Manual transmission vs automatic transmission myths debunked


Ardent defenders of the clutch and stick shift who won't settle for an automatic transmission vehicle even if it comes for free. Whatever myth that revolves around their decision is what we have decided to debunk in this article

Most Nigerian drivers learnt how to drive with a manual transmission car. This has made them believe that if you don't learn that way, you aren't worthy to be called a good driver. But this myth and many more actually doesn't hold water. In fact, automakers are gradually phasing out the manual transmission models of their vehicles. As of 2019, less than 4% of new cars people bought were manual cars. Do we now say that the current world is filled bad drivers? No! But there are ardent defenders of the clutch and stick shift who won't settle for an automatic transmission vehicle even if it comes for free.

Whatever myth that revolves around their decision is what we have decided to debunk in this article.

1. People believe that manual cars save more fuel than automatic cars

This myth only held a little bit of water in the past. But car manufacturers have realised that customers tend to tilt towards fuel economy cars, and ensured that new models of their automatic transmission variants also met up with expectations as regards fuel efficiency. Cars from 2010 till date save a lot of fuel. Now that you can find 8-speed transmission cars everywhere, it seems like manual cars are even losing the competition on fuel economy.

For example, a manual transmission Honda Accord that was made in the late 90's will most likely save more fuel than an automatic transmission variant launched in the early 2000's. But if you get manual 2014 Ford Focus, it gives you about 30 miles per gallon. While the same variant with automatic transmission will put out as much as 33 mpg. This also applies to the 2013 BMW 328i and the 2014 Nissan Versa. That said, if you put a continuously variable transmission (CVT), a 4-speed automatic transmission and 5-speed manual car side by side, the CVT will obviously stay ahead of the competition. This hereby debunks the myth that manual transmission means better fuel economy than automatic transmission.

>>> This is for automatic car owners: When to use low gear in automatic transmission cars

2. Automatic transmission cars are more expensive than their manual versions

This myth is also false. In the past when there were lots of manual cars, it was understandable that automatic transmission was seen as luxury and only a few cars had it. Now, these cars all go for almost the same price.

Most BMWs, 2013 Cadillac CTS-V and other GM cars go for the same price regardless of what transmission they come in. Not forgetting that now most brands are churning out more automatic transmission vehicles, the price is even likely to go lower as demand is obviously being surpassed by the supply.


The myths surrounding manual and automatic transmission cars are endless

3. Manual transmission sports cars are the best

Those who are fans of Formula One racing and sports cars believe that the best sports cars all come with manual transmission. This is false, but then, the word "best sports car" is relative. What John doe considers best might differ from Jane's idea of best. The Porsche cayenne that recently was made available for purchase in Nigeria is luxurious and sporty but comes as an automatic transmission car.

 The 2014 Porsche 911, 2013 Lamborghini Aventador, 2013 Maserati Granturismo, 2014 Jaguar F-type and the F12 model of the 2013 Ferrari all come with automatic transmission. These are just a few of them. So if you were thinking of throwing a manual sports car fest, sorry.

4. Manual cars are faster

This obviously holds no water. You can't bring a 4-speed manual Honda accord to race a 10-speed Honda accord. Even if they are of the same variant, the horsepower both can put out will be clear. The automatic transmission variant with the 10-speed gearbox will definitely go faster.

>>> Find more information here: Automatic vs manual: which is faster?

5. Every manual transmission car comes with an automatic transmission option, and vice versa

This is absolutely untrue. There are a long list of cars that came only as manuals and never had an automatic version. If you think they are only cars made in the mid 90's, it will shock you that there are recent cars that have no automatic transmission variant. They include - the Volkswagen Golf R, the 2014 Ford Shelby GT500, the 2014 Ford Focus ST, the Fiat 500 Abarth and the Audi TT RS.

6. Everybody really wants to learn with a manual transmission car

As stated earlier, many people believe that you can only be called a driver when you have learned with a manual car. This myth is not true. Not everyone really wants to be bothered with shifting sticks and clutching everytime. It can be nauseating and stressful. A recent survey showed that teenagers who ever said they wanted to drive a manual car just want to know the experience feels like. Besides, if there was that much affinity for manual transmission, car manufacturers would be putting out more of it than automatic vehicles.

7. It's difficult to steal a manual car

Now, this myth isn't really true or false. It usually comes with how determined a thief is. A director at the National insurance crime bureau in the United States, Frank Scafidi, slightly debunked the myth in a statement.

>>> Whatever it is, check this: Tips for preventing your car from getting stolen

"Some thieves might be thwarted in their attempt to steal a car with a manual transmission, since many thieves possess varying levels of intellect, that very personal element is also a factor in the degree of expertise necessary to overcome some of the more sophisticated security systems", Frank was quoted as saying.

"Most car thieves are just not that swift and therefore resort to stealing older, easier targets, but there are those in the car-thief ranks who are quite capable of making off with anything that they intend to steal." he concluded.

With these few points, you can obviously tell that most of the manual transmission vs automatic transmission myths are really untrue. It's just a situation of ardent lovers of a system supporting their own and seeking unverified claims to help them gain points.

>>> Read more about road usage and safe driving right here on!

Kennedy Ilediagu