Ever since automatic transmission was introduced, this topic has always been up for debate. Some people are die-hard fans of the manual transmission while some prefer the ease of the automatic transmission and find the manual quite cumbersome. Either way, this is one of the most hotly contested topics in the automotive world, whether or not one transmission is better than the other. Today, we try to assess this long-contested topic and provide our take on that based on a few pointers.
This is entirely about how ‘easy’ things are to drive. Automatic transmission certainly eases out a lot of load on the driver in that case. We definitely don’t imply that manual transmissions are difficult to drive, we love them as much as every enthusiast out there.
But in bumper to bumper traffic and long hours behind the wheel tend to tire the driver out more in a manual transmission than the automatic because manual requires the driver to do a lot more work and we need to look at this from a mass perspective because not everybody is an enthusiast. Purely in terms of the easy quotient, automatic edges ahead here.
Manual transmission wins this one by a mile. The amount of control a manual transmission offers is simply unparalleled. You clutch in yourself, can hold a gear if you wish to, can shift to any gear you wish to, use engine braking to aid your braking, can jump start a manual transmission car with a dead battery all of which are not that easy or controllable in an automatic transmission. Sometimes, too much technology robs away the very purpose of an invention.
In India, both of these transmission options are readily available. Nowadays, a lot of budget-oriented cars are offering an AMT or a CVT gearbox which opens up a lot of options for the buyers. But, most of the cars in India today offer manual transmission as standard across their range with automatic offered on select or higher trims. If you turn towards luxury cars, you have no option but automatic, which is a different story altogether. Either way, in India you can get these options quite readily.
Manual transmissions are easier to build, consists of fewer parts, constitute a simple construction and are easier to maintain in comparison to a more complex and a more technologically advanced automatic transmission. Even accessing and figuring out the transmission components for replacement or fixing them up is relatively easier for a manual transmission as against an automatic. Furthermore, the spare parts are costlier and not as readily available as their manual counterparts, as the tech quotient goes up. This one goes to manual.
Some people view their cars as simply a machine that takes them from point A to point B comfortably. Some of us, the enthusiasts, view our cars as more than just a piece of engineering. We grow and cherish a bond with our cars and care and love our cars as a part of our family. For us, the most important thing in our cars is the feeling it provides. It is about what it makes us feel, how big a smile and how emotionally connected we feel with our car. Automatics were introduced for the first kind of people we talked about, ease out the driving and multiply the comfort. For us, we love things that offer themselves to us with complete control and trust and obey our commands, and just what manual transmissions precisely do. This one definitely goes to the manual.
At the end of the day, both these transmissions serve a different purpose and it might not be correct to say that one is superior over the other as their purpose of manufacturing is different. But, each one of us can have a preference.