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Old 05-24-2012, 01:44 AM   #1
Re~Mix
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FRS AT/MT for first car post college

Hi guys,

Been lurking here for a few weeks. Just snagged my master's diploma in Mechanical Engineering and relocating to the south san francisco bay area.

I'm looking to purchase a new car in the sub $28 K region that will be fun to drive, last a while, be easy on the maintenance costs, and most important look good doing it. I have been considering the Scion FRS, used 2006/2007 350Z, Jetta GLI among others.

To be honest, I'm pretty much fixated on the Scion. I love the looks of this car, the concept, the rave reviews and hopefully reliability. The only problem is the limited availability, which i can deal with through a short term rental while i wait.



So the real question is, AT or MT? I have never driven an MT, however I can see the merits that make it a really good choice and will make this an even more fun car to drive. I am concerned about the learning curve though. I could deal with paddle shifters but working the clutch scares me. Don't want to ruin a brand new car and I only have access to a few lessons on friends manuals.

Father says its sacrilege to get something like this in AT and will sacrifice ability to resale. Thoughts?
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Old 05-24-2012, 02:17 AM   #2
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http://www.ft86club.com/forums/showthread.php?t=6485

Read moto's fantastic write up. Test drive it, and uh well... do what you want? lol
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Old 05-24-2012, 02:17 AM   #3
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I had the same worries but I just started learning manual and within just a couple hours I was going fairly smoothly around town. Just have someone coach you a little bit. A few weeks of practice will lead to years of fun.
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Old 05-24-2012, 01:54 PM   #4
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I did take the time to read the entirety of Moto's writeup and a few other posts.


I guess where I'm stuck is knowing what kind of issues i can expect getting a brand new manual car with limited experience beforehand. Assuming there will be some repairs to the clutch and tranny due to my inexperience?

Is it advisable to purchase a manual when i will need to drive it daily as soon as its off the lot?
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Old 05-24-2012, 02:00 PM   #5
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Grats on your masters degree!

By the way, I think it is sacrilege for a Masters in Mechanical Engineering not knowing how to drive manual. So you must pick MT, and L2MT. k? Good luck, and may the force be with you sir!
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Old 05-24-2012, 02:04 PM   #6
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I graduated college last summer, and I am getting the MT FRS *hopefully* this weekend. Pre-approved for loans, have downpayment ready, etc. Just a matter of it being delivered.

I also don't know how to drive MT. I only drove my dad's MT pickup truck for a couple hours once; it isn't too hard, but I will probably stall a couple times when im getting used to the FRS.
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Old 05-24-2012, 02:35 PM   #7
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I think I have been convinced. Asphalt MT. Might have to test drive the auto version though!
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Old 05-24-2012, 02:53 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Re~Mix View Post
I did take the time to read the entirety of Moto's writeup and a few other posts.


I guess where I'm stuck is knowing what kind of issues i can expect getting a brand new manual car with limited experience beforehand. Assuming there will be some repairs to the clutch and tranny due to my inexperience?

Is it advisable to purchase a manual when i will need to drive it daily as soon as its off the lot?
I would totally not let the fact that you've not driven it before hinder you. I've had friends buy brand new cars without having ANY idea of how to drive stick (they just figured it out on their own). I personally drove from NJ to VA to get a rare RWD car with less than an hour of combined MT seat time and got it back home without issue.

If you go in with a rudimentary textbook knowledge of what you should be doing, you're not going to be doing anything significantly awful to the car that would endanger the longevity of your drivetrain or clutch. Even people who have driven MT for years take some getting used to driving a new vehicle. This is a great vehicle to learn on, as the shifter lacks the vagueness that plagues a lot of other cars.

The only negative I could see is if you're worried about looking bad at the dealership. I'd recommend trying to get some seat time in another MT car ahead of time, or possibly bringing along someone who drives MT to get it back to your place. I'd imagine even the most judgemental salesmen would change their attitude toward you if you phrased it something like "this is the car that made me want to learn stick!"
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Old 05-24-2012, 08:36 PM   #9
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Thanks for the advice. Think I let myself overthink this call, true engineering style.

Put myself on the waitlist for a MT Asphalt or Hot Lava FRS. In the meantime, going to test drive a 350Z among others this weekend.
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Old 05-24-2012, 09:10 PM   #10
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AT because of the step hills & stop and go traffic here in the Bay Area. I got a MT because I mostly use public transportation (BART) & walking.

On another note,
I hope you have no college debt because if you live in South SF you're gonna be paying a pretty penny for cost of living. It ain't cheap to live here even with your Masters (Congrats, btw).
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Old 05-24-2012, 10:24 PM   #11
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I think I have been convinced. Asphalt MT. Might have to test drive the auto version though!
You will love it, also on the masters
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Old 05-25-2012, 12:15 AM   #12
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The FRS is my gift to myself for getting a masters in ME too. My current car is a manual (POS Saturn I got for free a year ago), but do what I did the first time I drove it: tell yourself you are a MASTER of engineering, you know exactly how the transmission works, and just do it. No lessons required.

Btw, what school?
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Old 05-25-2012, 01:05 AM   #13
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re

I am getting out from undergrad in december. First gift im gonna buy myself is a BRZ !
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Old 05-25-2012, 01:43 AM   #14
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deff go with the manual. take a Saturday and get away from the city, take the road less traveled and just practice driving. practice starting from a stop.going up, going down. maybe double clutching or single clutch rev matching if you pick things up fast.(there are youtube videos that can explain these pretty well, not too hard to learn, but they take practice to perfect). hill starts if you can do it safely (i.e. maybe an inclined parking lot of sorts). just all the basics. when i learned how to drive stick my father took me INTO the city thinking the added pressure of 1st time hill starts combined with traffic would help me learn faster. it did not. however, it taught me how to peel out (in a kia spectra =p) so yeah. maybe even drive it around the lot a little at the dealer if youre really not comfortable taking it on public roads right away. you might be a little nervous now, but later on down the road when youre rev matching on downshifts or learning how to heel and toe before a tight turn on a twisty road youll be glad you went with the stick. especially in a car as pure as this. its part of the experience. its always good to learn something new.

save the manuals!

p.s. i have nothing against autos. my current car is an auto, even though i wish it was stick. if you can get a good price on an auto and dont want to wait then by all accounts go for it!
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