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One of the wonders of this little car is how different the drive is when you switch back and forth between manual and auto. I had been driving in auto for a week when I tried driving around town in manual. The car was way more zippy in manual mode. Drove like a different car. Now I know the car is not fast by any means but it can be quite zippy. I love that I can put it in auto mode and have great fuel economy or I can switch over to manual if I need a bit of extra pep. I tend to drive slow and leisurely so auto mode is great for me. I do appreciate being able to go into manual mode when I need it though. It really makes the car so much more versatile.
 

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I find it's faster than I need; lower mass takes less effort to move so you don't need a lot of HP to get down the road and, as you alluded, in manual you have a lot more control.
I've had several friends drive it and everyone has that WTF look when it shifts, but otherwise all have said it's got some pep when needed.
 

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To the OP, just so you know, you can get the same performance in "Auto" mode by being more aggressive with the gas pedal. How far you press it, and how fast, tells the car what you have in mind. Try a rolling start combined with a fast shove on the gas, almost to the floor (short of the kickdown mode) - you'll be surprised. Same with going uphill - keep the pedal at about 3/4 and the car will not upshift until you are on the flat again. And if you need some panic acceleration, push the pedal all the way to the floor (past the detent) for kickdown mode. :)
 

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I agree. Two totally different personalities. I have tachs in mine, so I can watch the rpm (it will go right past 6k without any protest). I have paddle shifters, but I’m so used to a regular stick shift that I always forget they are there. Seems more satisfying to flick it up or down with the stick anyway. In manual mode, I don’t really miss the clutch.
 
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