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‘Matic or Manual: Which is the Better Transmission?

By marian on September 24th, 2015



There’s always been two types of cars: the one with manual transmissions and the one with automatic. Whenever customers by cars like the Toyota Wigo in the Philippines, they always pick between these two gear boxes. But the question is: which is the better between the two? To find out, let’s take a look at 8 factors that differentiate manual from ‘matic.


Fluids Used

Manual and automatic transmission vehicles use different kinds fluids to keep their different parts lubricated, making it work more efficiently.You can’t use automatic transmission fluid on manual and vice versa; that’ll cause damage on your vehicle. The automatic transmission fluid is thicker and has a lower heating point than the manual transmission fluid. When it comes to changing, the automatic transmission burns the fluid faster and needs to be changed every 20,000 to 30,000 miles. The manual transmission fluid, however, lasts longer and needs to be changed every 30,000 to 60,000 miles.


Drifting Capabilities

Vehicles with manual transmissions are better for drifting as compared to cars with automatic transmission. It’s possible to convert a car with an automatic transmission although you’ll have a lot more difficulty manipulating the vehicle. Automatic transmission cars lack clutch control, making drifting more difficult. Another problem about driving a car with an automatic transmission is the lessened gear selection control and shifting, further closing the argument on why the manual transmission is best for drifting.

toyota manual transmission


As drivers, safety is among our top priorities when we are out on the road. Which is why the automatic has the edge here. With the automatic transmission, you have both hands on the wheel of your vehicle, making it easier for you to focus and making it safer especially if you are just a student driver or you’ve just started to drive.


Fuel Economy

Fue economy and efficiency all depends on the manufacturer and the model of the vehicle. There are some cars whose automatic transmission will save you more cash than the manual while there are some whose vehicle will offer the exact opposite. To really know the fuel efficiency of a vehicle, research and see what other motorists have to say.



In terms of cost, the manual transmission wins over the automatic transmission easily. While checking out different cars, you’ll immediately notice a sizable difference when it comes to cost. The same goes for repairs. It’s quite notable that the manual transmission is a lot cheaper to maintain versus the automatic due to the parts it requires.



The automatic transmission easily triumphs over the manual transmission in this category.  If you don’t want to shift gears yourself, then go for an automatic transmission. This is also the vehicle highly recommended for beginners. With manual, you’ll have to give extra effort since this requires you to get used to shifting gears as well as proper clutch footwork.

toyota automatic transmission

Resell Value

Today, automatic cars have a higher resale value. Aside from the fact that it originally costs more than the manual, more customers seek out the automatic more than the manual. Remember, the higher the demand, the higher the resell value.


City Driving

There is no doubt an automatic transmission would be your best bet for city driving as it can be quite hard to keep on shifting gears while stuck in the inferno traffic of the city. In addition to this, it can also be quite tiring to be constantly shifting from one gear to another.

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Even with all these factors, it’s still hard to tell whether or not manual is better than automatic transmission or vice versa. Ultimately, it will depend on what you want and what you really need. In any case, most of Toyota’s cars offer both transmissions so you won’t have any problem when it comes to picking one.


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