Buying a car always involves a lot of scrutiny and discussion because it’s a one time investment, specially for the middle class folks who are always concerned about complying with the budget. After making your mind about a car purchase you begin searching for your favorite model and then consider its body style, fuel efficiency, powertrain, features and even the paint shade.

However, the most significant factor is the transmission setup of the vehicle, which nowadays include a wide variety of choices like manual, automatic, automated manual, and Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT). Among these, the two main categories are- automatic and manual.

Nowadays, almost every brand offers an automatic transmission on its top end variants. In such a situation, people may often think about Manual vs Automatic Transmission cars, whereby both have their own significance in the market. As the buying capacity is increasing, more and more people are opting for the automatic options because it reduces the effort and offers comfort.

However, this doesn’t rule out the significance of a manual gearbox, which lets you change the gears as per your need. It’s a debatable topic and we just can’t declare which one is better.

Manual vs Automatic Car

To help you out, here’s a brief discussion encompassing both negative and positive aspects of these transmission options. So, let’s start the Manual vs Automatic Transmission cars debate.

What is Manual Transmission?

A manual transmission car is one, which contains a hand-operated gear lever that works in unison with the clutch pedal. This mechanism regulates the transfer of torque output from the engine to the wheels. This arrangement allows the driver to change the gears through a manual effort as per the requirements.

Manual Transmission Cars


In order to understand the concept in a better way, let’s take a look at some advantageous features of the manual transmission:


If you are very particular about the amount of money that you are going to spend on your car, then a manual transmission would be an obvious choice. When compared, the same model in an automatic version would cost you much more and hence it’s logical to opt for the former.

Low Maintenance Cost:

The machinery that is required to be maintained in an automatic arrangement require more investment. However, with a manual gearbox no such maintenance is required except for the clutch.

Fuel Economy:

By using a manual transmission, you can save 5-15% of your fuel cost and hence it’s quite clear that manual cars deliver a far better fuel economy than the automatic one because they are less complex and weigh less.

Offers Control:

With a manual gearbox by your side, you will have better control over the car because of the fact that one can respond to a situation as and when it arrives and it also allows in selecting a lower gear for an additional power boost, thereby wasting less engine power.

What is Automatic Transmission?

It is also known as auto or self shifting transmission. In this, the gear ratios change automatically as the vehicle moves and hence the driver can remain free without having to worry about changing the gears. In this setup, no clutch pedal is needed as everything is autonomous, while the clutch plate mechanism is replaced by hydraulic torque converter.

Automatic Cars In India


There are some important features of automatic transmission cars, which make it more desirable than the earlier one. These can be explained as follows:

Easy to Use:

Although operating a manual gearbox is not rocket science, but still some people may find it difficult to use both their hands differently at the same time. Automatic transmission is comparatively easy to learn, particularly for the beginners.

Less Restrictive:

For those who are new at driving, are required to keep their hands firm on the steering, but with a manual gearbox, it may be difficult for the person to manage all these things at the same time. Hence, an automatic gearbox will allow you to focus on the steering without worrying about keeping a track of the gear shifting.

Convenient for Driving in Hilly Areas:

When driving at a steep slope, a manual transmission car is difficult to handle as more manual effort is required. However with an automatic setup, everything will be managed automatically no matter how steep the slope is.

Easy to Drive in Heavy Traffic:

While there is heavy traffic on the road, a manual car will swiftly pass through and the constant efforts of starting and stopping the engine becomes relatively easy. On the other hand, one will have to start, accelerate, decelerate, and stop the manual transmission constantly, which becomes quite troublesome.

Are Manual Cars Cheaper than Automatic?

Well, as we have already mentioned above, automatic cars will cost you much more than the automatic ones. This is true in regard to all the investment that you will be making throughout the whole life of the car. From the purchase, maintenance and repairing, everything will be incurring huge cost. On the other hand, with manual cars, there is a less chance of any damage and even if you need to get anything fixed, it will be easy to repair.

Why should I Buy Manual Transmission?

There are various reasons, which will make you want to buy a manual transmission car. Firstly, it will be available at a cheaper rate and hence you’ll be able to manage other expenses accordingly. Secondly, it will deliver a better fuel economy because the mechanism won’t waste the engine power unnecessarily and control would totally be yours.

Thirdly, if you are someone who often goes on a highway driving or out of city journeys then this option is strongly recommended. And lastly, a manual transmission car is a perfect choice for the enthusiasts who love speeding around. It will let you choose the gear ratio as per your requirements and this will certainly give you a kick, when you are racing on the empty roads.

Why should I Buy Automatic Transmission?

If you prefer comfort and convenience while driving around, you should go for a car with automatic transmission. Moreover, those who don’t mind burning a hole through their pockets can also opt for the automatic cars as they are costly. Also, if you are living in a metro city like Delhi or Mumbai, where heavy traffic has become an inseparable part of your life, then this kind of transmission would surely help you to tackle the stop-and-go kind of driving.

Final Words

After considering all the features, advantages and disadvantages of both the transmission options, I’d like to conclude by saying that in this debate of Manual vs Automatic Transmission cars, neither of them can be declared to be better than the other. There are a lot of factors that are involved in determining the degree to which a manual and an automatic car can be preferred over the other. The aspects like cost, usage, nature of traffic on the roads, terrain and the frequency of how often you go on a drive in your car altogether decide as to which one is truly a winner.

So, was this detailed analysis regarding Manual vs Automatic Transmission Cars helpful to you? Do let us know about your valuable feedback in the comments section below.