Talk to any serious car enthusiast, and they will tell you that the only way to drive a car is with a stick shift. And, to an extent, they are right – it is an excellent way to drive. And, there is something to be said for the feeling of slipping into a higher gear as you make headway down the freeway. That said, there are a lot of myths about driving with manual transmissions – and we are going to expose them today. Let’s take a closer look.
Stick shifts have better fuel economy
In the past, fuel economy was a big reason to choose a stick shift over an automatic. You could almost guarantee that a manual transmission car had far greater fuel economy than their automatic alternatives. It is far from the case today, however. There may be slight differences, and the manual still have a slight edge overall. But, many automatics these days are beating their manual alternatives.
Manual transmission cars are cheaper
Overall, manual cars are cheaper than automatics, but that doesn’t quite paint the whole story. Some top-of-the-range BMWs and GM cars are the same prices whatever model you go for, as an example. You also have to bear in mind that the maintenance costs of running an automatic are less, too. While car transmission repair can be more expensive, there is less likelihood of faults developing. The clutches on stick shifts are far more prone to human error, for example. Plus, the percentage of models available is far higher for automatics – more than two-thirds of new cars are automatic only.
Stick shifts are cooler
Having a stick shift is a pure driving experience, and you could say it is a cooler way to drive. But, don’t think that all cool cars are manual. 99% of all new cars come with either option, so it is unlikely you will be missing out on a fantastic-looking car just because you want to drive without gears.
The kids love driving manual
To understand the future of driving, it’s important to look at the trends developing with young drivers. And, while you might think youngsters want to learn the complete driving experience, you would be wrong. Getting an automatic-only license tends to be cheaper than the manual alternative. Learners need fewer driving lessons, and there is far less to get their heads around. It’s one of the biggest reasons why the manual transmission car is on the wane. With more young people taking the easier route every year, it’s clear this trend might well continue.
Manual transmission is the perfect driving experience
There is no doubt that going through the ears is a lot of fun – and a purer driving experience. But, how often can you say that you get the most out of it? If you are a city driver, for example, you have to switch gear all the time due to heavy traffic. It’s not the greatest of experiences, and with an automatic, you don’t have to worry.
So – manual or automatic: which one is the best for you? Let us know in the comments!
Featured Image: flickr.com