Automatic vs manual transmission in cars: Pros and cons explained

In the end, depending on how the user prefers his cars, they opt either for manual or automatic transmissions. We’ve listed the good as well as bad bits of both the transmission options.

Automatic vs manual transmission in cars: Pros and cons explained
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A car is one of the most coveted possessions or perhaps just the only thing a common man might purchase in his life. Earlier, having a car on your porch was considered a status symbol. That was the time when there were only 3-speed manual transmissions. Today, the horizon has expanded and one can find households with not one but several cars. One for the mom, son, dad and so on…Unfortunately, this has lead to a sort of confusion as to which transmission to opt for. For convenience, nothing beats an automatic. After all, lesser moving muscles mean lower fatigue rates. But is it as simple as that or is there more to it than meets the eye. Let’s try and find out the pros and cons involved in choosing an automatic over a manual or vice versa.

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Automatic transmission positives

Mercedes-Benz A-Class Limousine interior and dashboard

There is nothing beating the sheer convenience that an automatic transmission accords. One can also look at the fact that it is easy for learners as well. Having just two pedals to deal with, makes it easy and lesser things to concentrate on. Automatic cars don’t stall (unless they have some mechanical issues). There are a wide variety of automatic transmission on offer these days – AMT, dual-clutch, CVT, iMT, and torque converter. The eventual bit is that only two pedals are in use. If it is cars like the ones Mercedes offers, there is storage space liberated in the centre console because the gear lever is on the steering column. Paddle shifters are quite cool to use as well.

Automatic transmission negatives

Once you learn to drive on an automatic car, a manual will prove to be a daunting task. Automatic transmissions require slightly more maintenance as you end up using the brakes more than in a manual. Automatic transmissions, depending on their category and service intervals also need the transmission fluids to be changed. Replacing or fixing an auto transmission is a much costly affair. If your auto car breaks down, you cannot push start it or push it to the side of the road. Not all roadside mechanics are adept at repairing automatic transmissions. Fuel economy of few automatic cars might be lower than their manual counterparts. Automatic cars cost more than a manual transmission-equipped unit in a majority of the cases.

Manual transmission positives


Widely used all over. One can also change gears at their bidding. A manual transmission-equipped car driver can also easily drive an automatic. Manual-equipped cars are slightly more fun than automatics, though this is debatable. In case of emergency braking, one can also downshift a couple of gears to bring in more engine braking, thereby theoretically stopping the car effectively. Manual transmissions are easy to repair and are comparatively easier on the pocket. Cars with manual transmissions are usually more fuel-efficient and are priced lower than automatics.

Manual transmission negatives

Manual transmissions, because of the clutch pedal, can be tiring to drive in traffic. If the clutch plates wear out, it takes a toll on the fuel economy, as well as driving experience. A learner driver usually has a tough time negotiating gearshifts on an incline.

There you’ve it. The good and bad bits about automatic as well as manual transmissions. Do let us know which one do you prefer.




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