What are the Different Types of Transmissions?

April 10th, 2018 by

2018 Honda Civic

When scouring our inventory for your new vehicle, you may wonder what is the difference between a manual vs. automatic transmission – and why does it matter for you. We’re here to break down the main types of transmissions: manual, automatic, and CVT. Whether you want the control of a manual model or the efficiency of a CVT, we can help you find the perfect car to fit your needs.


In the old days, manual transmissions were the only option available. Manual models required drivers to use the clutch to select a gear by hand, shifting up or down as needed. This allows for more precision, but also more driving skill. Here are a few advantages:

  • Manual vehicles are robust and reliable, as well as easy to repair.
  • Many drivers enjoy the challenge of using a manual transmission, and many performance cars utilize this transmission style to handle higher torque loads.
  • Manual transmissions are often easier to repair than complicated automatics and CVTs.


While the manual transmission was once king, the automatic transmission has skyrocketed in popularity for its ease of use. The manual clutch is gone, so the driver only needs to concentrate on the wheel and pedals while taking to the road. This makes the automatic transmission more complicated and more difficult to repair, but many drivers prefer the user-friendly driving experience.

  • Automatics are easy for anyone to use, from new drivers to pros.
  • There are fewer components to worry about, so driving is more relaxing.
  • Fuel economy figures are typically similar in both manual and automatic models.


The continuously variable transmission (CVT) is the newest option, and it’s the most technically advanced yet. Rather than selecting from a set of fixed gears, the CVT uses a belt and system of pulleys to set a specific tension. This means the vehicle can truly optimize its performance for the conditions of the road, rather than relying on traditional gears.

  • There’s no “shift shock” from abrupt changes in gears, just smooth sailing.
  • This is the most fuel-efficient option of the three.
  • The CVT is also the most responsive transmission option.

Find Out More!

Learn more about the types of transmissions at Jeffrey Honda, or schedule your service today.