Which car is superior when equipped with an automatic transmission?

According to a recent article on The Drive, there are debates surrounding the relative merits of automatic and manual transmissions in cars. The general consensus is that driving is more fun when you shift gears yourself, but there are exceptions to this rule. While luxury cars and heavy trucks tend to favor automatic transmissions, there are some sportier vehicles that offer both manual and automatic options.

One example cited in the article is the BMW M3 Competition, which is available in both manual and automatic transmission. The author, who claims to have extensive experience driving both versions, argues that the automatic transmission actually makes the Competition a better car.

One of the main reasons for this, according to the author, is the quality of the changes and the gears in the automatic version of the M3 Competition. The standard M3 manual, on the other hand, is criticized for its “infuriating clutch” and “gummy and unsatisfying switching action.” In addition, the long gearing in the manual version is said to undermine the engine’s performance and fun factor.

The article goes on to praise the quick shifts and lower gears of the M3 Competition’s automatic transmission, stating that they bring the powertrain to life and make the car feel much more exciting to drive. This, combined with a small increase in power and torque, is said to transform the M3 Competition from a “meh” sports car to an epic one. The author concludes that the M3 Competition is head and shoulders above the manual alternative.

The article’s author acknowledges that choosing an automatic transmission over a manual can often be seen as a controversial decision, but argues that there are instances where an automatic transmission may actually be the better choice. The author then poses a question to the readers, asking if there are any cars they have driven that are better with an automatic than a manual.

Overall, the article presents a provocative argument for the virtues of automatic transmissions in certain sporty vehicles, challenging the prevailing belief that manuals always make for a more enjoyable driving experience. Whether or not readers agree with this perspective, the article’s thoughtful analysis and insights provide a fresh perspective on a long-standing debate in the automotive world.