Is It Better To Go Offroading With A Manual Transmission

No matter what time of year it is, it is always time for off-roading adventures with family and friends. For those who are interested in purchasing a vehicle for off-roading in it, it is important to understand all of the options to choose the correct one. Is it better to purchase a manual or an automatic off-roading vehicle?

When purchasing a vehicle to take it off-roading through steep hills and rocks, it is best to purchase an automatic transmission vehicle. This is because automatic transmissions will not stall or choke while climbing up steep heights and switching gears.

Manual transmissions also have great qualities for off-roading experiences. Continue reading to have a deeper understanding of manual and automatic transmissions and how they can affect an off-roading adventure.

Offroading with a Manual Transmission

For almost any car enthusiast, a manual transmission is the only transmission allowed in a vehicle they own. This is due to many different reasons (which we’ll get into), not the least of which is an increase of control over the car. What are the pros and cons of owning a manual transmission vehicle, and how can this affect a driver’s off-roading experience?

Pros Of Owning A Manual Transmission

One of the biggest reasons many people prefer to own a manual transmission vehicle over an automatic is the control they can have over the vehicle. This is beneficial not only for those who love cars but is also extremely useful in situations where more control of a vehicle is necessary. While off-roading, more control over the vehicle and the gear it is being driven in gives the driver more sense of control and safety.

For many people who are off-roading enthusiasts, manual transmissions are the way to go. This is often due to the elevation changes a vehicle goes through during off-roading adventures and how that can affect the transmission. According to a comment from someone on an Off-Roading Forum, manual transmissions seem to handle the elevation changes better than automatic. Manual transmissions also allow the car’s engine to brake easier, which is extremely helpful while off-roading and going on more dangerous adventures. Successful braking while going downhill is an essential tool to use and have the ability to use while off-roading.

Cons Of Owning A Manual Transmission

One of the biggest drawbacks to owning a manual transmission is the potential stalling a manual transmission can cause. While off-roading, and specifically rock climbing with an off-roading vehicle, it is more important than ever to not stall and for the engine to continually be working. Many comments from this Off-Roading Forum are discussing this very unfortunate and scary event. Many people are sharing how although they love manual transmissions and everything they offer, they will not purchase a manual off-roading vehicle for this reason.

Offroading with an Automatic Transmission

Despite some of the bad reputation automatic transmissions may have (mostly from car enthusiasts who think that manual is the only way), automatic transmissions are very popular. Many benefits come from owning an automatic transmission vehicle. Read on to learn more about the pros and cons of automatic off-roading vehicles.

Pros Of Owning An Automatic Transmission

Whether or not a driver is planning on off-roading in their vehicle, automatic transmission vehicles are the easiest to drive. Not having to mess with the clutch or manually switch gears while speeding up makes driving easy and like second nature for many drivers.

For some, off-roading with an automatic makes it safer for them, likely due to ease of driving and less thinking about how to drive, rather than driving. According to the forum titled “Do you offroad in a manual or automatic?”, one person shares their experience of how off-roading in an automatic transmission vehicle is easier to do and a more enjoyable ride. He says that in his experience, automatic transmission vehicles drive smoother and are less jolty while driving. Especially while off-roading, no one wants to be dangerously jolted around in a vehicle.

Along with the ease of driving and the smooth driving experience, automatic transmission off-roading vehicles are the best choice for those who plan on rock climbing with their vehicles. While climbing up a rock or a steep hill of any kind, it is best to use an automatic that will not stall and stop the engine.

For those who are planning on driving up steep hills and rocks, it is best to purchase an automatic transmission vehicle for the safety it offers steep driving. In a forum titled “Is manual better or auto better for off-roading?” someone shared their opinion on how automatic transmission vehicles are the best choice for off-roading. He talks about how they do not stall while driving and are best for all off-roading adventures.

Cons Of Owning An Automatic Transmission

The biggest drawback of purchasing an automatic transmission is the lack of driver connection. This is the reason many car enthusiasts choose manual transmissions, so they have that driver connection and control while operating the vehicle. For those who prefer their off-roading adventures to consist of driving out in the desert and driving really fast, automatic cars would be fun, no doubt, but a manual transmission would be the best for that type of off-roading.


While each transmission type has its pros and cons, the decision depends upon the driver and the type of off-roading they often like. For those who prefer to go rock climbing and drive up steep rocks and hills, and automatic transmission is the safest way to go.

On the contrary, for someone who prefers to go out in the desert, sand dunes, or salt flats and drive really fast, a manual transmission would be a more enjoyable adventure. For someone who uses their off-roading vehicle to drive up dirt roads to take them to camp spots and hiking trails, either transmission would work, depending on how steep those hills normally are.

In the end, the decision is completely up to the driver. It is smart to know the pros and cons of each transmission type, but drivers should purchase the vehicle they will enjoy driving. Both automatic and manual transmissions will help you to keep… The Wilderness on YOUR side!

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