Manual Transmission, Houston, Texas

Do you prefer automatic or manual transmission

  • Automatic

    Votes: 10 16.7%
  • Manual

    Votes: 50 83.3%

  • Total voters
    60

Texas04

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jul 2, 2005
879
0
Texas
Well being the 4th largest city in the US traffic can be a slight problem at times, and this is my mothers biggest reason for wanting me to get an automatic. Keep in mind I understand how to drive an Automatic, and would need to learn to drive a stick but these are my reasons thus far
1. Have more control of the car
2. Take off easier (helps because i live near a freeway)
3. Keep my mind on the road
4. Keeps me from using phone/eating in my car while driving
5. more fun :) Vrooom!
6. Rumors of better gas mileage
7. a few thousand dollars cheaper :) 1 to 2 but hey anything helps!

However as I said the traffic ive heard could be a problem... i was wondering if anyone here has used a manual transmission in similar traffic situations and I was wondering how they felt about it. (Im in high school so traffic wouldnt be a huge issue... not really until i get older and work/go to college)

EDIT: Please look at reply 31 "new topic" created
 

Koodauw

macrumors 68040
Nov 17, 2003
3,939
175
Madison
Well I think #5 is really the real reason. I love driving stick, plus it always helps to know how to do so incase of an emergency.

Its my opinion that you dont really learn how to drive a manual transmission until you do it regularly. (ie a few times out in someones car doesn't cut it.) But once you know, you'll always know. A good thing to have in you back pocket.
 

benthewraith

macrumors 68040
May 27, 2006
3,087
86
Miami, FL
Texas04 said:
1. Have more control of the car
True, if you spin out, you have a better chance of regaining control of the car.
2. Take off easier (helps because i live near a freeway)
Not entirely true. You can accelerate a bit faster, but at the expense of gas.

3. Keep my mind on the road
If you aren't keeping an eye on the road with an automatic transmission, than you won't with a manual transmission.

4. Keeps me from using phone/eating in my car while driving
This is SO not true. I don't have working cupholders (thank you VW) and so therefore have to either sit it in my lap or hold it. Needless to say, I've learned to drive with my pinky. I've actually ate a Big Mac on the road, but then again, I was on the interstate at a non-rush houry time. You may not eat and drink at the beginning, but you will after awhile.

5. more fun :) Vrooom!
Once again at the exception of gas.

6. Rumors of better gas mileage
Not really.

7. a few thousand dollars cheaper :) 1 to 2 but hey anything helps!
Eh...sometimes getting an automatic makes things more easier. There are times when I wish I didn't have to shift (eg stop and go traffic).
 

aquajet

macrumors 68020
Feb 12, 2005
2,383
0
VA
I used to drive in rush hour traffic in the Wash DC area in my 5-speed Jetta. After an hour or two, it's a bit fatiguing, but really I didn't care much about it. I still greatly prefer manual transmissions despite the fact that my current vehicle has an automatic. I got too good a deal on it to pass up.

Go for the manual. They're typically more efficient than their automatic counterparts (yes, they typically do get slightly better mileage), and as you mentioned, they're more fun! :D
 

katie ta achoo

macrumors G3
May 2, 2005
9,167
2
I don't think I could handle driving an automatic in this horrible (trafficwise) city. All the stopping and starting on freeways.. oy!

the manual v. automatic fuel mileage thing was true a few decades ago, but now it's a difference of about one mile/gallon, from what I've seen when I was car shopping.

Going to UH every morning, I don't know if I could deal with a manual with how people drive in this city. :eek:
 

Koodauw

macrumors 68040
Nov 17, 2003
3,939
175
Madison
katie ta achoo said:
I don't think I could handle driving an automatic in this horrible (trafficwise) city. All the stopping and starting on freeways.. oy!
Once you get used to it though, you don't even think about shifting, it just comes naturally. Like checking your mirrors, you just do it.
 

beatsme

macrumors 65816
Oct 6, 2005
1,204
1
actually, an automatic will tend to accelerate faster, since there's a lot less shift lag...

for bumper to bumper traffic, give me an auto. Shifting between 1st and 2nd for 20 minutes is a pain in the @ss...

any other time, I want a manual. And I want windows that hand crank. Both of which I have, curiously enough...:)
 

aquajet

macrumors 68020
Feb 12, 2005
2,383
0
VA
beatsme said:
actually, an automatic will tend to accelerate faster, since there's a lot less shift lag...
Depends on the vehicle and driver. Generally, given the right driver, this isn't true. Try power-shifting (keep the gas to the floor between quick shifts), an old go-fast trick. :)
 

millar876

macrumors 6502a
May 13, 2004
689
28
Kilmarnock, Scotland UK
well here in the uk, very few people (relativley) have automatic cars, and i wouldnt say that city driving is any difrent here than where you are, apart from you are on the wrong side of the road. Anyhoo people here manage fine without automatics and most people that have an automatic only have it because there isn't a manual (stick) option, and those cars tend to be stupidly high priced falice replacements anyway (IMO)

in conclusion - GO STICK
 

Rodimus Prime

macrumors G4
Oct 9, 2006
10,136
4
I figure I might as well throw in my 2 cents. I am from the Houston area (around NASA to be more exact) and I do drive a manual. I am off at collage during most of the year but I still do go home for the breaks.
I figure I go down you list.

1. You really don’t have that much more control over the car. It is more of an illusion than anything else.

2. No not really. It is about the same. It is a complete illusion. And if you are learning how to drive a stick yeah it makes its harder

3. LOL don’t even think that. It does not keep your mind on the road. Once you learn how to drive a stick you it just like driving an automatic in how you mind works. I do pay any extra attention to the road because I drive a stick.

4. Umm Yeah right. It is not that hard. Yes I have and do from time to time eat, drink and talk on the phone while I drive. Just because I drive a stick doesn’t mean I can’t do it. It is not hard to drive a manual with just one hand. The only time you need a free 2nd hand is for shifting and that is only going to be while you are speeding up and even then driving one handed is not that hard (I do it more offend than I like to admit to.

5. Yeah there is no denying that. I will say it si more fun.

6. It is a rumor. There is almost no real difference in gas mileage. And on modern cars Automatics are starting to be able to pass up manuals in gas mileage because the computer does the shifting better than any human can do. And highway mileage is the same for both.

7. Sure, it may be cheaper.

That all being said I like driving a manual because of the fun factor. But there are time I would much rather being driving an automatic.

1. Stop and go traffic, it will get to you. I hate stop and go because of how annoying it is.
2. When my left knee hurts (it acts up now and then so when it does I hate it.)
3. Traffic, did I tell you how much traffic sucks with a manual
4. They suck for dates. Take you girl out on a date you will not be able to hold her hand and do little things like that because guess what you need you right hand to shift. It sucks for those.

Now I drive a manual and would not have it any other way right now but I don’t put up with much traffic so I don’t have to deal with it and it not a major draw back. The fun factor is more important and on automatics I can not stand lazy transmission (not downshifting when I want it 2.) And well when I am in Houston I avoid going in side Beltway 8 if at all possible. General I only time I inside it is on my way home from college or back to college.
But if you have to put up with traffic a lot I would recommend getting the automatic. Even more so since you would have to learn how to drive a manual and well the automatic is a heck of a lot easier to deal with in traffic.
 

adk

macrumors 68000
Nov 11, 2005
1,937
21
Stuck in the middle with you
To the OP:

1. - Not Really an important point, it really doesn't give you any more control than an auto
2. not quite sure what you mean..
3. You would think so, but really, it just keeps your mind on the engine
4. You will quickly learn how to talk/shift/steer/eat all with two hands. Eating is still a challenge though.
5. Absolutely more fun, I love my manual car
6. Mileage is usually off by 1 or 2 miles, and you'll probably get worse than an automatic if you practice rule #5 often (which I highly recommend).
7. A huge advantage of the manual transmission


I drive a stick, and to be honest, I have a hard time dealing with traffic sometimes (not clutching/shifting, but people with automatics don't realize how often they just creep forward 4 inches at a time). Overall, though, I love my manual transmission. I love it when people ask to borrow my car. I just ask "can you drive stick?" and they walk away.

Also, take the advice of european posters with a grain of salt. They don't realize it, but the fact that many intersections are roundabouts and not 4 way stop signs makes the driving over there a lot more conducive to manual transmissions.
 

dukebound85

macrumors P6
Jul 17, 2005
18,148
1,500
5045 feet above sea level
Rodimus Prime said:
6. Automatics are starting to be able to pass up manuals in gas mileage because the computer does the shifting better than any human can do.

Whatecver, I'm so much more better than the computer! lol

haha manuals pretty much rock my face off. they are sweet. Except my clutch is starting to slip......

anyone here know if its easy replacing the clutch and taking the transmission out in general lol
 

mduser63

macrumors 68040
Nov 9, 2004
3,039
30
Salt Lake City, UT
My first car had a manual transmission. My current car has an automatic. Every car I buy from now on will have an automatic. They're not the same car of course, so I can't really compare gas mileage, but I doubt seriously that the difference is very major. There's just something fundamentally annoying to me about a car with a manual transmission. Sure you have more control of the car, but cars used to have manual spark advance as well, and I don't see anyone saying that's better. In general I feel like a system designed to shift at the right time can do a better job than I can, and I prefer to not have to worry about shifting.

I will agree that after a while you don't think about shifting at all, except when you end up on a steep hill at a stoplight...

My advice is to go for the automatic.
 

dukebound85

macrumors P6
Jul 17, 2005
18,148
1,500
5045 feet above sea level
Texas04 said:
Well being the 4th largest city in the US traffic can be a slight problem at times, and this is my mothers biggest reason for wanting me to get an automatic. Keep in mind I understand how to drive an Automatic, and would need to learn to drive a stick but these are my reasons thus far
1. Have more control of the car
2. Take off easier (helps because i live near a freeway)
3. Keep my mind on the road
4. Keeps me from using phone/eating in my car while driving
5. more fun :) Vrooom!
6. Rumors of better gas mileage
7. a few thousand dollars cheaper :) 1 to 2 but hey anything helps!

However as I said the traffic ive heard could be a problem... i was wondering if anyone here has used a manual transmission in similar traffic situations and I was wondering how they felt about it. (Im in high school so traffic wouldnt be a huge issue... not really until i get older and work/go to college)

well all cool sports cars are pretty much stick. Let me tell you you want to know how to drive manual if an opportunity arrises to get behind the wheel of a cobra or other insanely fast car! Suck to have that shot and couldn't do it since you didnt know how to drive it lol


although from experience, each car with a stick takes time getting used to. even if you know how to drive one. some cars engage alot more quickly than others, have shorter shifting travel etc


Me personally want to get a sport bike. Gotta learn to shift with feet and rev with hand. complete opposite of a car lol. hopefully i dont screw that up
 

dukebound85

macrumors P6
Jul 17, 2005
18,148
1,500
5045 feet above sea level
mduser63 said:
I will agree that after a while you don't think about shifting at all, except when you end up on a steep hill at a stoplight...

that is very true. if you arent used to it watch out for cars that are like 3 inches off your bumper lol cuz you WILL roll back ever so much initally
 

OutThere

macrumors 603
Dec 19, 2002
5,730
3
NYC
Definitely more fun with a manual, but people are also saying that you don't have any more control with a manual.

There are a few things that make me feel more secure having a manual:

-With a manual I can downshift for more stopping force. Autos have this feeling that they are sort of freewheeling along, slowly dropping revs as you mash the brakes.

-With a manual I can usually drop/grab a gear to get my revs right to the sweet spot to pass someone or blow through a yellow light :p. In autos the system usually goes like this: mash the gas -> wait a while as the engine tries to accelerate rapidly in the wrong gear -> car shifts -> you then have the power to get around, as long as it doesn't try to grab the next gear part way through. With a manual, it's more like: hear that the engine is revving too low to gain speed and burst around someone -> drop the gear -> floor it -> get around him -> upshift again.

-I've had bad experiences with even the best of the best automatics 'hunting'. People who drive automatics that do this seem to take it for granted..."oh it's just hunting give it a bit". When I'm going up a long sloping hill, I don't want the car to switch between third and fourth 87 times.

-Throttle response. What is the deal with automatics having this delayed trigger feeling? I've driven a bunch of automatics recently, and it's like the car has to take a moment to consider the fact that you have pressed the gas before revving the engine. It's like, I punch the gas, and then the engine decides it's OK to rev a second later. In my manual, I punch the gas and instantly and proportionally as my foot goes down the needle goes up.
 

revenuee

macrumors 68020
Sep 13, 2003
2,251
1
stop and go traffic isn't THAT bad in a manual IF you truly love manual.

My old man got his with at stick after i convinced him that it would be a good idea to teach me how to drive stick and plus my mom wouldn't take his car away from him.

He doesn't REALLY like manual -- and often curses me for getting him to go manual. This is particularly after he's been at the clinic all night and has to drive home for an hour in rush hour.

With modern clutches you really don't have to worry about burning through them so much so you can actually just move up in traffic by using the sweet spot and not even having to use the gas pedal.

With gas milage you should read the specs to see if the manual does have better economy -- some manuals are some manuals are not better on gas.

I personally do pay more attention to the road driving stick then in an automatic - i focus on driving not everything else like i do in my automatic.

With the price difference of automatic and manual -- again i've seen exceptions where the manual was more expensive -- manual became very popular post "THE FAST AND THE FURIOUS" and automakers were able to capitalize on it (good for them).

I don't know about the easier take of being as significant as you think -- also if you are already driving and forget to down shift -- the acceleration may not be as "peppy" as you like.

eating and drinking and cellphone use, and reading a book -- yes, you'll eventually master all tasks wile shifting with elbow, steering with your knees and still managing to use all three pedals <-- i don't get it ... but i do it. (there are a few task that i'm having difficulty mastering <-- but those involve a partner, and are not polite to talk about "just sayin is all"

At the end of the day i would pick the manual -- nothing like dropping the clutch, and flying through the gear box to make you feel better after a ****** day at work/school <-- your problems stay on the asphalt; much like the top layer of your tires.
 

apfhex

macrumors 68030
Aug 8, 2006
2,670
4
Northern California
OutThere said:
1. wait a while as the engine tries to accelerate rapidly in the wrong gear -> car shifts -> you then have the power to get around, as long as it doesn't try to grab the next gear part way through. With a manual, it's more like: hear that the engine is revving too low to gain speed and burst around someone -> drop the gear -> floor it -> get around him -> upshift again.

2. I've had bad experiences with even the best of the best automatics 'hunting'. People who drive automatics that do this seem to take it for granted..."oh it's just hunting give it a bit". When I'm going up a long sloping hill, I don't want the car to switch between third and fourth 87 times.

3. Throttle response. What is the deal with automatics having this delayed trigger feeling? I've driven a bunch of automatics recently, and it's like the car has to take a moment to consider the fact that you have pressed the gas before revving the engine. It's like, I punch the gas, and then the engine decides it's OK to rev a second later. In my manual, I punch the gas and instantly and proportionally as my foot goes down the needle goes up.
Some valid points, but I have a few things to comment about.

1. Depends on what you consider a "while", but once you get used to your cars AT you can apply the appropriate amount of pressure with the appropriate amount of quickness to "kick it" into a good passing gear. Then again, I drive at the speed limit so I've never had to pass anybody :eek:, so I only have experience as a passenger to go by, but I've seen it work.

2. That's why there's: Overdrive (4th), Drive (3rd), 2 (2nd), and L (1st) on all 4-speed ATs. You can just turn OD off if it's hunting between 3rd and 4th too much, that's why the feature is there.

3. Haven't really noticed that.

Frankly, I don't see any practical advantages to manual, while there are plenty for AT. The valid points I see for manual here are
-more fun
-maybe more control
-cheaper, but not by a huge margin

And then there are CVTs, which add some new variables to the equation.
 

Chundles

macrumors G4
Jul 4, 2005
11,974
390
Using a mobile phone whilst driving is illegal here, and it's thoroughly policed. You shouldn't be on the phone whilst driving, focus your attention to the road. The minute you think "hey it's easy to drive and talk at the same time" is the minute a kid comes running onto the road in the (now larger due to your holding the phone close to your head) blindspot.

Concentrate on driving, if you need to talk on the phone, pull over or get a handsfree.
 

crdean1

macrumors 6502a
Feb 14, 2005
675
3
Texas
First and second cars were "stick shift". You will most definitely burn out a clutch or two using a stick shift in Houston daily, one would think anyway. Go with an automatic, save your foot.
 

mpw

Guest
Jun 18, 2004
6,364
1
My preference would be a good auto or a stick, it depends on each model of car.

I would touch a Renault auto but wouldn't hesitate to drive an auto Bentley. My local dealer just took delivery of a dozen or so Bentley Continental GTCs, stunning in the flesh, so much moreso than pictures in magazines.
 
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