Buyer's Guide: What's the Difference Between Manual vs. Automatic Transmissions?

When perusing our new inventory at Jeffrey Kia, you might wonder, “Just what is the difference between manual vs. automatic transmissions?” Generally speaking, a manual transmission uses a stick-shift to change gears by hand. Automatic and continuously variable transmissions take care of all the shifting for you. So, the choice is up to you. Would you prefer a vehicle that puts you in total control, or would you prefer to let the car handle the heavy lifting? Let’s go into both sides of the issue:

Manual Transmission

Manual transmission vehicles are a great option for drivers who like to take control of their driving experience. While it takes a little time and effort to learn how to master the stick shift, many drivers feel that the experience is completely worthwhile. In fact, manual transmission vehicles are still the only option in some parts of the world.

Automatic Transmission

While manual transmissions were the earliest forms of transmissions, automatics have become more and more popular as vehicles became more advanced. One of the most obvious advantages of automatics is the ease of use. There’s no need to worry about stalling the engine or shifting improperly on the highway. You only have to deal with two pedals and your steering wheel. Plus, automatic transmissions are often easier to maintain and some are notably more efficient than their manual counterparts.

Continuously Variable Transmission

The newest kid on the block is the continuously variable transmission, or the CVT. While manual and automatic cars use a system of gears, a CVT uses a belt and pulley. This allows the system to pinpoint the precise ratio that you need to maximize performance. The result is a smoother, more efficient ride – even more than the automatic transmission. However, this innovative technology is not without quirks. Some drivers need time to get used to a car that never shifts, while others find little difference in the overall driving experience.

2018 Kia Optima

2018 Kia Soul with 2.0L engine

Take a Test Drive Today!

While there are many differences between the manual vs. automatic transmission, the best way to get a feel for both is during a hands-on test drive. The staff at Jeffrey Kia can introduce you to a wide variety of quality vehicles, so don’t hesitate to visit our dealership. What if your vehicle needs a tune-up? Schedule your service with our technicians to get your car back in shape in no time!

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Jeffrey Kia

30800 Gratiot Ave Roseville, MI

Phone: (800) 362-4259


Phone: (800) 920-8791

30800 Gratiot Ave Roseville, MI


Phone: (800) 362-4259

30800 Gratiot Ave Roseville, MI


Phone: (800) 856-2140

30800 Gratiot Ave Roseville, MI
42.52294 -82.9182811
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Jeffrey Kia
Jeffrey Kia
30800 Gratiot Ave
Roseville, MI, 48066 United States
(800) 362-4259
Jeffrey Kia 42.52294, -82.9182811.