The rising debate: manual vs. automatic

Nicole Curtis, special to wtop.com

WASHINGTON – When making the big decision of what car to buy, do you choose manual or automatic? A report by Edmunds helps explain which car might be best for you.

While cars with stick shifts have better fuel economy and are easier to maintain, the report shows that they are also harder to drive, which is why most people prefer cars with automatic transmissions.

A car with a stick shift costs less than the same model with an automatic transmission. But manual transmissions aren’t always available — 67 percent of 2013 model cars offered only automatics, according to the report.

Professional racer Ken Hill says in the report that young people don’t get exposed to manual transmissions, so they have little interest in learning how to drive them.

“It’s a complication they don’t need,” Hill says. “Ninety-plus percent are perfectly happy with the automatic they have access to.”

Wilsonville Toyota wrote in a report that automatic transmissions are preferred by parents and require less concentration. Although repair costs are much higher in cars with automatic transmissions, studies show that these drivers have lower stress rates.

Below is a graphic of “The Difference Between Manual and Automatic” by Toyota:

The Difference Between Manual and  Automatic
From: Portland Toyota Via: DriveSteady

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