EDIT: 19Nov13, 2117
So, I originally asked if there were true advantages to a manual transmission. That’s because I didn’t know the subject like “pound for pound” (which sounds like the title of a Biggest Loser episode to me) asked the same question. So, I’ve read some of those responses. But, still looking for any feedback on these paddle/clutchless things out there…
I’m shopping for a new car. I currently drive a standard, I generally like cars with over 200 horsepower, I’m looking for a mid-size to full-size sedan and I live in NY (lots of snow, slush, and such). I like the control that a manual transmission gives me to downshift around curves, ramp it up quickly when I’m trying to punch forward, and particularly in snowy conditions. Being able to downshift in order to slow down instead of using my brakes in snow or on ice is priceless to me.
The problem is, it seems like the availability of a manual transmission out there is getting pretty darn slim!! Getting a manual transmission as the Standard option is almost nonexistent and getting it as an available option is very slim. Many cars, however, have some form of “paddle” shifting or “clutchless” shifting of some sort. I’ve never driven one.
So, here are my two questions:
Are there any real, true advantages to manual transmission over automatic transmission, or am I just being biased?
How do these “clutchless” or “paddle” shifters compare to a manual transmission, or to an automatic? Are they really worth anything or just a gimmick to make people feel like they’re in an arcade?