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SO, when I purchased this car a few weeks back, the salesguy was sitting in the passenger side and I was on the driver.....he was showing me different features, etc. At one point, he said, "Watch this" and instructed me to put my foot on the brake. At that point, he moved the shift (I have auto trans) from the drive position over to the left and VOILA! I was in MANUAL transmission minus the clutch.

There was a time when I LOVED driving a "stick"......but I am really curious as to what is the point of having an optional transmission? I mean, especially on a 4cyl car? I tried to drive it, but it was REALLY bizarre without a clutch so I just went back into auto at my next stop. Does it make it drive any differently (I didn't go far enough to find out)? Better gas mileage??

Just looking for some insight!
 

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used to own a 2016 Soul SX 2.0L - Caribbean Blue
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great feature I have that on my Rondo. I don't often use it but I find it handy in bad winter conditions with snow and ice where I can use the engine for braking instead of the brakes (what I used to do when I drove manual, which is what I liked about a manual). Also handy for very steep grades either up or down, starting off on snow or ice where you can shift into 2nd gear for better traction.
To me its the best of both worlds, auto when you want it and manual when you want it (minus the clutch).
I'm sure with you living in Michigan you will find that comes in handy in the winter time. I don't think it would improve the gas mileage as most auto's these days are more efficient in that respect when you let them do there own thing.
 

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but I am really curious as to what is the point of having an optional transmission?
Mostly, it's nothing other than a novelty. However, it can be useful driving on ice/snow (keeping it in a higher gear) or in mountain/hill descents.
 

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great feature I have that on my Rondo. I don't often use it but I find it handy in bad winter conditions with snow and ice where I can use the engine for braking instead of the brakes (what I used to do when I drove manual, which is what I liked about a manual). Also handy for very steep grades either up or down, starting off on snow or ice where you can shift into 2nd gear for better traction.
To me its the best of both worlds, auto when you want it and manual when you want it (minus the clutch).
I'm sure with you living in Michigan you will find that comes in handy in the winter time. I don't think it would improve the gas mileage as most auto's these days are more efficient in that respect when you let them do there own thing.

YES! That was one of my favorite things about a stick.....in the winter, I felt like I had more control of the car. It's just SO bizarre to not have that "H" to shift around and no clutch...truly something I would have to get used to!
 

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You do know that slowing down using the gears means only TWO wheels are doing the braking (and they're the same two that are trying to steer!), as opposed to using the brakes where all 4 wheels are cooperating?

(yeah, I downshift all the time just to hear my exhaust go poppopitypop, but...)

In the Soul, with our "automatic" transmission (torque converter fluid coupling between the engine and trans) the auto-manual selection is only an easier way of making the automatic trans stay in a gear. You could do that in my family's 1970 (and again in 1985) Caprice Classic station wagon too, but it meant moving an ill-designed steering column lever and risking overshooting D and hitting N or R by accident. If you didn't trash the trans, it did exactly the same thing.

Now if we had a DSG like VW (and others like Farrari), the trans is actually a clutched transmission - essentially a manual transmission that's shifted automatically. That car will "blip" the throttle on downshifts and downshift more smoothly in "manual" mode than ours - thereby not upsetting the car - and the shifts are extremely fast as opposed to fluid-connected slow. Different animal, that.
 

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You do know that slowing down using the gears means only TWO wheels are doing the braking (and they're the same two that are trying to steer!), as opposed to using the brakes where all 4 wheels are cooperating?
your right, but also you need traction for the brakes to be effective to do that, but in ice and snow you don't have it as well, so slowing the car down via a lower gear works much better and is more stable. I talking about pulling up to a stop sign or lights with the roads covered in snow. All I know is that it works great for me and also for my wife who has never driven a manual.
 
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