Best Performing Manual vs Automatic cars: 5 Major Acclaimed Differences – Wheelsonspin
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Best Performing Manual vs Automatic cars: 5 Major Acclaimed Differences

manual and automatic cars

Arguing about manual vs automatic car is something like debating over mp3 players vs vinyl. If you too are in a confusion, then no worries. Here, we are discussing a few points on manual vs automatic cars which will clear your confusion. So, let us start.

Cars are available in different varieties. From choices in drivetrains like four-wheel drive and front-wheel drive to options in engine type like electric and conventional gas, the chances are endless while shopping for a new car. Another important decision you must make while buying a car is what kind of transmission to choose.

Modern cars come in two different types of transmission- manual or automatic. In a manual transmission, the driver must shift the gears, whereas, in an automatic car, the car itself does the shifting. So, the question that arises at this point is, whether to shift or not shift? Which one is the best when we compare manual vs automatic cars?

Choosing Between Manual vs Automatic Cars

Transmission basics

When we compare manual vs automatic cars, transmission is one of the major things to consider. One of the most complex components in your car, the transmission is a metal case that houses a sequence of gears- which defines its name of the gearbox.

The transmission takes power from the engine and supplies it to the wheels to give power to your car.  It is responsible for ensuring that the right amount of power goes into the wheels so that they can operate at a provided speed.

Every gear operates within a certain ratio to make sure that the engine and wheels do not spin at a similar speed. When you start from a dead stop, your car uses a low gear ratio to move the vehicle using less speed and more power.

At high speeds, your transmission uses a high gear ratio to move the car while keeping the RPMs at a lower level.

Manual Transmission

Another comparison point between manual vs automatic cars is the manual transmission. Cars with a standard or manual transmission are known as stick shifts.

The driver uses a stick shift to change the gears manually as they accelerate and deaccelerate their car. Placed on the center console, the shift lever is attached to the transmission through a linkage.

manual and automatic cars

Besides a stick shift, a manual transmission needs the use of a clutch pedal which is placed on the left side of the brake pedal.

Encountering the clutch pedal disengages the mechanism of the clutch that is placed between the transmission and the engine. Pressing down on the clutch pedal stops the power from the engine to the transmission so that you can shift gears.

For changing the gears, the driver presses the clutch pedal, moves the shifter to the required gear, and then releases the clutch pedal to reengage the power from the engine to the transmission.

Learning to move the stick requires some practice. Engage the clutch pedal fast and the engine will stop; engage the clutch slow and it will cause premature wear.

Continuous practice makes things perfect. Before we get into details of the comparison between manual vs automatic cars, let us first understand the pros and cons of both cars.

Facts about manual transmission

  • Needs extensive driver input- driver chooses and shifts to the desired gear.
  • Popular in Asia- more than 80% of cars sold are manual.

Pros of manual transmission cars:

  • Low purchase price
  • Drivers love the feeling of controlling the vehicle.
  • Superior acceleration
  • Fuel efficient

Cons of manual transmission cars:

  • Requires practice to learn how to drive
  • Driver must coordinate gas, clutch, and shifting
  • Low resale value
  • Is difficult to drive in stop and go traffic

Now, this was all about the pros and cons of manual cars. However, if you want to get a clear idea about the comparison of manual vs automatic cars, then you must have a look at the features of automatic cars too.

Automatic transmission- While a driver plays an important role in the operation of a car with a manual transmission, in cars with automatic transmission, the driver needs to just select D on the shifter and the car does all other things. It is another in the list of comparisons between manual vs automatic cars.

Utilizing fluid pressure, the car automatically completes gear changes on its own. The main part of the automatic transmission is the planetary gear set. This is responsible for creating the various gear ratios that the transmission utilizes.

Offering the pressure required to activate the clutches and bands that determines what gear the car should be in is known as the automatic transmission fluid. This fluid not just cools and lubricates the moving part of the transmission, but also helps in driving the car.

A torque converted is connected to the drivetrain which acts as a clutch on a manual transmission.

Fluid is used to lock and unlock the planetary gears to move between the gear ratios. This shifting is carried on automatically; the driver can sit idle just concentrating on the road.

Facts about automatic transmission

  • Needs little input from the driver- just put the car in drive mode and go
  • Quite popular in many parts of the world
  • Depends on the automatic transmission fluid and planetary gear set

Pros of automatic transmission cars:

  • Simple to use
  • High resale value
  • Perfect choice for beginners
  • Great to drive in stop and go traffic

Cons of automatic transmission cars:

  • Costly than manual
  • High repair costs
  • Historically less fuel-efficient compared to manual

Cars of the future

Experts in the automotive industry after comparing manual vs automatic cars believe that automatics will dominate the automotive industry, however, this shift will be slow.

Unless you are going to own or drive new cars throughout your driving career, selecting to take an autotest instead of a manual might restrict your vehicle choice. But still, automatics are becoming more common, so they are now as efficient as manual cars and do not cost substantially more.  

As automatic cars are the future, let us have a look at some of the interesting facts about automatic cars that will probably clear your confusion between manual vs automatic cars.

choose between manual vs automatic car

There is a difference between AMT and Proper Automatic Transmission- An AMT does not function like any other automatic car due to which it might feel like a downgrade considering the feel is not the same and for many, the driving experience might feel sluggish. For those who are first-time owners, an AMT in the name of an automatic transmission car, you will end up being pleased by how convenient these vehicles are.

1.No clutch- Unlike manual transmission care where you are supposed to handle the clutch daily, in an AMT, the car takes care of the clutch. AMT stands for Automated Manual Transmission. The transmission works the same way, it just takes away the problem of the clutch, and switching gears manually makes it much simpler for you to drive. It is much easier than riding a gear-less scooter.

2. Easy to maintain- In the automatic segment of cars, AMTs are considered an affordable option. AMTs are cars with automatic transmission functions added to the manual gearbox. As it is not a complicated thing to add, the AMT gearbox is available in a lot of inexpensive hatchbacks. There is no need for all-new transmission, a few extra features are all that is needed which helps in keeping the price low.

3. Good fuel efficiency- When compared to conventional automatic transmissions, AMTs are more fuel-efficient. Since AMTs are partly manual, they do not affect fuel efficiency, giving the same average as their manual counterparts.

4. Controls your car as well as shift gears- Most of the AMT cars get the typical stick which can be used whenever the driver feels the need to control the car manually. This option is usually offered in several conventional automatic cars. There is an upside to having a vehicle that offers you the choice of downshifting and upshifting as you want, which AMT-equipped cars provide.

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