Manual Transmission Cars: Old is Gold?

Manual transmission cars: Old is Gold?

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Manual transmission cars have been with us long before the automatic ones. In manual transmission cars, we need to manually engage the clutch and shift gears according to engine rpm. Let’s explore the advantages of this traditional transmission to find out why it still remains a favorite for many buyers.

 

 

History and present of manual transmission cars in India

Until recently, India was mainly a manual transmission car consumer. Things have started to change due to advancement of technology which has brought down the prices of automatic cars. The ever increasing traffic is also contributing to the preference of automatic cars among novice drivers. In this blog we will also discuss some of the value for money transmission cars which offer good performance.

At present, about 85% of the car owners in India still drive a manual car according to a survey. 48% of people are inclined towards automatic transmission for their next car, whereas 52% are still interested in manual transmission cars.

 

How a manual transmission car work: A quick look

Let’s take a quick look into how manual transmission cars work without going into the details of working of a clutch

A manual transmission has a clutch, a shifter which the driver uses to shift through gears, a gearset and two shafts namely- input and output shaft.

With manual transmission, the driver has to select proper gears and engage and disengage the clutch timely  before and after shifting the gears. In short, the clutch does the job of cutting off the engine power so that gear shift can be smooth. It is done through a flywheel, pressure plate and clutch.

When we teach drivers to drive a car, pushing in the clutch means engaging the clutch which in turn releases the pressure plate and the output shaft doesn’t receive engine power anymore. We should push in the clutch before shifting any gear.

 

Advantages of a manual transmission car

There’s no second thought about it that manual cars have some advantages over the automatic ones which makes many drivers still stick to it. Let’s find out the reasons:

 

Cheaper to purchase

In most cases, if not all, manual cars are cheaper to purchase than their automatic counterparts. On an average, a manual car will save around thousand to even lakhs of rupees. For example, Hyundai Creta petrol has a starting ex-showroom price of about 10.2L for the manual transmission variant, whereas the automatic petrol variant starts at around 15.16L

Though the price gap has reduced in recent days but it is still there and in most cars, the difference is quite significant which makes people lean towards the manual variants.

 

Cheaper to drive: Better fuel economy

Not only are manual transmission cars cheaper to purchase but are also cheaper to drive as they provide better fuel efficiency. Automatic cars have been constantly trying to bridge this gap and the gap has narrowed down but still mostly a manual car will give a better mileage than the automatic counterpart.

 

Better control

The freedom to shift gears on a whim upon seeing an upcoming road condition makes you feel like the master of the machine. Also, at times, you can get performance boost by downshifting gears. These features also make drivers feel more connected to the driving and experience it better.

 

6 Speed Manual Transmission Cars in India: Best manual transmission cars

Let us explore some best 6 Speed gearbox options among manual cars which topped various charts in 2021. 6 Speed cars will have a total of 6 gears instead of 5 general gears. 6 Speed manual cars can vouch for better performance than 5 speed cars. But 6 speed manual cars are pricier than 5 speed cars.

 

Hyundai Elite i20

This is the cheapest 6 Speed manual transmission car money can buy right now in India. The new design with a black grill borrowed from bigger Hyundai cars looks fantastic on this. Hyundai offers both petrol turbocharged and diesel variants with this 6 Speed manual car. 

The engine produces a power of 86bhp and 220 Nm of torque. The 6 speed gearbox takes full advantage of this torque and power to use it efficiently.

 

Tata Nexon

This is a new product from Tata Motors and has generated quite some fanbase in a short time. The fresh design signature has appealed to customers. It comes in both petrol and diesel variants. The petrol engine is a turbocharged one which generates 108bhp power and a torque figure of 107 Nm.

The diesel engine packs 108bhp power and 260 Nm of torque.

The power numbers of this car are really promising for a quick overtake. For a more thrilling ride, the diesel variant should be given preference.

 

Hyundai Verna

This car needs no introduction as it has been with us since long. The facelift version has brought some new design elements like black and bigger front grill etc. This is a comfortable sedan which you will really like on long rides. It has a 1.6 liter petrol and diesel engine. The petrol engine has a power output of 122bhp and torque of 155 Nm. The diesel engine gives 126hp and 260 Nm.

 

Renault Duster and Nissan Terrano

This is a SUV car. Renault Duster is known for many reasons like its engine and gearbox. The diesel 1.5 liter K9K top variant engine produces 108bhp- 245 Nm. The short first gear helps it to cut through the traffic quickly.

Nissan Terrano is its younger sibling with the same specs sheet.

 

Jeep Compass

Jeep Compass is the most premium car in our list and the last one. Jeep is an American automaker and doesn’t make budget cars. The Jeep Compass is a 5 seater SUV. The compass is the most affordable Jeep branded SUV in India and has received instant fame. 

The 6 Speed engine packs a 2.0 liter multijet diesel engine which produces 171 bhp power and 350 Nm torque. If you have a higher budget then you can keep this car in your watchlist.

 

Disadvantages of a manual transmission car

Manual transmission have their cons which are an added advantage for an automatic car.

 

More moving parts

Manual cars have more moving parts and are complex than an automatic car. Manual cars rely heavily on clutch and gears and if these give up, you are in big trouble of heavy expenditure. But since, automatic cars don’t have these complex mechanisms and hence are easier and cheaper to maintain.

 

Harder to drive than an automatic car

Well shifting of gears isn’t really hard after some practice. But as said, it needs practice. Whereas, the automatic ones involve no scenario of practicing gears and so are easier to drive. This made manual transmission car sales to only 13% of new car sales in the US in 2020.

No one likes to complicate things, so new drivers lean towards automatic cars

And in a densely populated country like India, everyday traffic is a hurdle with manual cars for any driver. The constant need for gear changing and pushing the clutch makes your hand and foot fatigued.

Automatics are more suitable in hilly regions for new drivers. This is especially true if you are taking the car from dead stop uphill.

Manual transmission cars will stall if you are in wrong gear or don’t have good control over the clutch. Your car may end up stopping in heavy traffic which is really frustrating. An automatic car never stalls. If it does in any case then it refers to certain mechanical faults rather than driver’s fault.

Some may also argue that the need to drive with one hand and shift gears with the other, makes manual cars less safer to drive. At least in theory, yes, automatic cars may be safer to drive in this debate.

We have seen the pros and cons of a manual transmission car. We cannot pronounce any winner here as it comes to personal preference. If you are an experienced driver who has driven manual cars before then you can definitely opt for a manual car for better fuel efficiency or that control which makes you feel boss. We have made a detailed list of best manual transmission cars in India for you.

But if you are planning your first car and don’t want to take extended driving lessons then a manual car is not an ideal choice for you.

 

 

 

Chandra Prabha Ghosh

Chandra Prabha Ghosh

An automotive enthusiast of both bikes and cars. Pop genre fan. Likes to explore new technologies like metaverse etc.

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