Skip to comments.End of the manual transmission?
Posted on 06/01/2012 7:23:21 AM PDT by US Navy Vet
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 ...
Back about 1995 or so, I won a (used) car from a radio station. I had to drive to a dealership about 30 miles away to pick it up, and was dismayed to find out it was a stick.
Luckily my passenger could drive one, so he drove it home, where it sat outside my apartment for two weeks. One day I got into it, looked around and said this is ridiculous. I started it up and taught myself how to drive a stick.
I love driving them. They are definitely more fun than an auto.
since high school..and back then my Dad even told me not to buy any car with auto or he’ll disown me.
LOL! Its called multi-tasking. Brings back memories.
But if you really want to multi-task, pilot an airplane.......IFR.
Just lost a twelve year old Toyota (through accident) with 244,000+ miles and the original clutch. It was heart breaking.
I can attest to the lack of availability of the standard transmission as I attempted to replace my totaled car. Subaru and Hyundai still offer them in their SUV lines.
Unfortunately, neither met my needs so I had to accept an automatic transmission. My left foot is still reflexively steps on the floor.
So is mine. There is a real advantage to driving a Jeep with a stick down a steep, narrow trail at 10,000 feet in the mountains. Put it in compound low and first gear and crawl down the road without having to touch the pedals.
A Jeep's auto tranny can overheat in those conditions and the brakes will get hot from constantly hitting them as the auto won't hold you back like a stick will.
Most newer cars have electronic transmissions and they are way more fuel efficient than manuals..
Never learned. Growing up around the hills and hollows of Western Pennsylvania they never proved to be very practical (for sure you don’t want to be sitting too close behind one at an uphill stop light).
I prefer a stick and miss it terribly. My first car, a B210, was a stick. Then two Spitfires ('71 and a '69), followed by a '85 CRX. With the exception of the 210, all were fun to drive. The only stick I never really enjoyed was dad's '89 Silverado 4WD. That thing was a beast.
And that can be done left-handed, while undoing a bra-strap with your right hand. ;)
I wasn't always a celibate.
I’ve always preferred manual transmissions whenever I could get one. I still am not a fan of automatics because they eventually develop and overdrive/converter/switch problem.
My last two Hondas, 2005 and 2009 were both 5 speed manuals. If they had had one on the lot like I wanted, my 2010 F-150 would have one.
I’m going to Dresden in a couple of weeks. Reserving a car on Avis, you have to go upscale to get automatic transmission- default is stick. I can’t wait, it will bring back nice memories.
Learned on an old Mack quad box. Two sticks...two hands. never forgot.
Ruh-Roh. Just bought a manual yesterday.’05 Corolla supposed to get 41 highway.
Not good for resale, but we drive our cars into the ground.
First manual in ten years. It came back to me pretty quick.
Downside for me is that it’s much harder to eat and drive, although I usually do that on the highway.
Yup. Can’t get Mrs. Colonel or the fledglings (both girls) into it, though...
I learned to drive on both manual and automatic, but I prefer a manual. You are much more aware of your driving when you drive a manual.
Sounds like my older borther's '59 Opel. Learning first gear in that one was tough.
My first car, a '61 Impala, was an automatic (283 engine with the old 2-speed, IIRC, powerglide). After that it was all sticks until 2010 when I went for my fourth Honda.
Decided to go with the automatic-equipped Civic EX (I don't think Honda even makes an EX with a stick any more--certainly none on the local lots). The Civic Si model was stick-only (6-speed), but it was a little spendier than I wanted; plus, I was spending a lot of time in stop-n-go traffic in those days.
It’s likely because I’m so used to a manual but there is no comparison on mountainous, winding roads. Also, I do get better mileage with a manual. Now trying to teach a daughter to drive a stick, that I could have done without.
If you work on your own car, you will quickly realize:
new clutch = $200
new automatic transmission = $1,500
I drive a stick because I’m cheap.
Back in the early 80s, the US Army realized that a small percentage of new recruits could drive stick, and that it was a waste of valuable time to train them.
At that point they made all new vehicle procurements with automatics.
And that was 30 yrs ago....
They can have my Dodge 4X4 6 speed when they remove my cold dead foot from their bloodied “clutch”.
It's performance is wasted on me today. I learned that I, too, can die ugly. ;)
I just bought a Kia with a six speed manual tranny. I had forgotten how much fun they can be.
Driving a Mini in England was interesting. Right hand drive with a stick...That took some practice...
-—says that auto transmissions are superior for off roading, because they can respond faster to changing conditions than a human can shift a manual transmission.——
Yeah. I drove my manual Wrangler with a foot-long shifter down a Maine logging road. I could barely stay in the seat, nevermind find a gear.
I don’t know about that. I’m in mud heaven here and we have a saying....stick it in low and go!
I not only can drive a stick, I prefer to
Years ago, when my best friend and I both drove 1970-vintage 240Z’s, I observed that girls drove mostly automatics. He showed me plenty of counterexamples to this, which I guess was easy because we belonged to a sports car club.
Anyway, after that time, I saw a lot of stick-driving chicks.
I guess it depends on one’s perceptions, which are not uncommonly refuted by statistics.
AND I (the good farm boy that I am) can drive a “Straight Truck” w/ a “High/Low Axle Transmission too(I can “move” an 18 wheeler if I have to).
Me too. :) I have a 74 beetle and a TR7 Triumph now, along with a 1994 Ford Ranger 4WD, also a manual.
“While lighting a cigarette and tuning the radio...”
LOL...I’ve been known to eat with my right hand and reach over to shift with my left hand.
I loved my stick-shift pickup truck so much that I developed a callus on my left butt cheek.
My jeep is also a stick and it is much more fun to drive even when stuck in traffic.
I read an article from Four Wheel magazine where each and every writer preferred a stick for several reasons.
The most important for all of them was survivability. Each had been stranded by a auto that hit a rock but one ever drove home with a stick that had a gash in the gear box and no fluid. He said it was a noisy ride but he made it home with no problems.
Sticks are more forgiving and cheaper to replace. They last longer if properly cared for and are more interesting.
I have a sticker on the side of my Jeep that says “Shift Happens.”
I had to replace the shift handle. The new one came from http://www.hotrodshiftknob.com/
You have to pay more attention when driving a shift and you are more in tune with our car as well.
Downside for me is that its much harder to eat and drive, although I usually do that on the highway.
don’t worry.. they will outlaw eating in the car soon enough.
My uncle had one of these way back when.
Sticks ate actually better for snow covered roads. Instant downshift ability is key and not available on automatics
We’re flatlanders but have lots of mud. As long as you enter the mud in 4 low - 1st or 2nd, it’ll pull you through by itself. Mr. Liberalh8ter likes it especially because doing it this way, he doesn’t spill his drink! LOL
Did mine in a 69 Beetle. Learned to work on engines with that one.
When it finally gave up the ghost, I had a box full of parts left over. Don't know how it still ran, but it did.
I hated driving stick, but I did so because I abhorred the inherent complexity of automatic transmissions, and suspected that the simpler manual transmission would be more reliable and easier to fix if it breaks.
But driving stick was a pain in the rear. Between having to steer the car, hold my coffee, and light and smoke my cigarettes, my hands had enough to do without having to constantly reach for the damn shift lever.
That I am tall also made it a nuisance on my GM car to reach a steering column shift lever with the seat pushed all the way back, especially with having one foot in the air.
My Volvos with their stick on the floor and better overall ergonometric design made it easier for me, but I still hate driving stick. Damn nuisance.
Sure, the performance of auto transmissions is still spongier--so add a little extra horsepower and that's problem solved.
And if autos burn more gas, so what if you can afford it?
Probably the only reason someone drives stick today, is because they like to play vroom-vroom games when they drive like children.
Cars are for getting you from here to there safely. They are also, unfortunately, sometimes needed as a status-symbol sales aid in business and socially.
O and I drive one of these too(mine is Red):
I think grampa told me his T had three pedals aside from gas and brake: Reverse, low, and high.
I hear ya...
My car is a Hyundai Elantra...very underpowered. I have determined that it is physically impossible for anybody to learn on that car (without breaking something).
Nice. My first car was a TR6 which had a super-heavy clutch and engaged practically right at the floor. So it had to be mashed to the floor and held there. Fun car, it is in a state of disrepair in my parent’s barn. Someday I’ll get it back together and running again.
I used to drive a tactical deuce and half semi in the Army. We got into some tight places, but compared to the Dixie contingent, we Yankees simply could not drive. Hence the dominance of NASCAR by Dixie.
Of course, like all good FR posters I have not yet read the article :) but are there not plenty of hybrid transmissions with the paddle shift option, giving one the manual experience w/o the manual clutch?
Hooray for the wrinkleys - AND the can drive Auto too!
1980 Xterra with 5 speed on the floor.