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Welcome to the site and Happy Holidays!

I take it you haven't driven an F yet right? You definitely need to visit a dealership and take a test drive. A lot of dealerships have F's sitting on their lots and you can get great deals on the 08's from what I've heard :)

The transmission on the car doesn't seem like it is constantly shifting imo. When your cruising down the freeway it stays in 8th to conserve gas but it immediately downshifts once you step on the gas to pass someone. A lot of members and drivers never drive the F in automatic anyway. We always throw it in sport mode, turn off traction and put it in manual, that way we can control the gears ourselves. The shifts in the car are so smooth, you don't even notice that it shifts. So to answer your question, I personally don't think it's overly annoying as you can't feel it shift when in automatic and you know when your going to shift when in manual so no worries there. The gearbox is also one of the quickest on the markets for any car. It shifts in 0.1 seconds which is up there with Ferrari and Lamborghini shifting times.

Your husband has an STI that has 5 seats so you can lose one :p If your concerned about room, the trunk has tons. You can put goods and people back there if needed haha :p

I really think you need to go test drive it, it will help answer a lot of your shifting and gearbox questions. Don't be afraid to open it up either, your not going to get a sense of how powerful the car is until you have some open road :D Enjoy the Holiday's and let us know how it goes and how else we can help!!
 
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