Admin | 12 Aug, 2022
Automatic vs Manual Transmission Cars: Which is Better?
A few years ago, this wouldn’t have been a question. Automatic cars have been an option reserved only for the wealthy earlier. However, brands like Maruti Suzuki transformed the scenario. It offered automatic transmission in low-cost hatchbacks such as the Celerio. Other car manufacturers were forced to follow suit and launch competitively priced hatchbacks, sedans, and SUVs with automatic gear options.
Presently, you can buy an automatic car in India without spending exorbitantly. That’s why this topic became relevant: which is a better option, manual or automatic transmission?
Types of Transmissions Available in Cars
A manual transmission is the most common type of transmission or gearbox available. This requires the driver to shift the gear after engaging the clutch. The higher the speed, the higher the gear to be used. Fuel efficiency and the performance of the vehicle are linked directly to the gear.
The automatic gearbox is the new trend in four-wheelers. Different types of automatic transmissions are available. Efficiency and performance would depend on the technology implemented. The automatic gearboxes found in Indian cars are Continuous Variable Transmission (CVT), Dual Clutch Transmission (DCT), and Automated Manual Transmission (AMT).
Pros and Cons of Manual Transmission Cars
A manual gearbox might be the choice of car enthusiasts with a taste for engineering. They would love to feel in control of the vehicle by controlling the gears.
Pros of Manual Transmission Cars
- Manual transmission cars are cheaper than automatic transmissions. Since the futuristic technology is installed, you will have to pay more for an automatic car
- Maintenance-friendly cars. No complex systems to monitor and maintain. Less complexity equates to lower maintenance costs.
- Having a simple design and weighing less than the automatic engine, it offers good mileage
- Complete control of the car is held by the driver
Cons of Manual Transmission cars
- Learning to drive is more difficult than in automatic cars. The driver needs to have an understanding of the machinery and handle the car manually throughout.
- Handling is complex, especially on steep climbs. The driver must have enough experience to control the car in hilly terrains and climbs
- Uncomfortable driving in heavy traffic. Slow-moving traffic may cause frequent stoppage of the car due to wrong gear/power/speed ratio
Pros and Cons of Automatic Transmission Cars
An automatic gearbox relieves the driver from the stress of gearshifts. He or she doesn’t have to press down the clutch and keep on changing the gear at traffic, climbs etc.
Pros of Automatic Transmission Cars
- Quite easy to drive in any condition (terrain, traffic etc.). Even a newly learned driver can drive the car in any condition
- Stress-free driving experience for new drivers. Forget remembering which gear the car is in, whether to shift the gear or not and other such confusing things
- Drive-in hilly terrain without any concern. The automatic gearbox would go up or down the gear itself. You need not think about that.
- The vehicle will not stall even while at a slow speed (many find it awkward when the car stops due to slow speed/ gear condition)
Cons of Automatic Transmission Car
- Costlier than a manual car. Of course, the more advanced the technology, the costlier it would be.
- Higher maintenance cost than manual transmission car.
Which One to Buy: Manual or Automatic Car?
Both automatic and manual cars have advantages and disadvantages. Although it would depend on the individual’s choice, you may consider the points we discuss here prior to deciding on the purchase. Analysing the factors below would offer a clear concept of the right option to go for.
Budget – Obviously, an automatic car would cost higher than a manual car. You can compare the price difference between automatic and manual, in the model you want to buy. It’s better to avoid inviting unnecessary financial burdens. Opt for a manual car if the automatic one is far above your planned budget.
If you're on a tight budget, use this guide to learn about second hand car financing & documentation process.
Who is going to Drive? – Who is going to drive the car? How experienced is the driver? Is he or she comfortable with a manual transmission? Would any aged person be using the car? How frequently are you going to use the car?
These questions would further clarify the confusion. A manual car is okay. Only an experienced person, who is happy with that transmission, will be using the car. An automatic car is a right choice if the driver is inexperienced or aged.
In case you are confused, read this blog on beginner friendly cars.
Maintenance Costs – Not only buying the car the maintenance cost is also higher in the case of automatic cars. You must consider whether you are ready to spend more money than a manual car.
Go ahead only after contemplating the points we discussed here. We expect that this article has given you ample insight regarding manual and automatic cars.