Stick Shift vs. Automatic Transmission

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Difference between Stick Shift and Automatic Transmission

All cars come in various shapes, sizes and colors, but only a few things truly set them apart from one another. One of those major differences is how the car actually drives. This is determined of course by the parts, but sometimes more importantly, by whether it’s a stick shift or an automatic. Each one has its pros and cons and some people are better off with one over the other. An automatic car is one that you simply press your foot on the gas and go, while a stick shift is a bit more complicated to drive.

Stick Shift
Automatic Transmission


One of the most important factors when choosing a car is how you feel in the car, as well as you well you can handle the car. For more passive drivers who are not interested in learning how to coordinate the clutch and stick shift, an automatic has better handling for you. The stick shift has a lot of different gears and speeds so the handling is tougher to grasp and requires more attention while driving. It also requires a stronger set of hands to control the wheel while driving. The automatic is likened to driving like a kitten because you have a normal handling on the wheel, even when going at a faster speed.


An automatic car drives by itself with out the need to shift from one gear to another, no matter how fast you go. The transmissions are built differently when comparing an automatic to a stick shift transmission. With a stick shift you have to switch gears while you’re driving. After you start driving, you change into second gear as soon as you can, once approaching 15 – 20 mph you will shift into third gear. Continue in third gear until 25 – 30 mph then switch into fourth gear. When you are slowing down you will have to reverse this process. 


There is an automatic or manual (stick shift) transmission (thus each option for a car.) The different between the two we have basically discussed and both come with separate prices. When you are putting in an automatic transmission you may be looking at a few hundred dollars cheaper then a manual transmission. This is because a manual transmission has less parts then an automatic transmission. However, if you are switching from an automatic to a manual, you may end up covering the difference by paying for the conversion of the car (the transmissions).


  • When using a stick shift you have to be able to control the steering wheel more then with an automatic. It moves more and happens to be more powerful.
  • An automatic does not require you do much other then keep your foot on the gas, while with a stick shift you need to learn to shift between a few different gears (1-5)
  • A stick shift requires more focus and paying attention to the speed to see when you need to shift into the next gear, or focus on the sound of the car as you’re driving.
  • The price of a manual transmission is cheaper by a few hundred or more than an automatic transmission. 

Which transmission is easier to drive?
  • Stick Shift
  • Automatic Transmission

comments 4 Comments

  • Michelle . 3+ yrs. ago

Why are stick shift cars so popular anyway? They are more difficult to drive, and you must be skilled to drive them. Why not choose an automatic easy ride, which can turn your driving in to comfort, especially while driving in heavy traffic? If this is what you think, you must read this essay before you make up your mind. The purpose of this essay is to contrast stick shift transmission cars with automatic transmission cars. People who drive stick shift cars know the difference and the advantages of having total control of your car engine; people who drive cars with automatic transmissions do not.

  • sara costa . 3+ yrs. ago

manual is more fun to drive!1you can feel that you r driving a car u can feel da car..while automatic u cnt feel anythin the car drives you i prefer manual even if it is difficult..

  • Beth . 3+ yrs. ago

I think you meant to use the word than instead of then throughout this comparison


  • Beth . 3+ yrs. ago

I think you meant to use the word than instead of then throughout this comparison


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