Manual versus Automatic Transmission in Cars

There has been a debate about which type of transmission is better for years, and it has mostly revolved around fuel economy and driver control. But there are other aspects to consider, too, regarding how a certain type of transmission affects engine performance and overall driving experience. It’s not easy to determine what is better, as it may simply come down to driver’s preferences, but a couple of facts could help you decide which is better for your driving style.

Manual transmission pros

The most significant advantage over the automatic is that it provides better control, especially in poor road and weather conditions.

If your car needs to be towed, or you have to tow another car, it’s better if it has manual transmission. Besides being cheaper, manual transmission is easier to fix and you can do some of the repairs yourself.

One of the most important benefits with manual is that the driver gets a more complete, active and satisfying driving experience.

Manual transmission cons

Manual is not for people that just want straight forward driving without too many distractions and controls to think about.

Another thing is that it can be quite a hassle to drive a manual in the city, as you could get tired easily by the fact that you have to press and depress the clutch constantly.

Manual transmission can present safety risks for inexperienced or unskilled drivers, because it requires more focus and it can lead to stalling or serious damages to the engine.

Automatic transmission pros

Automatic transmission is more suitable for city driving. Driving in dense traffic, with lots of starts and stops is easier if you have automatic. That is because it allows you to switch through gears more easily and quickly, which is perfect for urban driving, where you have to stop at traffic lights or stop for pedestrians quite a lot.

It’s also better for new drivers, as there is no clutch and shifting gears is less complicated, so they don’t need extra focus for a third pedal or to remember which way to turn the stick to switch to a certain gear.

Automatic transmission cons

First of all, it’s more expensive than manual, and can cost $500-1,000 more. So, if you want to save money, you will opt for manual.

Automatic transmission maintenance is also more expensive. It’s more complicated to repair and mechanics charge more for it. Also, though not by a large amount, automatic provides worse fuel efficiency.

Most cars in Europe have manual transmissions, so if you ever plan on traveling to Europe and have to rent a car, you’ll find it difficult to operate, as you are used to automatic.