Whether drivers choose to purchase a manual or automatic vehicle all comes down to a matter of personal preference. Some buyers prefer to have more control over their vehicle and, therefore, will opt for a manual model. Others, on the other hand, might lean toward the better gas mileage found in a newer automatic car.
Though it can be difficult to compare transmission features, the experts at Multistate Transmission are making it easy by breaking down the key differences to both types:
Though many drivers know manual models got better gas mileage in years past, these days fuel usage depends primarily on the car. As auto producers strive to continuously meet consumer demands, they’ve designed automatic transmissions to include more variable speeds. Ultimately, this gives many automatic models equal footing – or even an edge – over their manual counterparts.
This point tends to favor the automatic as less than 10 percent of cars produced today are manual. At the same time, there are certain models, mostly sports cars, that do not have automatic versions. The list includes the Audi TT RS, 2014 Ford Focus ST, Mazdaspeed 3 and a handful of others.
“Driving manually can be challenging if individuals commute to cities.”
Ease of use
There are distinct differences between the two transmissions when it comes to usability. Manual models, for example, require more concentration from drivers as opposed to the seemingly mindless driving experience automatic vehicles offer. Driving manually can be challenging – potentially even tiring – if individuals routinely commute to cities and areas that require them to stop more frequently.
Additionally, numerous drivers fear the initial learning curve that can come with driving a manual car. Yet, that difficulty may have its advantages in the long run.
As production of manual vehicles declines, fewer people are making an effort to learn how to drive them. Consequently, the likelihood of theft is far less for manual vehicles than that of automatics.
Frank Scafidi, director of public affairs for the west coast branch of the National Insurance Crime Bureau, explained the rationale behind this to Edmunds.
“Most car thieves are just not that swift and therefore resort to stealing older, easier targets,” Scafidi said.
At the same time, drivers should still have security measures in place to protect their car – automatic or not.
“There are those in the car thief ranks who are quite capable of making off with anything that they intend to steal,” Scafidi added.
While not a guarantee, the manual version of a car will often cost less than its automatic counterpart when buying from a dealer upfront. Yet, drivers should also consider expenses they’ll encounter over the life of the car. Vehicles with non-automatic transmissions tend to require more repairs than those with automatic ones, for example.
Additionally, manual owners may have more difficulty selling their car down the road given the fact that fewer people are able to drive them.
For more information on transmission maintenance and repairs, please visit Multistate Transmission’s website!