Question of the week: Manual or automatic transmission?


Definitely a stick guy. I’ve only had classics with sticks and when I bought a new car in 2016, I waited six weeks to get my Accord EX with a stick.

I’ve recently injured my arm and probably won’t be able to drive a stick for two years, but my Accord is in the garage and every month or so, my wife will drive it. Honda has stopped making them and so it’s not going anywhere.


When I bought my 70 Nova in 1974 it had a factory 3 speed on the floor , that didn’t last long untill I put a 4 speed in . When in 77 I added a Dyres blower the horsepower and 4 speed was a handfull. So I removed the 4 speed and switched to a manual 400 turbo with the reverse gera pattern ( clutch peddel is still in the car whitch raises lots of questions at the crusie nights ) . In 77 I bouhgt a 71 Monte Carlo SS . They only came with automatics whitch was fine for a date and bar (disco ) car . Then in 83 I bought a 69 corvette 350 /350 with a 4 speed . I enjoy the vette the most gives me a better feel of the road but the smooth ride of the Monte on the open road and the power and manual shifting of the Nova gives me the best of all worlds .


Reduced Liability: When I got my daughters their first cars, I got them manual stick shifts. None of their friends could drive a manual transmission, so none of their friends could borrow their cars.
Thus, my liability was reduced.
Also, my daughters got to liking the fun of the stick, so when they bought their own cars, they bought manual transmissions.


You can still get an Accord with either the 1.5 T or 2.0 T which is just a slightly de-tuned Type R with a 6spd. I actually find the Accord 2.0 Sport more fun then the Type R.


I own an 84 Corvette with the 700R4 automatic and a 71 Corvette with an M21 Muncie 4 speed. They are both terrific in different ways, but to choose it would be the 4 speed. Nothing like going through the gears manually!! I tell my wife, in the 84 you can enjoy a coffee and cruise control, however in the 71 you actually have to drive the car. No “mailing it in” driving the 71. LOL.


Manual only. I have 5 cars, all of them manual. I want to drive my car, not be taken for a ride. All automatic transmissions slip which gives you poor gas mileage except when they are under no load and finally lock up the torque converter, which promptly unlocks as soon as you touch the gas pedal. Both thumbs up for the manual transmission.


I have a 64 small block automatic Corvette and a 66 4 speed 427. Both are very enjoyable but each has a distinct personality which leads to a car selection pending my “mood”. Comfortable, calm, relaxed driving - go automatic. Aggressive mood - 4 spd but traffic and very frequent stop lights in my suburban area limits me to rarely getting out of 3rd gear.


I’ve had my share of both, but the fact that I’ve converted 2 cars from auto to manual should tell you how I lean; 1968 Cougar and 1969 GT500 (in the '80s before they were too valuable to modify). I also plan to convert 1 more soon - my current 1969 GT500 restomod is an auto (it’s what I had on had when I built it) but I have plans to convert it to a 5-speed soon.


Interesting. Thank you.


It could be age dependent. One the funniest stories I heard recently was about a couple of young car thieves who broke into a car intent on stealing it, only to abandon their prize when they saw it had a manual and neither one knew how to drive it.


Manual. I have never owned an automatic transmission vehicle. I enjoy the engagement involved with driving a manual transmission and wish that my 1972 Chevrolet K20 3/4-ton 4x4 pickup had a 6-speed vs. a 4-speed manual transmission. A manual is just plain way more interesting to drive than an automatic, especially in a sporty car. I really enjoy going through the gears, and frequently speed shifting (shifting w/o using the clutch, just timing the shift with the engine’s rpms). Like the ability to use the engine for braking and reduce wear on the brakes. As far as clutch replacements being a maintenance issue, my 2001 Honda Accord EX 4-door 5-speed manual transmission car has 174K miles on it and I am still on the original clutch.

With all that said, I will admit that if you were continually in stop/go rush hour traffic most all of the time, that at times an automatic would be nice then and only then.


manual for sure! more interactive to drive them and fun. and as we call cars so equipped around here, the mellenial anti theft device ! lol


manual provides more of the driving experience that still makes driving my classic fun. I prefer a manual in the trucks & cars I drive, but I have to drive automatics in my work vehicles. It is just not the same to me. One advantage of auto, a few years back I severed a toe & could not put pressure on my foot. I swapped trucks with a friend that had an automatic for a few weeks during recovery.


Never again an automatic, unless I have no choice. I insisted my kids learn to drive on a manual so they would be more in touch with actually operating a big hunk of metal that can kill people, not just cruising down the boulevard. They have now bought their own 5-speed cars, and are very attentive and skilled drivers; my wife drives a 6-speed. People say that Europeans drive their cars, Americans aim them. Not my family.

One of the true pleasures of life is shifting from second to third at 3500 RPM.


Its hard to argue against the Porsche PDK dual clutch transmission but give me a great gearbox, like that in my 2015 Cayman GTS anytime - its all about the involvement in driving.


Thumbs sideways.
Don’t care


I prefer the control a manual tyranny offers it’s driver. PRNDL and paddle shifted automatics can’t even come close. In my humble opinion most people drive automatics because it is the easy thing to do, or because they lack the basic competence to drive manuals. As John Kennedy so aptly put it “We choose to drive manuals not because they are easy, but because they are hard.”


manual all the way! Sports car, daily driver, or truck for towing I prefer manual. Most manual vehicles usually hold value better generally speaking. I know when I’ve been looking for any truck or car trying to find a manual version they’re usually more money. Sure autos are a lot better now than what they use to be, but good luck rebuilding a 10 speed I’ll take doing a clutch or replacing some synchros over trying to rebuild any of these new ten trillion speed autos.


I enjoy shifting, but don’t like the clutch pedal. So, my Porsche with the PDK transmission is the best of both worlds. And it’s not an automatic - it’s an automated manual (no torque converter)


Manual all the way…I’ve always preferred shifting on my terms and car thieves nowadays can’t drive them…theft protection plus enjoyment for me! And the Borg Warner T18 in my 1968 F100 has the granny 1st gear so I can use it to pull or climb about anything!