As Moose has said both auto and manual are good, however it's a personal preference and I've gone for the 9 speed auto, whichever you choose you won't be disappointed, the best thing to do is test drive both then make your choice
I've gone with the manual, I drove it and loved it. I'm happy driving autos, my wife has one, but I can't get on with the JLR 'rotary controller' instead of a stick. Even in an auto, it's nice to have a stick for those 'manual override' moments.
This is always going to be a personal preference, but for me it's manual.
This will be my first LR vehicle, and only my second AWD. I talked to a mate who is a long time LR owner and his view about the auto/manual debate made sense to me. He figures that if you have the Terrain Response system, which surrenders some aspects of car control to the car itself, why wouldn't you want it to control the gearbox as well?. Sounded like sense to me so Auto it was, despite the extra expense.
Does any one know with the auto box does the throttle response alter when you put the Terrain system into say for instance snow/ice.
The reason I ask is that on my current XF I have a snow button which make the throttle much less responsive when pulling away in snow so the wheels don't spin. If this is the same in the DS auto then it would be another plus over a manual box.
Throttle response is altered when you change the terrain response system along with other aspects of the cars systems.
Personally, i think auto's suit land rovers especially with terrain response. The Auto box can also go manual by using the flappy paddles. You can set the car up in two different ways - flappy paddles in sport mode only or flappy paddles in sport and drive modes.
Personal preference, but I went manual, test drove it and thought it was brilliant. I'm not a fan of this stick a few more gears on the auto to reduce its emissions mentality. No doubt the 9 speed will be a good drive but it's not for me, I have the 8 speed in my D4 and at times when in town it doesn't what gear to select, spend most of the time using the flappy paddles which IMO defeats the purpose of an auto.
Having said that though, I couldn't go back to driving a manual coach at work, the Volvo I-Shift 12 speed automated manual is brilliant, knows exactly what gear it should be in. Now if that was available then I might be tempted.
Both boxes are excellent, very precise and smooth, but I'd always favour the auto. Seemed strange at first on the DS with it's rotary selector, being used to nudging the lever to left on FL2, but the addition of paddles on the DS is a doddle too.
Manual I like being in control. In my opinion you need a big engine for a auto. The free lander I drove was always changing up and down. But the DS HSE was good but I still prefer a manual and it is better on fuel. I picked my SE tech Manual in red with silver roof bars and I love it .
I used to think having a clutch was proper driving, but we got a 2013 Freelander for towing our first caravan and the wife pointed out to me how much I hate being stuck in stop start traffic constantly in and out of gear and handbrake
so we opted for a auto and I love it with 1500kgs of caravan on the back it holds itself on hills creeps forward on flat with no accelerator and with the electric handbrake i just press my right foot and go I can concentrate on the other road users and conditions, and brilliant at the lights very quick of the mark
So when we ordered our Discovery Tech the auto box was the most important add on
also had left foot in plaster for the last few weeks and my insurance said I can still drive but would not be allowed to drive a manual