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Automatic Vs. Manual.. The Dependability Debate

Automatic transmissions have improved so much that transmission rebuilds now are far less common than clutch jobs. It doesn’t mean there are not automatic-transmission failures. But it’s once in a blue moon that one sees an automatic transmission go bad in a car with fewer than 100,000, or even 150,000, miles.

Thirty years ago, problems were more widespread. Plus, back then you’d pay an extra $1,000 to buy a car with an automatic transmission.

These days, automatic transmissions come standard in most cars. And you have to request or special-order a car with a stick shift.

Gas mileage actually is better on modern automatics than on manuals. That’s because they’re more efficient than ever, and modern six-, seven-, eight- and nine-speed automatics have a greater variety of gear ratios. Not to mention the infinite number of ratios in the CVTs that companies like Subaru offer.

So the only legitimate reason for driving a stick shift these days is that you find it fun — which is an acceptable reason. But there’s no longer a financial or environmental reason for doing so.

MAIF Insurance is a local top area provider of Maryland Auto Insurance Fund policies. Contact one of our convenient locations for more information. MAIF is available to ALL Maryland residents.