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Discussion Starter #1
My first choice was CVT, but after everyone's suggestion, I am thinking more of the manual.

However, my mom and dad are telling me that the manual isn't as good as the cvt. They say few of their friends had cars with manual gearboxes before and the stick came off after few times of shifting. They were a 1991 Ford Mustang 5.0 and a 2000 VW Beetle.

If such a case happens in the Mini Cooper, will BMW fix the problem?
 

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Ohmygod! The stick coming off! Lol! :eek: I've never heard of that before! I you want to drive properly, get a manual. The mini's meant for zipping around corners at high speed, using engine breaking and you don't want an automatic for that!
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I really want the manual but my parents are really getting on my case. One of the world's most annoying parents. They can think of anything to argue with you, just to prevent you from buying an manual...

I can't win arguing with them. But I'll probably buy a manual though. I just hope the stick won't come off...:p
 

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Remember the CVT has "Sports Drive" mode where the engine will rev higher in predefined ratios before changing up and "sequential manual" mode so you can change up and down, hold a gear for cornering and make use of engine braking. I've played with all of these during test drives and they work well.

However if your a driving freak only a manual will do the job. I have a back problem and get very frustrated in London traffic riding the clutch so the CVT suits me fine and is still loads of fun. I also wanted cruise control to avoid all the speeding fines I'd get after forgetting to look at the Speedo.. "Was I really doing 90 officer ?".

The gear stick coming off in your hand.... ho, ho, ho, in all my 17 years of driving I've never heard of such a thing. Could it just be someone's fear of manual transmission talking.

Try them both and if you've never driven a manual get some practice in first so you judge it objectivley.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
My parents doesn't know how to drive a manual. They will never plan on driving a manual. Could it be the age thing?
As old as they are, excitement isn't that important anymore, practicality and functionality are their main concern.

However, being a 21 year old, I would prefer some excitement... I have decided to go with the manual for the performance and money saving. I'll save $1250 if I stick with the standard manual gearbox, rather than the cvt. I guess I'll use that for a new set of rims.
 

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spanky2k said:
....I you want to drive properly, get a manual. The mini's meant for zipping around corners at high speed, using engine breaking ....
I think you mean engine "braking" - (engine breaking is not a good reason to recommend a manual :D :D :D :D :D)
 

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Here in the UK, most of us learn to drive with a manual gearbox, and as a result find the average American's fear of a stick-shift rather funny.

The truth is that it is a little trickier to learn on a manual car, or to convert from an automatic, but it's not exactly brain surgery.

I'd certainly agree that an automatic-type gearbox is much more relaxing to drive, as you only have to worry about which way you're pointing and whether to go faster or slower. Great in slow moving traffic as well.

With a manual 'box, you have to be thinking about something extra - engine revs. You have to make a concious decision to change up when the engine revs get high, and change down again when the revs die away. Bad stuff happens if you stick in one gear for too long - rev the engine too high and you're putting a lot of extra wear on the engine; force the engine to struggle with insufficient revs and you risk damaging it too. All the while, you have to be thinking about whether to change up or down, or use the accelerator to keep the engine revs where you want them to be. While all this is going on, you have an extra pedal that you must push each time you want to change gears - try it without, or push the pedal only part way, or release it too soon and your car makes an expensive grinding noise as the gears crash together.

It sounds more complicated than it is in reality. It should only take an hour or two to get the basics down and be in a position to drive without ever again having to thing about this conciously, but the real advantage with a manual is what you can do if you *are* thinking about the engine revs.

You know the car develops more power at higher revs, as the rev counter heads towards the red line. Although that peak quickly tails off - there's no point going into the red, you should have changed up a gear before the needle gets there. So when you want to go fast, you rev the daylights out of the car. You'll also know that the car develops very little of its torque below about 1700 revs - when the needle falls below 2000RPM, it's time to change down a gear. With a manual 'box, driving has the added fun of trying to keep the engine revs in a useable range - high up the scale for high performance, between 2,000 and 3,000RPM for more sedate (and fuel efficient) driving (does anyone know the ideal RPM to get the best fuel economy out of the MINI?).


And then there are all the fun tricks you can do with a manual box - engine braking, downshifts to release more power when *you* want it, not when the automatic decides to react to the kick-down command, having exactly the right gear for going up or down hills, etc.

You said you were buying a Cooper? That comes with a rev counter, doesn't it? Completely useless if you have the CVT.

Go manual - you know it makes sense. But I'd get an hour's or so practice in somebody else's manual car before jumping into a brand new Cooper if you've never tried a stick shift :D
 

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And if you're getting the S, then you get an extra ratio to play with too :)

CVT isn't an option on the S though. Which is fine by me as I didn't want it anyway!!

:D

Dazza
 

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I refuse to get caught up in manual vs. automatic debates, but just for the record stick shifts can snap. An ex-girlfriend of mine snapped one off in her old Datsun pick up truck. Very painful. :D
 

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Another thing to consider is that the 1250 for the CVT adds about $25 to you monthly payment, and reduces your economy. Having driven the CVT, you can still have fun with it when you want to, the three different are pretty well designed. Plus, the cvt will make high traffic areas easier, while letting you shift for the twisties when you want.
 

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I own a Cooper in the UK and unless youre the Incredible Hulk you aint goina snap that stick shift.
 

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I'm not dissing Americans BUT....

Isn't anyone a little afraid about the fact that in England you can't drive a Manual car unless you've passed your test in a manual car, while are friends in America can drive whatever they like regardless if what they passed their test in.

To most of us Brits, a Manual car is the norm, so to us its easy, but if you've never driven one before all kind of trouble can happen. I've read a very simlar post before about Americans and Manual cars on a nother forum, and my advice is, if you've never driven a manual before you need to get some lessons before you go out on the roads. Its a safety thing! Or if not, get an Automatic, not as much User involved but at least you'll be safe!

The post I read beofre had some american asking why his car always rolled back before he pulled away on a hill. I couldn't beleive he was driving a manual and had only ever driven an Auto before.
 

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I'd second the lessons suggestion. It should only take an hour - remember, most of us in the UK have to grapple with a manual box at the same time as learning all the other driving essentials, like which way to point the car and how to dodge the other motorists!

The rule here in the UK used to be that once you passed your test, you could drive any car. It was changed a few years ago, so that if you take the test in an automatic car, you can drive a manual car but you only hold a provisional licence until you take a second test. You can still drive, but you have to be accompanied and wear L-plates in a manual car.

My own view is that this was a rather cynical move to push up the fees that are collected through driving tests. Personally I'm much more concerned about all the idiots out there that should never have passed the test in the first place than a few automatic drivers getting behind the wheel of a manual car. The really important bits about learning to drive - those bits we might lump together as traffic awareness and road sense - are the same whatever you're driving.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
My brother will be driving my Mini Cooper as well. He really want to drive a manual but can't seem to get the physical routines down. His friend was nice enough to give him a 2 hour lesson. He grasp the concept within that 2 hours, but just couldn't handle shifting and pushing the clutch consecutively.

In an automatic, you don't have to worry about using a clutch and a shifter. If you have been using an auto for nearly 5 years and have never driven a manual at all, driving a manual is quite tough.

Although, I think I am one of the only person that pick up manual driving in 20 minutes. Few of my friends took them 1 month to learn manual. Where as few of my bro's friend learned manual in 1 week. So it varies for people.

One complaint my brother had when he got back from the lesson, "why is the clutch so hard? I had a leg cramp trying to push the clutch in? Are all cars have stiff clutch?" Could it be him, or is it really the clutch that is stiff?

But seriously, do you really expect a person that has no manual training what so ever to learn how to drive a manual in 1 hour?
 

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No I don't I think a 1 hour lesson for a manual car is enough. I think that a few lessons should be in order until a driving examiner or at the very least your qualified driving instructor says you are ready to to drive a manual on the road safely.
i appreciate wot people say about nutters being on the road, but if someone has learnt to drive a mnual properly they're just as bad in my eyes. Us brits take driving mnuals for granted. Its easy to us cos its the norm. We've learned to drive while controlling the gear box manually. In my opinion you need to learn to drive again when it come to a manual. its not just a case of an extra pedal to consider thee are many other things.
I say people should have to learn to drive a mnaul and pass a test to drive a manual. If your a serious and safe driver, you would expect it.
 

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onLOoker said:
My brother will be driving my Mini Cooper as well. He really want to drive a manual but can't seem to get the physical routines down. His friend was nice enough to give him a 2 hour lesson. He grasp the concept within that 2 hours, but just couldn't handle shifting and pushing the clutch consecutively.

In an automatic, you don't have to worry about using a clutch and a shifter. If you have been using an auto for nearly 5 years and have never driven a manual at all, driving a manual is quite tough.

Although, I think I am one of the only person that pick up manual driving in 20 minutes. Few of my friends took them 1 month to learn manual. Where as few of my bro's friend learned manual in 1 week. So it varies for people.

One complaint my brother had when he got back from the lesson, "why is the clutch so hard? I had a leg cramp trying to push the clutch in? Are all cars have stiff clutch?" Could it be him, or is it really the clutch that is stiff?

But seriously, do you really expect a person that has no manual training what so ever to learn how to drive a manual in 1 hour?

You'll be glad to know both of the manual MINIs I have test driven had very light clutches and were fun to drive. Clutch control on a different car for an experienced driver can take some time. The problem probably lies (as has been pointed out on this thread already) with the fact if you've only ever driven an auto before, your suddenly faced with learning how a transmission system works raher just puting your foot down. In the UK nearly everyone drives a manual car and an automatic is a bit avantgarde. In the USA it seems to be the other way around. I'd say learn how to drive a manual and buy one, that way you US MINI will be a little bit more exclusive and your friends will be envious of both you new car and driving skills.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
I just hope my brother will learn how to drive a manual before the pre-speced Mini Cooper comes. I will be getting a phone call within this week, regarding which pre-speced Cooper I would like. Hopefully, he'll learn it before March 15th.
 

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I drove a CVT Mini One yesterday for the first time (courtesy car while my One was fixed - new rev counter, plus seats de-squeaked). It was quite a strange experience at first, but I only managed the one accidental emergency stop and fortunately the driver behind wasn't too close.

The Red line for the rev counter is much lower on the CVT than for the manual. I didn't make a note of exactly where it was, but a lot more of the illuminated red lines were showing.

It may be slightly different on a Cooper, but for a CVT One, the revs stay at pretty much 2,000 for constant speed driving up to about 50 mph. Acceleration results in a temporary increase - the faster the acceleration, the higher the revs. I had a bit of a play with the steptronic mode, but didn't really have time to get the hang of it. There was very noticeable engine braking in this mode though.

Ian
 
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