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Old 10-03-2003, 10:38 PM   #1 (permalink)
Upright
 
Location: Chicago
Manual vs Automatic

Which one is better?
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Old 10-03-2003, 10:43 PM   #2 (permalink)
Crazy
 
Location: NC
that's pretty broad. I personally like manuals because I feel like I have more control and I like to have the least amount of driveline power lost as possible.

However, if you have to sit in a traffic jam everyday on the way to work, maybe an automatic is better...
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Old 10-03-2003, 11:47 PM   #3 (permalink)
Junkie
 
Location: Florida
Manual, hands down.

I can't stand automatics. They piss me off. I could tolerate them if they didn't instantly get into the absolute highest possible gear and refuse to downshift until I almost floor it. I've driven everything from $1000 beaters to an $80k Mercedes and they all behave that way. Come to think of it, the new high-tech electronically controlled slushboxes are usually even worse.
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Old 10-04-2003, 01:18 AM   #4 (permalink)
Insane
 
Location: In a huge maze just trying to find my cheese
Dunno, depends on where you live. I would shoot myself if >I had to drive through traffic everyday with a manual transmission, but it does give you so much more control. Makes driving fun. It's also better on gas and much cheaper to replace a few clutches than a whole transmission.
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Old 10-04-2003, 03:15 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Location: SLC, UT
i don't like manuals....i can drive them proficiently but i prefer the effortless feel of driving through crappy traffic in an automatic
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Old 10-04-2003, 03:28 AM   #6 (permalink)
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It is so worth the extra money to get an automatic if you spend any kind of time in stop and go traffic.

A manual is more fun to drive and saves a bit of gas. Maintainance costs can vary. With a manual if you pay for clutch jobs it's gets pretty spendy depending on how you drive and how often you need a clutch job. An automatic you can usually just change the fluid and filter at the reccomended intervals and get away cheaper.

But trashing a stock transmission (either manual or auto) with agressive driving is expensive either way you go.
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Old 10-04-2003, 04:00 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Location: California
Manual is for hot rodding and playing around....... the autobox is for everything else.

nuff said..........
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Old 10-04-2003, 07:54 AM   #8 (permalink)
Observant Ruminant
 
Location: Rich Wannabe Hippie Town
People like what they like. I've driven a manual since the year zip. The only manual trans I truly hated was the old "three on the tree," which fortunately isn't made anymore. I hope.

Today's automatics give the driver much more control than the automatics of even a few years ago. And automatics are definitely easier in stop-and-go traffic.

But if you like total control and don't mind a little extra pedal work -- after a while, you don't even think about it -- go manual.

As for clutch replacement, my first cars generally needed a clutch at around 90-120K, but my '92 Integra's clutch is going strong at 165K. Of course, in the old days I lived in San Francisco :-).
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Old 10-04-2003, 07:59 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Location: Chitown!!
I love the spirited driving experience of a stick. I've never lived in a big city with stop and go traffic, so I can't comment on that. I test drove a Jetta GLI for about a week, and I just left it in 2nd gear for driving around town.

I drive an auto now, and wish it was a stick.
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Old 10-04-2003, 10:12 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by arcane
i don't like manuals....i can drive them proficiently but i prefer the effortless feel of driving through crappy traffic in an automatic
See, and I feel that driving a manual through traffic requires much less effort. I guess it all stems from that feeling of extra control. If I really want to make it into that spot to change lanes, I can floor it in first and the car will buck like a bronco and get in there. With an automatic, you confuse the car by doing that.

I don't even mind making 14-hour drives in a manual. Cruise control is for wimps.
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Old 10-04-2003, 10:21 AM   #11 (permalink)
Flavour of the Weak
 
Location: Canada
Manuals are just a whole lot more fun to drive
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Old 10-04-2003, 10:55 AM   #12 (permalink)
Psycho
 
Location: PA
Quote:
I could tolerate them if they didn't instantly get into the absolute highest possible gear and refuse to downshift until I almost floor it.
Every automatic I've ever seen has positions for gears 1, 2, 3 as well as drive (or 1, 2, D for a 3-spd). I always manually shift autos. It works great once you have a good feel for how that particular car.

Of course a manual is better though. You can control how hard you want each shift, and you can shift much faster (there's a slight delay when moving the lever in an auto before it starts shifting). I prefer manuals in general, but I think the main reason is that a clutch makes the car feel much more responsive than a torque converter.
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Old 10-04-2003, 12:32 PM   #13 (permalink)
Junkie
 
I like manuals as long as the shifter feels solid and precise. Some manual cars I have driven have a shifter that feels mushy, and it doesn't want to go in the right gear. Nothing more frustrating than when you are on the gas going from 2nd to 3rd and you accidentally jam it into first cuz the shifter is a pile of shit.
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Old 10-04-2003, 01:08 PM   #14 (permalink)
Loser
 
Manuals don't hold up behind 1000hp launches and aren't nearly as consistent unless you're talking Lenco's and Jerichos, and clutchless manuals arent really whats being referred to here.
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Old 10-04-2003, 01:31 PM   #15 (permalink)
Banned
 
If I get a sports car, then I get a stick. Whenever I someday buy a minivan or a big Cadillac, then it will be an auto. For instance, 3 series BMW, stick, 5 series BMW, auto.
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Old 10-04-2003, 01:31 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Location: St. Louis/Cincinnati
Auto if you are in traffic a lot....but the way to go is a clutch-less manual, not the kind they have in Acuras or Volvo, but the F1 paddle-shifters.
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Old 10-04-2003, 02:44 PM   #17 (permalink)
Psycho
 
Location: Wellington, New Zealand
I prefer manual - too many bad experiences with auto gearboxes selecting an inappropriate time to shift (half way through a corner, for example). It's usually the kind of help I can do without.

That said, if I drove commercially (taxi, for example), I'd probably want an auto.
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Old 10-05-2003, 01:05 PM   #18 (permalink)
Loser
 
Quote:
Originally posted by Thraeryn
I don't even mind making 14-hour drives in a manual. Cruise control is for wimps.
I have a manual MR2...with cruise control. My friend has a 6-speed Z28...with cruise control...

Personally, they both have their applications. My daily driver will always be a manual...I had an automatic Geo, and upgraded to a 5-speed MR2. I live in a big city with stop-and-go traffic, and it didn't bother me after two or three weeks of learning to drive the '2...

...But it is kind of relaxing to drive the girlfriend's Impala w/automatic every once in a while. So, meh. I'll always have a manual, until I have two cars, then the second one will be Auto.

Besides automatics can have bench seats up front
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Old 10-05-2003, 02:47 PM   #19 (permalink)
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I definently like driving a manual over an automatic. autos are nice but lack direct control. I find this to be the case in or out of traffic.
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Old 10-05-2003, 02:51 PM   #20 (permalink)
Psycho
 
Location: Wellington, New Zealand
Quote:
Originally posted by telekinetic

Besides automatics can have bench seats up front
So can manuals, as long as they're stick shifters. Used to drive one like that myself.
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Old 10-05-2003, 06:26 PM   #21 (permalink)
Tilted
 
Location: California
Manual without a doubt. I do live in a high traffic area (Los Angeles Area) and I commute everyday. These are my many reasons:
1. It is faster
2. More efficient with gas
3. Fun factor
4. You have the power when you need it
5. Cost (extra 1k for auto, and it costs more to fix if it breaks)
6. Also around 90% of Europe drives manual (Lazy Americans j/k)
feel free to debate if you feel differently.
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Old 10-05-2003, 07:12 PM   #22 (permalink)
Tilted
 
I've been driving manual for about 2 years now.

I can't even drive an automatic anymore.. it just doesn't feel right. You just have better control of your own vehicle when you drive manual. In an automatic car, if you're cruising at 60 and you want to floor it to pass someone.. there's that little bit of lag as your car tries to figure out what gear it should go to.

In a manual, you can just pick the gear and go. I feel more secure with a manual.

Technically speaking, high end automatic transmissions are excellent. Ferrarris, bmws, etc, they are all really well built. There are some cars with clutchless sticks that work exactly like a manual would, except no pressing of a clutch.
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Old 10-05-2003, 07:36 PM   #23 (permalink)
Junkie
 
Location: Florida
Yeah that's another thing, I can't even drive an automatic decently anymore. I keep trying to hit the clutch, downshift for turns, etc. And having to get speed up for a hill so it doesn't hunt constantly gets really irritating. Yeah you can shift an automatic manually but they don't like it. Downshifts, especially.
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Old 10-05-2003, 11:17 PM   #24 (permalink)
Upright
 
My girls 92 Accord is an auto and that's totally fine with me, but if I had bought an auto WRX rather than the stick I'd be embarrassed to be seen driving it. It's all about the car, and its application.

For sure I have a helluva lot more fun in my manual, but if I didn't have the performance to back it up it would just be a chore.
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Old 10-06-2003, 03:53 AM   #25 (permalink)
Addict
 
Manual is for driving. Automatic is for steering.
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Old 10-06-2003, 08:05 AM   #26 (permalink)
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Location: Kingston, Ontario
I got a Auto, but as soon as I can find a nice car im going to put a Stick in it.
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Old 10-06-2003, 08:44 AM   #27 (permalink)
Insane
 
Location: In a Caddy Shack
Manual every time. You chose the gear you need to be in, not the PCM. Sometimes you loose that extra gear in Automatic boxes.

Get better fuel economy with manuals.

Auto's have a lag when you wanna accelerate quickly

I said all that BUT the Audi TT has an auto with two clutches. Not to sure how it works but this could make an auto box more responsive and smoother.
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Old 10-06-2003, 06:19 PM   #28 (permalink)
Insane
 
I currently drive a manual and I love it. When i am driving a auto, I really hate the lack of control. Manual cars perform better and last longer. They make driving in stop and go traffic more interesting. Any sportscar that I will buy in the near future will be manual.
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Old 10-06-2003, 08:54 PM   #29 (permalink)
Junkie
 
Location: SE USA
Personal vehicle - manual
Lt Commercial vehicle - automatic

If I'm driving because I want to drive, I need a manual. There is no other way to really enjoy it. If I am driving because I have to (ie commercial) I want an automatic simply so that I don't have to muck with shifting when I am inevitably getting called on the cell, trying to figure out where I am supposed to go, stuck in bumper to bumper for three hours, etc.
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Old 10-06-2003, 09:15 PM   #30 (permalink)
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Location: Central California
I dunno, when a car gets to a certain point in Strait line preformance i think that automatic is the only way to go. The fastest car I have driven (briefly) was a buddys 11.6 (Gtech) El camino and I could not imagine dring that with a manual. And thats not even terribly fast compared to some other crazy cars around here.
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Old 10-07-2003, 01:15 AM   #31 (permalink)
Loser
 
A guy in my circle of friends just ran a high 9 second quarter mile in his six-speed supra :-) It doesn't get much faster than that for a street car.
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Old 10-07-2003, 01:24 AM   #32 (permalink)
Loser
 
Here's the video of his run, btw, if anyone cares to see a supra go fast:

http://homepage.mac.com/rdwoon/9.74@145.2VegasPass.mov
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Old 10-07-2003, 01:44 AM   #33 (permalink)
Psycho
 
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Location: Rotterdam
Manual is better in my opinion. You can choose how much revs you want to make so you are always in the power-band. Semi- atomatic would be even better, they use it in the formula-one, and expensive cars
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Old 10-07-2003, 07:31 AM   #34 (permalink)
Overreactor
 
Location: South Ca'lina
Quote:
Originally posted by Ashton
Manual is for hot rodding and playing around....... the autobox is for everything else.

nuff said..........
I agree wholeheartedly. I used to have a manual and I miss it when I feel like tearing down the road on the weekends. But it was murder in a lot of traffic.
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Old 10-07-2003, 08:02 AM   #35 (permalink)
More Freedom, Less Bullshit
 
Location: Tulsa, OK
For me, the manual is the only way to go, for almost any situation. I just like the fun factor. Manuals used to get alot better gas mileage and longevity than their automatic counterparts, but as automatics have gotten better, they'll usually last just as long as manual transmissions, and don't need a few clutch changes over the course of it's lifetime, like a manual. Also, for those that shift automatics manually, you're not getting as much control as you think. The computer still checks your gear decision and only changes gears when it's safe, so it's harder to break your engine.
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Old 10-07-2003, 08:31 AM   #36 (permalink)
Lost!!
 
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Location: Kingston, Ontario
My van has a shift kit with it. That give me quick pick up and the trany shifts so nice an smooth, even when I punch on the gas.
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Old 10-07-2003, 05:14 PM   #37 (permalink)
Loser
 
I use a manual valve body in my th400. No computers, instantaneous shifts due to fluid redirection, and it doesnt shift unless you tell it to. Automatics have come a long way.
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Old 10-10-2003, 09:09 AM   #38 (permalink)
Addict
 
Location: NoVA
manuals are much much more fun and have much more control
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Old 10-10-2003, 08:35 PM   #39 (permalink)
Tilted
 
Quote:
Originally posted by Ashton
Manual is for hot rodding and playing around....... the autobox is for everything else.

nuff said..........
Maybe...but if you can only have one car (as I do) I'd make it a manual, hands down. As a second car, an auto would be nice, for when I'm lazy..but I'd go insane if it was my only option.
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Old 10-10-2003, 09:47 PM   #40 (permalink)
Pasture Bedtime
 
I earned my license in a manual not too long ago and I'm damn proud of it. Go me. Woo.

It doesn't make a big difference to me personally - I just want a car - but manuals are more fun to drive.
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