Manual transmission is not widespread nowadays as before, but some automakers – BMW M, Ford, Toyota, Hyundai, and others – have not given it up. Which are the advantages of manual transmission versus automatic one?
Most modern vehicles come with automatic transmissions. However, manual gearboxes still exist in performance cars. Moreover, car buyers require them, so it makes no sense for manufacturers to give up what is in demand. Customers ask – customers receive.
For example, the all-new BMW M2 arrives with a stick shift. The M3 and M4 also have this. The Bavarian automaker states it will keep the manual transmission around as long as possible. At least, the manual will be alive in M cars until 2030.
We recall that the Toyota GR Supra got a manual transmission option on request of the model fans. There are manual 2022 models on the market, like the Ford Bronco or Mustang, Dodge Challenger or Honda Civic, Hyundai Elantra or Chevy Camaro. What is the reason for such survivability of the manual gearbox?
Manual Transmission Pros and Cons
With a manual gearbox, you can better control the car as you choose a gear by yourself. Manuals are traditionally better to transfer power from the engine to the wheels – so, you can accelerate at a quicker pace. Besides, manual transmissions are usually cheaper to repair due to their simpler design.
At the same time, manuals are less safe than automatics. To change gears, you have to take one hand off the steering wheel and are less concentrated on the road. Also, your left foot never gets a rest pushing a pedal, especially in congested areas, and thus may cause tiredness and a leg ache.
Automatic Transmission Pros and Cons
Thanks to a torque converter, automatic transmissions do hard work for drivers which only have to worry about going forward, back, or stopping. The automatic gearbox is easier to operate, as it has no clutch control and you are unlikely to stall, which is possible with the manual gearbox.
You needn’t think about the gear stick, at least until to reverse or park. Automatics provide a smoother ride due to a seamless transition between gears, and require less effort, so, as a result, they are less distracting and safer in rush-hour traffic.
On the downside, automatic gearboxes may seem boring for drivers who prefer to be in a physical connection with their vehicle, and they are definitely more expensive than manuals. Moreover, automatics can be more expensive to insure, typically because of their higher replacement costs.
In Europe, insurance premiums are significantly higher for drivers who have only an automatic license than for those with a full license.
Automatic or Manual?
It depends on with which of the two you feel more comfortable. An automatic car better suits for people who do a lot of urban driving, disabled persons, or ones with limited mobility.
If you drive long distances, and if driving means more to you than just moving from A to B, and you want to get pleasure when you’re behind the wheel and feel your car – a stick shift transmission should be your choice.