Originally Posted by FIRE UP
... It's a choice thing, you do or have what appeals to you, not any of us....
Thanks for taking time to reply, Scott. What you said makes perfect sense. I probably won't ever take my Jeep on difficult trails or rock crawling. If that was my goal I likely would have gone with the auto. I ended up with a Jeep manual because I've been driving stick for ~38 years and I just like it. You're right - the Jeep's manual is pretty truck-ish, but for my purposes that's okay. (I have an '06 Mini Cooper S stick for fun...)
I needed a vehicle that was flat towable, manual, 4wd/AWD, could handle a roof rack, and had interior volume for a couple of folding recumbent bikes. Honda Element would fit the bill, but I already had one (auto) and thought I'd try something different. It is a pretty small subset of vehicles that checks all of those boxes...