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Cars: manual or auto?





Liu
I'm going to buy my first car soon after I graduate from college, so I'm debating whether to buy a stick shift or an auto. I've always wanted to drive stick after I learned how on my friend's stick-shift car, but I'm wondering will it become too tedious after awhile? So i'm wondering if I should just go auto for the long run.

I'd really like to hear input from those that own a stickshift car, or have driven one for long periods of time. Although, any other input is also welcome.
Vrythramax
I drive a stick shift and I found it to be much better. You can slow down by downshifting, thus saving wear an tear (mine is a 1971 Corvette Stingray with original transmission). They also have much better traction in the snow...I don't know if you have snow where you are.

All in all...I swear by it.
Gagnar The Unruly
I find that, in general, a manual transmission makes driving much more enjoyable. In some cars driving stick can be tiresome, but in a good car with a solid linkage it makes driving a lot better. I believe that shifting manually also causes people to drive more attentively.

I do find automatics easier to drive in bad conditions, however Confused

Do you have any idea what car you are planning on getting?
Liu
A Honda Fit

http://automobiles.honda.com/models/model_overview.asp?ModelName=Fit

I'm a student still, and not exactly flourishing with money at the moment. Gas prices are souring in CA, seems to get good mileage and comes at a good price.
Andrew426
If your going to be driving in inner city/gridlock type conditions, go with an automatic. If not, get the manual Very Happy
Vrythramax
Andrew426 wrote:
If your going to be driving in inner city/gridlock type conditions, go with an automatic. If not, get the manual Very Happy


Agreed. gas mileage while driving in the stop and go of the city can be horrendous, but on the highway...it rocks Smile
Gagnar The Unruly
Liu wrote:
A Honda Fit

http://automobiles.honda.com/models/model_overview.asp?ModelName=Fit

I'm a student still, and not exactly flourishing with money at the moment. Gas prices are souring in CA, seems to get good mileage and comes at a good price.


An excellent choice, in my opinion. I've never driven a Fit, but Honda makes excellent shifters and excellent linkages, and manual Hondas are usually a joy to drive. I, personally, would ONLY get a manual unless I had absolutely no choice or was buying a car I didn't care about.

The manual transmission will get marginally better fuel economy and enhanced responsiveness and acceleration, particularly in city driving. The manual fit will 0-60 2 seconds faster than an auto Fit while returning better fuel economy.

The automatic transmission does have wheel-mounted paddle shifters, which could make auto driving a bit more enjoyable, particularly if the takeup of the torque converter is good. I've never driven an auto Honda so I don't know if the auto trannys are slushy or not.
KD8CPP
I love to drive my friend's honda with an automatic transmission. They are very easy to drive, and when I go to buy my own car, I plan on getting a stick shift. Some of my favorite benefits are, Better gas mileage, you can skip gears, and coast down hills in neutral, better traction for the winter, and it is (sometimes) cheeper. I would go with the stick shift.
ocalhoun
Vrythramax wrote:
I drive a stick shift and I found it to be much better. You can slow down by downshifting, thus saving wear an tear (mine is a 1971 Corvette Stingray with original transmission). They also have much better traction in the snow...I don't know if you have snow where you are.

All in all...I swear by it.

You can downshift with an automatic as well. There's a reason the shift lever has the numbers 1 2 and 3 on it. I use downshifting all the time with my jeep (auto), both in ordinary driving and in descending hills when off road. I find it is actually easier to downshift with an auto, as long as a) the shift lever is on the floor, not the sterring column, and b) you are accustomed enough to the vehicle to anticipate the slight delay in the shift, and can downshift half a second earlier to compensate for it.
I don't undersand how you figure that... I've done more than my share of driving in low-traction conditions (mud and sand, not snow, since I'm in Florida), and I've never noticed any difference in traction between auto and manual transmissions. Perhaps you could explain to me how a manual transmission gives more traction in snow?
Liu
Traffic conditions for where I live currently are pretty smooth; not much gridlock.

However, that'll change in a year or two when I move around San Francisco and Silicon Valley where there's more traffic. :\ But it still doesn't compare to NYC and LA.
HoboPelican
Liu,

I'm a confirmed stick driver. Would have to loose my left foot before I would give it up. Others have mentioned good reasons to do it, but let me just toss out a couple thoughts.

I never mind shifting in downtown traffic. For me it doesn't cause any problems. The only times it gives me trouble is in extended stop and go traffic (and I am talking hours of go 10 feet and stop for 2 minutes). That sort of driving gives my knee minor pains (old injury).

Try to get a feel for how hard it is for you to use the clutch in the car you are thinking of. Just drive around a parking lot simulating stop and go traffic and see how you like it. My wife loved her stickshift on her Xterra, but hates my Cherokee's clutch.

I won't even try to address gas mileage, because I think it depends on the driver more than anything else.

Good luck!
Liu
Thanks for the helpful insight all, i'm very very strongly leaning toward a manual car now. And most likely i'll be purchasing it within the coming month Smile
gorjuve
i think i prefer manual, cause in an automatic, it uses way too much gas :S
scotty
Cool people drive manual cars. End of story.

Well maybe not, they are more fun to drive in all situations with the exception of city traffic. IT DRIVES ME NUTS!! Get one though you can always buy an auto for your next car!
ocalhoun
^Another time a manual transmission can be very annoying is when you have to stop while going up a steep hill.

Also, still nobody has told me yet how manual transmissions give better traction in snow.
trousersalive
Definitely Manual every time. Ive never understood why the automatic transmission ever evolved. Its a by product of humanity being unbeivably lazy I guess.

Automatic transmissions are 1. More complicated so more likely to break 2. Less efficient when it comes to gas mileage 3. More expensive, and 4. Just really dull to drive.
Andrew426
trousersalive wrote:
Definitely Manual every time. Ive never understood why the automatic transmission ever evolved. Its a by product of humanity being unbeivably lazy I guess.

Automatic transmissions are 1. More complicated so more likely to break 2. Less efficient when it comes to gas mileage 3. More expensive, and 4. Just really dull to drive.
You tell a long haul trucker you think hes lazy for running an automatic and see what he says Rolling Eyes
trousersalive
True, But im assuming a Big Rig wasnt a the vehicle in mind here.
hlavco
If you drive a manual, less people will ask to borrow your car. Very Happy
trousersalive
hlavco wrote:
If you drive a manual, less people will ask to borrow your car. Very Happy


Unless of course you live outside of the united states where autos are not so common.
Gagnar The Unruly
Ocalhoun,

I agree that AT is probably better in slick conditions due to the ability of the torque converter to sync up the engine and driveshaft while the brakes are still on! It's much more complicated with a MT.

trousersalive wrote:
1. More complicated so more likely to break


My opinion of modern automatic trannies is the opposite. I think a strong, modern auto tranny should last the lifetime of the car. For manuals, on the other hand, clutches must be replaced one or more times during a typical car's life, and flywheels must be taken care of too (resurfaced or replaced). Also, even good synchromeshes and gears can get damaged and shed metal fragments into the transmission which wears the transmission over time. Furthermore, some shift linkages will become rubbery over time. I think my GS-R's life expectancy is probably transmission-limited. I'm sure there was a time when mechanical distributers were more reliable than electronic ones, but you won't find them nowadays.

That said, I still stand by manual transmissions. I also wanted our beater (a 90 Legacy) to have an automatic so I'd have fewer worries. I'm sure our Subie's tranny is slushier than the day it was born, but I think it'll hold up until the car is in the scrap heap.
Andrew426
Quote:


My opinion of modern automatic trannies is the opposite.


Hell even older transmissions are amazingly strong and reliable. The chrysler torqueflite automatic came out in 1956 and to this day most of chryslers automatic transmissions are based on that design to this day. The A-727, for example, was first produced in 1962 - and is still in production today.
rheanna
I like Automatics better. Last time I drove a manual I almost hit pizza hut. lol
irishmark
If you like to drive then there is nothing like a manual. Automatics are just so boring.

When you need to over take someone quickly there's nothing like popping it down a gear letting the engine roar as you speed past!

plus its easier to get a rear wheel drive car into donut spins with a manual. You have way more control!
poly
Stick shift cars are so much better: The are faster, accelerate faster and you actually have to do something...
sYxJesters
Automatics are good if you want to be able to drink a Starbucks in the morning and drive to work or school or wherever, but manuals are MUCH more fun (I drive a stick, in San Francisco), and you get awesome points for driving them =].

The Honda Fit is a beast. Opak Racing tuned one, tracked it, and then ended up DE-TUNING it because it was too powerful. It beat s2000's around the track, just because its ridiculously light. I love the Fit Very Happy
Gagnar The Unruly
sYxJesters wrote:
The Honda Fit is a beast.


LOL Laughing 109 hp hardly qualifies it as a beast!
Afaceinthematrix
Well I can drive a manual transmission but I simply find it inconvieneit. But some people like it. My sister won't by an automatic because she says they're boring... i find sticks to be a hassle... so i guess it's really if you enjoy it or not... but there are positives to manuels... you can downshift to save your breaks...
sYxJesters
Gagnar The Unruly wrote:
sYxJesters wrote:
The Honda Fit is a beast.


LOL Laughing 109 hp hardly qualifies it as a beast!




Laughing Thanks for demonstrating your complete lack of automotive knowledge. The horsepower is, of course, a factor, however its not the only factor.

Take the Ariel Atom for an example; it has the Honda Type-R motor which puts out an (amazing) 210 horsepower, which, at first glance, doesn't seem too powerful at all, but you should also realize that the Ariel Atom weighs 1005.5 LBS, making 1 HP for every 5 LBS of car. It can go 0-60 in 2.9 seconds, and at the same time you'll hit every apex with its amazing design =].

The Honda Fit has a curb weight of 1800 LBS and a stock HP of 109. You can easily do some weight reduction, and a bit of engine tuning, and you have a beast. The Honda Fit is a beast. Rolling Eyes
Gagnar The Unruly
Careful where you point your stick, bud. I'm well aware of the importance of mass in the acceleration and handling characteristics of cars. I have no idea what you know about cars, but I actually know quite a bit and there's a chance I know more than you do.

All things being equal, I would always prefer a lighter, lower horsepower car over a heavier car with the same hp/mass. However, in US trim a Honda Fit Sport actually weighs in at 2471 lb. Heavy? No, but a far cry from 1800 lbs. That gives the Fit roughly 22.7 lb./hp. Compare 21.5 lb/hp for a Scion XA and 21.4 for a Kia Spectra.

Here are some other cars for you:

My 1990 Legacy wagon - ~22 lb/hp
A 1990 Corolla sedan - 23.4 lb/hp
A GS-R Coupe - 15.7 lb/hp
Honda S2000 - 12.2 lb/hp
G35 Coupe 6MT - 12.0 lb/hp
Mustang GT - 11.6 lb/hp
Corvette Coupe - 8.0 lb/hp
Ferrari 599 GTB Fiorano - 5.6 lb/hp

The Honda Fit accelerates from 0-60 in 9.5-10 seconds, crosses the 1/4 mi in about 17 seconds at less than 85 mph, and gets about 0.80g on the skidpad. Even if you managed to drop 300 lb in a Fit, you would have to raise the hp by 54% to 163 to make the same power/weight ratio as the S2000 -- but if that's the criteria, you can turn ANY car into a beast with enough time and money.

It may be fun to drive, but a stock Honda Fit does not classify as a beast. Also, I am not an idiot!
Laughing
sYxJesters
Well, i'm majoring in automotive at Skyline and I worked at Opak for a while. I'm not stupid either :O!

I would refer you to the Fit Tuning boards, but they were attacked by some "hacker", and are currently in repair. I'm not saying that a stock Honda Fit is going to kick any ass, however, the reason it is a beast is because its an amazing platform for any modifications.

And I quote Tatsuru Ichishima (Spoon's president) from an interview with Honda Tuning:


Please Use Quote Tags When Copying and Pasting wrote:
Honda Tuning: Why customize the Fit?

Tatsuru Ichishima: Mass production models made by car manufacturers are largely divided into two types; the first type being the multi-cylinder, high-emissions, high power value-added automobile, and the latter being the environment-friendly, low-emission, fuel-efficient compact car. Spoon believes the Fit has high potential in becoming a sports car that can contend in endurance races. What Spoon does best is take mass production compact cars and turn them into touring car racers. In this case, we were able to prepare a five-speed manual transmission, new limited slip and a suspension system in a short period of time to make this happen.

The Fit gets a workout at a recent Motegi enduro.

HT: What kind of performance potential does this car have?

TI: Unlimited potential! First of all, the base car comes very cheap, so it makes it relatively easy for shops, tuners and racing fans to compete and race with this car. The tires and wheels are small, so they're easy to replace cheaply. Being small and light is an advantage when racing. For example, stripping a 55-pound A/C unit from a Fit that only weighs a ton will award more positive results than just doing the same to a heavy NSX. The Fit is a fun and cheap car to tune. HT: What are the strengths and weaknesses of the factory Fit?

TI: The Fit is very stable and extremely easy to control. This makes it simple for us to tune. The weakness would be its lack of power. But a simple engine swap could solve that problem.

HT: Will the Fit become one of Honda's best-loved cult cars like the CRX?

TI: I believe so. It won't be hard not to recognize the raw potential of the car. It will also become the ultimate poor man's racer.

Spoon prez Ichishima prepares to flog the Fit.

HT: What was the Fit's stock horsepower and what is it now after the Spoon upgrades?

TI: The stock 1500cc engine has 110 hp. We're still testing now, but we have achieved 125 hp already.

HT: How has this car performed in testing? What exceeded expectations?

TI: At Motegi circuit last weekend, our Fit ran for three hours on 40 liters of gasoline and finished with the same time as a stock NSX. It wasn't necessary to replace any parts after the race. [It] proved its high endurance capabilities. The secret to the success is its great mileage and modest tire wear. We're very satisfied with the results. Our next scheduled race is a seven-hour endurance race at Motegi again. We hope to win this one.

HT: What are the Fit's limitations and what can be done to improve on them?

TI: Basically, modifying the Fit and the Civic are the same. We know that smaller and lighter cars are faster. The only limitation the Fit has is power, so I would like to install a K-type 220-hp engine and see how that goes.

HT: Do you think a car like the Fit would sell in the States?

TI: I don't know if the Fit would sell in the States.

HT: Why did this car outsell the Toyota Corolla? Why was it Japan's most popular compact car last year?

TI: I'm not so sure why it was Japan's most popular compact car and frankly, Spoon is not concerned about the competition with the Corolla. Where did all those sales numbers come from anyway? (The Asahi News, actually. -DF)

">>

EDIT: And now that we're completely off topic, this will be my last post defending my claim. Liu: get the manual Fit.
ocalhoun
Afaceinthematrix wrote:
but their are positives to manuels... you can downshift to save your breaks...


Why does nobody realize that you can do this with automatics too?
sYxJesters
ocalhoun wrote:
Afaceinthematrix wrote:
but their are positives to manuels... you can downshift to save your breaks...


Why does nobody realize that you can do this with automatics too?


You can do it with automatics (and tip-tronic), but generally the reaction time is a bit slower, even with Dual Clutch Gearboxes which upshift much faster than a regular manual would (this is because the DCT doesn't anticipate a downshift, it anticipates an upshift)
ocalhoun
^Sure there's a delay (in the case of my Jeep, just about 1 second). But after using it a couple times you can anticipate the delay and shift a second earlier. (I've come to a point now with my Jeep that I can down shift at any given point in the road ahead, because I have enough experience with it to know exactly how long it takes.) How long does it take to down shift with a manual, anyway? They both have delays.

Generally, if you're in such a hurry to slow down that a 1 second delay is much too long, you'll be using the brakes to slow down anyway.
sYxJesters
I guess if you get used to downshifting a second earlier that would work out lol ;D With a manual transmission there isn't really much delay (it depends on the person), especially if you have a short-shifter, also I believe that automatics don't brake as much as manuals do when they downshift, but I might be wrong :O I haven't driven an automatic for ages lol.
Gagnar The Unruly
sYxJesters wrote:
I guess if you get used to downshifting a second earlier that would work out lol ;D With a manual transmission there isn't really much delay (it depends on the person), especially if you have a short-shifter, also I believe that automatics don't brake as much as manuals do when they downshift, but I might be wrong :O I haven't driven an automatic for ages lol.


I have that impression, too. I wonder if the torque converter is able to slip some when it's working to decelerate the car (rather than accelerating when you hope it won't slip). That would make sense, in terms of allowing the car to idle forward and stuff. If the torque converter didn't slip at all in that direction, shifting and starting might be jerky.

Regarding the Fit, I think I understand where you are coming from. I think it's nice that Honda has continued to supply tuners with good, cheap platforms to work with, especially as the Civic appears to be growing up a bit. Also, I had no idea that a K-series (K20 I guess?) would fit under the hood. That's awesome.

For my money, right now, the best new car for a person on a budget is the Fit. If I had to buy a new car (and I probably wouldn't -- I prefer to buy used), it would be a blue pearl Fit Sport MT, no question (except maybe the color).
tomahawk19
Ok so here's my opinion on the whole manual vs. auto. I have been driving my specific manual transmission for 3 years. After a time, for me at least, it becomes a part of you, and a part of your driving habit. You will find yourself still able to drink your morning Starbucks, and do everything that you can in an automatic, but still be able to downshift and accelerate past someone on the highway, or quickly jet out into traffic when merging. I drove an automatic honda accord for the longest time, and after getting my manual 626, I won't go back to an automatic, at least not in a car for a very long time. If I were to get a truck, that would be a different story. I haven't done much research on the Fits, but like I said, I drove an automatic accord, and was not impressed by their transmission, it was clunky and had extremely slow response. After a while it would start to lag even worse. I don't know if it was just the accord I had or if anyone else had these problems. But what I will tell you is that you need to drive both, and decide which one is more comfortable for you, and which one feels better to you. No one can tell you how that feels.

If you have any questions feel free to PM me.
HoboPelican
ocalhoun wrote:
^Another time a manual transmission can be very annoying is when you have to stop while going up a steep hill.

Also, still nobody has told me yet how manual transmissions give better traction in snow.


Starting on a hill is a skill that you learn once and then forget about. It becomes second nature quickly and you don't even think about it.

As far as handling in snow, I think it isn't the traction, but the control. At least in rear wheel drive vehicles. When the back end breaks away, reducing the power slightly slows the rear wheels just enough to pull the car back into line. With an automatic, the wheels just coast and your only control is steering. It simply gives you more options for control, once you get comfortable with it.

Of course, front wheel drive is a different animal completely.
Liu
hey guys, here's an update on the situation. I'm no longer getting a honda fit anymore, but will be getting a nissan or mazda due to some discounts. I'm leaning more towards the nissan models, but either way i'll be definitely stick shift still.

I'll tell you guys how it goes. Smile
ssthanapati
Well i personally prefer auto transmission. In city's where there is traffic jams and u need 2 stop every few meters, manual becomes 2 tedious.
Afaceinthematrix
ocalhoun wrote:
Afaceinthematrix wrote:
but their are positives to manuels... you can downshift to save your breaks...


Why does nobody realize that you can do this with automatics too?


you can? how would you downshift in an automatic if it changes gears for you?
Gagnar The Unruly
You just move the gear selector to a lower gear. Of course, you're downshifting with a slushbox so the effect isn't going to be quite the same. Also, some cars don't give you a low gear option. Many modern automatic transmissions are actuated by paddle-shifters, and most of those have some sort of sport or manual driving mode.
arkebuzer
I have only owned manually geared cars, but I have tried a few automatic ones aswell.

I really prefer menaul gear shifting since it gives me a feeling of more controll.. and I dont find it annoying or time consuming, or anything like that, to shift gears manually.
But honestly I beleave it΄s just a matter of getting used to it. If I drove a car with an automatical gearbox for a few months I would maybe appreciate it more.
Alaskacameradude
Manual all the way. Of course I'm a control freak. I hate the new 'auto everything' video cameras too. Give me a camera with manual iris, gain, shutter speed, white balance, audio control, and everything. I know what I am trying to do, the camera can only guess. Same thing with a car. I know what gear I want to be in, the car can only make an 'intelligent' guess. It's usually right, but can be annoying when it shifts when you don't want it do,.....plus it's harder to downshift on a corner with an automatic. Of course some people prefer automatics, this is just my opinion.
gerpg
In a manual car you have lots more control if your'e ever in a situtation when you need to pull away quickly, or the car is sliding etc.

Automatics are for lazy drivers, people that dont want to use one side of there body.

Louis.
Srs2388
Yet another thing I love about mine Very Happy BOTH.
if i get tired of shifting i can simply move it to automatic... it's great. I love it love it love it.
poly
Stick is way cooler...
Maddy
Why not get the best of both worlds. I have an Acura TSX which has the "auto stick" granted it is not the same as a full manual transmission but it is a pretty good substitute especially when i am stuck in traffic and can let the auto tranny do its thing. I have owned both types of car and have enjoyed them both. Although the auto is more of a cruising ride. It should be noted that the you have ALOT more control over the car when its manual. You can get away with doing much different things and driving your car a bit more aggressively.
scotty
I think a good auto box removes almost all need for a manual. I currently drive a manual car but the sort of driving I'm doing really doesn't wear kindly on my left leg. I've driven auto cars and I think my next car will be auto provided it has enough power to power out of the situations auto boxes get you in that you would avoid in a manual!
tingkagol
Gagnar The Unruly wrote:
I find that, in general, a manual transmission makes driving much more enjoyable. In some cars driving stick can be tiresome, but in a good car with a solid linkage it makes driving a lot better. I believe that shifting manually also causes people to drive more attentively.

EXACTLY.

Drivers can easily fall asleep while driving automatics (esp when you're drunk). By all means get the manual transmission.
GSIS
If money's likely to be tight go for whichever is likely to be more economic to maintain. In the UK that would be the manual but as autos are more prevalent in the US they might be cheaper than manuals there.

If money's no object go for the manual.
mingd
Manual will always come in handy !
deanhoughton
if you want to drive quickly then auto's are no good, they don't provide enough control, even the 'clever' ones which have sports mode. My audi s8 tries but even in manual mode it's too slow (the gearbox not the car) for really quick driving.

That said it's great when cruising....

cheers
Ucbet
If you are in the US or Australia, Automatic cars is the way to go if you are planning to change your car in the future ( say like 5 years time or so ). It is so much easier to sell and the value did not depreciate as much. Regarding fuel consumption it depends on how you drive. Some automatic driver stepped on their accelerator like they are driving a stick and thats pure stupid LOL, they are wasting their petrol that way.
Gagnar The Unruly
I think the mechanical linkage in a manual transmits power more efficiently than the wet torque converter in an automatic, which is also why manuals almost always get better fuel economy than automatics, all else being equal.
cybernytrix
I really enjoy driving a manual transmission car. It gives you more control and you can do a lit of things you cannot do with an automatic. I have the G35 coupe and it has 6 speed transmission. I think it is totally old style as the linkage is not cable but a solid rod.
One of the things that will take a life time to learn is to optimize your shifting. What I feel is that you have to shift so that the wheel speed will be the same as the flywheel speed *after* the upshift/down shift. If you get this right you can literally feel the extra power!!! Feels great to see the herd of cars in your rear view mirror:)
Gagnar The Unruly
Mechanical linkage is the way to go for sure.
ocalhoun
Just to complicate the issue, and make this a monster of a thread...
What about an automatic that has a mechanical clutch inside that locks together only when the transmission and engine are at matching speeds?
That gives you some of the benefits of a manual, still with the convenience of an automatic.
Gagnar The Unruly
ocalhoun wrote:
Just to complicate the issue, and make this a monster of a thread...
What about an automatic that has a mechanical clutch inside that locks together only when the transmission and engine are at matching speeds?
That gives you some of the benefits of a manual, still with the convenience of an automatic.


Like Ferrari's automated clutched transmission. It's the best of both worlds. Ferrari is shifting more and more towards auto-clutches. I'll miss moving through the gates myself, but I'll make way for true progress (not that I'll ever own an auto-clutch car anyways).

The real money's in the new DSG's though.
jwellsy
I think it's a very good idea for people to get a manual tranny for their first car. They will always be able to drive a stick shift for the rest of their life after that.

As far as traction in snow goes, a stick will be be safer. An auto will shift anytime it wants to and thats what causes problems. It is most notable when accellerating up a hill. An automatic can easily shift and intiate a skid. With a stick you are already prepaird for the changing forces on the car as you shift.
Gagnar The Unruly
The advantage I see in auto in the snow is that an auto will roll on idle. It's much easier in an auto to get your tires gripping again when you've lost traction or are launching from a dead stop.
Sickness
I think manual transmission is better, although modern automatic transmissions are quite interesting...
ocalhoun
jwellsy wrote:

As far as traction in snow goes, a stick will be be safer. An auto will shift anytime it wants to and thats what causes problems. It is most notable when accellerating up a hill. An automatic can easily shift and intiate a skid. With a stick you are already prepaird for the changing forces on the car as you shift.

That's true for an automatic used thoughtlessly, but what about mine? I almost always know (from long experience) exactly when it is ready to shift, and I know just how to manipulate the timing of it by accelerator pressure. Also, if I were climbing a snowy hill, and I thought it would be likely to slip, I would set the gearshift to exactly the gear I wanted and leave it there, shifting in manually if I needed to.
jwellsy
ocalhoun wrote:

Perhaps you could explain to me how a manual transmission gives more traction in snow?


ocalhoun wrote:
That's true for an automatic used thoughtlessly, but what about mine?




Most people that have an automatic have no idea what the 1 and 2 mean on a gear selector, let alone the difference between D and circle D. In fact, most people don't even want to know what they mean.

Still, I believe that overall there is less slip in a manual tranny.
cornga56
If you know how to drive stick fairly well you can def use it to your advantage to get higher MPG. I've had 4 cars total in my life, 2 of them were auto 2 were manual, barring the differences in classes the autos had roughly the same gas mileage while the manuals had much higher gas mileage probably due to the way I was taught to drive stick and conserve gas. But I would certainly say always always always go for a stick......UNLESS the only driving you'll be doing is in stop and go situations and high traffic areas, in which case you have got to go with an auto just because it's so much easier. I hope my opinion gives you some insight......not to mention driving a stick is def impressive to some ladies :*)
hlavco
Back in the summer I got my first car... it was an '03 Chevy S10, and it was the super-budget model: RWD, manual locks, crank windows, AM/FM stereo, and a manual transmission. I had never used a stick before, so my dad had to teach me. It was tricky at first, but now I sort of like it. I haven't grown attached enough yet to defend it to the death or anything, but now it feels funny to go back to an auto transmission. However, driving stick makes me feel like a better driver, because so many of the people I know don't know how to use it, so I'm kinda happy I got it.

Off-topic: Icy parking lots + rear-drive pickup with awful traction = fun times.
xAntoIn3x
Manual all day, I learned how to drive off a stick shift
Perfectart
Manual, if you dont want to do something when you are driving you could instead for driving a car go by
train or cab
thegoddog
get a stick. it will save you gas
ocalhoun
Perfectart wrote:
if you dont want to do something when you are driving you could instead for driving a car go by
train or cab

Oh, really? There are no passenger train terminals within at least 50 miles of where I live, and taking a taxi everywhere would be far more expensive than driving myself, not to mention the inconvenience of waiting for a taxi to show up. And no, buses are not an option either, the nearest stop is about 4 miles away, and I've never seen a bus stopped there.
skatetokil
It really depends on the car. I've driven a couple of automatics that I would gladly own, Lexus IS250, VW R32, but my cars have all been stick. On my old acura I loved driving stick, but as a previous poster noted, if your car is poorly built, being forced to jam it through the gears whenever you're driving can get very old very fast. My current car which I bought under duress is a 5 spd Isuzu Rodeo. The transmission is a turd and I would much rather have it in auto. That said, I'd also much rather dump it and buy a stick car that is actually well made.
alyer
I like manual gearbox cause it gives more car control, especially in a different situations (icy or wet road). Manual gearboxes are cheaper in serving, more reliabilly and simplier especcialy on older cars.
gauravbansal1984
As far as enjoing driving is concerened i would say that a manual gear shift would give much better fun as compared to an auto gear shift system. with a mnual one you can have varied acceleration modes and also it makes driving a lot of fun .
shenyl
Following the chain of discussions, I realised that it depends on what you wanted out of the car. If fuel economy is concerned - it seem the manual is the choice. Here I have to caution, that if you like to do lots of fast pick-up, the manual will do the job, but little fuel economy.

On the otherhand, auto is preferred when you are often faced with start/stop situations. One even mentioned that it can be boring driving auto. This I agreed especially if you are driving for few hours - the manual gear shifting can make you more alert.

Economy of fuel usage, Speed for pick-up, Stop/go situations, and I will like to add - if you have some knee problems, like myself, you will definitely desire an auto - due to the need to depress the clutch lever very often, especially during a traffic jam.

Hope you enjoy the summary.
jsymac
Interesting thread.

I think a lot of what you get used it depends on where you live. In the Uk I would say most people learn to drive in a manual car as if you take your test in a automatic you're not licensed to drive a manual.

I own both and I must admit I enjoy driving the automatic more, maybe because I'm getting lazy.
bigt
My vote is for the manual. I learned to drive mostly on manual transmissions; truck and tractors. Probably not the norm, but my 2001 Ranger still has the same clutch, other transmission parts, and the rest of its major factory parts. Shifting gears isn't bad on highways, steady speeds, and over 35 or 40 mph. And I completely agree with a previous poster; if you are concerned w/ doing other things while driving you need to get a driver or use another form of transportation Neutral

Liu wrote:
I'm going to buy my first car soon after I graduate from college, so I'm debating whether to buy a stick shift or an auto. I've always wanted to drive stick after I learned how on my friend's stick-shift car, but I'm wondering will it become too tedious after awhile? So i'm wondering if I should just go auto for the long run.

I'd really like to hear input from those that own a stickshift car, or have driven one for long periods of time. Although, any other input is also welcome.
bissoboa
My vote is for the manual too!
Because I wanna let the motor scream if I like Twisted Evil
I like automatic only if it gives me controls on the wheel like F1...
themit
I am still learning to drive and found that a driving instructor that I use only teaches in auto cars. Apparently manual cars and less common than auto, so auto is getting more popular. I have still driven a manual. I would prefer to drive an auto though because if you have to get away or start quickly, you can always put your foot to the floor and get away without worrying about clutch, gear shift etc.
Andrew426
themit wrote:
you can always put your foot to the floor and get away without worrying about clutch, gear shift etc.
Mate if you put your foot to the floor in most autos (yes, even gutless ones) it will kickdown hard and send you flying into the steeringwheel before flicking you right back into your seat. Try it. Its fun the first time, but you will never want to do it again.
nivre
i prefer manual, i'm a race type of person so, needs to be more accurate on gears if speeding up and slowing down. Also manual transmission can be give you more horsepower than automatic ones. It's bit tiring especially on heavy traffic since you'll keep shifting gears and pumping the clutch, the best thing with manual is, you can easily drift.... Very Happy
ocalhoun
Andrew426 wrote:
themit wrote:
you can always put your foot to the floor and get away without worrying about clutch, gear shift etc.
Mate if you put your foot to the floor in most autos (yes, even gutless ones) it will kickdown hard and send you flying into the steeringwheel before flicking you right back into your seat. Try it. Its fun the first time, but you will never want to do it again.

I have done that in (let me count...) 7 very different autos, and never experienced any such thing. I would expect that more from manuals where there is not a slush box dampening the effects of sudden acceleration.

If this is a problem for you, I'll be helpful and supply a list of auto cars that I personally guarantee will not do that:
98 suburban
04 cavalier
00 Saturn SL1
00 explorer (with AWD)
97 grand cherokee (with all time 4x4)
04 jeep wrangler
04 suzuki xl7
Gagnar The Unruly
My experience with autos in trucks and large cars is that there is a strong jolt whenever the torque converter engages suddenly. Heavy duty automatics aren't really known for their smoothness. Things seem better now than they were 10 years ago, though. When it comes to cheap cars, I still think that a person can drive more smoothly with a clutch.
Andrew426
Quote:
Andrew426 wrote:
themit wrote:
you can always put your foot to the floor and get away without worrying about clutch, gear shift etc.
Mate if you put your foot to the floor in most autos (yes, even gutless ones) it will kickdown hard and send you flying into the steeringwheel before flicking you right back into your seat. Try it. Its fun the first time, but you will never want to do it again.

I have done that in (let me count...) 7 very different autos, and never experienced any such thing. I would expect that more from manuals where there is not a slush box dampening the effects of sudden acceleration.

If this is a problem for you, I'll be helpful and supply a list of auto cars that I personally guarantee will not do that:
98 suburban
04 cavalier
00 Saturn SL1
00 explorer (with AWD)
97 grand cherokee (with all time 4x4)
04 jeep wrangler
04 suzuki xl7


Funny that, autos are meant to change down when you put your foot down hard (called kickdown, most older cars have kickdown cables on the carb/throttlebody so the trans knows exactly how hard the accellerator is being pushed).

The only time I have noticed it not happening is if the trans fluid hasnt been replaced in a few years.
aspeckinc
i think you would have to also consider the traffic situation in your area, manual transmission would be very appropriate if you are not exposed to too much traffic jams in your area while automatic transmission would be suitable for traffic conditions because you would only have to worry about accelerating and braking as opposed to constantly shifting.
TheStig
Manual all the way. I've never seen an Auto in the UK lol. And Manuals perform better and faster Smile
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