A Case For Automatics

  Kelly Lodewyks

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 11 Feb, 2020



Automatic Gearboxes For Traffic

Kelly Lodewyks defends the lesser loved self-shifting gearbox.

The more I drive my automatic (or MTA) Fiat Panda, the more I want to tell people that automatic vehicles should not be underestimated. I’m not talking about performance cars here – I’m talking about regular little runabouts. We’re so pressured into learning how to drive a manual car and then many of us are teased for not driving a manual, but honestly, why do we still care? Here are five reasons to consider an automatic.

It’s better for your car

When the vehicle is choosing its own time to change gears, there is little chance of it over-revving and damaging the engine. It also leaves no room for riding the clutch and damaging it along with the gearbox.

It could be more fuel-efficient

On a manual car, you choose when to change gears. This means that you are possibly not driving in the most economical way. You could be changing too late or too early and using more fuel this way. If your automatic car has an ECO mode, it’s probably choosing the most fuel-efficient times to change gears, thereby saving you money in the long run.

The cars of the future will be automatic

There is no way that vehicles in the future will be manual. For many reasons but mainly because so many functions – including the actual driving of the car – will be automated and electric, and electric cars have no gears. You may as well start learning how to drive an automatic car now.

You can focus on driving

Not having to change gears leaves one less thing for you to worry about while you are driving. With South Africa’s roads only getting more congested every day, staying focused on the roads and paying attention to what is happening around you is more important than ever before, so not having to worry about gearing up or down is better for everyone around you.

It’s easier in traffic

I’ve mentioned this a few times before, but when you’re sitting in traffic on a daily basis, having an automatic is a lifesaver. It means not having to sit on your clutch for extended periods of time, which can be a real pain in the leg. It’s just so much easier and, to be honest, makes me not dread traffic as much as I used to.



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