What’s The Difference Between Manual And Automatic Vehicles

Vehicles nowadays can be classified into two types: automatic and manual. Many are torn which one to use. Of course, there’s always a debate on which one is better. 

Interestingly enough, only 1.2% of cars that have been sold as of October 2019 have manual transmissions. It seems that many are opting for automatic transmissions these days. But this doesn’t mean that manual cars don’t have many defenders. For some, learning how to drive in the manual makes you a better driver.


Let’s give a breakdown of the pros and cons of both vehicular transmissions.

Manual Transmission Cars: Pros

  • It is agreed that the transmission gives a better “feel” and engagement to the drive.
  • You have full control over the gears. You can also shift whenever you want. 
  • Usually, manual transmission cars are not as expensive as automatic vehicles.
  • Repairs and maintenance of manual transmission cars are not costly, too. 

Manual Transmission Cars: Cons

  • It is extremely tiresome to use, especially in heavy and congested traffic.
  • Learning how to drive a manual car is quite difficult; it requires you to undergo a steep learning curve.
  • It requires extreme control and focus, especially in driving uphills so that you won’t stall or rollback.
  • It is quite surprising that it is not easy to find manual vehicles on higher trim levels.
  • Only a limited number of car models have a manual transmission.


Automatic Transmission Cars: Pros

  • It is easier to drive them, even in heavy traffic and congested roads.
  • Most brand-new vehicles today have automatic models.
  • Transmission can be shifted quickly and smoothly.
  • The gas mileage of automatic cars is quite better than manual cars.
  • Shiftable automatic transmissions can actually provide an excellent driving experience. 

Automatic Transmission Cars: Cons

  • Automatic transmission is downright more expensive than manual vehicles. 
  • The transmission system has moving parts, which means that they have more expensive repair costs.
  • Some say that it is not fun to drive an automatic vehicle. However, others believe that it is just a subjective argument.
  • Automatic cars might frequently shift if they have many gears.


With all the advantages and disadvantages listed here, you might have already weighed which mode of transmissions suits your preferences. Again, there’s nothing wrong if you are going to opt for either one of them. At this point, the most important thing is that you can drive a vehicle that you are comfortable with. It doesn’t really matter if it is manual or automatic.


Let’s explore some myths that revolve around these two driving transmissions. 

Myth 1: Manual cars have better fuel economy than automatic cars.

If this statement was made years ago, it would have been factual. However, these days, it is no longer true. Modern automatic vehicles have additional gears, which made them no longer dependent on torque converters. Hence, their fuel economy improved, making it even better than manual vehicles. 

Myth 2: Same model manual cars are cheaper than the same model of automatic cars. 

In most cases, the manual counterpart is indeed cheaper than automatic transmissions. But it is not always true. There are instances where some manual models have higher prices than similar models in automatic. Take the 2020 Kia Forte GT as an example. You will need to pay an additional $600 to get the manual version of this car.

Myth 3: Sports cars only have a manual gearbox. 

That’s not actually true. For instance, the 797-horsepower Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat Redeye is only available in an eight-speed automatic transmission model. Moreover, the 2020 Chevrolet Corvette and 2020 Porsche 91 will debut without manual gearboxes. If that’s not enough to convince you, Lamborghini and Ferrari will no longer offer stick-shift models. 

Myth 4: Manual cars will always have an automatic counterpart. 

Just like the previous myth, this assumption is not true either. Some car models today, especially the sporty units, only have manual gearboxes. Such of these cars are the Ford Shelby GT350, Honda Civic Type R, Subaru WRX STI, and the Honda Civic Type R. If you are more comfortable with automatic gears, then you might need to scratch these vehicles on your lists.