View Poll Results: Transmission preference?

Voters
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  • Manual

    85 62.96%
  • Automatic

    32 23.70%
  • Automatic manual(shiftable automatic)

    14 10.37%
  • Paddle shifting

    3 2.22%
  • other(comment)

    1 0.74%
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  1. #41
    Over 9000! Gheld's Avatar
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    Bad options are bad.

    Automatic could mean a number of things, but would generally refer to a "hydramatic" style transmission which operates on hydraulics, uses a fluid coupling (typically a torque converter) in place of a mechanical clutch to engage the transmission.

    Manual would most typically be a "synchromesh" type transmission which uses a synchronized gear box where the appropriate gear is manually selected, typically by a "stick" and is engaged via a mechanical clutch.

    But this is where your options come flying off the rails.

    "Paddle shifting" usually refers to a Manual Sequential Transmission (which uses a manual gearbox which unlike a synchromesh transmission can be shifted without use of a clutch pedal (except for standing starts), however the gears have to be cycled through in order.

    It could also refer to an "Automatic Sequential Transmission." Which is basically a dumb gimmick which is a typical hydraulic automatic transmission that affords the user the ability to manually select gear shifts in sequence, which has very little practical application save for driving on steep terrain (although most automatic transmissions have a "low" option already which would achieve the same effect.) But a "Manual automatic" could also use "paddle shifters".

    But you also left out electronically controlled automatic synchromesh transmissions; which use a typical mechanical transmission design but feature electronic controls that automatically cycle through the gears in a logical order but still operate on the same mechanical principals as a "manual transmission." These are becoming increasingly popular in commercial vehicles because they have all the awesome longevity and fuel economy of a typical manual transmission while affording the driver the extra attention span to not be worrying about shifting gears.

    There is also the "continuously variable" transmission (or CVT) which for all intents and purposes is an automatic transmission, however, rather than cycling through a set of fixed gear ratios the gear ratio actually continuously changes (there are a number of different technologies one might use so I won't get into details). Typically a CVT leads to better fuel economy because the engine, in typical driving conditions, is constantly running at its most efficient possible RPM (save for hard acceleration).

    Then, not common in any practical application save for the drag strip you have the direct drive transmission; which has no "Gears" in the conventional sense, the engine gets engaged directly to the drive mechanism and by leaving out the middle man so to speak it ensures maximum power delivery to the wheels. Commonly used in applications where maximum power to the wheels is desired, and where the power involved is so great it would absolutely destroy any conventional form of transmission, I.e. top fuel drag racing.
    Last edited by Gheld; 2012-02-14 at 06:00 PM.

  2. #42
    Quote Originally Posted by ContentsMayVary View Post
    I don't know about elsewhere, but in the UK if you take your driving test in an automatic, you aren't allowed to drive manuals! Is that the same elsewhere?

    Anyway, I do know one person here (out of lots) who drives an automatic, but they are more expensive and are seen as being driven by people who have to use them because they can't drive very well... I stress that is just in the UK of course.
    In Germany and Austria it's the same. Automatic costs extra and if you took your driving test in an automatic you aren't allowed to drive a manual. On the other hand you are allowed to drive an automatic if you took your driving test in a manual.

    I prefer driving a manual because I like having more control over the car.

  3. #43
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    Manual- makes driving more of an experience- more active than passive. Plus it is just cooler (especially if you drive a sports car)

  4. #44
    Depends completely in what you use the car for.

    Manual is more "fun", but if you spend hours and hours in your car every day driving for work or similar.. the fun kinda goes out of it, and an automatic is without doubt more comfortable. That is, when you have gotten used to it, and remember that there is no clutch. Seen plenty of people new to automatics almost getting into accidents by pushing the break when they intend to clutch.

  5. #45
    Quote Originally Posted by Stevegasm View Post
    Saves brakes? How so? Are you slowing down by gearing down (compression braking)? You'll wear our your transmission system faster and that way. Much more expensive to replace a worn out transmission than replacing some brake pads. Unless you're driving a freight truck or something equipped with engine brakes, you shouldn't be stopping like that.

    For me, after driving manual transmission for nearly 10 years, I'd rather have an automatic. Shifting gets old after a while. When I head in and around Vancouver, all the stop and go traffic is annoying as hell when your shifting every 10 seconds. Automatics are programmed so well these days, the only real advantage that manual has now is a lighter car.
    This, finally someone who knows how a transmission actually works. I drive a truck for a living and I want nothing to do with shifting gears for the few days I get home each month. A manual transmission used properly can provide better gas mileage but more often then not people don't know how to shift correctly. They think they do but they don't.
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  6. #46
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    I love my manual and enjoy driving it far more than an automatic.

    The only downsides to it are that it can be a bit of a pain in traffic (never driving on the freeway through LA again) and you're pretty screwed if you have an injury and can't shift or use the clutch.

    Other than that though, they can really save a lot of money and give you more control. I go through gas far slower than my boyfriend, mother and sister do with their automatics, and after 4 years of owning it my brakes only have 10% wear after driving it to work and elsewhere every day.

  7. #47
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    I've only driven an automatic (shiftable automatic) like, 2 or 3 times in my life so I can't really say for certain if I prefer that or not... Felt kinda good the few times I've done it though.
    Kinda rare to find an automatic here, I'd say probably 95% of all cars here are manual

  8. #48
    Quote Originally Posted by Shakadam View Post
    I've only driven an automatic (shiftable automatic) like, 2 or 3 times in my life so I can't really say for certain if I prefer that or not... Felt kinda good the few times I've done it though.
    Kinda rare to find an automatic here, I'd say probably 95% of all cars here are manual
    Where are you located, out of curiosity? Almost all the cars in the us are auto.
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  9. #49
    i drive automatic and i prefer it, it seems a lot safer. i am never comfortable in manual cars when it seems like the driver constantly has his hands off the wheel. here most cars are automatic but i did learn how to drive manual because my dad prefers that and i had to drive his vehicles a lot as a kid.

  10. #50
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    If it's a sports car I'll do manual and enjoy it but if it's not, I prefer automatic..

    I don't personally think that driving an automatic means you can't drive, it's just a simpler way of controlling a car.
    It's like saying that people who use slip-on shoes can't tie a shoe.

  11. #51
    Mechagnome
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    I wonder if people that say "Manual is faster" have actually seen the testing? Manual is faster by under half a second through to top speed on sports cars IF you dont use the clutch. So for manual to be faster you have to fully destroy your gearbox.




    My stall Converter more than makes up for the "Manual is faster argument". I have a 95 Z28 and all things being equal, the 6 speed was usually .1-.2 quicker in the 1/4 run (although I do run the 3.23 rears in my auto). Switched out to a 3600 stall converter and my quarter mile time went from AVERAGE of 12.7 to 12.5. Think with better tires I can scare off another .1. But yea a stall converter will pretty much negate the Manual Advantage. again this is talking dragstrip style.

    I do prefer a stick though. Dunno how many times I went to pass someone, shifted to 3rd and needed a bit more and then the stupid transmission would shift to 2nd. Would be nice just to floor it in 4th or 5th in that stick. Saves getting the shit scared out of you when the transmission hits 2nd at 65 on a rainy day

  12. #52
    Both are fine took some time getting used to the auto tho

  13. #53

  14. #54
    New automatics are on par with manuals as far as fuel efficiency.

    I like both for different reasons, but I like automatic the best. Driving stick in a large city is a needless pain in the ass imo.

    Also with an automatic you can let any of your friends borrow your vehicle and not have to worry about your gears getting ground into dust.
    Last edited by Defengar; 2012-02-15 at 06:16 AM.

  15. #55
    For an around-the-town car, automatic, and I'd guess that probably 2/3 or more of all drivers in america use automatic, as well. If I were to have a nice sports car, however, I'd want manual of course. But, if I just want to get from point A to point B, the less hassle the better, IMO. It's really not a big deal in the U.S. either way, though. No difference in the licenses either.

  16. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by lordjust View Post
    I prefer driving a manual because I like having more control over the car.
    I always said this until I got a very good offer for a used BMW that had automatic. Back then, I had to completely cross Vienna two times a day to get to work and never realized how much stress this caused until I had automatic. Suddenly I got home completely relaxed, didn't care if there was stop and go traffic on the freeway, it was perfectly fine.

    Now I have to deal with the French traffic and I'm happy to have automatic again. These people drive like crazy in the roundabouts, using their direction indicator completely at random. With automatic I can just jump onto the gas and the car will leap forward into the gap - if I did that with stick I always had a risk to stall the engine when doing that, with automatic it's a no-brainer.

    Automatic might be less fun, but it's definitely better for my nerves

    Edit: Of course I have shiftable automatic, everything else is a mess in the mountains.
    Last edited by Annu; 2012-02-15 at 09:32 AM.

  17. #57
    I prefer manual over automatic anyday. Mainly because you can use the car to it's full potential with manual transmisson.

    To spice things up, I have a story from real life:
    I visited the states half a year ago, and wanted to have some fun one day, rented a brad new Mustang, but with automatic transmission and no "sports" button or what ever, it was a little saddening driving a car like that. The kick-down you have with auto just dosen't make my day

  18. #58
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    Manual! else i wil fall asleep and not much of fun driving with automatic..

  19. #59
    I drive manual, automatic feels a little weird. Nothing to do while cruising the city.

  20. #60
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pocketzest View Post
    Where are you located, out of curiosity? Almost all the cars in the us are auto.
    Finland

    I think one of the reasons manual is so much preferred here is that automatics have a harder time coping with very cold weather, or atleast people think so. It's the same reason the vast majority of cars here are either German, Swedish or Japanese. French/Italian etc cars simply aren't made for temperatures down towards -30C and for coping with road salt.

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