Auto or manual?
But what should you consider?
One key point to consider when buying a new car is whether to go for automatic or manual. Manuals are said to be more exciting and for ‘real drivers’, while automatics are more relaxing, especially in heavy traffic. But what else should you consider? Here are a few points to keep in mind:
Manual transmission pros
- Cheaper to buy and repair.
- More fun for enthusiastic drivers.
- Lighter than automatic gearboxes.
- Less power loss than auto’ gearboxes.
- Better acceleration
Manual transmission cons
- The cutch can burn out, which is an expensive repair.
- Possible stalling in traffic.
- Less relaxing to drive.
- Worse resale value.
- Hill pull-offs – need we say more.
Automatic transmission pros
- No clutch to damage.
- Relaxing in traffic.
- Better resale value.
- Automatic cars often come with more equipment as standard.
- Modern automatic gearboxes shift gears quicker than manuals.
- Modern auto’s are more fuel efficient.
- Good on hills.
- Good for towing – no clutch slipping.
Automatic transmission cons
- More expensive to buy
- Expensive to repair in the event that something goes wrong.
- (Subjectively) not as much fun to drive.
- Underpowered automatic cars can ‘hunt’ through the gears, especially on hills.
- Can overheat under stress, which can lead to damage.
What about CVTs?
Adding further confusion to the mix is the advent and increasing popularity of CVTs or Continuously Variable Transmissions. While they are grouped under the automatic transmission, they differ in that they use a belt that runs between two cone-shaped pulleys for an almost infinite number of ratios. They are said to be more efficient in terms of power delivery and fuel efficiency, but this is offset by a less exciting driving experience than either a manual or true automatic gearbox. They can drone a bit under acceleration