I can't beleive how close it is... I figured surely with all the enthusiasts here there would be a bias towards manual. (I guess that shows you what I know ie. nothing) My reasons for choosing a manual or two-fold. One is that I hate automatics, I feel entirely out of touch with the car when I'm driving an auto. My search for my 328i (or 528i/540i) excluded automatics. And two is that they are unreliable, especially BMW units.