Manual. I learned to drive a manual transmission on my mom's Ford Probe. I never had any trouble or issues in stop and go traffic. The first time I drove to the mountains when I was 18 I actually did a very good using the manual transmission to help slow the car down without having to really use the brakes. If my Altima didn't have the manual mode on it I wouldn't have bought it. This helps one not hardly have to use the brakes in the mountains. I barely had to use the brakes coming down from Lover's Leap at an elevation of 3300 feet down to 1500 feet east on Rte 58. At times it was a 9% down hill grade on that route as well. Quite pleased by that. Versus my 2008 Ford Fusion which had only two options. D1 and overdrive. And in D1 you couldn't go much over 15 mph because the rpms got way too high. So, it left you in overdrive and using the brakes. A LOT. Coming down from 6,054 feet of elevation on the Blue Ridge Parkway down to Rte 74 Waynesville gap elevation of 3400 feet those brakes were VERY hot. Not fun. I would tell anyone that the Ford Fusion is a good car but in the mountains they are hard to drive. Unless Ford changed the transmission set up in the next generation of them.