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Automatic or standard?

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Updated: 3/28/2003 12:53 pm Published: 3/28/2003 12:53 pm

Deciding whether to buy a car with automatic or standard transmission is a matter of personal preference. Most cars today come with automatic transmissions, which means there is no manual clutch to operate. The car shifts automatically between three or four gears depending on your speed, making it much easier to drive. If you plan to do a lot of stop-and-go city driving, an automatic system is more convenient since you won't have to keep shifting with the traffic. However, you generally pay for convenience. Automatic transmissions usually cost several hundred dollars more than standard transmissions. This is why standard, or manual, transmissions are usually found on the base models of cars. They require a driver to manually operate the clutch and shifter while driving the car. A standard transmission gives the driver more control over speed and acceleration. This helps if you plan on doing any off-road or performance driving. You'll also get slightly better mileage with a standard in most cases, depending on how you drive. Many drivers claim that a standard transmission makes driving more fun. In the end, it all depends on what you want from your driving experience. For more information, consult your owner's manual or auto dealer.

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