Manual gearboxes used to be standard on every vehicle, but that was decades ago. The invention of the automatic transmission let those without the coordination to work a clutch and shift while in traffic was a boon for commuters around the world.
The popularity of manual models has been declining, but there are still those who believe they are the best way to drive. Few manufacturers today build vehicles with anything other than automatic transmissions, and there are reasons for it.
The popularity of manual gearboxes has always been low for those who did not wish to do their own shifting, and many generations have learned how to drive without them. It has become a way of life for many to never have bothered putting a vehicle into anything other than drive, reverse or park.
While it might be said that those who choose manual transmissions need not be concerned, the ease of learning to drive a vehicle with an automatic is erasing the need for manual gearboxes.
Commuting has become a part of life for many, and they tend to prefer options on their vehicles to make the drive a more pleasant experience. Shifting in traffic can become a hassle as the line moves forward slowly and stops often. Those with an automatic gearbox only need to use the brake and gas pedals to control the car, so they are more useful for those commuting into or near a heavily populated area.
Fuel economy has been a rising issue for the last half-century, and it does not appear that it will go away any time soon. Automatic gearboxes have a measured fuel efficiency rating higher than that of their manual counterparts due to the engine running at lower revolutions before shifting.
The vehicle will shift quicker when starting off, and it does so each time the driver presses the gas. It saves fuel during those long commutes where traffic can suddenly accelerate quickly after sitting, so it can be a good way to ensure each drive gets the owner further with less money going toward fuel.
While there are plenty of good reasons for selecting an automatic gearbox, there are still a few good reasons left to consider a manual. Drivers who know how to use them feel they have greater control over their vehicle, and they often state that they are more fun to drive.
While this could be considered a personal reason, it can still be a measured factor when considering which to choose when it is time to make a purchase. Few people are looking for a car they will not like to drive, so this could be an important part of any purchasing decision.
There used to be saving when it came to choosing a manual gearbox over an automatic, but that is disappearing as most vehicles now are sold only as automatics. The number of consumers willing to use a manual gearbox when driving is diminishing, and few people see them as a better way to commute. While there are occasionally some savings with purchase and repair of manual gearboxes, the majority of people have found an automatic gearbox is a better option for their own driving.