Buying a new car is a thrilling experience for many; and a pragmatic one for some. If you are not too passionate about cars, then the only purpose of buying it would be to take you from point A to point B, with the minimum disruptions, right? However, considering the road and traffic conditions in India and the huge range of cars available, you might want to stop awhile before taking a decision. Hatchback or Sedan? Petrol or Diesel? And manual or automatic?


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While you might have done enough research on all aspects of a new car, since automatic transmission is still a comparatively new concept in India, you may not have even thought of it as an option. But contrary to the public perception that automatic cars are ‘luxury cars’, they are available across all segments – from hatchbacks to SUVs to ultra-luxury cars. So, how do you decide which one is right for you – manual or automatic?


Automatic Transmission – Ease of Driving


For a driver or car owner, automatic transmission essentially means ‘no clutch’. The car only has an accelerator and a brake. The gear change system is automatic and while driving, you have to shift gears only between D(drive), N(neutral) and R(reverse). The advantages are many:


  1. Easier on your legs and back – Since you don’t have to continually keep pressing the clutch to change the gear, there is less pressure on your legs and your back. For the Indian roads where there is a traffic congestion every few kms, this could be exactly what your body needed.
  2. Easier to learn – For manual cars, every time you have to change the gear, you have to press the clutch. Learning to balance between the ABCs (accelerator, brake and clutch) can be tough. Maneuvering an automatic car is much easier in comparison and hence, simpler to learn.
  3. Easier for rough/non-plain terrains – Going up-hill or down-hill can be complex for an inexperienced or nervous driver. Similarly waterlogged or uneven roads can be a little difficult to handle. With an automatic car, there is no such hassle. All roads are the same as you do not have to change gears; you only need to adjust your speed and your car will do the rest.


Manual Transmission – Practical and Powerful


Most cars you see on Indian roads are manual. Now, while the points above might make you want to go out and buy an automatic car right away, there are some strong reasons why manual cars have retained their stronghold for so many years and continue to rule the roads in spite of the advent of automatic cars.


  1. Cheaper to buy and maintain – Manual cars are much less expensive than automatic ones. Moreover, since automatic cars have more complex machinery, any breakdown in an automatic car costs more to repair than the simpler manual one. Manual cars traditionally are also more fuel efficient and so cost less to run.
  2. More powerful drives – If you like driving and the feeling of power that comes from it, then manual cars are better for you. The geared acceleration feels more powerful and you have a sense of better control over the car.


So, now that you know the pros and cons of both types of cars, depending on your budget, you can decide which car you want to buy. Of course, if you have a lesser budget but want an automatic car, you can check out the automatic cars available on With all the inspection and paperwork taken care of, you can gear up for the easiest drive of your life!

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