My automatic accelerates really quickly. I can still beat a teen at the traffic lights if I am in the mood. If you can use the gas pedal properly and can feel the engine, you will have no problems going uphill, accelerating, nor breaking. But you need to feel the engine to know when to change gears anyway, so there is no real difference, apart from automatic being much more comfortable (and thinking for you when you are being daft). I had all the misconceptions Jacob mentioned about automatics, then test drove this one and was addicted! Wouldn't go back to a non-automatic, if I could help it.