Back in a Manual and It Feels SO GOOD!

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clutchrider
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Back in a Manual and It Feels SO GOOD!

Postby clutchrider » Tue Jun 12, 2012 10:20 am

Hi all,
I'll give you some background in my intro. I've been driving manuals pretty much all my life. From a 92 and 94 Saturn SL1 then a 2002 Civic EX Coupe. My most recent car was a 2005 Toyota Matrix XR AWD that did it's job well for my 70 mile round trip commute through horrible traffic both ways everyday. I changed jobs over the summer last year and was dying to get back into a manual again, so I did my searching and had a large list of cars and options I wanted. I looked at everything from CPO A4 and 3-series, to a new WRX, MS3, Focus ST, Regal GS, and the GLI.

After much deliberation the GLI checked all the boxes. It had the clean styling without being too boy-racer, dual zone climate control, heated seats, beautiful wheels, sporty interior, etc. etc. I've had it for just over 6 months and 7k miles and it has been flawless. I've owned nothing but NA 4cylinder cars so jumping into something with a turbo was a huge improvement and it's a blast to fly through the gears again and play with the wide powerband. Anyways, I've bored you enough, just wanted to say hi, here is my car; 2012 GLI Autobahn 6MT.

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Shadow
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Re: Back in a Manual and It Feels SO GOOD!

Postby Shadow » Tue Jun 12, 2012 10:25 am

Welcome....that's a nice ride. I've never seen anyone with a "Save the Manuals" sticker on their car. I'm actually a member of that club on Car and Driver's Backfires website.
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Squint
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Re: Back in a Manual and It Feels SO GOOD!

Postby Squint » Tue Jun 12, 2012 10:27 am

Welcome! Nice car :D :D I've been liking the VW styling more and more over the past few years. And they actually have a spread of manuals and turbo diesels available. Was your Matrix was an auto?
'15 Mazda 3 iSport Hatch 6MT
'11 Ford Fiesta Hatchback SE 5MT
'14 Giant Escape City 24MT
'97 Honda Civic EX 4AT - Retired @ 184,001 mi

For Pony!

clutchrider
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Re: Back in a Manual and It Feels SO GOOD!

Postby clutchrider » Tue Jun 12, 2012 10:38 am

Shadow wrote:Welcome....that's a nice ride. I've never seen anyone with a "Save the Manuals" sticker on their car. I'm actually a member of that club on Car and Driver's Backfires website.

I found the stickers from C&D available for sale again so I picked two up. Usually I'm not a decal guy but I couldn't pass it up.

Squint wrote:Welcome! Nice car I've been liking the VW styling more and more over the past few years. And they actually have a spread of manuals and turbo diesels available. Was your Matrix was an auto?

One of the big reasons I was attracted to the GLI was the styling of the car overall. For it's class it has a HUGE interior. I've put full size adults and 3 across in the backseat many times and they all commented on how much room there was. Me and my wife will be having kids at somepoint soon so I wanted to have a large space for the seats. The trunk is equally as massive (3 bodies), lol.

But overall it has the look of an Audi to me with very clean lines and creases that are not overly done or exaggerated. As much as I see regular Jetta's (S, SE, SEL, TDI) all over, I have only seen barely a handful of GLI's and none in my immediate area. So it is nice to have something a little exclusive.

The Matrix was an auto, 1.8L 127hp 4spd. slushbox that went nowhere fast. I think the 0-60 was something like 10-11 seconds, but the car was a trooper in the snow and slush in CT and got me where I needed to go without issue so I couldn't complain. Regular maintenance and it made 136,000 miles before I sold it without one problem. Tossed some pics of my last cars below.

2005 Toyota Matrix XR AWD
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2002 Honda Civic EX Coupe
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1994 Saturn SL1
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Shadow
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Re: Back in a Manual and It Feels SO GOOD!

Postby Shadow » Tue Jun 12, 2012 10:43 am

clutchrider wrote:But overall it has the look of an Audi to me with very clean lines and creases that are not overly done or exaggerated. As much as I see regular Jetta's (S, SE, SEL, TDI) all over, I have only seen barely a handful of GLI's and none in my immediate area. So it is nice to have something a little exclusive.


Yeah, the redesigned cars definitely look like they have some Audi influence. Your car reminds me of the A4 in some ways.

I never heard of the "Autobahn" edition (or trim level), so I had to look it up to see what it's all about. From what I've read, it seems to really bring the "sport" back to this newest generation. I think VW did a good job from what I can see.
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Squint
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Re: Back in a Manual and It Feels SO GOOD!

Postby Squint » Tue Jun 12, 2012 10:49 am

clutchrider wrote:
Squint wrote:Welcome! Nice car I've been liking the VW styling more and more over the past few years. And they actually have a spread of manuals and turbo diesels available. Was your Matrix was an auto?

One of the big reasons I was attracted to the GLI was the styling of the car overall. For it's class it has a HUGE interior. I've put full size adults and 3 across in the backseat many times and they all commented on how much room there was. Me and my wife will be having kids at somepoint soon so I wanted to have a large space for the seats. The trunk is equally as massive (3 bodies), lol.

That's what I've been hearing about the VW's, both the Jetta and the Passat-limo. And the end of your description worries me :wink: :lol:

clutchrider wrote:The Matrix was an auto, 1.8L 127hp 4spd. slushbox that went nowhere fast. I think the 0-60 was something like 10-11 seconds, but the car was a trooper in the snow and slush in CT and got me where I needed to go without issue so I couldn't complain. Regular maintenance and it made 136,000 miles before I sold it without one problem. Tossed some pics of my last cars below.

That's good to hear as I work at a Toyota dealership. The Matrix's (Matrices?) never seem to sell as they haven't been updated in years (kind of like the Corolla, though I think the rumor is that it is being updated next year.. maybe?) and there are other vehicles that size that are more popular. And I haven't ever really had problems in minor snow with 2-wheel drive vehicles, though my snows are probably not as bad as CT...

And Shadow, Car and Driver ran a series about the "Saving the Manuals" thing. I think that's when they came out with those stickers and maybe t-shirts or something too.
EDIT: here's a link to the website
'15 Mazda 3 iSport Hatch 6MT
'11 Ford Fiesta Hatchback SE 5MT
'14 Giant Escape City 24MT
'97 Honda Civic EX 4AT - Retired @ 184,001 mi

For Pony!

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theholycow
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Re: Back in a Manual and It Feels SO GOOD!

Postby theholycow » Tue Jun 12, 2012 11:19 am

Welcome. Cool car!

I like this phrase: "clean styling without being too boy-racer". I like similar qualities but have never found such a great way to say it.
1980 Buick LeSabre 4.1L 5MT

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clutchrider
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Re: Back in a Manual and It Feels SO GOOD!

Postby clutchrider » Tue Jun 12, 2012 11:59 am

theholycow wrote:Welcome. Cool car!

I like this phrase: "clean styling without being too boy-racer". I like similar qualities but have never found such a great way to say it.

And it's not meant in a negative connotation at all. Just that some of the styling of performance/sporty cars like say the Mazdaspeed 3, WRX, Focus ST, with their wings, wide fenders, over emphasized exhausts, etc. just seem to be a little young for my taste. I looked seriously at the 2012 WRX but could not get over the huge fenders and quad tip dual exhaust and that it was only a 5MT. Really wanted that 6th gear for the highway. Not to mention I'm able to get 30mpg plus easily with this car cruising on trips. Otherwise I average about 28 which is still higher than the WRX. Of course those cars have more power and one with AWD.

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theholycow
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Re: Back in a Manual and It Feels SO GOOD!

Postby theholycow » Tue Jun 12, 2012 12:31 pm

Indeed, the qualities that you and I do not desire in appearance are not necessarily negative. For me it's simply that I don't want visual attention. I don't want to turn heads, I don't want to stand out; I want to look like a sheep regardless of whether or not I'm acting like one.

Speaking of highway 6th...how's your gearing? Back in 2008, VW's 6th gear was the same as 5th on their 5-speed transmission, and definitely not a highway gear; my Rabbit did 3000rpm at 70mph in 5th and a 2008 GTI would do the same in 6th. The 2.5 could have easily had passing/climbing power in a much taller gear at 2400rpm or probably even 2000, and the 2.0t probably could have done well enough at 1800 (though maybe with excess turbo spooling, so maybe no fuel economy advantage).
1980 Buick LeSabre 4.1L 5MT

Put your car in your sig!

Learn to launch/FAQs/lugging/misused terms: meta-sig
watkins wrote:Humans have rear-biased AWD. Cows have 4WD

clutchrider
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Re: Back in a Manual and It Feels SO GOOD!

Postby clutchrider » Tue Jun 12, 2012 1:27 pm

theholycow wrote:Speaking of highway 6th...how's your gearing? Back in 2008, VW's 6th gear was the same as 5th on their 5-speed transmission, and definitely not a highway gear; my Rabbit did 3000rpm at 70mph in 5th and a 2008 GTI would do the same in 6th. The 2.5 could have easily had passing/climbing power in a much taller gear at 2400rpm or probably even 2000, and the 2.0t probably could have done well enough at 1800 (though maybe with excess turbo spooling, so maybe no fuel economy advantage).

The GLI doesn't stand out but it does get noticed. I put that mostly on the wheels which I LOVE! Other than that the car is very subtle and the only badging is a GLI on the grill and a GLI on the trunk. No other decals or give aways.

As for the 6th gear. Funny you should mention it as I took a pic the other day while driving for a post on another forum about gearing. This was on the connector on the way to work, nobody was around when I took them so as to avoid being that guy with the phone while driving.

First pic is at 60mph in 5th, then 60mph in 6th. Difference of about 500 RPMs give or take. The car really does sit and cruise in 6th with minimal input required on the throttle. Meanwhile the MPG's shoot up rather quickly.
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theholycow
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Re: Back in a Manual and It Feels SO GOOD!

Postby theholycow » Tue Jun 12, 2012 5:58 pm

Nice! :)
1980 Buick LeSabre 4.1L 5MT

Put your car in your sig!

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watkins wrote:Humans have rear-biased AWD. Cows have 4WD

kayubassist
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Re: Back in a Manual and It Feels SO GOOD!

Postby kayubassist » Wed Jun 20, 2012 2:58 pm

lower it!
hehe
congrats!
i mean seriously, i witnessed a 2012 jetta turning into an audi after lowering at a local shop lol!
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bk7794
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Re: Back in a Manual and It Feels SO GOOD!

Postby bk7794 » Wed Jun 20, 2012 8:35 pm

I really do like the new VWs, I think when I am in the market for a new car this is something I am definitely going to look into. Plus the reliability went up and all that.
1991 Honda Civic DX 32xxxxk - Totaled 6/2015
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tankinbeans
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Re: Back in a Manual and It Feels SO GOOD!

Postby tankinbeans » Sun Jun 24, 2012 5:31 pm

Welcome! Did I spot a Minnesota plate, or am I imagining things? If so, YAY I'M NOT THE ONLY MEENASOOOOOTTTTTEN!!!!

You're right that the car is huge, on the inside. My friend has the 2.5 SE and it's pretty sweet.

To use an overused/slightly annoying phrase I'm jelly. :)
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PaintDrinkingPete
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Re: Back in a Manual and It Feels SO GOOD!

Postby PaintDrinkingPete » Fri Jul 06, 2012 12:49 am

Since I'm new too, allow me to add...

I'm in a similar position to the OP, but for the most part have owned Toyota trucks my entire life. I recently owned an '05 Tacoma auto trans...Every vehicle I'd owned up to that point was a manual, but I was living in DC and dealing with heavy traffic, and decided auto was the way to go.

Fast forward a few years, and I decided it was time to trade the Tacoma in...for a new Tacoma...with a manual transimission! Oh, man did I miss driving a standard trans, and I tell you, it was like riding a bike getting back into it, no regrets at all!

Got a new 2012 Tacoma with the TRD sportshifter, and it is sweet! Hope to be able to contribute to some posts here...I've literally driven over 1,000,000 miles in manual transmission vehicles, and there really comes a point where it's just "driving" and not something you have to think about (for you newbs out there).

And believe me, I don't mean "newbs" in a bad way, I love that there are still new drivers out there learning to drive the way it was meant to be!


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