The manual box is good and reliable, the automatic as with most modern boxes is complex and expensive to fix. The Ford boxes have a bad name for reliability but I know from friends that the VW versions are not much better. Unless you really need an auto I'd avoid it. Edited by: KeithW
Unless you don't drive in traffic for a long period of time I recommend you to go for manual, it's trouble free. The automatic that uses the B max is the same as Ford uses in Fiesta and similar to Ford Focus, all suffer from the same issue Juddering. It's something that Ford knows and still didn't manage to sort this issue after many years. It's expensive to repairs and hard to sell it when the time comes to change the car.I used to drive a automatic cars and fell in love with it but when I read that Ford have this issues I went for the manual, better save than sorry.
I go with the others above on this; if you don't actually need the auto box, then get the manual. I'm on my second B-Max with a manual box, and my only advice is to make sure that the reverse is fully home before letting in the clutch; otherwise you get two sorts of noise, one from the gearbox and the other from the better half!