Although manual transmissions have become almost obsolete in newly manufactured cars, there are still a few vehicles out there with manual transmissions on the marketplace, and even more with auto-manual transmissions. And while less and less of the population knows (or wants to know) how to operate these vehicles, they still have a few benefits to those who do.
There have been many arguments that manual transmissions provide better fuel economy than their automatic counterparts. However this has yet to be proven. Manual transmissions perform better on the highway, while automatic transmissions have an advantage when it comes to city driving. Because of this, the two will equal each other out when it comes to fuel savings, unless the driver is using one of these a lot more than the other. Better fuel economy is primarily dependent on the driver of the car, as their method of driving can alter the fuel economy of the vehicle. If the operator can keep the engine rpm low, it also keeps the fuel consumption low. So lowering the rpm, or putting the car in neutral to coast, has almost the same effects as the stop/start process of a hybrid vehicle.
In addition to controlling the fuel economy of the vehicle, the operator has control over how the vehicle operates. Because the operator is in charge of putting the vehicle into its different gears, they will see a faster response in shifting. Extra power will also be available from downshifting on hills. Driving habits can also achieve better traction in bad weather through careful gear manipulation. Best yet (especially for teenagers), manual transmissions require more focus than automatic transmission vehicles. Because they are constantly requiring operators to clutch, shift and repeat drivers are less likely to be distracted by things going on inside the car- such as conversations and mobile phones.
Lastly, manual transmission vehicles cost less than automatic transmissions. They are less to install, less to upkeep and less to replace. Automatic transmissions usually cost an extra $1,000 in order to install or upgrade the transmission in the vehicle to. Automatic transmissions also require more maintenance than manual transmissions because the fluid requires more changes. Manual transmissions are almost half the amount of automatic transmissions to replace if the clutch breaks, versus replacing the whole transmission.
In the end, if the benefits of manual transmissions appeal to you but you are not ready to full-on commit or don’t know how to drive one yet, an auto-manual transmission may be just right. An auto-manual transmission provides the best of both worlds, as it operates on an automatic transmission until it is switched over to manual transmission mode.