Which One to Choose, Manual or Automatic Transmission Car?
13 November, 2017
Do you have a plan to buy a car but are still confused which one to choose, whether a car with manual transmission or the one with automatic transmission (Indonesians usually call it matic car)? In a car with manual transmission –also known as manual gear box–, gear shifting is done normally using clutch pedal and shift lever.
Automatic transmission technology has developed in the last 20 years. These are types of automatic car transmission:
- Semi-automatic transmission
This transmission system is cluthchless. It changes gears manually, but the driver doesn’t need to press clutch pedal.
- Automatic transmission
- Electronic automatic transmission (Triptonic)
Commonly used on luxury cars such as BMW and Mercedes.
- Continuously variable transmission (CVT)
This transmission system doesn’t use gears, therefore gear shifting seems smooth (because in fact there’s no gear shifting at all) as it uses gear ratios.
- Sequential manual
This transmission system can be operated manually, but it has computerized auto mode to control gear shifting.
- Double clutch gearbox
This is the newest transmission system. It’s similar with sequential manual, but has two computerized shift levers that allow very smooth gear shifting.
Here are some differences between automatic car and manual car:
- Operating system
In a manual car, the driver’s left foot functions to press clutch pedal while right foot is for controlling both brake and accelerator pedals. Aside from that, left arm needs to shift gears actively as well. It’s different with automatic car as it only requires right foot to operate the car. Right foot functions to press both brake and accelerator pedals, whereas left foot is free or not used. Left arm is also quite unoccupied because it rarely needs to shift gear.
Automatic car consumes more fuel compared to manual car. That is because the engine in automatic transmission car works much harder than that of manual.
In term of comfort, automatic car is indeed superior. That is because it has a smooth and comfortable gear transmission, unlike that of manual car with rough gear transmission sometimes.
Automatic car requires more expensive maintenance compared to manual car, because prices for clutch, spare parts and other car equipments are indeed more costly.
Benefits and disadvantages of automatic car compared to manual car:
- More practical, easier to drive, more comfortable, doesn’t exhaust easily, and pleasurable.
- Dependable during traffic jam in big cities like Jakarta, Surabaya and others.
- For beginners, it is certainly easier to drive automatic transmission car as they don’t need to be busy balancing between pressing accelerator pedal and clutch pedal.
- Requires extra effort because regular maintenance is a must. Delayed maintenance should be avoided (once the car is damaged, it will be very costly).
- Requires transmission fluid more often.
- Consumes more fuel, although constant (ideal) use of the car consumes relatively the same amount of fuel as manual car does.
- Slower acceleration, moreover on an uphill road.
- Does not have engine brake. For that reason, driver must be careful to use brake when driving down a steep, long road since brake sometimes can lose its ideal power if it is used continuously.
- Only a few technicians understand about this type of car.
- Buying price is more expensive.
- Requires extra budget to maintain gear box.
- In average, selling price for used automatic car tends to drop drastically.
Benefits and disadvantages of manual car compared to automatic car:
- Better acceleration.
- More suitable with driver’s needs.
- More thrifty.
- Less costs for maintenance and services.
- Manual transmission is highly reliable in rocky and uphill road.
- Driving manual car is more difficult (because driver’s attention is divided for both accelerator and brake pedals as well as gear stick).
- Driving this type of car is more exhausting, moreover if you often get stuck in traffic congestion.
- Less comfortable, except for certain people who like to experience shock sensation like off road drivers.
Before deciding whether to choose manual or automatic transmission car, it is advisable that you adjust with your needs and also with the type of terrain or road you’ll be driving on. Consider about the cost you’re going give and future expenses for maintenance, whether they worth the comfort you’ll going to get from the car with transmission of your choice or not.