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The Future Of The Manual Transmission



  • A dealer will complain that the manuals will sit on the lot for 60 days, because no one buys sticks.

    Then you go over and take a look at the 2 sticks, out of 50 cars he has.

    One is Neon green, and the other is totally base, no ABS, etc.

    Chrysler uses the stick as bait (and switch!), for it's lower price of entry, and higher EPA, but really has no intention of making it a part of the family.

    Too bad, so sad.

    I take this as disrespect. Definitely hurts my interest in the car in question (PT CRuiser, for example).

  • chrisducatichrisducati Posts: 394
    yeah... dealers are a pain. Its all the money game. That is their real reason IMO. Just order your car. It may take a few months but it would be worth it.
  • chrisducatichrisducati Posts: 394
    My local Chrysler rip off agent gets a few manual PT convertibles in. Looks very nice in ivory.
  • xkssxkss Posts: 722
    "Now what about the Corvette, as far as the "more expensive option" theory goes? In that car, isn't the manual the extra-cost option? And what about GTO, is it the same?"

    - nipponoly

    The new 2005 Corvette shares a chassis with the Cadillac XLR but the Cadillac has a 4.6 Northstar DOHC V-8 and is a much different car.

    The Pontiac GTO is really a Holden Monaro which is built in Australia. It is a very nice car, even though it has bland styling. The Holden Monaro doesn't share a chassis with the Corvette.
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,669
    whoa! OK, not quite following how your post is a response to mine there. I thought the GTO had the same powertrain as the Corvette (I know it has the LS2 now), but did NOT assume it had the same transmission choices, which is why I was asking. I also did not mention the XLR, which I assume is auto-only, being kind of a "gentlemen's GT". But I checked the Vette comment, and I was remembering it wrong, thank goodness. 6-speed manual is standard, 4-speed auto is optional. :-)

    And you know what else? With this thread in mind, I decided to stop by my friendly Jeep dealer again today - still no manual Libertys in stock, but they did have right up front a Wrangler Rubicon with the 6-speed manual. :-)

    2013 Civic SI, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (stick)

  • As pudgy as it is.

    Decent looking truck, though. A stick would make it more appealing. And a $21k price tag, well-equipped.

  • saabgirlsaabgirl Posts: 184
    I think my dealer said that nearly 40% of Saabs have manuals. My missus and I have nearly identical 9-5s, except mine has the manual and sport exhaust. Last time I pulled into the dealer's garage the service writer said, "Hey, sounds like you need a muffler!" Nope, it's AOK and supposed to sound like that. I enjoy driving with the sound system off to listen to internal combustion, especially when shifting up and down. And on trips it tends to discourage pointless chatter. The effect wouldn't be the same with an automatic.
  • chrisducatichrisducati Posts: 394
    yeah and whats up with the diesel only having auto here in the US...that is stupid.
  • boaz47boaz47 Posts: 2,730
    And we can find any number of reasons to praise the manual but truth is people in the US prefer Automatics 3 to one. It is simply pure business. In our state it is the EPA as well. Manuals are not rated as high in the clean department. Can we guess why? Because you can't control the driver and where he shifts. But we all know this and we all wish there was a way to reverse this. I have two manuals and a Automatic. The F-250 is an automatic as are most trucks sold today. The Automatic comes standard on anything with a tow package.

    I have said it before and I believe it will prove to be true that the only hope for the manual is the computer sequencial shift. That way the whole transmission can be under warrentee. The clutch and pressure plate are not covered under most standard warrentee.

    Do I like manuals? Yes. Would I jump ship for a paddle shifter? A real one? In a heart beat. With the move towards traction control and some of the other automatic systems heal and toe may soon become a thing of the past. I read a review on the Porsche GT3 last year and you couldn't heal and toe it because as soon as your foot touched the break it cut back on fuel delivery. There is hope but with every new generation learning to drive on automatics there will be fewer willing to take the time to learn to drive a manual. That will make fewer manuals on the used car lot and the spiral will continue. I can't see how the trend can be reversed. Unless Nippon can take the manufacturer leaders hostage and force them to his will.
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,669
    you read my mind! :-P

    2013 Civic SI, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (stick)

  • davem2001davem2001 Posts: 564
    exactly - I think the clutch pedal will eventually disappear... "sports" cars will have paddle shifers..."normal" cars will have autos (or maybe CVTs)

    You have to realize, the opinions of people in this type of forum are a tiny minority out in the real world.. I'd bet 8 or 9 out of 10 people prefer an automatic and can't even drive a stick.
  • Manuals will be around for as long as I will (at least another 30 years), if not in new cars, used.

    I will ALWAYS have a handshaker. ALWAYS! I will find the last one on Earth, and guard it with my life.

    Because the people are weak, and easily led, changes nothing. My die has been caste.

    Maybe I should start a driving school? I will carry the flag for purist everywhere, and protect the Holy Grail.

  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,669
    "I'd bet 8 or 9 out of 10 people prefer an automatic and can't even drive a stick."

    I bet you're right. I am in an office of around 100 people. I did a parking lot survey, and couldn't find any stick shifts except my car and one other truck guy like me who also has a stick shift 4Runner. But his other "car" is a motorcycle, so I am not that surprised.

    And this included a couple of sporty cars, including an RSX and a Mustang, both automatic, and a couple of BMW 3-series. Certainly 90% of the cars in our parking lot are offered as a manual, but nary a one of the ones in our lot is so equipped.

    2013 Civic SI, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (stick)

  • davem2001davem2001 Posts: 564
    It might take another 20,30 years but I would bet that eventually a car with a clutch will be an anachronism like a roadster with side curtains. It's becoming more and more of a "niche" offering.
  • seminole_kevseminole_kev Posts: 1,722
    well I just bought a manual because I missed it so much.

    Really the manufacturers are part of the problem when the only stick equiped models will always be the most absolutely stripped model on the floor.

    If you do that with any option or choice, you're going to help kill it as well. Hell my previous car was an auto simply because I couldn't find a stick in the 5-door version at all and the few 3-doors I found where just stripped down completely. I thought I could live with the automatic......just couldn't do it. Finally traded it away.

    The point is they even got me into an automatic (if only for awhile) because of the really, REALLY crappy availability of sticks. I know all they care about is the bottom line, but it does stink.
  • davem2001davem2001 Posts: 564
    It's sort of a chicken vs. the egg thing - does the lack of availability drive down demand, or does the lack of demand drive down availability?
  • seminole_kevseminole_kev Posts: 1,722
    well in my case, it definetly caused it. I can't imagine I'm the only one that said "Well there's no way I can get this car remotely the way I want with a I guess I'll get one of 30 they have the way I want with a slushbox".

    Now I'm certain that the majority of drivers do in fact want automatics, but a good chunk still would like to row their own a properly equipped car.
  • iluvmysephia1iluvmysephia1 Posts: 5,663
    must not die!

    Driving an automatic now would be like being forced to listen to Frank Sinatra tunes over and over again, when I have so much classic rock at my easy disposal in cassette tape form. Really!

    2008 Mitsubishi Lancer GTS

  • shiphroshiphro Posts: 62
    I'll have to take your word on the manual vs automatic problems associated with domestic car makers. The last time I seriously considered one of their products it was the Holden GTO which does come w/ a manual. (Although IIRC it didn't initially?)

    I'm proud to say that my car isn't available w/ an automatic in NA. Stick shift it or buy something else :)
  • michaellmichaell Posts: 4,300
    Aha! I'm one that held out .. we searched 4 Ford dealers before we found a ZX5 that had the equipment we wanted and a stick shift .. after driving the automatic version, we just said "no way".

    Of course, now I have the unenviable task of teaching my daughter to drive it ... one school of thought says I just toss her the keys and tell her "go for it" -- albeit in our neighborhood only, so as to avoid the many hills in our town....
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