• Depends on your personality mainly, but there are two major advantages to manual transmissions in my opinion. 1. Fuel Economy: By using a manual transmission, the vehicle does not have to lug around a heavier automatic one. This obviously saves power. 2. Connection: This is of course a personal thing but in my opinion with a manual, I feel more in touch and in control of the car. With an automatic, you have little or no control over when it shifts. With a manual you know for sure what gear you are in, and you have full control over the drivetrain basically. Disadvantages: 1. This goes with the #2 point above - since you must shift yourself, if you get into a sticky situation you need to remember to shift down, whereas with an automatic you floor it and it shifts down for you. 2. Tricky for some: Some people either can't or don't want to master the manual transmission. Hills can be daunting, and they aren't recommended for new drivers. 3. Clutch: Clutches can wear out if you rev it up to much or do burnouts. Replacing these is costly.
  • Manuals have advantages in that: 1) They are lighter 2) They are mechanically simpler, leading to greater ease of repair and lower costs. 3) Unlike torque converters, every bit of power you send through the clutch winds up in your transmission instead of being wasted churning and heating up transmission fluid. 4) Better gas mileage; see #3 5) Better acceleration: see #3 6) Lower maintainance. 7) Greater control; you don't have to worry about an unwanted downshift causing wheelspin and loss of control in low-traction conditions. If you know how to modulate the clutch, your control is even greater under certain conditions. 8) Slightly less likely to be stolen; fewer and fewer people are capable of driving a manual, and since car thieves are people too.... Disadvantages of Manual transmissions: 1) Clutches wear out, though if driven carefully they can last for YEARS. I have had cars over 200K miles on the original clutch! 2) They require skill to drive. 3) You have to be paying attention to your driving to avoid grinding gears, burning out your clutch, or over-revving your engine. The average American driver is too busy to pay attention to what they are doing on the road, so this can be a hassle. Advantages of Automatic transmissions: 1) Leaves one hand free at all times so you can talk on your cell phone. 2) My wife doesn't yell at me for looking at a new car with an automatic. (She wants something we can both drive.) 3) Can be driven be a Chimpanzee. Not only can they be driven by the unskilled, they can also be driven while sleepy, intoxicated, stupid, or otherwise impaired. Disadvantages of Automatic transmissions: Most of these have already been covered above. To recap, they are slower, heavier, more expensive (both to buy and repair), less efficient, and less reliable. Plus, there are a few times where I have nearly had an accident due to unwanted downshifts, which are impossible with a manual.

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