Manual or Automatic Gearbox: Which is better?

All vehicles have either a manual or automatic gearbox. In fact, there are even those that have both options, especially modern cars like the hybrid electric. Once upon a time, as recently as 20 to 30 years ago, manual transmission was the norm.

The self-shifting automatics were only for senior citizens or drivers of luxury saloons. Now, you'll be hard-pressed to find a Millennial or Gen Z driver that knows how to drive a stick-shift.

These days, the opposite of the former norm of everything being manual shift has, for lack of a better term, "shifted", such that there are even manufacturers like Ferrari who don't make manual model cars anymore.

What's The Best Option?

  • Technology Marches On: Those used to manual driving or stick shift view those who drive automatics as unskilled drivers or don't know how to drive. Senior citizens who have impairments due to advanced age were once believed as the main customers for the automatic. This changed in the 21st Century when autos became the new generation's choice of vehicle, mainly because of convenience as well as availability. Now suddenly every car has a computer inside it running everything, starting with the gearbox.
  • Generational Debates: If you were to ask the new generation of drivers, they'd naturally say that auto shift is the best type of transmission and unless you're a truck driver or someone who handles heavy machinery, there's no reason for you to even need to learn how to drive stick. With that said, Millennnials aren't the only ones left on this earth. Many of the previous generation, particularly Baby Boomers or Boomers, prefer the control afforded by the manual transmission. For them, shifting gears should be natural or part  and parcel with driving.
  • The Anti-Theft Device for Millennials Joke: There's a joke going around how the younger generation raised by the Internet, social media, smartphones, streaming services, and computers don't know how to work a manual car, such that you can leave a stick-shift open with the cars inside and they won't be able to steal it. That's obviously not true and someone who can drive an auto can still drive a manual (albeit awkwardly), but the prevailing general consensus is that autos are for young people.
  • The Differences of the Manual and Automatic Gearboxes: Auto gearboxes allows you to cruise control and let the car shift speed for you so that the more you pump the gas the faster you'll go without needing to shift gears in order to allow your engine to keep up. The modern gearbox is that sophisticated and dependable. However, it's still tough to go auto for those who are used to manual gearboxes because shifting from gear to gear simply makes them feel more in control. They're also less likely to go speeding.

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