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Manual vs Automatic: Which Is Better?

manual transmission stick in car

The essential difference between the two is that manual transmissions give the driver more control. In contrast, an automatic transmission provides more convenience and ease. There is more to it than that, so it is worth looking into a bit deeper.

Pros and Cons of a Manual Transmission

So what is the benefit of driving a manual car? Many drivers who prefer it will tell you that it is simply more fun to drive and that you have more control over the gears. While this can be true in general, but in heavy stop-and-go traffic, a manual transmission can be a real nuisance. Manual cars also go faster than an automatic. This can be fun, sure, but can also lead to more tickets and accidents. 

Manual transmissions are also a lot less complicated than automatics and are therefore less expensive to repair.

But easy to fix does not mean easy to learn. One downside to driving a manual is the learning curve. New drivers who are learning on a manual are susceptible to stalling and rollbacks, which can be dangerous. New drivers don’t have to worry about such occurrences when driving an automatic.

hand changing gears on a stick in a manual transmission vs automatic

Another advantage of driving a manual vs automatic could be fuel economy. Manual cars, traditionally, get much better gas mileage than automatics. However, this isn’t always true nowadays. Most automatic cars built from 2018 and on get equal (or even better) mileage than a manual of the same model.

Myths About Manual Transmissions

There are two other myths to address here. The first is that manual cars are less expensive. This may have been true in the past, but this just isn’t the case in the modern-day. For one thing, manual cars are a lot harder to find. If you are determined to find a manual of a specific make and model, you may actually end up paying more.

Another myth is about security. It has long been assumed that manual cars less stolen. However, there is no actual data to back up this claim. The logic behind this is that, since fewer people can drive a manual, fewer people will be able to drive off in your car. 

Realistically, suppose a car thief is determined to steal your car. In that case, they are probably going to take it, regardless of the transmission.

Should I Choose a Manual or Automatic Car?

When it comes to manual vs automatic transmissions, it really comes down to what the driver prefers. Manual cars give the driver more control, are easier and cheaper to repair, and generally get better mileage.  

Automatics are simpler to learn, safer to drive, a lot more accessible, and newer models can get just as good of gas mileage as a manual. So, if you live in an urban area with a lot of traffic, maybe an automatic would be more convenient. If you will be driving long distances and going fast on the interstate, perhaps a manual would better suit your needs. Ultimately, it comes down to whatever feels best for you.  

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