Manual vs. steptronic

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I have an X3 with the auto and it has that option. I used to drive manuals and find that in New York City traffic, the auto makes more sense. However, Check the one are planning to buy, I found that the auto has two modes. One allows the transmission to shift into neutral when you are not on the gas and the other keeps it firmly locked in gear. (By moving the shifter left in to the manual position but not moving forward or backward - you are "sport" mode.) This sport-mode is good in the city as you have immediate power when you step on the gas. The X3 will jump when you stand on it. :-) Personally, it depends on the car and your driving environment. My humble opinion is to get a manual if you are A) getting a 2 seat sports car B) primarily driving in low-traffic areas
Get the auto if you spend a lot of time sitting in traffic
Someone mentioned security but if you really want to keep the car, get the lo-jack option. they recover 95% of stolen cars and that enough gives me piece of mind. (Plus, they catch the thief in the car.)
Anyway, that's my 2 cents.. Squat
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If you are getting a BMW with a small engine and live out of town then get a manual.
If you are getting a BMW with a big engine (or a diesel) and live in town then get an auto.
Married to a small engine (e,g, 320i) a manual is a delight and an auto would inflict unacceptable losses on performance and economy.
Married to a big engine a manual is heavy and cumbersome (especially in traffic), moreover a modern auto will actually produce better performance and economy than most drivers and be far less likely to break the engine or the transmission.
I am >2m tall and back in the 80's I had two manual Rover 3500SD1's followed by two 735i's mainly used for long distance driving. Compared with the 'cooking' auto's of the time (3 gears in the Rovers and four in BMW) their five speed manuals were a far better drive and gave better performance and economy. They all had heavy clutches, which needed work in town - fine for me at the time, but unlikely to be much fun for an older and / or slightly built (e.g female) driver.
You haven't been able to get a manual 7 series for years and years (two options remain in the 6 series though) and the tectonic boxes are now arguably better than the manuals for all but the most over enthusiastic driver.
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