Was the Manual Transmission a bad choice?

StrayHorse

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I ordered the 2-door, 2.3 manual, Black Diamond. I’m beginning to second-guess my decision to order the manual tranny with only the smaller engine available. When I went to the Moab ride-along the driver said that the automatic and larger engine was much more capable off-road.

Was I “romanticizing” about the manual, or should I just recognize the future of the auto and go with the extra features available with it: larger engine, remote start, heated seats, larger screen…?

I’m a bit torn—I’d appreciate your thoughts on it.
 

Norderwurm

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I think a lot about of people overlook or discount the 2.3. It generates more horsepower and torque than the V8's I grew up with. If your worried about power, go test drive a ranger, I think you'll be pleasantly surprised.
 

StrayHorse

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I think a lot about of people overlook or discount the 2.3. It generates more horsepower and torque than the V8's I grew up with. If your worried about power, go test drive a ranger, I think you'll be pleasantly surprised.
I agree with you that I’m not worried about the horsepower—the 2.3 seems pretty awesome—and I’m certainly not a fast, “Wildtrack” driver. (I have a ’59 Willys and an ’88 Cherokee.) I’m just starting to think that maybe I should consider a modern automatic.

Do you know if the the small-screen offers the dual wheel cameras (like this First Edition picture
Screen Shot 2021-06-05 at 8.54.10 PM.png
) offers. The Moab driver showed it to me, but he wasn’t certain if it was available on the Black Diamond manual—it was a pretty cool feature! I’ve tried to research it, but haven’t found it.
 
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Norderwurm

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I agree with you that I’m not worried about the horsepower—the 2.3 seems pretty awesome—and I’m certainly not a fast, “Wildtrack” driver. (I have a ’59 Willys and an ’88 Cherokee.) I’m just starting to think that maybe I should consider a modern automatic.

Do you know if the the small-screen offers the dual wheel cameras (like this First Edition pictureView attachment 14126) offers. The Moab driver showed it to me, but he wasn’t certain if it was available on the Black Diamond manual—it was a pretty cool feature! I’ve tried to research it, but haven’t found it.
The 360 cameras are a part of the high package. Don't know if that's available on the BD
 
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Bronco5.0

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I ordered the 2-door, 2.3 manual, Black Diamond. I’m beginning to second-guess my decision to order the manual tranny with only the smaller engine available. When I went to the Moab ride-along the driver said that the automatic and larger engine was much more capable off-road.

Was I “romanticizing” about the manual, or should I just recognize the future of the auto and go with the extra features available with it: larger engine, remote start, heated seats, larger screen…?

I’m a bit torn—I’d appreciate your thoughts on it.
Of course they are going to say that , they want you to spend more money. They could offer all those options with a manual but won't for some strange reason.

With the lower gear reduction of the manual I would say its more capable off road than the auto. It will crawl better.
With a manual transmission you have to be more disciplined than with the auto and won't develop bad habits.I don't know of any situation I've been in driving off road the past 45 years that an auto could have done something better than a manual.But autos have left me stranded in the woods on a few occasions.
 

StrayHorse

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Of course they are going to say that , they want you to spend more money. They could offer all those options with a manual but won't for some strange reason.

With the lower gear reduction of the manual I would say its more capable off road than the auto. It will crawl better.
With a manual transmission you have to be more disciplined than with the auto and won't develop bad habits.I don't know of any situation I've been in driving off road the past 45 years that an auto could have done something better than a manual.But autos have left me stranded in the woods on a few occasions.
I very much like your sign-off: "Grumpy Old Man, but here I am killing it”

Your take was the same as mine: slow and low—you’re good to go! I have a ’59 Willys and an ’88 Cherokee, so crawling along is my typical speed.

My only hesitation was thinking about some of the cool new things I may be missing by buying a 2021 vehicle and getting 2011 in-cab features.
 
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Sdakotabronco

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Up to you and what you will use your bronco for. If you see yourself in a situation that will make some of those special features a necessity then maybe the manual isn't what you want. I personally want the manual because I enjoy shifting through the gears and it gives me a feeling of control. I haven't had a vehicle with a stick in a while and really wanted one. Was so happy Ford offered it in the Bronco and for me none of the other features are important.
 

Bronco5.0

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I very much like your sign-off: "Grumpy Old Man, but here I am killing it”

Your take was the same as mine: slow and low—you’re good to go! I have a ’59 Willys and an ’88 Cherokee, so crawling along is my typical speed.

My only hesitation was thinking about some of the cool new things I may be missing by buying a 2021 vehicle and getting 2011 in-cab features.
Yeah, there are a few things like heated seats, but you can get a seat pad from Amazon (who else) for 50 bucks. Remote start would be the only thing I would really want. All the other electronic stuff is of no use to me and it forces you into the automatic trans.
 

ChetC

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I too am a manual, 2.3 order. I love manual transmissions and was stoked when I learned the Bronco would be available with one. Manual transmissions are undeniably more robust and will have a longer life than any automatic out there simply because you’re removing electronics and complexity from the equation. If you’re proficient with a manual, clutch life is not an issue regardless of what the automatic crowd tries to say. If it is, it’s a clutch not an expensive electronics repair when it stops shifting correctly. Automatics are much, much more expensive to repair in general. Additionally, manual transmissions sap less horsepower than an automatic. I’ll agree, automatics have gotten much better than the old C4 & C6s of the day in that regard, but manuals are still more efficient, freeing up horsepower.

I too wanted heated seats but I wasn’t willing to take everything that came along with that package. For me, the less bells and whistles the better as it’s less stuff to go wrong.
 

Bronc96

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That was my initial thought, too. But do you think we’ll be missing the “creature comforts” that come with the auto?
It depends on the individual...

The new off road tech features are cool and tempting to switch so to have but most of that has been achieved over the years doing it the old fashioned way with a MT. My thought is they are a great way for beginners to be able to enjoy off roading with limited skills.

For me the MT was a huge plus and something I have missed since I sold my 87 Bronc 25 years ago for a newer Bronc with more "creature comforts" ...regretted it ever since. I have no reservations on missing those tech features...less to fail down the road. Good luck on your decision, you will be happy with either as it is still a Bronc! (y)
 
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Padams7

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I opted for the 7spd with my build which is going to also be a daily driver. Most of my life I have driven automatics, except fun vehicles like an older Meyers Manx, Mustangs, and a few others.

Yes, I will not have the “donut button” on the Bronco, with Trail Turn Assist, I will also be missing that one “hero switch” which will tell me my build isn’t “maximum effort” or “top of the line” - but I make 1 right turn, one left turn on my 17 mile trek to work.

Hwy I’m not worried about it as once I row the gears, I’m pretty set in my travels.

What made the difference for me was the 4.7 gears with the badlands vs the 4.43, yeah, it’s not that much of a difference, but it is on my current Jeep, a dog with 3.21 on 35’s (don’t give me crap, 216,000 miles, and I have gone more places than most other Jeep’s on and off the road, just gotta know how to do it without breaking stuff!)

Manual transmission does get you more engaged with the driving experience, using both hands and both feet. Next time you are at a light, check out all the other drivers around you. One hand on the wheel, the other on their cell phone. One foot up on the dash, under their butt, wherever. Then pull away from the light and look at those same drivers, did anything change? More than likely not.

And I’m guilty, I have picked up my phone while driving. This will make me a better driver, as it will you too!
 

TitsLaRue

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I ordered the 2-door, 2.3 manual, Black Diamond. I’m beginning to second-guess my decision to order the manual tranny with only the smaller engine available. When I went to the Moab ride-along the driver said that the automatic and larger engine was much more capable off-road.

Was I “romanticizing” about the manual, or should I just recognize the future of the auto and go with the extra features available with it: larger engine, remote start, heated seats, larger screen…?

I’m a bit torn—I’d appreciate your thoughts on it.
I know exactly where you are coming from. I ordered a 4 door BD with the 2.3 but I got the auto. I love manuals and am asking myself if I have made a mistake. But part of me getting the Bronco was so the wife could cruise around in it as well without doing all the work that comes with a stick. My hands were tied.
Your gut told you manual, stay with it.
Tits
 

joedirte

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I ordered the 2-door, 2.3 manual, Black Diamond. I’m beginning to second-guess my decision to order the manual tranny with only the smaller engine available. When I went to the Moab ride-along the driver said that the automatic and larger engine was much more capable off-road.

Was I “romanticizing” about the manual, or should I just recognize the future of the auto and go with the extra features available with it: larger engine, remote start, heated seats, larger screen…?

I’m a bit torn—I’d appreciate your thoughts on it.
Bigger is better. Too much is way better than not enough.
 
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TorgSurv

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Here's my perspective: I ordered a manual transmission because I love the slow speed, low rpm control while crawling. After using one several times here at Bronco Off-Roadeo, I am even more firmly committed to this decision. Furthermore, several of our dealer guests who were planning to buy an automatic have changed their minds after trying the manual. The crawler gear leaves most of them slack-jawed, shaking their heads in astonishment. We climb several steep rock faces on the course, and all you have to do is let out the clutch and let it walk right up at 800 to 1000 rpms.
 

AcesandEights

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The only issue I have is the statement, "that the automatic and larger engine was much more capable off-road". That's stated by someone that has a motive/agenda, or isn't very experienced off road. The auto makes some things easier, but not more capable. As stated by others, there are benefits to the manual (crawl ratio), simplicity, longevity, etc.

As far as how the auto is packaged, what options come with it or available only with the auto, well, that's marketing. Much research goes into how to capture as many dollars as possible with every sale, so a company is going to spend tens/hundreds of thousands on market research in order to put customers into a vehicle that generates the most profit for the company. Ford is packaging the auto or options in a manner to generate the most profit, and they have already done the research that tells them you want cameras or heated steering wheel or remote start, and they've packaged those things (or not) in order to get you to purchase more. Just the way it works.

So, if you want a manual, go that route and be happy. If you want the heated seats, buck up for the high-end packages, or auto and get those. Life is short.
 

Speed Devil

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No, you made the right choice.

You'll have good power, you'll make power much more easily than most V6's you see on the trail (Taco/Wtangler/Govt Motors trucklettes), not anyone can just hop in and take it for a Joyride.

For $550 (+shipping), you can tune it to make +56hp/88tq, and to quote the link:
"With 5-Star's powerful 93 octane Performance tune, that same 2.3L EcoBoost truck put down an average of 312 horsepower and 369lb-ft of peak torque. That's a gain of 56 horsepower and 88lb-ft of torque over stock at peak increase. Most impressively is that the maximum gain in peak torque took place at 3450rpm, where stock torque sat at a measly 281lb-ft, giving you a big bump in pulling power and off-the-line performance without the turbo lag and hesitation of the factory tune. In additional testing, the tuned Ranger performed a 0-60 MPH test in only 5.49 seconds while the stock clocked in at a significantly slower 7.44 seconds with the same test conditions and constraints."
 

Speed Devil

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All the #'s aside, never really owned a manual vert, got a 225 TT Roadster I only had that one January spring day with, and the crappy tires sent me offroading from the parkway on a sleety day (39 out and mixed)

If the Bronco wasnt coming out this year and everything, I'd have a Wrangler or Mustang by now, maybe even a Miata or MR2 spyder. Nothing beats topless driving, except when ya also row your gears