Everyone has a favourite when it comes to a fight between manual and automatic. You either love the ease of driving an automatic or would never give up your manual gearstick for anything. If you need some help deciding which is right for you, take a look at our guide and decide for yourself.
When you drive an automatic, your vehicle decides which gear is best for you, often faster than you could yourself. An advantage of this is quicker acceleration and automatic transmission also generally leads to a smoother ride.
In place of a clutch, automatic gearboxes usually have a torque converter so be aware that their complicated construction tends to make them more expensive to repair and service. Purchase price and insurance costs are also higher, but when you consider that these vehicles take a lot of the work out of driving, that is less of a concern.
You are less distracted and can keep both hands on the wheel at all times, leaving you to focus on the road and stay safe. However, being so detached from the car’s workings is precisely why some drivers are dead against auto, preferring the thrill of being the one calling the shots and keeping their clutch at that perfect level on a hilly ascent.
In a manual, its left to the driver to change gear when they feel it is most appropriated. Whist this can help slow the vehicle without touching the brake and in turn reduce wear and tear, it can be more tiring in rush hour traffic and pretty tricky to get the hang of at first.
Even though there is a chance you might stall the car, manual transmission does makes you feel more ‘connected’ to the vehicle as you control every action. Mastering engine breaking minimises skidding as you slow because the foot brake is not needed as frequently in dangerous road conditions.
With modern cars having between five and seven gears, it can be intimidating to learn in a manual but they remain a popular choice because manual transmission vehicles are cheaper to both buy and repair. The reason for this is that manuals are less complex to fix. They can also save you fuel as you control the engine RPM so there is less revving needed.