Skip to comments.End of the manual transmission?
Posted on 05/02/2012 1:50:24 PM PDT by Sopater
Go to any given dealership with 100 new cars.
On average, just four of the 2012 models will have manual gearboxes.
The trend of the vanishing third pedal is nothing new, notes The Detroit News.
Even a decade ago, just 8.5 percent of 2002 models were manuals. The papers own automotive reporter even confesses she never learned to drive a stick shift until it essentially became a job requirement.
Its more than a little contradictory to automotive reviews (including many youll read here) extolling the pleasure of enthusiastic driving with a true manual gearbox. Likewise, purists gravitate to manuals for tackling their favorite twisting road or occasional track day. Its the original form of in-car connectivity.
(Excerpt) Read more at foxnews.com ...
I’d take a classic Chevy muscle car (i.e. 1971 Camaro) over anything off the production line these days anyway...
Hold on, let me check something
Yep, just as I thought, mine is still there.
I have NEVER owned an automatic.
This means WAHR!
I owned a 6-spd chev corvette for a number of years.
You don’t really have full control of that internal combustion engine, unless you’re working a stick.
WAHR! It’s fantastic!
I’ll stick with my 1991 Mazda Miata, with its honest-to-goodness H-pattern five-speed gearbox, three-pedal layout and total lack of driver aids (not even ABS). Unless someone wants to give me a new Boss 302...
Me too. It will be a sad day when I buy an automatic. Another sign that our civilizaton is on the brink of collapse.
The last car I owned with an automatic transmission was a 1971 Pontiac Firebird. I traded it in 1979. I haven’t owned a vehicle with an automatic transmission since.
I drive a 2004 BMW 325i with a manual. I got a great deal on this car, drove it off the lot, seems no one was interested in a manual BMW but me. I’ve been driving manual transmission cars for 30 years. Can’t imagine a world w/o 5 speed manuals.
Since manuals are more fuel efficient you would think there would be more.
Fugeddaboudit......I’ve seen this same story written over and over about every ten years or so...........
I'm glad that the manufacturers are finally building worthwhile automatics, but I really don't see the charm in those flappy paddle gearboxes. I guess if I'm going to initiate a gear change, I'd rather not feel the computer getting in the middle of it.
I would not own my 03 Mach 1 if it did not have a stick.
I would not own my 65 Falcon Sprint w/302 etc. if it did not have the 4 speed.
I would not be building a 66 Mustang notchback w/281 32 valve if it did not have a 5 speed.
But that’s just me, old & out of touch.
Sounds like those black box thingys don’t work too well with a manual...probably RPM issues between shifts and all that....
Even my 1979 RX-7 was sweet with the gears. 4bbl with an Otto engine. I gave it to my good friends in the desert 15 years ago.
Most cars arn’t even available with a stick as an option anymore. You can’t get a stick on a full sized half ton pickup anymore. If you want a stick you have to buy a 3/4 ton or higher. I’ve owned 10 vehicles so far in my life and only 4 of them had sticks. I prefer stick but they are getting harder to find.
6 spd m/t's are just fine.
I've tried DSG xmissions but found them lacking (especially for coasting).
Mine is also! Soon a manual will an extra cost option.
When I was young, I loved shifting for myself. My first car, a 55 Ford with a 272 had a 3 speed manual with overdrive. That actually meant 6 different gear ratios tho all were not really useful.
Automatics have been so good for so long that I no longer worry about it. I can recall even in the 60s that it was said Chrysler’s torqufliite would do as well or better than a manual in a drag.
You left out remote starting. You can’t do remote starting on a stick when the safety code requirement is that the clutch is depressed to allow the starter to energize.
I'll amen that. I once had a 1970 Chevy Malibu that had been, shall we say "worked on," by the previous owner. That car would move, not like the anemic stuff one encounters today.
And it was downright good-looking, too.
Me either, unless one counts the cars I legally owned for my son who refused to learn to drive a manual transmission car.
Many years ago I thought I might get an automatic to make things easier for my wife, but she test drove one and hated it. Even my daughter took her test in a manual and as little as she drove until she flew the nest, she drove a manual.
I'm on my third Camry five-speed, and sometimes miss my little MGB.
On average, just four of the 2012 models will have manual gearboxes.
"ANY" dealership? It really depends on the dealership, doesn't it? I can't imagine it's going to be awfully hard to find a stick shift at a Porsche dealer. (They're up to 7 speed manuals on the new 911!)
Both of my cars are manuals, and I will give up my stick shift when they pry it from my cold, dead hand.
Chrysler’s torqeflight sucked. REal bad. But it would handle any amount of horsepower you could throw at it.
Drag racing evolved into bracket racing. In order to win bracket racing, you have to get as close to your expected time as possible without beating it. This means you need a car with a very predictable performance and will give you the same time every time you run it.
You can’t do that with a stick.
Has a 62 SAAB. 3 speed on column. Could keep the right arm around her, reach over the steering wheel with the left to shift, and tickle her left ****** with my right hand all at the same time.
Ah, the good old days.
I remember how I learned to drive a stick. I was standing in a muddy footing trench when the jobsite foreman came up and said “We need someone to be the jobsite gopher, make deliveries, pick up materials...do you know how to drive a stick shift?”
The first and only word out of my mouth was “yes.” Now, technically it wasn’t a lie, since I did know conceptually how to drive a stick, I’d just never actually done it. But I figured if I could get that F 150 off the construction lot and over behind the Hardee’s where I could practice a bit without the foreman seeing me, and then get to and from Kokomo Lumber in one piece, I had it made.
I made there and back, got a radio strapped to my side, and never went back to the muddy footer trench. The black guys on the concrete crew called me “easy money” as I drove around Kokomo listening to Milo Hamilton and Lou Boudreaux broadcast Cub games on the radio. Ah...the summer of 1980...
Haven’t owned an automatic trans vehicle since the 80’s and toggled between manuals prior to. My Ford pickup now will never have to worry about replacing a tranny. The transaxle is virtually worry free. Only pain with stick shifting is in stop and go snarled traffic.
On many new cars, even the smaller 4-bangers, this is no longer the case. Review the mileage estimates, often the automatics get better mileage. The current Ford Fiesta shows the automatic and manual to be identical in the city (29 MPG), but the automatic gets 1 or 2 MPG better on the highway 39 (or 40 for the SFE package) for the automatic vs 38 for the manual.
oh no kidding!
I guess I am going to keep my 2003 mustang till i die.
I LOVE driving my car!!
“6 spd m/t’s are just fine.”
Yes, I’d love to test drive one someday.
Damn near killed me more than once. WATCH OUT! THE ROAD IS DONE! :^)
I once drove my Brother’s Mazda diesel pickup all the way from North Georgia to the Florida panhandle with no clutch. The only real trouble was I once was forced to stop at a stop sign. I usually could shift into low and just creep up to them and then when it was clear, go ahead and accelerate.
All you had to do of course was synchronize the speed of the engine with the wheels by revving the engine a little then get to feel when the speeds matched. I did plan the trip without having to go through Atlanta or Columbus, GA.
He didn’t have the money to fix it so Daddy had me drive his pickup to my Brother’s place then I drove the Mazda home. My Brother never would have made it.
“I have NEVER owned an automatic.”
me neither. told my frau when she got her license to learn to drive a stick and she did. i currently drive a 2008 forester w/5-speed.
Depends on the gearing for each vehicle. I've always found I get better than EPA mileage on a manual and worse on an auto. YMMV.
We had a couple of 60s Mercedes diesels that were both equipped with a four on the tree.
I worked in HS and saved enough to buy a new, 1967 Mustang in my senior year - $2500. When I picked-up the car, the salesman gave me a 5-minute lesson on how to drive the 3-speed stick...and I never looked back.
Of all the cars i have owned, my favorite was a MGB - kinda of an orange color with a dark navy blue vinyl/leather interior. It was like a slightly oversized go-cart. I bought it new in early 70’s and, mechanically, it was totally junk but it was a blast to drive. Sold it less than 2 years later to a guy who never drove a stick.
Glad to see another MGB owner here!
Never owned an auto either, likely never will. Just got to keep my little WRX wagon running until I croak....
They need to eliminate transmissions, clutches, axles, and drive shafts all together and use hydrostatic drive systems that are manual or automatic.
since 1981 my cars have always been manual. I’ve been planning for a Nissan 370z manual 6 speed (or equiv) in a few years, they sure better still be making manuals or I won’t be buying it.
meh.. my wife drives a five-speed and it’s a pain in the butt in traffic. I owned a few and I don’t miss it but she’s under the illusion that EVERYONE knows how to drive one.
I like it but I’d rather have the automatic, especially in dense traffic.
We used to have a Mazda Spyder with a supercharger, rear end engine, H pattern 5 speed. Loved driving that car and it was great in the snow and ice because you could really gear down. Would buy another one in a minute if they still made them. Always drove barefooted though, real high heels and all those pedals didn’t get along well.
Guess it depends on the make and model. A VW Jetta S the manual does better on the highway, the auto in the city. For a Jetta TDI manual wins both.
If you’re not driving a stick, you’re not really driving. I’ve had - let’s see here - seven cars, and six were stick-shifts. I actually held out on my Saturn dealership to have them find the model / color combo I wanted in manual; I wasn’t settling for an automatic when a stick was available somewhere.