Manual transmissions tend to last longer than automatics if you don't abuse them and blow the synchronizers out.
It is usually cheaper to rebuild a manual. The biggest downside to a manual is that clutches aren't cheap to replace and if you drive one poorly you could end up changing them every 30-50K. The last two new cars I owned had about 150K on the original clutch when I got rid of them so a clutch can last quite a long time if you learn how to drive properly.
One thing I'd consider is whether or not you live in a high traffic area. I like a manual transmission, and am quite capable at driving a vehicle equipped with one. But, it gets really old really fast if you deal with alot of bumper to bumper traffic. Unlesss I move someplace with less traffic, all of my vehicles will be automatics, unless I pick up a "toy" that would only be driven occasionally.
It depends on the car, but i'd feel like less of a man driving a sports car with an auto Definitely get the stick, if the only thing holding you back is that you don't know how to drive one yet, you will learn.
Last time I was in a manual vehicle in bumper to bumper traffic that was stop and go I ended up with a sore hand front the shift knob rubbing the inside of my palm for about an hour. Although I gotta admit, pulling a hard shift while passing a bicyclist up is kinda fun.
1) Better gas milage
2) lower sticker price, somtimes by as much as $1,500
3) far less wear and tear on your brakes/rotors
4) they make a car feel quicker, and do actually drop a 0-60 time by as much as 2 seconds over a car w/ the same engine in an automatic
5) they are better suited for snowy conditions because you can use the engine to slow the car down instead of having to apply the breaks as much as an automatic
6) they have lower costs associated with them - for example if the car is out of warranty and an automatic transmission goes out, you are looking at anywhere from $1200-$3000+ dollars in parts and labor. If your clutch goes out on you, you are looking at probably around $400-$1000
7) you'll have less people asking to drive your car
1) city driving with constant stops and starts tends to be annoying
2) areas with a lot of stop signs or stop lights on hills tend to be tricky at times, especially if somebody is right on your ass
3) you'll get lower resale on your car
4) if you are new at driving a stick, you can wear it out much faster than an automatic
All in all, I most definitely prefer a stick shift.
Demon-Xanth, ease up on your stick, you'll get blisters.
You should pretend it's an egg and that you don't want to break it. The main objective should be being smooth when shifting, not fast.
I love stick shifts, but I've always been nervous when letting others drive my vehicle. Here in IL, a moron at a emissions tesing facility destroyed the clutch on a lady's car. He put on the emergency brake, but was able to get the car up to about 60 mph on the testing machine!! Yes, it was a rear drive car. Her clutch was toast and the testing facility didn't want to pay for it.
I had a 98 Mystique, and Ford put a special reverse lockout on those cars. You need to pull up on a shift collar to get it in reverse. One time at the dealer I could see a guy in my car trying to force the stick into reverse. He didn't know what he was doing and could have broken the plastic shift collar.
Perhaps Demon but all the new cars I've looked at are still saying an average of almost $1k extra to get the automatic.
I hate bumper to bumper traffic in a standard, but I wouldn't give it up unless I was a taxi driver. Automatics (unless the newer CVT in some rare cases) totally castrates and rapes your acceleration from you. Rapes it. The car is also less fun to drive, worse on gas, normally more expensive...and the thing I find perhaps most annoying is this:
Lets say you're a lights and they merge into a second lane. You accelerate slowly in an automatic. At about 15-20 it upshifts for you. Suddenly you realize you need more power. Floor it and you have to wait a _long_ (transmission depending) time for it to downshift and that power to be available. In a manual you would proabably still be in 1st so you could pounce it and fly. I am driving an automatic lent to me now and I find this exceptionally annoying.
If ALL you drive is bumper to bumper you may want an automatic, but I would not consider one with current transmission differences. I always have to laugh at people who are driving an otherwise fast car and neutered it's acceleration with an auto. I wonder if they even realize how much slower the car is with an auto?
PG I hear that! Had a guy test driving my old honda this year to buy it. "I haven't driven a manual in a while". Wow, what an understatement. I was sitting there cringing. It was ghastly ghastly what he did to my transmission. He was riding the clutch like it was going of style.
Personally I learned on a stick, but all my cars since then have been automatics. My parents thought it was a good idea for me to learn on a stick because if you're in a situation where that's the only option available to you and you don't know how to drive it...you're screwed. And I thank them for making me learn how to drive manual.
But I live in Atlanta, GA which has the worst traffic in the US (yeah I'm not kidding...worse than LA ) so a manual is hell in this city.
Hmmm...most cars that I've looked at, and I've looked at a bunch the last 3 months always have a 500-1,000 difference between the stick and auto, with the lower price going to the stick.
I've looked at high end (Audi A4)
As well as mid range (Oldsmobile Alero)
I'm also sure that if you look at something like a saturn or a cavalier the stick will also be cheaper.
On many of your low end cars, the stick almost mated with the lower end small 4 bangers. So, to bump up to an auto, you also have to bump up to the bigger engine paying the cost for both the bigger motor and the auto tranny.
are you talking about the tiptronic-sportronic-autostick-whatever else they call them type? Those are basically an automatic tranny that give you a limited ability to chose your own gears. The advantage is mostly that you can hold a specific gear in a situation where a normal auto would upshift. They are limited because you still really don't have full control. It will automatically downshift to a lower gear if you are going to slow for the one you have selected. Someone can correct me if i am wrong but i believe Ferrari makes the only production cars available with a true clutchless manual transmission.
I believe BMW is now putting out the automatic 'manual' as well as Porsche who's been doing it since the Boxster in 97, though it does degrade the speed, they are getting more advanced than they use to be, and becomming superior (F1 paddle shifting in Ferrari). I drove a 98 Boxster and it was damn fast in auto shifting mode, and when I slow'd down at the light, I could feel the car downshifting as you would in a manual car.
Porsche has been doing the tiptronic for a while, and it is nice...but it still has a torque converter so it really is still an automatic. The Ferarri actually has an electro-hydraulic clutch and automatically matches revs when downshifting.