Whether you prefer manual or automatic gearboxes will come down to personal preference, but there are some clear advantages to driving a manual.
For a start, they’re generally cheaper to buy and better on fuel than automatics.
There are a number of reasons for this – automatic gearboxes are usually heavier than manuals, and traditional torque-converter auto ’boxes would waste energy building the resistance of hydraulic fluid to transfer drive from the engine to the wheels.
Manual gearboxes are generally better for those who like to feel in control, too.
If you’re planning an overtake, for example, in a manual you can drop down a gear in advance for a quick reaction when you need the acceleration.
In an automatic, there might be slight hesitation when you floor the accelerator.
Today, many automatics come with manual or sport modes for this situation, however.
The same applies in poor conditions such as driving across a muddy field or in the snow.
An automatic gearbox might get confused and select the wrong gear, spinning the wheels or struggling to maintain momentum.
In a manual, you can select a higher gear to increase torque, or slow down using the gears rather than the brakes, helping the driver remain in control.