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The Future Of The Manual Transmission

callmedrfillcallmedrfill Posts: 729
edited December 2013 in General
Got a problem!

Yup, major beef here! HUGE Beef!

Did I miss a meeting with the transmissions, huh?

You can get every trandmission except MANUAL transmissions!

They gots Auto, Autostick, SMG, Manumatic, F1.

But getting a REAL transmission seems like buying a Bee Gees album.

The PT Cruiser for 2005 had a nice price cut. Now you can get the car for a base sticker price of under $14000, with manual transmission! Great!

Only one thing. You can only get two options, and YOU ARE NOT ALLOWED to get A/C (Automatic tranny required)

What the $%&#!!

Now SOME manufacturers will tell you people don't want manuals any more.

Might these be the same ones pairing manuals with the weakest engines, the least equipment, the poorest colors, or the fewest choices of trim?

Let's face it, manufacturers are MANIPULATING the public into NOT getting the manual.

Everyone will point to how low the percentage of manual drivers there are for new cars, but if you put the manuals with better equipped, more powerful cars, they will sell very well!

Manuals are cheaper to buy, cheaper to repair, have fewer problems, require less maintainance, perform better (cars are faster, though the gap is shrinking), and are more efficient!

In other words, it is THE BEST tranny you can buy!

But will you?

Anyone else have a bone to pick with the PLANNED OBSOLESENCE of the "Stick"?


  • carlisimocarlisimo Posts: 1,280
    Well, they should last several decades longer in Europe than here, so there'll always be the option of importing a transmission from there. Except on expensive cars, anyway. Even exotics are starting to lose them.

    My family has manual transmissions because we've always had to buy old, cheap cars, and automatics start shaking, stuttering, and dying at that age. But now I'll never switch; I could fall asleep in an automatic. It's just no fun at all. And sure, a DSG might be faster (I could shave a couple of seconds off my commute!) but I'm speeding everywhere as it is.

    The Audi A3 is a car I'd consider, probably for my next car. But I won't be able to get the Quattro version. Among luxury cars, only those with street cred among racers (IS, G35, 3-series) will have luxury transmissions but who knows for how long?

    The challenge of trying to pull off smooth shifts is rewarding. So's a good heel-and-toe as you barrel into a turn. And of course, the girls seem to like it too.
  • andys120andys120 Loudon NHPosts: 18,887
    I used to think I'd be the last stick shift driver after going nearly 40 years without ever owning
    a slushbox car.

    That changed after I had a stroke in 2000 and I was forced to buy a clutchless car. I'm now on my third juicebox car and I'm grateful that I've been able to get then with manumatic gearboxes (Tiptronic Audis and a Steptronic BMW). These are not as satisfying to operate as a good manual but they do allow you to easily select a gear which may be more appropriate when driving in certain conditions.

    They're getting better all the time and there's a good chance that my next car will be equipped with a DSG type shifter which allows for very fast race-car type shifts and best of all has no torque converter to soak up the power.

    I wonder why some high performance cars, notably the new Corvette C6 do not offer a Manumatic type shifter in place of the tradition set it and forget it automatic?

    2000 BMW 528i, 2001 BMW 330CiC

  • danf1danf1 Posts: 935
    A simple reason to why they don't upgrade the auto on a Corvette is because they don't have to. Chevrolet will sell every one that they can build as it is, so to spend more money in the engineering process is a waste for them. Typical of GM to not offer anything that they aren't forced to offer either by the government or competition.
  • iluvmysephia1iluvmysephia1 Manson, WAPosts: 7,237
    are still the way to go and what's more is I don't think they're going to disappear. I love to control the engine output and transmission manually. I notice that my favorite Kia still offers a new car with manual transmissions(like the new 2005 Kia Sportage)and Scion is big on stick shifts, too. I wouldn't buy a tC with an automatic transmission! No way! I think the carmakers will keep offering them...I don't like the fact that A/C isn't standard on many new cars, including my favorite Kia Motors. If you want the base model you'll get your manual tranny but in most Kia models you have to add A/C as an option.

    There's no way I would even try to endure a Midwest summer without air conditioning!

    2011 Kia Soul Sport 5-speed

  • If I'm interested in a car, and one trim level makes you pay for A/C, I won't even consider that trim.

    The Mazda3 i is like that.

    I'm not paying $850 for A/C. Ain't happnin'!

  • andys120andys120 Loudon NHPosts: 18,887
    I can't believe a/c is still an option on some cars.
    Even in in New England where hardly anyone has an airconditioned home it's almost universal in cars.

    After all a car is a big metal box that heats up quickly and cools down slowly.

    Back to topic I'm sure we're only about a decade away from a time when only purpose built sports cars will have three pedals and even with those many will have no clutch pedal, like today's Enzo.

    2000 BMW 528i, 2001 BMW 330CiC

  • chris65amgchris65amg Posts: 372
    Manual transmissions will be around for a while. At least in Europe. I was talking about cars with one of my friends from Germany, and she thinks automatics are "no fun!" Right on. There isn't anything like a stick. Even though these manumatics are getting better, they're on more expensive cars. Still.... there are a bunch of cars that have manuals.
  • fintailfintail Posts: 42,963
    What irks me are cars that are offered with a manual in other markets, but not here. Like you could get a manual S-class up until 1991! Except in NA, where I believe the last manual S would be a 6cyl 108 c. 1969.
  • last I checked, the 3-series here in America sold 40% of their cars with manuals!

    And the lack of a 5-speed really hurt sales of the Lexus IS to their desired market in 2001.

  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,726
    for the manual quite rapidly last year, but was MOST gratified to notice this year that in the truck realm, Nissan, Toyota, and Jeep took the trouble to upgrade their manuals to six-speeds for the '05 model year, and make them standard (if not in plentiful supply!). That is in Frontier and Tacoma, Liberty and Wrangler, and XTerra. Next year's Toyota FJ will have a 6-speed manual which, while optional, is an encouraging sign given that it is included on a brand new model for the '07 model year.

    Then there are companies like Honda that still seem fairly committed to making sticks available, at least for all their 4-cyl models. And they still sell a very healthy mix of manuals in the Civic and even the Accord lines. Toyota, of course, has all but given up on the manual but even it is aware of the appeal in sporty cars - the Corolla XRS with the Celica engine has a 6-speed manual as its only transmission.

    Lastly, I am encouraged to see Acura having a very hard time moving auto-trans RSXs, so much so that they have extended and cheapened a promotional lease on auto RSXs only. BMW had so many leftover auto 3-series sedans that it did the same thing - the salesman informed me when I checked into it that the special lease applies only to autos, NOT manuals.

    Subaru is another one that still sells a healthy mix of manuals, but of course follows the trend of not offering a manual for any of its 6-cyl models - shame shame.

    That is all the good news. The reality, I think, is that most of the premium-branded models we still have with sticks today (Acura TL/TSX, BMW 3- and 5-series, Mercedes C-class and SLK, Lexus IS, Audi turbo 4's) will not have them within a decade. Either SMG/SMT will be cleaned up to work much better, or more companies will adopt a DSG-type system, and it will be toughened up to handle more power. In the meantime, auto-stick will gain wider and wider acceptance.

    I think we can reasonably expect some pick-ups to continue to have them, along with some smaller sporty cars. I think the rule of having manuals standard in all really cheap 4-cyl cars will also go away, however, once auto-stick becomes really pervasive.

    And on a sidenote, I think A/C will be standard on every car within a decade. Cars without it already take such a huge hit on saleability at trade-in time, it is doing a disfavor to the owner not to make it standard. And it must be like 95% of all cars and trucks that now have A/C from the factory.

    2014 Mini Cooper (stick shift of course), 2016 Camry hybrid, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (keeping the stick alive)

  • xkssxkss Posts: 722
    I think Aston Martin is doing it right with the 2006 Aston Martin V8 will only be available with a manual transmission when it goes on sale (at least for a year or so).

    The 2006 Pontiac Solstice will initally only be available with a manual tranmssion.

    I hope the Cadillac CTS-V is only available with a manual transmission in the future (as it is now).

    The Corvette Z06 needs to stay manual only (no autos or paddle shifters).

    I think it is sad that the new BMW M5 doesn't have a manual transmission...any pimple-faced teenager with a permit can drive it! It took skill to drive the old M5s.
  • xkssxkss Posts: 722
    BMW has had numerous problems with SMG in the M3 and Z4. Just stick with the manuals, c'mon!
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,726
    "I think it is sad that the new BMW M5 doesn't have a manual transmission...any pimple-faced teenager with a permit can drive it! It took skill to drive the old M5s."

    And don't forget, IIRC, the next M3 also will not have a traditional manual.

    2014 Mini Cooper (stick shift of course), 2016 Camry hybrid, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (keeping the stick alive)

  • How are you gonna work hard to sell automatic cars on a lease program, but cut out the performance tranny on your best performance metal?


  • Use the slightly underpowered, non-performance oriented trims/vehicles for automatics.

    The better balanced, more desirable trims with good engine power, offer both trannys.

    The Z06, RX-8, M3, and other pure performers, use the best performing transmissions (Manuals and quicker-adjusting manumatics).

    If you can't drive, what are you doing in a RX-8? It loses 30 HP just because you can't drive!

    Life can be so simple. Am I President yet?

  • chrisducatichrisducati Posts: 394
    I see the option thing as a money making item for the companies. The reason they want you to buy the auto is it make them more money. They are going to steer everyone into the more expensive car. You want the cool options... well then you have to cough up the extra grand for the auto transmission too. Then there is GM who doesn't even offer Manual gearbox's in some of its US cars. I can buy a 5 speed Camry or Accord but not a 5 Speed Impala or Malibu. Yet another reason I do not buy American cars.
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,726
    Of course, try and find a manual-shift Camry. Finding little gremlins on the moon is an easier task. But kudos to Honda for keeping manual shift Accords going out to dealerships.

    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?

    2014 Mini Cooper (stick shift of course), 2016 Camry hybrid, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (keeping the stick alive)

  • chrisducatichrisducati Posts: 394
    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?

    Not sure,Anyone know? but it's the GM thing again I bet
  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,788
    will get 6-speed manuals. That tranny is rumored to make it into the Legacy/Outback and Forester, most likely the turbo models. No word yet on whether the WRX will get the 6-speed for '06, but it is getting a 2.5 turbo. :)

    So at least Subaru is listening to those manual tranny fans still out there.

  • ronsteveronsteve LooavulPosts: 437
    Subaru might be listening, but are their dealers listening? Not too long ago I shopped the Impreza Outback Sport, and it's hard to find anything on a Subaru dealer's lot not bearing the letters WRX that actually has a manual.
  • 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: 12,726
    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. :-)

    2014 Mini Cooper (stick shift of course), 2016 Camry hybrid, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (keeping the stick alive)

  • 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: 2,751
    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: 12,726
    you read my mind! :-P

    2014 Mini Cooper (stick shift of course), 2016 Camry hybrid, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (keeping the stick alive)

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