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Croyles
06-05-2007, 10:19 PM
Yep. Better control, better driver, more fun, safer, better acceleration (which ties in heavily with safety), and if you dont drive like an idiot - better petrol/gas mileage.

Only disadvantage is packed traffic in cities. Constant change between first and second gets very very dull.

Thats just my opinion though, what do you think? Of course, most people will say automatics. I think we have more americans on the forum, not sure though.





Actually my statement is law.

PyroManiak
06-05-2007, 10:21 PM
Th3 stickshift has it's advantages xP

oddler
06-05-2007, 10:26 PM
Automatic.

Meat Puppet
06-05-2007, 10:27 PM
I really don’t see much point in driving a manual. My friend tried to teach me for a while, but I just got fed up with all the bull:skull::skull::skull::skull: it took to drive one. I don’t need to anyway, since I have no desire to prove that I’m macho, or whatever the fucking reason for a manual is. My only need for a car would be to get to places, and an automatic does that just fine.

Jess
06-05-2007, 10:30 PM
Is driving a manual less common in other countries? Here in England I don't know one person who drives an automatic and when I began learning to drive I didn't even get an option to learn in an automatic. :jess:

Rye
06-05-2007, 10:32 PM
Automatics are just so much easier. You can drive with one foot and the only time when you have to switch gears is when you park, for the most part.

CimminyCricket
06-05-2007, 10:36 PM
I prefer automatic cars since it's less for me to concentrate on, but since a car is a car, I'll still drive both.

escobert
06-05-2007, 10:49 PM
manual all the way.

Little Blue
06-05-2007, 11:00 PM
Manual. I couldn't imagine driving automatic.

TheSpoonyBard
06-05-2007, 11:05 PM
People who learn to drive in a manual can drive both manuals and automatics. People who learn to drive in an automatic can only drive automatics. I can't imagine myself driving an automatic, but it's nice to know I have the choice.

bipper
06-06-2007, 12:11 AM
I really hope we are talking about cars. In thus case, I enjoy manual, despite my auto sexual tenancies. I drive an Automatic, cause I have children that I must constantly throw McDonald's at to make them shut up. (It is an American thing)

Yamaneko
06-06-2007, 12:49 AM
Automatic is a luxury outside the U.S.

I drive automatic because I'm stuck in traffic going to and from school/work. Manual can be fun with certain types of automobiles. I have a full-sized truck, so there's no real point in having a manual transmission.

crono_logical
06-06-2007, 01:13 AM
Only disadvantage is packed traffic in cities. Constant change between first and second gets very very dull.Fortunately for me, the van I drive can start in 2nd gear, so I leave it in 2nd all the time and just use clutch control when in heavy traffic :p

Driving an automatic without a good excuse is frowned upon in the UK :D

Rye
06-06-2007, 01:20 AM
I think I'd probably die if I drove manual. I saw instructions and diagrams on how to do it in Driver's Ed and it terrified me. D:

yanis
06-06-2007, 02:15 AM
I never tried the automatic way...:bgl:

Mirage
06-06-2007, 02:26 AM
Uh, what's hard about manual transmission?

And I don't think it's a luxury outside of the US, there's just not a huge demand for it.

sockmonkey
06-06-2007, 04:12 AM
Im a poor ignorant american who can only drive a manual.:(

One could always get a steam car; no gears at all.

(steamers have buttloads of torque and don't need em')

bipper
06-06-2007, 04:23 AM
Manual - cause anything with MAN, is just better. Except Manis, he is a penus.

Nominus Experse
06-06-2007, 04:37 AM
A manual allows me to better concentrate on the road, whereas an automatic seems to commonly give rise to me becoming lost in a uncomfortable state of boredom and inactivity.

Croyles
06-06-2007, 03:17 PM
Automatic is a luxury outside the U.S.

No it isnt. Its a waste of money imo. Also what Mirage said.
No one here wants to drive an automatic.

Tallulah
06-06-2007, 03:23 PM
My friend has an automatic Merc. :p

In the UK, if you learn to drive in an automatic/ pass the test in an automatic, you are only licensed to drive an automatic transmission car. However, if you learn in a manual, you are okay to drive either.

Christopher Eccleston (ex of Doctor Who... I think it was him anyway... :p) was once ridiculed by TV presenter/columnist Jeremy Clarkson (who presents car show Top Gear) for having to drive an automatic version of the Reasonably Priced Car he had to test drive for the show.

Rocket Edge
06-06-2007, 03:36 PM
Manuals are great if your out rallying a car. Automatics are just easier.

Croyles
06-06-2007, 03:37 PM
My friend has an automatic Merc. :p

In the UK, if you learn to drive in an automatic/ pass the test in an automatic, you are only licensed to drive an automatic transmission car. However, if you learn in a manual, you are okay to drive either.

Christopher Eccleston (ex of Doctor Who... I think it was him anyway... :p) was once ridiculed by TV presenter/columnist Jeremy Clarkson (who presents car show Top Gear) for having to drive an automatic version of the Reasonably Priced Car he had to test drive for the show.

Same thing with Daniel Craig. Except not in Top Gear.

Bunny
06-06-2007, 03:40 PM
I enjoy automatics more because that way I can concentrate more on the idiotic drives around me. I do enjoy manual as well though.

I hate driving either though.

Croyles
06-06-2007, 04:19 PM
Its not just for *rallying cars'. You have much more control. Its not hard, and it doesnt get boring (sometimes it can get a little irritating in packed traffic but I think an automatic would annoy me even more in those situations). You just change gears, thats all. :)
Its also a matter of preference though.

fire_of_avalon
06-06-2007, 04:20 PM
The only real thing manuals are better than automatics for is racing or hauling, period the end. If you know how to treat a car and a you have a tachometer, you can get just as much mileage out of an automatic as you can a manual. Manuals are more fun for some people, automatics are more fun for some people. It isn't like manuals transmissions make your car an awesome rollercoaster ride or anything.

I don't understand what you mean by more control. The gears shift in the exact same way, fuel goes to the engine the exact same way, and it'll all happen at about the exact same speeds. What does that give the driver of manual control over? The ability to blow his or her engine because they left it in neutral. That's about all I see.

And I have no idea at all what makes you think manual transmissions are safer than automatics, at all.

Really, it all comes down to preference. I don't have a preference, I can drive either. I think this is all about "I'm better than you, because I have a common but in the long run not so much worthwhile skill that you don't." Well I can talk like a chipmunk! My virtually useless skill is more entertaining.

edczxcvbnm
06-06-2007, 04:28 PM
Automatic. I could drive manual if I ever so cared. It doesn't look hard and would take a bit of practice. I am just lazy and see no benefit to driving stick.

Answer me this. You have more control in a manual....Control over what? What gear you are in? How does that benefit me to have that sort of control?

EDIT: Damn...FOA beat edalalalala to the question XD

escobert
06-06-2007, 05:02 PM
The only real thing manuals are better than automatics for is racing or hauling, period the end. If you know how to treat a car and a you have a tachometer, you can get just as much mileage out of an automatic as you can a manual. Manuals are more fun for some people, automatics are more fun for some people. It isn't like manuals transmissions make your car an awesome rollercoaster ride or anything.

I don't understand what you mean by more control. The gears shift in the exact same way, fuel goes to the engine the exact same way, and it'll all happen at about the exact same speeds. What does that give the driver of manual control over? The ability to blow his or her engine because they left it in neutral. That's about all I see.

And I have no idea at all what makes you think manual transmissions are safer than automatics, at all.

Really, it all comes down to preference. I don't have a preference, I can drive either. I think this is all about "I'm better than you, because I have a common but in the long run not so much worthwhile skill that you don't." Well I can talk like a chipmunk! My virtually useless skill is more entertaining.

Reality is I live in the northeast and I'd much rather say "HEY CAR STAY IN 2nd GEAR ON THIS HILL!" instead of wasting my breaks and sliding and dying. Manulas aren't good just for racing a towing. There are areas like Vermont were manuals are wonderful in winter.


and to Ed's question, you have more control with a manual since you control the gears, the car can only go so fast in certain gears, so when you have a automatic it kicks it up a gear even if you don't want to. They're set to :skull::skull::skull::skull: at a certain RPM I believe so you have no choice. Also manuals allow you to use less breaks making your brakes last longer. Also shifting at I think 6500 RPM gets the most horsepower out of your vehicle and so you can do that in a manual if needed where as you can't in a auto.

Croyles
06-06-2007, 05:04 PM
The only real thing manuals are better than automatics for is racing or hauling, period the end. If you know how to treat a car and a you have a tachometer, you can get just as much mileage out of an automatic as you can a manual. Manuals are more fun for some people, automatics are more fun for some people. It isn't like manuals transmissions make your car an awesome rollercoaster ride or anything.

I dont explain things or my opinion very well but I'll try.
You can STILL get better mileage out of a manual. And no one said anything about it being like rollercoaster, if you have a really fast car then yeah, sure. If your driving 100km/h and then slow down to 50km/h because you are in a town, you can leave the car in the highest gear (5th or 6th) and it will use nearly half of the petrol youd use if you were in the 3rd or 4th gear. Automatics will automatically switch your gear down. If you are driving uphill or downhill, its much better being able to switch your gear down. If you are going up something very steep, you still have a chance if you switch even lower (without going further than your trusty redline of course). Even semi-automatics (tiptronics) will change the gear for you if your RPM is very high. Sometimes though, you just need your RPM very high.

But imagine driving through a long open road in a town in the 5th or 6th gear for 30 minutes and you already saved quite a bit of cash.


I don't understand what you mean by more control. The gears shift in the exact same way, fuel goes to the engine the exact same way, and it'll all happen at about the exact same speeds. What does that give the driver of manual control over? The ability to blow his or her engine because they left it in neutral. That's about all I see.

Like I said, going uphill, downhill or around corners. You can regulate your speed and g-force in more ways than acceleration or brake in a manual.
A little neat extra in this department is that you can brake using the engine, so your brakes dont wear out quite so fast (if your bothered about that sort of thing).


And I have no idea at all what makes you think manual transmissions are safer than automatics, at all.

If you are overtaking someone you can switch your gear down and your car will gain much more momentum. You therefore avoid oncoming traffic as soon as possible. You can escape general risks quicker this way too.

Also, faulty brakes are a problem, and a very bad one if your in the middle of driving. So your driving, and your brakes dont work. In a manual you just switch to the lowest possible gear and the engine brakes for you. Of course, its got nothing on your normal brakes, but it definitely does still give you a chance at not rolling off a cliff if you have a reasonable amount of space.
Maybe theres something like this in automatics? I dont actually know..

And like Bert stated, winter is a bummer, and manuals (tend to) handle it better.



Really, it all comes down to preference. I don't have a preference, I can drive either. I think this is all about "I'm better than you, because I have a common but in the long run not so much worthwhile skill that you don't." Well I can talk like a chipmunk! My virtually useless skill is more entertaining.

Yeah theres some friendly competition in this, thats all. Actually, I have a really underdeveloped ego and this is the only way for me to feel great. ;) Im not even talking about driving skill, I think all of you who drive automatics are capable of driving manuals. Of course its about preference, but im still gonna try and prove that manuals are better.

Madame Adequate
06-06-2007, 05:06 PM
Manual seems great if you actually enjoy driving. If it's just to get from A to B, I see little sense in not having automatic during most circumstances.

Edit; Actually no, that's illogical. If that logic held, then ANYTHING that made driving more complicated would be good for people who "enjoy it".

Croyles
06-06-2007, 05:21 PM
Manuals simplify driving in some ways, if you ask me. It really does depend on why and where you drive though.

Madame Adequate
06-06-2007, 06:45 PM
Manuals simplify driving in some ways, if you ask me. It really does depend on why and where you drive though.

I fail to see how adding another factor which you must pay attention to and respond to is any form of simplification.

Croyles
06-06-2007, 06:50 PM
Manuals simplify driving in some ways, if you ask me. It really does depend on why and where you drive though.

I fail to see how adding another factor which you must pay attention to and respond to is any form of simplification.

Then you fail at life! :p
Or read my other long post..

escobert
06-06-2007, 07:18 PM
Manuals simplify driving in some ways, if you ask me. It really does depend on why and where you drive though.

I fail to see how adding another factor which you must pay attention to and respond to is any form of simplification.

it's not like it requires much concentration. push a pedal in a move a lever. Not that hard.

oddler
06-06-2007, 09:43 PM
A little neat extra in this department is that you can brake using the engine, so your brakes dont wear out quite so fast (if your bothered about that sort of thing).

Brakes are cheaper than engines. :)

Croyles
06-06-2007, 10:42 PM
A little neat extra in this department is that you can brake using the engine, so your brakes dont wear out quite so fast (if your bothered about that sort of thing).

Brakes are cheaper than engines. :)

What?

rubah
06-06-2007, 11:08 PM
I like not having to shift. I would be good at it if I had to though.

My car windows adn locks are manual. It's nice for not always having to put the key in.

Behold the Void
06-07-2007, 03:08 AM
You are aware that you can downshift manually with automatics and the parking brake's other name is the emergency brake, correct?

escobert
06-07-2007, 04:04 AM
You are aware that you can downshift manually with automatics and the parking brake's other name is the emergency brake, correct?

Yes, and it's not really good for the tranny. they aren't made to shift like that.

bipper
06-07-2007, 04:07 AM
From what I understand, a lot (not all) 'parking brakes' in manuals are actually handbrakes and work differently. Manual brakes deploy a pin to safehold the car in park.

Kirobaito
06-07-2007, 04:15 AM
I really donít see much point in driving a manual. My friend tried to teach me for a while, but I just got fed up with all the bull:skull::skull::skull::skull: it took to drive one. I donít need to anyway, since I have no desire to prove that Iím macho, or whatever the smurfing reason for a manual is. My only need for a car would be to get to places, and an automatic does that just fine.
Along with foa's, QFT.

bipper
06-07-2007, 04:35 AM
I might spill my beer shifting, so automatic here plz.

Behold the Void
06-07-2007, 05:19 AM
You are aware that you can downshift manually with automatics and the parking brake's other name is the emergency brake, correct?

Yes, and it's not really good for the tranny. they aren't made to shift like that.

Overall though, is the amount of time that you'll need to use either functions REALLY enough to make that big of a difference?

Personally, I drive an automatic, I would be willing to learn to drive a manual but I wouldn't unless I had to. I don't see any appreciable reason to not drive an automatic. My car still works just fine and we've had it since 1994. As far as I can tell, any performance increase I might theoretically get from having a manual isn't going to affect me all that much.

Slothy
06-07-2007, 05:27 AM
The only real thing manuals are better than automatics for is racing or hauling, period the end. If you know how to treat a car and a you have a tachometer, you can get just as much mileage out of an automatic as you can a manual. Manuals are more fun for some people, automatics are more fun for some people. It isn't like manuals transmissions make your car an awesome rollercoaster ride or anything.

I'm glad someone said it. The fact is that regardless of what Croyles thinks, your average manual driver gets little to no advantage in gas mileage over a modern automatic transmission. Hell, some automatics even adapt to the drivers driving style.


A little neat extra in this department is that you can brake using the engine, so your brakes dont wear out quite so fast (if your bothered about that sort of thing).

I have to agree with odd eye on this. Good way to send your car to a mechanic.


Also, faulty brakes are a problem, and a very bad one if your in the middle of driving. So your driving, and your brakes dont work. In a manual you just switch to the lowest possible gear and the engine brakes for you. Of course, its got nothing on your normal brakes, but it definitely does still give you a chance at not rolling off a cliff if you have a reasonable amount of space.
Maybe theres something like this in automatics? I dont actually know..

And like Bert stated, winter is a bummer, and manuals (tend to) handle it better.

If your brakes fail in an automatic, you can and should start pumping the parking brake. It's a much better way of stopping the car than letting the engine do it. As for the winter thing; don't drive like an idiot and you're not apt to run into much trouble. Any you do can usually be handled by shifting the car into a lower gear yourself. I don't care if an automatic isn't meant to be shifted in motion, odds are you won't be moving by the time it becaomes necessary to use a lower gear.

Manuals aren't inherently better. They really do only have outright advantages in terms of racing and towing if you ask me. Most of the reasons you use to claim they're better don't really apply if you ask me, particularly the idea of safety. Believe it or not, some people just can't handle doing one extra thing when they're on the road. Not everyone is a good driver, so I say make it as idiot proof as possible. I don't need someone who has trouble figuring out an automatic getting me killed thank you.

oddler
06-07-2007, 05:33 AM
A little neat extra in this department is that you can brake using the engine, so your brakes dont wear out quite so fast (if your bothered about that sort of thing).

Brakes are cheaper than engines. :)

What?

I'm just saying that brakes are meant to brake and engines are not. Even in a manual automobile, the gears are meant to handle a certain amount of RPM, implying that you have to conciously think about how much of a strain you're going to put on the engine when you downshift. What I'm asking is, "Why worry about it and why make your engine do a job that it is not meant to do?" :)

escobert
06-07-2007, 05:40 AM
so you use your brakes for a second then let off and down shift. :p and by the way, I never said "lawls everyone MUST drive manual!" I don't care, I drove automatics for awhile until I had to learn manual.

Rengori
06-07-2007, 05:43 AM
If I still lived in Colorado or had a sports car I'd say manual, but neither of those are true, so automatic.

fire_of_avalon
06-07-2007, 05:57 AM
Reality is I live in the northeast and I'd much rather say "HEY CAR STAY IN 2nd GEAR ON THIS HILL!" instead of wasting my breaks and sliding and dying. Manulas aren't good just for racing a towing. There are areas like Vermont were manuals are wonderful in winter.


and to Ed's question, you have more control with a manual since you control the gears, the car can only go so fast in certain gears, so when you have a automatic it kicks it up a gear even if you don't want to. They're set to :skull::skull::skull::skull: at a certain RPM I believe so you have no choice. Also manuals allow you to use less breaks making your brakes last longer. Also shifting at I think 6500 RPM gets the most horsepower out of your vehicle and so you can do that in a manual if needed where as you can't in a auto.
Sugar, we both live in the Appalachains, though admittedly you get more snow than I do. I know what it's like to drive on steep,windy, mountain roads in both types of transmission. You can keep an automatic in second gear if you downshift at the bottom of the mountain and maintain your speed.

And really, it depends on the car and the driver. Like I said, if you have an automatic with a tach, it's really easy to determine which gear your in and to stay in that gear.

And what are you driving that you even get to 6500RPMs. Holy poop! xD My experiences with stick are obviously not in sports cars.



I dont explain things or my opinion very well but I'll try.
You can STILL get better mileage out of a manual. And no one said anything about it being like rollercoaster, if you have a really fast car then yeah, sure. If your driving 100km/h and then slow down to 50km/h because you are in a town, you can leave the car in the highest gear (5th or 6th) and it will use nearly half of the petrol youd use if you were in the 3rd or 4th gear. Automatics will automatically switch your gear down. If you are driving uphill or downhill, its much better being able to switch your gear down. If you are going up something very steep, you still have a chance if you switch even lower (without going further than your trusty redline of course). Even semi-automatics (tiptronics) will change the gear for you if your RPM is very high. Sometimes though, you just need your RPM very high.

But imagine driving through a long open road in a town in the 5th or 6th gear for 30 minutes and you already saved quite a bit of cash.

The rollercoaster thing was a joke. xD.

In what kind of situation do you need your RPMs to be very high? RPMs are just a measurement of how much work your engine is doing. Why do you need your engine to do so much work?

Most automatics switch to the highest running gear on straightaways, in most that's 4th gear. Rarely in my experiences on the highway MUST someone run in 5th or, if you're in a really, really nice sports car, 6th.



Like I said, going uphill, downhill or around corners. You can regulate your speed and g-force in more ways than acceleration or brake in a manual.
A little neat extra in this department is that you can brake using the engine, so your brakes dont wear out quite so fast (if your bothered about that sort of thing).
You're right in that you can use the clutch to cut gas to the engine, but that doesn't really help you slow down as much as some people believe. Really, that is where you save the biggest chunk of your gas; cutting it as you approach a stop.




And I have no idea at all what makes you think manual transmissions are safer than automatics, at all.

If you are overtaking someone you can switch your gear down and your car will gain much more momentum. You therefore avoid oncoming traffic as soon as possible. You can escape general risks quicker this way too.

Also, faulty brakes are a problem, and a very bad one if your in the middle of driving. So your driving, and your brakes dont work. In a manual you just switch to the lowest possible gear and the engine brakes for you. Of course, its got nothing on your normal brakes, but it definitely does still give you a chance at not rolling off a cliff if you have a reasonable amount of space.
Maybe theres something like this in automatics? I dont actually know..

And like Bert stated, winter is a bummer, and manuals (tend to) handle it better.

Being able to go faster than someone in an automatic depends on the driver, the cars involved, the type of road, and is much more specific than an all the time occurrence. And your car gains velocity, not momentum

And if your brakes are so bad you're worried about them going out on you at any point because of disc wear, then you just don't know how to maintain a vehicle. (General you, not YOU you.)

I already addressed the winter thing. Good winter driving is more dependent on good driving skills and vehicles that can handle the weather, not manual vs. auto. A sucky driver in a stick is no better off than a sucky driver in a manual.



Really, it all comes down to preference. I don't have a preference, I can drive either. I think this is all about "I'm better than you, because I have a common but in the long run not so much worthwhile skill that you don't." Well I can talk like a chipmunk! My virtually useless skill is more entertaining.

Yeah theres some friendly competition in this, thats all. Actually, I have a really underdeveloped ego and this is the only way for me to feel great. ;) Im not even talking about driving skill, I think all of you who drive automatics are capable of driving manuals. Of course its about preference, but im still gonna try and prove that manuals are better.
Silly.


You are aware that you can downshift manually with automatics and the parking brake's other name is the emergency brake, correct?

Yes, and it's not really good for the tranny. they aren't made to shift like that.
Are you saying autos aren't meant to downshift, or they aren't meant to use the parking brake as an emergency brake?

I might spill my beer shifting, so automatic here plz.
xD


I'm glad someone said it. The fact is that regardless of what Croyles thinks, your average manual driver gets little to no advantage in gas mileage over a modern automatic transmission. Hell, some automatics even adapt to the drivers driving style.
A lot of companies are making autos whose engines switch between 4 and 6 cylinder use, depending on driving conditions. I'm pretty sure there are manuals that can do the same thing.


Not everyone is a good driver, so I say make it as idiot proof as possible. I don't need someone who has trouble figuring out an automatic getting me killed thank you.
Word.

Likesay, I like both. Truth be told, and if I were better at it, I'd probably drive a stick, because I do like the little bit of extra control it does give the driver, and because I want a niiiice muscle car someday. Overall, I say they're about equal. Sure, it takes a little more skill to drive one, but with the amount of unskilled drivers on the roads these days, you might be wanting them to learn how to point the car the right way first, and worry about teaching them stick later on.

EDIT: I'm really not trying to be mean here, honest, I'm just curious. How many people, not just the people I quoted, but everyone who's read this, how many of you know the difference between an automatic and manual transmission? How many of you know how transmissions work?

Yamaneko
06-07-2007, 06:01 AM
There are certain cars where getting an automatic defeats the purpose of the car. I knew a guy in high school who drove an automatic Porsche 911. We kind of made fun of him.

Then there are full-sized sedans, SUVs and full-sized trucks which do just fine with a computer-controlled shifting system. In my Silverado 1500 I barely hit 3,000RPM doing 70MPH.

ShunNakamura
06-07-2007, 06:18 AM
<span style="color:#FFCCFF">
I personally would like to learn manual someday but our vehicles lack it. In addition I don't see much need for it. I know a buddy who owns the same year Ford Explorer as I do and it is much the same except he uses a manual transmission.

Between the two of us(and he does have quite a bit of experience with manual) I get the better gas mileage despite the fact that I tend to handle heavier loads[he uses a truck for heavy loads].


The extra control would be a nice bonus at times, and it shouldn't distract enough of my attention to warrant concern.

As for RPM's my I rarely get my ford explorer even when hauling 2000 lbs of sand in it over 2500 or RPMs. Speaking of RPM's I was always curious what Automatics use to decide to shift. My explorer doesn't seem to use RPMs soley. It seems to use a mix of speed+RPM's+some third factor I have yet to find.
</span>

Croyles
06-07-2007, 01:07 PM
You guys just dont get it :)

edczxcvbnm
06-07-2007, 01:57 PM
You guys just dont get it :)

Well, you have made a very unconvincing arguement :tongue:

Croyles
06-07-2007, 04:53 PM
You guys just dont get it :)

Well, you have made a very unconvincing arguement :tongue:

There IS no convincing you people. Doesnt matter what. :rolleyes2 EoFF is home of stubbornness!

And out of stubbornness I will quote random people and articles on the internet :D:


The Bottom Line The choice depends on your driving habits and conditions.

There are several factors that should affect your choice of transmission.

1. Do you often drive during "rush hour"? In this case automatic will be better - your right hand will be less tired and you won’t have to use the left foot. Besides, driving in heavy traffic with a lot of high-speed operation and frequent stops will not be very good for the clutch.

2. Fuel economy: Manual gearboxes, as a rule, provide better fuel economy (about 1 MPG better when automatics), and generally have more speeds so engine more often works in a range of optimal RPMs, they weight less and have no torque converter.

3. Acceleration: Manual transmissions, when properly used, provide better acceleration. Several factors contribute to this: they usually have more speeds to choose from, there is no torque converter that “eats” some torque, the weight is less.

4. Do you like to drive? Although automatic transmissions now got very sophisticated and adapt to the one’s driving style, they still cannot predict your intentions. Plus with them you don’t feel the direct link between your right foot and the engine response – the torque converter and other “goodies” mute it.

5. Price: Usually the automatic transmission costs $700-1200 extra. Some cars have them as standard equipment though, and some offer them as a free option.

6. Reliability: The automatic transmissions have much more parts and sophisticated control mechanisms. I have had bad luck with automatics.

Newer automatic transmissions with fuzzy logic provide good shift points and reasonable fuel economy. There are also "manumatic" automatic transmissions where you can shift manually, sometimes even with buttons on the steering wheel.

Nevertheless, it is still automatic transmission where you don't feel direct feel of manual, since it has torque converter. Commercials say that they are "like" transmissions used in Formula 1 auto racing. This is a lie - real F1 transmission may currently be found only in supercars like Ferrari 360 Modena as a $10K option or European cars that are not sold in the US (Alpha Romeo).

“Manumatics” are usually automatic transmissions that allow you to select the gear yourself. Yet, majority of them still downshift when you want to pass (kick-down) and upshift before you hit the rev limiter.

The CVT (continuously variable transmissions) start to appear in even bigger cars (like new Audi A4 – in Europe now, possibly in the US – in the 2002 model), they provide better fuel economy (some of them, i.e. in Audi, don't even have torque converters!) and acceleration than even manual and also can be shifted manually, and they don't require clutches. They are not so fun to drive us real manual transmission, but are much better than “regular” hydraulic auto transmissions.

The choice depends on your driving habits and conditions.

Epinions.com - Manual Or Automatic Transmission - Depends On What You Want To Achieve (http://www0.epinions.com/content_1187881092)


A while back I read a couple of editorials over at The Truth About Cars regarding the “Death of the Stick Shift.” This got me quite worked up, though it took me a while to get my thoughts in order and get motivated to write about it. For reference, here are the articles themselves that spawed this dissertation of mine - including a final editorial in favor of manual transmissions:

Death to The Stick Shift

Shifting Expectations

Tripedalists of the World Unite!

So, here goes:

The manual vs. automatic debate has been going on for years, with the commonly accepted “facts” of manual transmissions giving higher gas milage and better “control.” Some people have said that driving a stick shift requires too much concentration from the driver - in other words, a stick shift is distracting you from driving. Other people say that the torque converter in an automatic “sucks” power away from the engine, giving lackluster performance.

IMHO, in case it wasn’t painfully obvious from my many other posts on the subject, the manual transmission is superior. You just can’t beat the level of control it offers.

In the above articles, it is argued that modern automatics make the manual transmission obsolete. Now, this IS true - to a certain extent. The truly modern auomatics are very good - like, say, the ones you can find on your $50,000+ luxury sedans & sports cars. Combined with sophisticated traction control, yaw sensors, and so forth, these systems can provide a supurb driving experience.

But let’s face some facts - these systems are EXPENSIVE. And your average car doesn’t have them. At least, not anything I can afford.

So, let’s get to the meat of the argument: control. Does a stick shift really give you more control?

I’d argue yes, of course. You see, I’ve driven a lot of cars in my short 9 years of driving - automatics and stick shifts alike. I learned to drive on an automatic Dodge Omni; owned an automatic K-Car, started to learn stick on a manual Dodge Neon and then a manual Chevy S-10, and finally wrapped everything up with a sport-tronic automatic Mitsubishi Outlander. Along the way I’ve driven a full-sized GMC Seirra 1500 (automatic), a fun & sporty Alpha Romeo (manual), a powerful Pontiac LeMans (automatic), a bulky Ford Explorer (automatic), an even bulkier Lincoln Town Car (automatic), a wimpy Ford Focus (automatic) and even a slightly scary Honda 700cc motorcycle (manual).

The basic premise on which I base my assertation that the manual is better is control - specifically, control of engine power delivery. With a manual, I can keep the engine in it’s “power band,” and ensure that it’s in that power band when I want it to be. For “spirited” driving, there’s no comparison. The manual lets me keep the power of the engine right where I want it, based on the conditions of the road. No matter how sophisticated the electronics, the automatic transmission will never be smarter than the human brain that’s actually driving the car.

There’s also the issue of shift speed to be considered. Every automatic I’ve driven shifts slowly from gear to gear. Even the current Keithmobile - the Outlander, which its “sport-tronic” transmission that lets me shift up & down with the push of a lever - shifts slower from gear to gear than a comparable manual. When you’re doing that “spirited” driving, that delay is definately No Fun.

In addition, there are other features of the manual that I miss to this day - the ability to rev the engine up for a lightning-quick start; the ability to break the rear wheels loose with a bit of clutch & throttle play around a sharp corner; and the ability to do engine breaking. For example, I used to be able to bring the Keithmobile-C (the S-10) to almost a complete stop - without using my brakes. Come to think of it, in the nearly 100,000 miles I put on that truck, I don’t think I ever replaced the brakes. Every time I had them checked, the people doing the checking would say something like “yeah, your brakes are fine, they look like they’re still being broken in!” Not so in the Keithmobile-D (the Outlander). It’s brakes are due for replacement next month, and I’ve put far fewer miles on it than the Keithmobile-C had.

Now, having been a courier for 2 years, I can appreciate the seductive allure of the automatic transmission to the average commuter. Goodness knows I’ve complained enough about driving in traffic with a manual. And during the time I was a courier with the Keithmobile-D, it was quite a bit nicer to not have to shift - though the constant braking was almost as annoying as the constant down-shifting. Go figure.

For the “average” driver, an automatic may be a good choice. And the automatic has its place in other circumstances as well - for example: plowing. As you’re probably aware, it’s snowed quite a bit around here lately, and I can tell you there are very few people out there doing professional snow plowing with manual transmissions. It’s just not practical - you’d burn out your clutch. The torque converter in an automatic takes the abuse of pushing tons of snow around at slow speeds much better than a manual would - mostly because of the wider gear range in an automatic. And for taxi drivers and limo drivers, there’s not even any realistic choice - it’s an automatic all the way. And big trucks, that is, big diesel trucks (and buses) need an automatic to handle the job of moving a huge mass of metal (although many of these big automatic systems are “sport-tronic” in the same way as my Outlander).

The argument of economy often enters into this debate - some say one system is more economical than the other. IMHO (again), a stick, driven properly, delivers better economy than an automatic. I point to my truck (the Keithmobile-C, the S-10) as a prime example. I got great gas milage from that thing, no doubt about it. And let’s not discount the savings from brake wear - something I didn’t have to worry about much. And a friend of mine had a Neon that was an automatic - having ridden (not driven, alas!) in it, and having driven a manual Neon, I can say the manual was far more “peppy” and it was without a doubt more fuel efficient. Of course, other people driving differently than me might find an automatic to give better economy.

The argument of safety also comes into this debate fairly often. While it’s true that driving stick requires more involvement from the driver - hell, you even have to take one hand off of the wheel to shift - I don’t think that’s a truly terrible thing. Unless you SUCK at driving stick, the shifting process is as natural and automatic as turning the wheel or using your directional signals or winshield wiper controls. It’s just not a big deal. Conversely, of course, the automatic lets the driver focus on other cars & whatnot, while keeping both hands planted firmly on the wheel. Still, I think it’s valid to say that this kind of ease of driving can, let’s say “encourage” the driver to engage in other activities not condusive to safe driving. Such as talking on a cell phone, among many others. As a courier, I had to use my cell phone from time to time, and I can tell you, it’s hard to do while driving stick in traffic or around a city. In many cases I just had to wait until I stopped to use the phone - which is arguably the right thing to do. When I had the Keithmobile-D and it’s automatic, I found it easier to use the phone (naturally), and honestly - I did tend to use it a bit more. Now, of course, it IS hard to dial a phone while driving stick, and anyone who attempts to do so is putting themselves in more danger than the auomatic driver doing the same thing, but the argument here is that a driver with an ounce of common sense will just leave the damn cell phone alone while driving stick, since it is so obviously just an accident waiting to happen. The automatic driver might be lulled into thinking the cell phone (or double mocha latte, or MP3 player, or makeup, or cheeseburger, etc) is quite safe, since they can still “drive” while doing whatever it is they are doing. Which they are clearly not. (Think about this the next time you see an accident.)

So, both systems have their place - an automatic is easier & often more economical (for the circumstances), but a manual is more controllable and certainly more desireable for the driving enthusiast. (As a side note: try rocking your car back & forth to get it un-stuck from snow with an automatic. Now, try it with a manual. You’ll appreciate the stick shift almost immediately. Now that’s control.) In the end, though, you just can’t beat a manual for driving control - and since that’s what rates highest in my book, I put a manual above an automatic. But of course anyone who has different expectations from their car may disagree - and be perfectly justified in doing so. The fact that many cars these days don’t even offer a manual transmissions speaks volumes as to what “most” people “want.”

Core Dump Ľ Blog Archive Ľ Manual vs. Automatic (http://www.starkeith.net/coredump/2005/01/30/manual-vs-automatic/)

Boys, the same arguments are spread wide :D

Yamaneko
06-07-2007, 05:14 PM
So basically: Snobby Europeans > Practical Americans?

Croyles
06-07-2007, 05:45 PM
So basically: Snobby Europeans > Practical Americans?

Absolutely right Yamaneko cause everyone with an IQ over 20 is a snob :)
Im talking about CARS, not which continent is better. Im saying that manuals are more practical.

Mo-Nercy
06-07-2007, 06:13 PM
In Australia, the driver's seats are all right-side. If I were to go with a manual tranmission, I'd have to have my left hand on the gearstick instead of on the wheel. Now, I'm left handed and my driving position is usually:
Right arm resting on the driver's side windowsill, left hand doing most of the steering.
I'm not saying I can't steer right handed for half a second during a gear change, I'm just saying, I'd rather not.

Don't get me wrong though. I understand all the practical factors that put manuals above autos, but really, I'm just a diehard motor racing fan who believes manuals have their place on the track and automatics provide a relaxed, more comfortable drive for me.

bipper
06-07-2007, 06:13 PM
So basically: Snobby Europeans > Practical Americans?

Absolutely right Yamaneko cause everyone with an IQ over 20 is a snob :)
Im talking about CARS, not which continent is better. Im saying that manuals are more practical.

I am *SO* glad I missed that cut-off.

Bunny
06-07-2007, 06:42 PM
Croyles: Individual Opinion's Worst Enemy.

Croyles
06-07-2007, 07:28 PM
Croyles: Individual Opinion's Worst Enemy.

lol! Your right, well spotted! :D :D :p :radred:

rubah
06-07-2007, 07:34 PM
mo-no, move to the states?:D

The Summoner of Leviathan
06-07-2007, 08:51 PM
I prefer automatic. I can drive manual, thanks to my dad, but I hate it. One thing was when I first learnt how to drive was that I looked down as a shift, which is not safe. I also did not realize that you are suppose to lift your leg while releasing the clutch, so instead I pivoted on my heel, raising my foot, which caused the clutch to leave go too fast. In other words, I could not get out of neutral without being on a slight slope. x-x I just hate shifting and I am not used to it. My dad, who can almost literally drive anything, wanted to make sure that he taught me on a manual first. I still prefer automatics. On the plus side with automatics, if you want to brake fast you just need to press the brakes, not the clutch then the brakes. Manual shifting on 3-wheelers and 4-wheelers is not bad since there is no clutch, its just a bitch with cars, or at least I find.

My dad's old car was a '90/'91 Volkswagen Golf. It was a diesel as well. That car was tough. I mean it survived ME driving on the side road when going to see my mom at the camp where she works. The road is really bad and rocky toward the end so you have to straddle the ruts and the car is very low but it manage to survive even with me behind the wheel which is a miracle in my opinion.

Shadowdust
06-07-2007, 09:01 PM
I prefer a manual. I like the feel of a manual. And to be honest, once you get used to a manual, you don't even really notice yourself shifting gears. I used to do stop and go traffic to and from work, and I actually found that I preferred a manual as well. While all of the automatics were slamming on their brakes constantly, I just coasted in second rarely having to use my brakes. And the other positive of manuals to automatics is that they're generally cheaper. I bought a Nissan Versa not to long ago and ended up saving $1000 by purchasing a manual transmission.

fire_of_avalon
06-07-2007, 09:11 PM
The Bottom Line The choice depends on your driving habits and conditions.
I'VE BEEN SAYING (a variation of) THAT ALL ALONG.

ShunNakamura
06-07-2007, 09:34 PM
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I am still of the mind that in general automatics score pretty close to manuals on fuel efficiency. I would chalk up the usual recored fuel advantage to the fact that most people driving manual effectively know how to drive the vehicle at least 'slightly' better than your average automatic user. That and the fact that you have more control and it is easier to keep your engine in the optimal area.

The weight difference that was stated likely won't matter much, at least not to people in my area. My vehicle generally has a total of 900 lbs in the vehicle that I am toting around... on average. On a busy day I probably got close to an extra 3/4 of a ton or so. And I still get better gas mileage than any of my fellow explorer drivers in the area. Anyways just to quote my fuel economy. Ford Explorer 2000 6 cylinder engine and on a trip to columbus and back(used a full tank of gas and went through most types of driving so I figure it is a fair approximation of 'average' gas mileage. I got an average of roughly 23-25mpg. And as I said we did a bit of each type of driving. It was about a 4 hour trip and I spent about 1 hour and 30 minutes city driving, about 1 hour on the highway, and the last roughly 1 hour and 30 minutes on country driving. My model of explorer is rated at 17-19mpg, and the manual ones I have found get about 21-22 mpg average[or so their owners tell me]. But I drive 'weird' according to my mother. Anyways, I'll admit it is a pain to drive when the dumb thing won't shift at the point I want it to... So I can end up doing 35 or so for quite a while until it finally gets the hint and shifts[which is actually the reason that manual interests me... the control is definitely a bonus].

Also I don't know where you guys drive that you have to constantly appy brakes but even in Columbus, Ohio I didn't do much as much braking as my mom said I would. I will admit that I am anything except an aggressive driver if that would affect it.

As for that article's statement that it would 'reduce' cell phone use. HAHAHAAHA. I know stick drivers who still use a cell phone while driving. In contrast I who drives an automatic will only answer/call once I find a place to pull over. It sometimes annoys passengers in my car, because I will ask the passenger to answer rather than pick it up myself. And I actually know a couple other(albeit very few in comparison to the number of automatic drivers) automatic drivers who fallow the same ruleset.
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