RAY: However, many automatic transmissions last for the life of the vehicle, whereas a manual transmission will require at least one, if not more, $1,000 clutch replacements during a car's life. So the costs really are about the same.
TOM: Myth 4: Manual transmissions are more fun. That's probably the strongest argument for getting a manual transmission. And if you feel that way, you should get one and enjoy it.
RAY: But for some people, they're not more fun -- people who live in cities, for instance, and have to creep along in traffic every day. Or people who'd rather have their right hand free to change the radio station or administer a dope slap to a recalcitrant preteen in a passenger seat.
TOM: But it's really a matter of personal preference now. There are no good economic or mechanical reasons to choose a manual over an automatic anymore, Nina. So be as shiftless as you like. Dad would approve.
Which is cheaper, buying or leasing? Should you keep a car forever or dump it after three years, before trouble starts? Find out in Tom and Ray's pamphlet "Should I Buy, Lease, or Steal My Next Car?" Send $4.75 (check or money order) to Next Car, P.O. Box 536475, Orlando, FL 32853-6475.
Get more Click and Clack in their new book, "Ask Click and Clack: Answers from Car Talk." Got a question about cars? Write to Click and Clack in care of this newspaper, or e-mail them by visiting the Car Talk Web site at www.cartalk.com.
(c) 2012 by Tom and Ray Magliozzi and Doug Berman
Distributed by King Features Syndicate, Inc.