- $279 for five 60-minute driving lessons with an instructor ($400 value)
Manual or Automatic Transmission? Rumble in the Gearbox
Though the kind of car you drive may depend mainly on what you learned to drive in, transmissions play a huge role in the driving experience. Shift out of neutral and consider your next gearbox with Groupon’s breakdown.
Manual: Commonly referred to as “driving stick,” operating a manual transmission puts speed control in your hands, requiring you to upshift and downshift on your own via a clutch pedal and gearstick within the car’s cabin. Although perfecting the timing and clutch work can be difficult to master, adherents of manual transmissions credit them with everything from improved fuel economy and reduced initial cost to quicker shift response time and increased traction. Manuals are also often the only option on certain models, including classic cars, high-performance vehicles, and dump trucks designed for street racing.
Automatic: First introduced by General Motors on the 1940 Oldsmobile, automatic transmissions trade clunky gearshifts for a self-contained system that upshifts or downshifts on its own based solely on acceleration. Whether easing their simplified gearshift into drive or shifting into low gear in the face of inclement weather, you’ll trade some efficiency and control for ease of use and wider selection—thanks to the system’s superior accessibility, many newer models only offer automatic options. Increasingly, automatics have also been poaching the best qualities of manuals for themselves: known colloquially as automanuals or semiautomatic transmissions, these hybrids function as clutch-less automatics that let you step in whenever you feel like taking control.