Automatic Or Manual Transmission – What’s Best?

Automatic Or Manual Transmission – What’s Best?

One of the many considerations when buying a car is whether to go for manual or automatic transmission. But what’s best, and what’s the difference? Other than the obvious – a manual needs a clutch to change gears, while an automatic does not – it generally comes down to personal preference. Manuals are usually recognised as producing better fuel economy (especially in older models) and having more power, while automatics are preferred for their convenience and simplicity. When deciding between the two, there are also factors such as cost – including car insurance and looking after your car, whether it is getting a car service in Sydney, a car service in Melbourne or anywhere else in Australia.

Costs worth considering

A vehicle with an automatic transmission is going to cost more to buy than a manual model, and the difference can be upwards of $1000. This is because automatic transmissions are more complicated that their manual cousins and have more parts. It is sometimes recommended that automatics are serviced as well, separate to the rest of the car. Shop around when getting car insurance quotes too – you may find some cars cost more to insure because they are automatic. Manuals tend to get better fuel economy too, however modern automatic transmissions have closed the gap considerably and there may be little to no difference in some models.

Manuals usually provide better performance

A car equipped with manual transmission is generally going to accelerate better than an automatic. This is because of the difference in gear ratios and the ability to change gears at more precise times. Once again, this is certainly more applicable to older vehicles as modern automatic transmissions have made huge advances, particular those that have a “sports shift” option which gives drivers greater control over the gear change in cars without a clutch. Drivers can also use higher revs to their advantage in a manual, such as when off-road driving, which can get them out of sticky situations much easier.

Consider where you drive

The reason the majority of cars on our roads are automatics is because they are simple to use. There are people who just can’t get the hang of using three pedals and moving the gear lever, or simply don’t like it. On the other hand, there are many people who get enjoyment by having more control over the vehicle, which manual transmission offers. In simple terms, before deciding on whether you buy a car with manual or automatic transmission, consider where you do most of your driving. If it is city traffic you encounter most, then an automatic transmission is going to suit you best. It means you won’t have to constantly change gears and push in the clutch as you combat all of the stop-start traffic. But if it’s long hauls down the highway or lots of country driving, then a manual transmission is most likely to give you better fuel economy and greater control. There are also the enthusiasts among us who simply get enjoyment from using a “stick shift”.

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