Manual vs. Automatic Transmission for a Used Truck Calgary
Manual vs. Automatic Transmission for a Used Truck Calgary

Manual vs. Automatic Transmission for a Used Truck Calgary

August 24, 2023

When looking to purchase a used truck, one of the biggest decisions you will face is whether to choose a manual or automatic transmission. Each type has its advantages and drawbacks, and understanding them is key to determining which fits your needs and preferences better.

Manual Transmissions

Manual transmissions, also known as stick shifts, require the driver to manually change gears by shifting the transmission’s gear stick. This transmission type has been around for quite some time and is common in many older truck models.

Pros of Manual Transmissions

  • Fuel efficiency: Manual transmissions are generally more fuel efficient than automatic ones. This is because they give the driver more control over gear changes, allowing them to optimize engine performance and fuel consumption according to driving conditions.
  • Lower purchase price: Manual trucks are typically less expensive than automatics. This is particularly true in the used truck market, where vehicles with a manual transmission can sometimes be priced significantly lower.
  • Simpler maintenance: With fewer components, manual transmissions are less complex than automatic ones. As a result, they generally require less maintenance and, when repairs are needed, tend to be less expensive.
  • Greater control: A major selling point for manual transmissions is the level of control they offer the driver. By manually changing gears, drivers can better manage their vehicle’s power and torque, allowing for more precise handling and responsiveness.

Cons of Manual Transmissions

  • Learning curve: Operating a manual transmission can be more challenging than an automatic, especially for inexperienced drivers. It can take some time to master the skill of shifting gears smoothly and at the appropriate speeds.
  • Increased driver effort: Manual gear changes require more concentration and physical effort, which may not appeal to some drivers, particularly those who frequently drive in heavy traffic or on longer journeys.

Automatic Transmissions

On the other hand, automatic transmissions handle gear changes independently, allowing the driver to focus on other aspects of driving. These types of transmissions have become increasingly popular in recent years and, as a result, are more commonly found in newer used truck models in Calgary.

Pros of Automatic Transmissions

  • Ease of use: Automatic transmissions are incredibly user-friendly, making them an excellent option for drivers who wish to avoid the extra effort required when operating a manual transmission.
  • Faster gear changes: Automatic transmissions can change gears faster than manual ones, providing smoother acceleration and a more comfortable driving experience.
  • Less driver fatigue: Because they handle gear changes automatically, drivers operating an automatic transmission have fewer tasks to worry about, reducing the risk of fatigue during long trips or in heavy traffic.

Cons of Automatic Transmissions

  • Higher purchase price: Trucks equipped with automatic transmissions generally command a higher purchase price than those with manual ones. This difference is due to the added complexity and convenience of automatic transmissions.
  • Decreased fuel efficiency: Automatic transmissions can be less fuel efficient than manual ones, primarily due to their tendency to change gears at higher engine speeds than necessary.
  • More expensive repairs: Repairs or replacement of an automatic transmission can be quite expensive, largely because of the complexity of their components.


In conclusion, purchasing a used truck with a manual or automatic transmission depends on personal preference and priorities. Manual transmissions offer better fuel efficiency, lower purchase prices, and more control, making them ideal for drivers who value performance and economy.

On the other hand, automatic transmissions deliver greater ease of use, faster gear changes, and reduced driver fatigue, catering to individuals who prioritize comfort and convenience. Consider your own driving habits and preferences when deciding between these two transmission types.

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