means.

My question is: Do you think it's safe for me to order a manual with novice experience? In my defense I was able to drive a 5.0 from one dealership to the other over a five mile span. Although I did stall a few times! ;)

My biggest fear is that I'll royally screw the vehicle up. It will be my daily driver, just as my previous one was.
 

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Just go for it. I learned how to drive a manual in my car on the way home from the dealer haha. took me weeks to perfect it.
 

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I bought my '85 Celica convertible with manual transmission two years ago, and after having a friend trailer it home I taught myself by gettng in and going.

I enjoy driving the stick Celica so much I ordered my 2012 Mustang GT convertible with a manual transmission!

Go for it, you won't regret it!
 

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If you know you'll be able to do it than go for it but, if your unsure of yourself than maybe you shouldn't. I only drove something with a manual transmission about 5 times in my life before I ordered my car, it took a couple weeks to get used to, but now whenever I drive an auto it feels like I should be doing something when slowing down lol.
 

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Yes, I think it is safe. It is wise that you question your ability, and shows that you are now ready to make the leap. Go on, become one with your car, roll that 5.0, never look back. I would not own a Stang any other way.
 
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If you know you'll be able to do it than go for it but, if your unsure of yourself than maybe you shouldn't. I only drove something with a manual transmission about 5 times in my life before I ordered my car, it took a couple weeks to get used to, but now whenever I drive an auto it feels like I should be doing something when slowing down lol.

You have NO IDEA how NUCKING FUTS the drives me!!:D

I swear the floorboard under my left foot has a dent!

OP, if it is at all possible find a friend with a manual trans and ask if you can drive it a few times to get comfortable. If you are confident in yourself and get to the dealership, test drive a V6 with a manual first to avoid the occasional rodeo jerk(read: John Force burnout) as the lower torque will make it a bit easier to drive.
 

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If you are doing that well already you will be shifting without thinking about it before you know it. I didn't learn a manual until I was 35 and took to it like a fish to water and then went on to buy three 5 speed cars in a row.

I'm back to autos now however, the novelty wore off and I realized I was just buying manuals due to peer pressure/trying to be cool thing. I guess my only advice is buy the one you really think you'll enjoy driving the most and which one is the most practical for where you are doing most of driving without allowing the influence of what other people think sway you.

PS I think the bigger the engine, the easier the manual is to handle, as the car doesn't stall out as easy and will cut you some slack about being in the wrong gear. You can feel it not being in the right gear instead of the car just stalling out on you. My 1989 5.0 Camaro was super easy to drive, my 1993 Civic CX was a PITA, the 3.8 V6 1995 S-10 was pretty easy too.
 

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I say go for it dude, if you like driving stick it'll be second nature within a week. i took a auto for a test drive then spent 10min in the back of the dealer with the stick shift and drove the stick shift home
 

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I did the exact same thing. The dealership folks lined up to watch me leave to see how many times I'd stall it! (none on the way out) Go for it.
When I picked up my car I was the last customer in the dealership by the time I left. Everyone watched as I left the lot, I guess waiting for me to stall it. Luckily all they saw was me grannying the car to the main road lol. I get the car sideways leaving the dealer these days, though.
 

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You sound like you are well aware of your abilities and that's a huge plus. I say go for it !!
 

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It's not brain surgery ... well, unless you live in downtown SF, then maybe you might want to reconsider since it doesn't have hill-hold. Clutch bites so well though, that I haven't found myself having to use the e-brake on hills at all.

I've known a few people who were just 'digital' kind of people and couldn't pick up the 'analog-ness' of a clutch (my wife being one of them). Pay attention to how you drive an automatic; do you tend to roll in and out the accelerator of just plant your foot, and pull it off?

Also examine your driving habits. Do you enjoy driving just for the act of driving, or do you typically just want to cruise to your destination? Pay attention to your in-car habits too, do you typically have a lot of distractions, e.g. a drink in one hand, a smoke in the other; cellphone; fidgeting with the radio; etc. Adding a manual into that can make driving tedious.

Don't worry about picking up the learning part. It's easy. We've just become a society of convenience so anything that requires effort causes anxiety.
 

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If you're a driving enthusiast and want a more "personal" relationship with your car, then go for the manual. You'll occasionally stall and get jerky starts but you'll quickly get the hang of it. After a while you'll be ready to learn the art of downshifting to take advantage of your engine's stopping power.

When I took delivery of my brand new '67 GT 390, the car was just washed sitting in the dealer's garage ready to go. A bunch of salespeople and mechanics were standing around watching me get ready to leave. This car was a big deal in '67 since it was a relatively small car stuffed with a big block engine. Well, I started her up and like any kid, I was totally intimidated by the crowd and the car's sound and vibrations. I let the clutch out and immediately stalled it in front of everyone. It was a good laugh for all but I was shifting like a champ in a couple of weeks.

Have fun and avoid hills with traffic lights for awhile.
 

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Id say youll be fine, but maybe be on the safe side and take someone with you to drive the car safely home if you cant do it do to nerves. and IMO the new Mustangs are very easy to drive, Id honestly say my Mustang is as easy to drive as my wife's 08 Civic SI
 

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just buy some 200$ shitbox and learn how to do it until you get the hang of it... no point in burning the clutch on a brand new 5.0 ... just my 0.02$
 

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I'm in the same boat as you. I'll be hopefully picking up a 5.0 within 6-9 months, but I keep debating between which trans to get. I've only driven a stick once (an 08 Bullitt!) in the parking lot, which was ok...so I'll be needing much more experience before I can make a decision. Plus there's a lot of traffic around where I live, so that's something to think about too. Keep us updated on what you decide!
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Thank you all for the awesome replies!

I think I'm gonna give it a shot considering how much I love driving. When it comes down to it, I realized it really wasn't pressure pushing me towards this decision. It seems to make the car a blast to drive, so I'm more than ready to take some time to focus on practicing and learning all about the process.

I'll have a good two or so months after I order the car to practice some more.

I'm sure traffic can be a real bother but I feel like it's nothing one can't cope with. I don't typically deal with bumper to bumper traffic.

I do happen to live at the bottom of a ton of hills, though. Looks like I'll be receiving more than enough practice to master a manual in that department!
 

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Buy it and hire me to teach you how to drive the snot out of it. :gringreen
 

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I'm sure traffic can be a real bother but I feel like it's nothing one can't cope with. I don't typically deal with bumper to bumper traffic.
If you enjoy driving this is not a bother with the Mustang (or any other modern car I have ever driven), the clutch is pretty light. with a Big block car from 1969, its a different story.
 

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If you are "thinking" about doing it, you should just DO IT. Been driving manual since High School and I enjoy it with a passion, even as a daily driver I get so much more satisfaction out of really feeling ane controlling my car.

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