Best Automatic Gearbox

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Volvo R DESIGN Nav 5dr Geartronic Commonly known as a torque converter automatic, this is the automatic gearbox that was nearly in every car until recently. Instead of a clutch, this type of gearbox uses hydraulic fluid or a torque converter to transmit the power from the engine into the gearbox and change the gears.

  1. The Chinese owned British brand has the slickest automatic transmission in this list. The MG Hector comes powered by a 1.5-litre turbo petrol engine. This motor is capable of generating 140bhp of max power with 250Nm of max torque.
  2. IMT (Intelligent Manual Transmission) iMT is a term coined by Hyundai for their latest.

Whether you’re a seasoned driver or perhaps you’re thinking about learning how to drive, you’ll probably already have an opinion on the manual vs automatic debate. In the UK pretty much everyone drives a manual transmission car, whereas over the pond in the US, it would be unusual to drive a manual transmission car. In this manual vs automatic review, we will look at the difference between the two types of transmission. We will look at the pros and cons of both and conclude with what we feel is the best choice.

But firstly, let’s answer that all important question…

What’s the Difference Between Manual and Automatic Car Transmission?

A car needs a full working transmission (or gearbox) in order to allow the vehicle to change gears, but the inner workings of a vehicle differs greatly between a manual transmission car and an automatic transmission car. A manual car is recognisable from the inside, as it contains a clutch pedal, which is used to change gears, as well as a gear shift stick between the two front seats, which offers full control of the car and between 5-6 gears and reverse.

An automatic car differs in that it has a simplified gearbox with the following settings: Park – P, Reverse – R, Neutral – N and Drive – D.

In a manual transmission car you will select the right type of gear for your journey, changing where necessary throughout. An automatic car does what it says on the tin, in that it selects the right type of gear for you in relation to your speed and the road conditions.

But Which is Best…Manual or Automatic?

At the end of the day, when it comes to choosing whether or not to drive an automatic or manual car, it’s still a matter of opinion and personal taste. There are many factors to take into consideration, which we will go into more detail later, but generally speaking it depends on a number of things, including what type of driver you are, the roads and conditions that you drive and your budget.

Let’s look at the nitty gritty of automatic and manual transmission cars…

Why Automatic Is Better

You’ll find that people are very evenly divided when it comes to which type of transmission they prefer and it’s often directly related to the type of car they learnt how to drive. If you learnt to drive a manual you’re going to find it strange driving an automatic and vice versa.

People generally love automatics because they’re easier to drive. The gearbox is so simple even a child could use the controls. Because automatic cars are easier to drive, many people choose to learn how to drive automatics only, so in this respect, they can make learning to drive way more accessible for people who otherwise might find manual gears tricky. It’s a safer way to learn too, as you’ll be keeping both hands on the wheel at all times as the gears are being taken care of automatically. This means you have more time to focus on your road position and speed.

Automatic cars are better in cities where you drive through stop-start traffic. The drive will feel a lot more comfortable as the transition between gears will feel smoother. Stalling won’t be an issue either as there is no clutch to create that embarrassing judder that always seems to occur at the lights.

Automatic transmission cars are better for areas with lots of hills. They might not be as fun to drive on a hilly road, but it’ll definitely be less stressful as navigating steep roads using a manual transmission can be tricky business.

Why Automatic Is Worse

If you learn to drive using an automatic transmission car then you’ll always be an ‘automatic driver’. This means that if you wanted to drive a manual transmission car, then you’d have to retake your test in a manual car. Better to learn how to drive manual car and then make the decision as to which you prefer afterwards in our opinion.

Automatic cars are thought to be not as fuel-efficient as a manual transmission car, although technology is advancing and some are said to be better.

Gearbox

One of the downsides of driving an automatic car, is that they’re more expensive to buy. Not only is the initial purchase cost higher, but they also can be expensive to fix as the mechanisms are more complex than the mechanisms of their manual brothers.

Another knock-on effect of this, is that insurance is often higher for an automatic car. So while these cars are felt to be safer than manual transmission cars, they will cost you more money in the long run.

Gearbox

Why Manual Is Better

Best automatic gearbox cars

Most manual transmission drivers will tell you that the reason that they like driving manual is because it feels like real driving. With a manual car (or stick shift in the US) you have total control of the vehicle, you’re more involved with the mechanics of the car and will find that it’s an entirely different type of drive to that of an automatic. With an automatic transmission car you will no doubt have an easier, smoother journey. A manual car will challenge you in different ways but ultimately you will get a better sense of fun when you have total control over the gears and clutch. Of course this is only really the case if your daily commute isn’t in heavy traffic each day. For that, an automatic would be definitely better.

Manual cars are more fuel efficient – as the engines are lighter and less complicated you’ll get more mileage from your fuel. The car isn’t second-guessing gears either, which automatics tend to do, you have control over the gears and the way in which your car uses its fuel.

The biggest reason to drive a manual car is that they’re significantly cheaper to buy both new and second-hand. If you’re looking to save money then consider driving a manual car, as not only are the running costs lower than an automatic and the initial cost of buying cheaper, but the insurance costs are lower too and this is because the inner workings of a manual car are far less complicated.

Driving a manual car means that you will have to learn how to drive and take your test in a manual car. Once passed you will own a manual license which means you can choose to drive manual or automatic. It’s much better this way around.

Why Manual Is Worse

As we mentioned above, if your daily commute involves hundreds of miles of motorway then maybe a manual car isn’t the best choice for you. It’s nice to have full control of your vehicle but after a few hours on a straight road you’ll wish your car was working the gears itself.

Most car hire places in Europe and pretty much all car hire places in the US will offer you an automatic transmission car. If you passed your driving test in a manual car then it’s going to take a while to get your head around automatic gears. That being said, it’s easier to learn automatic than stick-shift gears.

Manual cars are more difficult to drive and involve more thinking. If you live in a hilly area then this it can be tricky to operate the gears and clutch.

You’re likely to stall in a manual transmission car. It will happen from time to time and it will always happen when people are watching. The shame of a stall never fades.

Related Post: How To Properly Add Fluid to an Automatic Transmission Car

Conclusion

The subject of manual transmission vs automatic transmission is always going to be subjective. Everyone has their favourite type of driving, because really that’s what it is. Little to do with the car and more about the driving. What type of drive do you want? If you live in an urban area and spend long periods of time on straight roads amid heavy traffic, then a manual car might not be the best choice for you. An automatic car could make a daily commute like this much more bearable.

Some drivers just want more control. If you learnt how to drive on a manual and then switch to an automatic you will know that the feeling is strange. It’s almost like something is missing. It doesn’t tend to feel like driving at all, it feels a bit like cheating, which as ridiculous as it sounds, will ring true for manual car drivers.

The issue of budget needs to be reiterated too. Automatic cars are definitely more expensive to buy, more expensive to fix and more expensive to insure. But they are easier and have their benefits too.

Before making a decision to buy a manual or automatic car then really look at your driving needs and at least try out the two different types in order to get a sense of how they feel.

You’ll instantly know which one you prefer.

Sources:

  1. How to Choose Between a Car with Automatic or Manual Transmission, wikiHow
  2. Is it better (or easier) to tow with an automatic or manual transmission? – howstuffworks

MORE TO READ

For the motorcycle enthusiast who considers themselves a purest at heart, like myself. The idea of an automatic transmission on a motorcycle is almost sacrilegious. Most bike riders even view cruisers as have certain elements of sports performance. There is simply something to be said for having the ability to shift the gears manually and control speed and breakdown. While I am a purist through and through, I understand that there are some people who don’t want to go through the trouble of shifting gears. When are riding, especially in stop and start conditions, there can be a lot of up-shifting and down-shifting. Having an automatic motorcycle eliminates the hassle.

The automatic motorcycle refers to a bike that does not require levers to be pulled and gears to be shifted manually. In these days, all of these is done by an onboard computer that senses when the gears need to be changed upward or downward. There are a wide variety of automatic motorcycles on the market, but there are no all created equally. This article will present the top automatic motorcycles on the market that cannot be classified as scooters.

Honda NC00X DCT

You will never confuse this gorgeous machine with a scooter. Contrary to popular opinion. There are some automatic motorcycles out there that have a lot of power, and this is one of them. In fact, this bike as fared well in drag races against more conventional bikes in controlled environments. With this bike, you can switch between going fully automatic or semi-automatic in which you have to shift the gears. Either way, there is no manual clutch involved.

Honda CTX700 DCT

The CTX700 is more of a touring design that is built for comfort over longer rides. The touring style fairing is optional on this bike. According to the reviews, this is actually one of the most relaxed tourers on the market currently. The ride comfort conjoined with the automatic transmission makes for a very easy ride without any hassle associated with conventional bikes.

The Aprilia Mana 850

Best Automatic Gearbox Used Cars

Best Automatic Gearbox

I have to say that I am surprised to see Aprilia throw their hat into the automatic motorcycle ring. Aprilia is known for their sports bikes and high-speed performance. This is a good bike to break away from Honda for a while, but we are done with Honda just yet. This bike uses CVT (continuously variable transmission. There is not enough room to explain the difference between CVT and DCT, but enthusiast make a huge deal about it.

Honda VFR1200X DCT

Best Automatic Gearbox Oil

This is a touring bike that is built for an entirely different type of rider. This bike can make you feel right at home in the dirt, but it translates to the street seamlessly. This makes this bike one of the most versatile automatic bikes on the market. This is an idea for the adventure sports enthusiast.

Honda NM4 Vultus DCT

Gearbox

Well, if you just have to go automatic, this bike right here makes it all justifiable. The bike is so unique that is virtually impossible to place it in a classification. It is in a world all its own. The sleek design makes it stand out. And, pushing 670ccs means that it has enough power to get you where you want to go. The ride is far from sluggish.

Best Automatic Gearbox Small Car

Energica Ego

Not only is this an automatic motorcycle, but it is also an electric powered bike. So, are we talking the best of both worlds type of performance? Despite the fact that we are dealing with an automatic transmission and electric power, this bike is the most performance-oriented electric powered bike on the market. You can push the bike to the limits while reducing your carbon footprint.

Zero SR

Best Automatic Gearbox Type

Just in case you are looking for something that is not so aggressive, but still has the look and feel of a conventional bike, the Zero SR is the ideal bike for you. This bike is not going to take any prizes in the area of performance, but it has a very nice look and it is easy on the bank account.

Evoke Urban S

The evoke is another automatic motorcycle that is electrically powered. Just in case you are not aware. The technology for electrically powered bikes is still emerging, so that means that these bikes are not cheap. As time progresses, the prices will slowly decline. This one electrically powered bike that is reasonably priced, coming in at under $10k.

KTM Freeride-E

Now, this bike is not ideal for the street. It is designed for offroad entertainment. Prepare to go offroad and leave all of the hassles of gear shifting behind. There is no kickstart, no clutch, and no gears. This is great for a novice rider who wants to enjoy the fun without learning all of the mechanics of riding.

Best Automatic Gearbox

Brutus V9

Best Automatic Gearbox Cars

If you are looking for an automatic motorcycle that completely breaks the mold of what you have seen thus far, then the Brutus V9 is the bike for you. The electric cruiser has done a complete 180, completely rejecting the stereotype of what an automatic bike looks like. It is beautiful and graceful. If that is what you are looking for.