Stick Shifty? Top 3 Myths About Manual Transmission Cars


Cars that have manual transmissions or stick shifts have many passionate defenders. However, the reasons they mention for their superiority and desirability are not supported by facts. It's what you might call the stick being shifty. If you are in the market for a new car and are trying to decide between a manual or automatic transmission, these myths are confusing. Here are three myths about manual transmissions and the truth.

Myth #1: Manual Transmissions Cars Consistently Get Better Fuel Economy

Previously, it had been a given that manual transmission cars were more fuel efficient than automatic transmission cars. However, more cars with automatic transmissions are now becoming more advanced by adding sophisticated gears, allowing them to surpass the fuel economy of manual transmission cars.

As an example, some economy cars offer three types of transmissions: a five-speed standard, a four-speed automatic, plus a continuous variable transmission. Automatic and the manual transmissions get exactly the same combined fuel economy but the continuous variable transmission gets better fuel economy than both of them. Luxury cars also exhibit this trend. Some luxury cars will get the same combined fuel economy whether you opt for the manual or automatic transmission.

Myth #2: A Car Using A Manual Transmission Is Less Expensive Than An Automatic One

In most cases, a car with a manual transmission will be less expensive. However, in some instances, it's the same price as an automatic. Further, you can't always get the car you want with a manual transmission, as some 2013 model-year cars came only as automatics.

Myth #3: The Trendiest Sports Cars Have Manual Transmissions

This will depend on your definition of trendy sports car. Some sports cars that some people would consider "cool" come with automatic transmissions. The subjective nature of this myth renders it a moot point. Even so, some still think that a driver is faster with a manual transmission. However, the new trend is that major sports car manufacturers no longer provide just manual transmissions because they are not considered better than an automatic one.

So now, you have the myths debunked and the facts before you. You can make an informed choice on the transmission type. If you are in the market for a new car, it will pay if you speak to a transmission repair professional. Ask them what is involved in manual and automatic transmission repair. Perhaps their response will help sway your decision.


21 November 2014