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Why are American automotive journalists so obsessed with manual transmissions?

They'll dock a car's rating based on the lack of a manual transmission option. 95% of Americans don't want a stupid fucking stick shift!

by Anonymousreply 154January 15, 2022 4:38 AM

A lot of Americans still think you don’t really know how to drive unless you can drive stick. It’s a weird status thing almost.

by Anonymousreply 1January 11, 2022 3:23 PM

most Americans suck dicks

by Anonymousreply 2January 11, 2022 3:29 PM

My car is a manual transmission. I've always driven (or drove?) stick shifts..except for one car. They're getting harder to find now.

by Anonymousreply 3January 11, 2022 3:34 PM

I think you're a pussy if you can only drive an automatic.

But then again, I'm a lesbian.

by Anonymousreply 4January 11, 2022 3:35 PM

We miss the hard stick in middle of car. It was only time we felt anything down there until Secrete Services.

by Anonymousreply 5January 11, 2022 3:37 PM

For the vast majority of people, a vehicle is a way to get from Point A to Point B as quickly as possible in some degree of comfort.

For auto journalists, a vehicle is a personal statement, a lifestyle choice or some other psycho babble bullshit. They fail to see they are in a very distinct minority and nobody gives a shit about their opinions.

by Anonymousreply 6January 11, 2022 3:38 PM

These are people who love cars and appreciate them as cars. They don't want candy-asses cars where you can't even feel the road and the car does everything for you. Like tells you to put your seat belt on. Man, people just need to make sure their mommies are sitting next to them at all times.

They like a car that you can control and feel that you are in control. I get that because when you can feel your car's ride you do have better control and awareness of the road and the car's interaction with the road. Most people have no idea what their car is capable of, and that lack of know-how can prevent them from avoiding accidents. I learned that lesson when I trusted my instincts about my car and avoided a terrible accident on a slippery snowy road. it scared me but it showed me what my car was capable of and what I was capable of.

Just admit it, you're a wuss who shrieks in panic when you see a stick shift.

by Anonymousreply 7January 11, 2022 3:41 PM

I’m not a lesbian and I agree completely with R4. R7 too.

by Anonymousreply 8January 11, 2022 3:43 PM

The car magazines are getting over it finally. Even BMW, the darling of the automotive press, has stopped offering manuals in most of their mainstream models for a few years now.

by Anonymousreply 9January 11, 2022 3:49 PM

my lesbian sister drives a truck

by Anonymousreply 10January 11, 2022 3:51 PM

[quote] The car magazines are getting over it finally.

Probably only because they're hiring candy asses who want the car's interior to match their wardrobe.

by Anonymousreply 11January 11, 2022 3:51 PM

I prefer stick shifts for the same reason I prefer vinyl records: they're the versions that seem real to me.

by Anonymousreply 12January 11, 2022 3:54 PM

I think most people want the easy way out. Driving a stick shift isn't difficult, but learning it is trickier than just putting a column gear into drive. Automatic transmissions offer that...and most people are lazy. So...the auto industry just go where the money is...phasing out manual transmissions isn't surprising.

by Anonymousreply 13January 11, 2022 4:02 PM

And 95% of Americans don't read automotive journals. If you care about cars and performance, that option is of interest. And having lived all over the world, I can tell you that if you're having to rely on finding an automatic rental car, you're pretty much not going anywhere. Learning to drive stick should be a right of passage, like knowing how to park (used to be).

by Anonymousreply 14January 11, 2022 4:04 PM

How am I supposed to text, put my make up on, fix my hair, change the music and check out that cute driver flirting with me if I have to deal with that sticky thing.

by Anonymousreply 15January 11, 2022 4:05 PM

R9 BMW offer manual transmission on all of their non-electric cars outside of the US.

by Anonymousreply 16January 11, 2022 4:18 PM

[quote]Why are American automotive journalists so obsessed with manual transmissions? They'll dock a car's rating based on the lack of a manual transmission option. 95% of Americans don't want a stupid fucking stick shift!

That is not true at all.

Are you writing from 1969?

Audi, Mercedes aren't even available with manual. Ferrari's ALL come with automatics, they can be switched to manual, but instead of rejecting the automatic, auto journalists are in awe of what it can do.

by Anonymousreply 17January 11, 2022 4:30 PM

I'm from the South and never learned shift. It made people think I was a queer.

Wait...

by Anonymousreply 18January 11, 2022 4:39 PM

It’s a bit like saying most films released in the US are in English. Why do US critics have so many foreign films on their top ten lists?

There was a time when we appreciated the expertise of people who devoted their lives to subjects and actually were “in the arena”. Now we just want someone to confirm our biases and stroke our vanity.

by Anonymousreply 19January 11, 2022 4:40 PM

[quote] Audi, Mercedes aren't even available with manual.

So wait . . that $160k Audi sportscar is a MANUAL? Bwahaahhaaaaaahhhaaa

Is that the Poseur line of cars?

by Anonymousreply 20January 11, 2022 4:42 PM

^^ I meant

So wait . . that $160k Audi sportscar is an AUTOMATIC? Bwahaahhaaaaaahhhaaa

Is that the Poseur line of cars?

by Anonymousreply 21January 11, 2022 4:43 PM

Jesus fucking Christ, do some of you own butter churns and wind-up Victrolas too?

I've owned two cars with manual transmissions for a span of about 12 years. When I finally went back to an automatic I couldn't believe how ridiculous I had been to actually want to make something be more work than it needed to be. There's no need for cars with manual transmissions anymore.

by Anonymousreply 22January 11, 2022 4:48 PM

r7 reflects the sneery superior attitude described by the OP. I put considerable effort with three separate instructors into learning to drive a manual transmission and I just couldn't do it. I somehow lack the fine motor coordinations to work that thing and I stall out every single time, sometimes not in a great situation (like getting in a near head-on collision at an intersection.) I get why people prefer manual--better control, better gas mileage--and that's fine, but automatic transmissions outsell manual for a reason: not everybody has your mad driving skillz and they just want to be able to drive their own fucking car.

by Anonymousreply 23January 11, 2022 4:49 PM

Then don’t read car enthusiasts with mad driving skills. They are not there to make you feel good about being your stunted development. They are there to celebrate the glory of excellence.

by Anonymousreply 24January 11, 2022 4:55 PM

Because in the US it’s not a given that you can drive manual. So it makes them feel superior.

by Anonymousreply 25January 11, 2022 4:57 PM

Guys really like girls who can handle a stick!

by Anonymousreply 26January 11, 2022 4:57 PM

R6 gets it.

Manuals have more of a "driving experience" where one is working the car for the type of driving dynamic they want. Auto journos like that because they're looking for a "driving experience."

Thing is, most people aren't driving their car for a "driving experience" they're driving it because they have to get to work, the store, movie theater, bath house - and working a stick shift in stop-n-go traffic is tedious.

by Anonymousreply 27January 11, 2022 5:04 PM

So read consumer reports.

by Anonymousreply 28January 11, 2022 5:06 PM

Lamborghini is another high performance Italian brand that has done away with the manual:

Offsite Link
by Anonymousreply 29January 11, 2022 5:06 PM

I'm so cool I don't know how to drive an automatic.

by Anonymousreply 30January 11, 2022 5:07 PM

I read the auto journals...journalists today are NOT obsessed with manual transmissions. Quit making things up.

And as ALL brands with be switching over to electric, the manual will be truly a thing of the past.

by Anonymousreply 31January 11, 2022 5:10 PM

From the article at R29:

"There aren’t many true supercars out there with a manual transmission these days. In fact, we can only think of a handful: the Porsche 911 GT3 and GT3 RS and the Corvette ZR1 and Z06."

by Anonymousreply 32January 11, 2022 5:12 PM

[quote]Why are American automotive journalists so obsessed with manual transmissions?

Because manual transmissions provide more control, you can better assess the engine and other mechanical features of a car than you can with an automatic transmission whose performance will be filtered.

by Anonymousreply 33January 11, 2022 5:39 PM

I guess none of you gentlemen ever learned or ever wanted to learn to ride a motorcycle.

Yes, there are now a handful of models that come in automatic, but 95% of motorcycles have a clutch and a gear shift.

by Anonymousreply 34January 11, 2022 5:47 PM

[quote] I've always driven (or drove?) s

Since you used "have" as in "I've"="I have" it should be DRIVEN.

by Anonymousreply 35January 11, 2022 5:57 PM

I wasn't sure...wanted to cover my ass on that one.^^....lol. Thanks.. Didn't want to be "oh deared"..

by Anonymousreply 36January 11, 2022 6:00 PM

[quote]I guess none of you gentlemen ever learned or ever wanted to learn to ride a motorcycle.

And those will be all electric within 10-15 years. And with automatic transmissions.

Offsite Link
by Anonymousreply 37January 11, 2022 6:02 PM

I have ridden in cars with people who drive stick but aren’t actually good at it. Thank God for automatic is all I can say.

by Anonymousreply 38January 11, 2022 6:04 PM

It’s like riding the Whip-It at the county fair, ain’t it, r38?

[quote] and stroke our vanity.

And this here’s just me talkin’ but it ain’t my vanity I’m lookin to get stroked.

by Anonymousreply 39January 11, 2022 6:14 PM

[quote] I've always driven stick shifts.

We know. You’re gay, aren’t you?

by Anonymousreply 40January 11, 2022 6:15 PM

I had three consecutive cars in the span of 25 years that all had manual transmissions. I got sick of the stick in rush our traffic and I think it was exacerbating back problems. I went automatic a few years ago.

by Anonymousreply 41January 11, 2022 6:22 PM

^^^hour^^^

by Anonymousreply 42January 11, 2022 6:23 PM

It’s totally automatic

Whenever you’re around!

by Anonymousreply 43January 11, 2022 6:29 PM

"A lot of Americans still think you don’t really know how to drive unless you can drive stick"

I can drive a stick fine, but most modern automatics are far more efficient and sticks are a pain in the ass in heavy traffic, so I choose not to. Most cars sold in America are automatics, because that's what people prefer. I also prefer power steering, power brakes and cruise control. I like A/C, heat and a stereo as well. I'm such a pussy

by Anonymousreply 44January 11, 2022 6:31 PM

Had a stick for years until I got sick of rolling backwards down hills in SF no matter how expertly I changed gears, tired of all the shifting in traffic as others have pointed out, burned out two clutches...can't believe the stick is still around at all.

Now the choice is automatic vs CVT (continuously variable transmissions). Don't trust the CVT at all.

by Anonymousreply 45January 11, 2022 6:45 PM

American automotive journalists are some of the smuggest writers on earth. Worse than food writers if possible.

by Anonymousreply 46January 11, 2022 6:48 PM

R44 Agree with everything you said (except being a pussy) but wondering if they even make cars without power steering any more?

by Anonymousreply 47January 11, 2022 6:57 PM

[quote]American automotive journalists are some of the smuggest writers on earth. Worse than food writers if possible.

Who exactly?

by Anonymousreply 48January 11, 2022 7:20 PM

@r47, most of that stuff is standard equipment like automatic transmissions, but weren't not too many years ago. Doesn't really matter when we eventually go all electric people will wonder what a transmission was

by Anonymousreply 49January 11, 2022 7:26 PM

While I believe everyone should know how to drive a manual, they're horrible if you live in an area with a high level of traffic congestion, or in an urban center with stop-and-go traffic...which a lot of Americans do.

I started buying cars with automatic transmissions in 2010 and haven't looked back. However, I can think of numerous times I would've been fucked if I didn't know how to drive a manual (especially while living in Asia and Europe).

by Anonymousreply 50January 11, 2022 7:26 PM

I love driving a stick, but just not all the time. They make great fun weekend cars

by Anonymousreply 51January 11, 2022 7:28 PM

I get that city driving is easier with automatics. There is a lot of gear shifting in a city. But then there's the anti-theft aspect of it.

by Anonymousreply 52January 11, 2022 7:32 PM

R48 all of them at Car and Driver.

by Anonymousreply 53January 11, 2022 7:39 PM

R50, I agree but you left out the biggest horrible. Manual is horrible if you live in a hilly city where you are likely to be stopped going uphill. You have to jockey the handbrake and ride the clutch to get going again. In that situation, automatic is so much better. Otherwise, I like manual.

by Anonymousreply 54January 11, 2022 7:47 PM

Urban heavy traffic doesn't seem to stop manual cars being used outside of the US.

Luckily we don't have any steep hilly roads in the UK.

Offsite Link
by Anonymousreply 55January 11, 2022 7:55 PM

Steep hills and stop and go traffic are not obstacles for manual drivers. Having more control over the car is often an advantage in those circumstances. There's a reason a lot of automatics still give you the option to force the car to remain in a lower gear.

by Anonymousreply 56January 11, 2022 8:10 PM

[quote]There's a reason a lot of automatics still give you the option to force the car to remain in a lower gear.

That's the point. Now that automatics offer lower gears for sustained hilly driving the one advantage of a manual is defunct.

by Anonymousreply 57January 11, 2022 8:16 PM

My sister always had manuals because she smoked while driving and her muscle memory for driving was to smoke while changing gears. She always had a cigarette in her hand - puff - now put hand back on stick - take hand off stick - flick ashes - puff - hand on stick - switch gears.

You should’ve seen her ashtray.

by Anonymousreply 58January 11, 2022 8:19 PM

Here's an idea, those who prefer sticks, drive them, the rest of us would rather not. Once the world goes all electric the point will be moot anyway

by Anonymousreply 59January 11, 2022 8:19 PM

R57, not if you like that control at higher speeds as well.

by Anonymousreply 60January 11, 2022 8:20 PM

Wrong, R56. I would regularly drive my manual car to Pittsburgh, which is known for being hilly, and one day the clutch went out…in a 1-year-old BMW. Manual cars are great for actually driving up hills, mountains or whatever, but unless you’re precise with shifting (which few people are), they can take on more damage than automatic cars.

by Anonymousreply 61January 11, 2022 8:21 PM

I like having AWD in the snow...

Ok, come at me

by Anonymousreply 62January 11, 2022 8:21 PM

R61, that's a problem of a poorly made car (and maybe some poor driving), not a manual transmission problem. If the transmission clunked out on a 1 year old automatic in Pittsburgh, you wouldn't claim it as evidence that automatics can't handle hills. A shitty car is just a shitty car.

Every manual I've owned I've had well into the 250,000 mile range, in both hilly and congested cities.

by Anonymousreply 63January 11, 2022 8:44 PM

[quote] Ok, come at me

Can I come ON you?

Sorry, I’m horny.

by Anonymousreply 64January 11, 2022 8:47 PM

Most automatics today allow you to shift manually if you prefer it… without needing to use a clutch. There’s no reason to have a manual today. It’s like using a rotary phone instead of a smartphone.

by Anonymousreply 65January 11, 2022 8:58 PM

When I was about 8 and taking swimming lessons, I asked my instructor, a high school senior on the swim team, to show me some different strokes after class, and he was so thrilled someone took interest we stayed in the pool way past closing. It was getting dark outside, so he offered me a ride home, and when I saw his car, a '68 or '69 Javelin, I was so excited I could hardly contain myself. It was a manual and he showed me how to shift and asked if I wanted to try, so I did and was very proud of myself that I knew enough to shift from second to third despite having to move the stick up-over-up. I admitted my sister's car was a manual and she'd let me shift, too. He tousled my hair and said maybe I'd drive a stick shift when I got my driver's license. I told him I wanted a car just like his. Man, was I smitten.

by Anonymousreply 66January 11, 2022 9:24 PM

R65 that's not a real manual. That's like when you add the fake bike attachment so a child feels like they are pedaling on a double bike but theirs doesn't even have a chain.

by Anonymousreply 67January 11, 2022 9:30 PM

^ No it's not, downshifting is downshifting whether you use a clutch or not

by Anonymousreply 68January 11, 2022 9:38 PM

What a cool story, r66!

Just curious, though, what made you flip over his car? As I recall, Javelins weren’t the nicest looking cars out there.

by Anonymousreply 69January 11, 2022 9:39 PM

r66, is trying to turn a thread about manual transmissions into a pedo-fantasy thread. Knock it off

by Anonymousreply 70January 11, 2022 9:41 PM

"Pedaling is pedaling whether there's a chain or not!"

Without a clutch, you're not actually shifting. In manual mode on an automatic, you're telling a computer to shift for you.

by Anonymousreply 71January 11, 2022 9:47 PM

^ When I shift into a lower gear the transmission goes into a lower gear, I don't care how it gets the message as long as it does what I tell it

by Anonymousreply 72January 11, 2022 9:51 PM

R4 is correct. You don't really know how to drive if you can't drive a manual. Manual transmissions for life!

by Anonymousreply 73January 11, 2022 9:52 PM

Only pussies drive manuals, real men (and women) ride horses

by Anonymousreply 74January 11, 2022 9:58 PM

Being British, I learned to drive a manual, but my current car (hint: username) is an eight-speed automatic. I've got to admit, it's pretty bloody fantastic, but if I only had an automatic licence, I wouldn't be able to drive my Dad's classic cars. One is an MG B GT, which I've got my beady eye on!

by Anonymousreply 75January 11, 2022 10:01 PM

They have different licenses for automatic and manual transmissions over there?

by Anonymousreply 76January 11, 2022 10:03 PM

Only pussies ride horses, real men and women race chariots pulled by horses.

by Anonymousreply 77January 11, 2022 10:04 PM

R76, yes, you aren't allowed to drive a manual car if you only have an automatic licence. It's fine the other way round, though.

by Anonymousreply 78January 11, 2022 10:04 PM

I don't know. A couple of reasons might be (1) nostalgia - they grew up with sticks and miss them; (2) elitism/snob appeal since most people can't drive a stick; (3) the snob appeal also ties into being a gear head and driving aficionado and liking to prattle on about performance and how much more you can get out of a stick.

That said, it is fun to drive a stick and you can really get a lot out of a great car with a stick -- IF you have the opportunity to air it out and really drive it. Most people don't have these opportunities and simply don't care and a stick would be a pain in the ass much more than it would be exciting or cool.

I'm 48 and learned to drive simultaneously in my dad's automatic transmission car and my mom's stick, which is what I drove most of high school. My first new car was a Honda Civic EX with a manual transmission -- but that was over 20 years ago. I've had automatic's ever since and would never buy a manual again unless I had a lot of extra money and could just have a little manual sports car for fun.

It's like riding a bike in that you really don't forget how to drive them. I've done so intermittently over the years and it comes back pretty quick.

by Anonymousreply 79January 11, 2022 10:06 PM

Wow. Thanks for responding.

Here in the states, if you have a drivers license, you can drive manual or automatic legally. There are separate licenses for motorcycles, trucks (lorries) and school buses.

by Anonymousreply 80January 11, 2022 10:06 PM

That's interesting re UK licenses because they accept any US State issued license to drive there and in the US our licenses don't make that distinction. Every time I've visited the UK I've driven a manual (rental car) and no one ever asked me if I knew how to operate one.

by Anonymousreply 81January 11, 2022 10:07 PM

They'd probably only ask questions if you break the clutch or transmission. They aren't paid enough to care until the shit hits the fan.

by Anonymousreply 82January 11, 2022 10:10 PM

[quote] I've had automatic's ever since

Oh, dear!

Who told you to use an apostrophe to make a plural?

by Anonymousreply 83January 11, 2022 10:10 PM

[quote] a stick would be a pain in the ass much more than it would be exciting or cool.

Oh, I don’t know about that. I find it exciting.

by Anonymousreply 84January 11, 2022 10:11 PM

I love a stick but would never have one if I lived somewhere like San Francisco.

by Anonymousreply 85January 11, 2022 10:12 PM

"Who told you to use an apostrophe to make a plural?"

No one. It was a typo.

by Anonymousreply 86January 11, 2022 10:13 PM

Oh, I’m only funnin’ ya, r86.

Whenever I ask that question I imagine Archie Bunker being aggravated about something and going off the deep end over really nothing.

by Anonymousreply 87January 11, 2022 10:18 PM

I know, R87. I think I'm the only person who commonly types "you're" instead of "your" (when I mean "your) when recreationally typing, like on DL -- where I'm posting fast and not editing. Usually the mistake is the opposite - typing "your" when "you're" is called for. I guess I have a pattern of adding improper apostrophes on the fly. I should ask my therapist what it means. Lol.

by Anonymousreply 88January 11, 2022 10:23 PM

R86 the lottery scratch offs in my area use it for games with a plural number in their name, for example “Lucky 7’s”. Seems like it should be “7s”, but I’m not sure if that’s right in that context.

by Anonymousreply 89January 11, 2022 10:27 PM

R89, I need to go to your area and buy a ticket.

by Anonymousreply 90January 11, 2022 10:32 PM

[quote] I think you're a pussy if you can only drive an automatic.

[quote]But then again, I'm a lesbian.

Most guys who make a big deal about driving manual are compensating for something.

So that puts your reply in perfect context!

by Anonymousreply 91January 11, 2022 10:37 PM

[quote]As I recall, Javelins weren’t the nicest looking cars out there.

The original Javelins were beautifully styled cars. And it was rare to see them because they did not sell in the numbers that their competition did.

I'm not the poster you were responding to, but I was also a kid when they debuted. It was kind of an event to see one on the road.

Offsite Link
by Anonymousreply 92January 11, 2022 10:47 PM

Thanks, r92.

I think they’re kind of ghastly looking.

by Anonymousreply 93January 11, 2022 10:56 PM

R93 Well you are obviously a person of very, very refined taste.

What do you drive?

by Anonymousreply 94January 11, 2022 11:01 PM

An AMC Gremlin.

Why do you ask?

by Anonymousreply 95January 11, 2022 11:30 PM

^ Pleb, Go Pacer or go home...

Offsite Link
by Anonymousreply 96January 11, 2022 11:34 PM

R82, ha that reminds me of the lax British standards towards vehicle violations. Once in London I mistakenly parked my car in a handicapped spot where the sign was covered by shrubbery. I felt really bad about it--my sister is wheelchair and I know very well the hassle of finding safe parking when there aren't enough of those spots. Anyway, I got the ticket the day I was leaving and I was concerned about making sure it got paid. So I approached a constable on the street and asked him if there was a place I could run in and quickly pay it before leaving the country. He took the ticket, looked at it, looked at me all puzzled and said "Why do you even want to bother paying this?"

by Anonymousreply 97January 12, 2022 2:26 AM

You're sweet, R97, most people wouldn't have worried if they were leaving the country!

by Anonymousreply 98January 12, 2022 8:11 AM

Why are wine critics and oenophiles so obsessed with tannin and body? Only half of Americans drink wine and 95% of those don't care about stupid fucking body!

by Anonymousreply 99January 12, 2022 8:24 AM

@r98, You mean Great Britain doesn't extradite parking violators?

by Anonymousreply 100January 12, 2022 8:25 AM

@r99, Maybe it's time to put down the wine and drive your automatic home

by Anonymousreply 101January 12, 2022 8:27 AM

"Automotive journalist" is one step below "tik-tok influencer" on the career ladder.

by Anonymousreply 102January 12, 2022 9:55 AM

My mom taught me to drive a stick, before getting my license. She had a little NSU car (German car...looked like a BMW) and took me to an empty parking lot of a nearby college and practiced driving the stick shift. First gear was tricky. There was a lot of buckling but I finally got it. It was fun.

by Anonymousreply 103January 12, 2022 10:34 AM

When I was a teenager there were a lot of VW Bugs around, an easy way to learn a stick. Those VWs were hard to fuck up

by Anonymousreply 104January 12, 2022 10:39 AM

Ah yes, the VW bugs. They were very popular back then. Too bad they don't sell them in the US anymore.

by Anonymousreply 105January 12, 2022 10:42 AM

I have dual clutch transmission. Does that count?

by Anonymousreply 106January 12, 2022 11:26 AM

I clutch my peals.

by Anonymousreply 107January 12, 2022 11:28 AM

So close, R107, yet so far!

by Anonymousreply 108January 12, 2022 12:03 PM

This thread has evolved -- or devolved -- to where I'm laughing out loud. Thanks, guys!

by Anonymousreply 109January 12, 2022 1:55 PM

^ Yep, another episode of "Cars and Fags"

by Anonymousreply 110January 12, 2022 2:22 PM

I miss the days of hand crank Victrolas!

by Anonymousreply 111January 12, 2022 2:38 PM

^ You would have loved hand-wank Ford Model "T"s

by Anonymousreply 112January 12, 2022 2:50 PM

Rr98 well at the very least I wanted to make sure I'd be able to get back in!

by Anonymousreply 113January 12, 2022 5:00 PM

[quote] and 95% of those don't care about stupid fucking body!

I do. That’s one of the first things I look at on a guy.

by Anonymousreply 114January 12, 2022 7:54 PM

Dodge hasn't made a decent family sedan or SUV in 40 years, but auto writers get all wet down there rhapsodizing about boy racer cars like the Dodge Charger and Dodge Challenger.

by Anonymousreply 115January 12, 2022 8:23 PM

Nostalgia plays a big role in that.

by Anonymousreply 116January 12, 2022 8:26 PM

R115 Consumer Reports rates Dodge the highest for quality second only to Buick among American cars.

JD Power ranks them second.

by Anonymousreply 117January 12, 2022 8:34 PM

[quote]I read the auto journals...journalists today are NOT obsessed with manual transmissions. Quit making things up.

I've been a "Car & Driver" subscriber since I was 10. (Yes, seriously.) LITERALLY every single issue has at least one bit (and usually more) waxing poetic for stick shifts. They continually try to make #savethemanuals trend on social media FFS!

[quote]"There aren’t many true supercars out there with a manual transmission these days. In fact, we can only think of a handful: the Porsche 911 GT3 and GT3 RS and the Corvette ZR1 and Z06."

That article is seven years old, dear. Corvettes no longer have manuals even as an option, and they've been discontinued on nearly all 911s as well, with the exception of HIGHLY limited-production cars mainly intended for use on racetracks (and impossible to comfortably drive on a daily basis – even assuming "normal" manuals are comfortable in this fashion, and many argue with good reason that they're far more irritating in rush-hour traffic & the like than automatics).

[quote]Most automatics today allow you to shift manually if you prefer it… without needing to use a clutch.

Yes, and most of these automatics are utterly ridiculous. Last year I got stuck renting a Suburban – literally the largest vehicle sold on the consumer market – and even *it* had those ridiculous fucking paddle shifters behind the steering wheel! That is literally no different than the old-fashioned automatics that let you shift into fourth, third or second gear, e.g. on hills: if it doesn't have a clutch, it's not truly "manual" in any real way.

[quote]Manual is horrible if you live in a hilly city where you are likely to be stopped going uphill. You have to jockey the handbrake and ride the clutch to get going again.

R54, I don't know how long it's been since you drove a manual, but plenty of manual-transmission cars now have a "hill hold" feature, meaning it keeps the car in place for several seconds if you're stopped in traffic on a hill & need a short interval to engage the clutch. I've had three different BMWs in the past 15 years – before they stopped selling manuals in all but a handful of their M-class high-performance cars – that had this feature. I also had a rental VW in Europe last fall with it.

by Anonymousreply 118January 12, 2022 8:58 PM

[quote]I would regularly drive my manual car to Pittsburgh, which is known for being hilly, and one day the clutch went out…in a 1-year-old BMW.

R61, if your clutch went out after a single year, it means one of only two things: it was defective, or you simply don't know how to drive one correctly. I had a stick-shift BMW in SAN FRANCISCO for four years and never even came close to having problems with the clutch. I'm not sure I've ever even *heard* of a clutch going out after only a single year, regardless of how hilly a city might be. I've only had one go out on me once, and that was after it had 120,000 miles on the odometer.

[quote]Dodge hasn't made a decent family sedan or SUV in 40 years, but auto writers get all wet down there rhapsodizing about boy racer cars like the Dodge Charger and Dodge Challenger.

Um, no. The only muscle cars highly regarded by auto writers are the high-performance versions of the Mustang & Camaro, both of which remain available with stick shifts. Despite their inaccurate depictions in various "Fast & Furious" movies, neither the Charger nor Challenger has ever had one, or at least not the "reboot" version launched about 15 years ago now.

The ONLY reason auto journos wax poetic about either is if they're equipped with an utterly ridiculous engine like the Hellcat or Demon, both of which make well over 700 horsepower – the problem being that having that much hp is almost entirely useless since flooring the accelerator in them would only result in a massive amount of wheel spin and literally burning your tires past their usable tread point within a matter of weeks. The only way to avoid this outcome is by using "slicks," a.k.a. the grooveless tires seen on F1 cars, but those can't be legally used on public roads anywhere in the developed world (mainly because they're called "slicks" for a reason – they have zero traction on roads that are the slightest bit wet, and are extraordinarily dangerous in such situations).

by Anonymousreply 119January 12, 2022 8:58 PM

^ Wow... I got nothin'

by Anonymousreply 120January 12, 2022 9:16 PM

Since no one's actually answered the question in full, allow me to do so. R79's answer was the closest: nostalgia has a lot to do with it. Most American cars sold during the past 60 years or so have been automatics, and almost entirely because our gas prices are so inexpensive compared to Europe in particular. Americans could readily afford the fuel-thirsty V8 engine-equipped cars that were commonplace in most American cars well into the '90s, and V8s could be readily used with automatics simply because they had so much horsepower.

By extension, then, manual-transmission cars came to be viewed as "sporty" by American drivers. When your mom drives an automatic-equipped Pontiac station wagon as a kid, and your dad has some lame-ass Oldsmobile, a stick shift seems exotic in contrast – hence the nostalgia for manuals among basically almost all American auto enthusiasts between the ages of 30 & 70. At least until the 21st century, nearly all "exotics" were equipped solely with manuals as well, e.g. nearly anything made by Ferrari, Lamborghini or even Porsche.

What changed? Quite simple: the so-called "dual-clutch manual" (DCM), which in reality has no literal clutch & requires no literal manual shifting. The technology started with F1 race cars & eventually migrated down to Ferraris & the like, and subsequently to basically every type of car – exotic or otherwise, including nearly all German cars – that formerly came solely with manuals. The key difference here was the elimination of the performance differential between the two. Old-school automatics could take two seconds or more longer to accelerate 0-60 than a stick shift. With DCMs, however, nearly all of them accelerate much *faster* than traditional manuals given the lack of lag time needed to physically hit the clutch & switch gears: shifts now take place in a fraction of a second.

The part that American nostalgics don't really get is that European cars of all stripes have long been the opposite: nearly all equipped with manuals, not automatics, given Europe's far higher fuel taxes and much more stringent rules regarding fuel economy, engine sizes & emissions. (Italy may be famous as the home of Ferrari & Lamborghini, but for mere mortals buying average cars, any engine larger than a two-liter four-cylinder involved paying a quite considerable additional tax.) So: Europeans have long viewed manuals as workaday & plebeian – the opposite of the US, in other words. This is why Porsche now sells almost zero manuals: their cars with PDK transmissions (an acronym for the German-language variation of a DCM) are quicker than any of their manual-equipped cars with identical engines.

tl;dr It all boils down to a cultural difference. American fanboys pine for manuals, despite the reality that nearly all of them stopped actually *buying* cars with stick shifts once DCMs became available even on affordable sporty cars like the VW GTI. There's also certainly a "coolness" factor to them as well, at least in terms of pre-21st c. vehicles: only "pussies" and "chicks" couldn't drive stick. In Europe & the UK, almost everybody can drive a stick shift, though automatics have become far more commonplace there as well (though they at least still *sell* manual-equipped cars, unlike those in the US).

by Anonymousreply 121January 12, 2022 9:26 PM

I know how to drive a stick / manual shift, but got disenchanted when I had a commute that involved stop-and-go traffic and inclines and declines.

My current car is automatic with an option to go manual (shifters on the steering wheel). There's also a "sport" mode that is automatic, but shifts gears at a higher RPM. I'm happy with it. Most of the time I'm just in plain automatic mode.

by Anonymousreply 122January 12, 2022 9:33 PM

I've driven and owned manuals since I learnt to drive as a teenager. I've got nothing against automatics and happy to use them at work or as rentals. But I've also had arthritic knees since I was a teenager and the gear changing forces me to keep those creaky knees moving. The one time I bought an automatic I had to sell it after 6 months when the knees started to seize up.

I can't say there's anything super special or superior about manual transmissions. If it wasn't for the dodgy knees I'd have switched to an automatic without a second thought.

by Anonymousreply 123January 12, 2022 9:33 PM

R123, actually, my old manual car had a hard clutch and was hard on my knee. I was a lot younger then, too!

by Anonymousreply 124January 12, 2022 9:36 PM

It will all be academic soon anyway, as cars get more and more automation that probably won't work with manual transmissions. I expect the manual car I have now to be the last one I will ever own because they will be gone by the time I'm ready to get another car.

by Anonymousreply 125January 12, 2022 9:42 PM

[quote]I've been a "Car & Driver" subscriber since I was 10. (Yes, seriously.) LITERALLY every single issue has at least one bit (and usually more) waxing poetic for stick shifts. They continually try to make #savethemanuals trend on social media FFS!

I have read Car&Driver monthly since about 1965.

There's nothing wrong in being enthusiastic about the stick. We also have folks who have successfully campaigned to revive the vinyl disk. So? It's all good.

And those enthusiasts are well aware that they're speaking to a very niche audience.

Looking at the latest issue of C&D I don't even see a car equipped with a manual being featured. Even their test of the 2022 Porsche 911 GTS has an automatic..

And of that automatic, they say this:

" The standard eight-speed dual-clutch automatic is eerily prescient in its operation, regardless of what drive mode is selected. Though we still prefer the engagement of the no-cost seven-speed manual option, it's impossible to beat the automatic's efficacy, particularly on the track.".

So where's the snobbery?

by Anonymousreply 126January 12, 2022 9:45 PM

[quote]My current car is automatic with an option to go manual (shifters on the steering wheel). There's also a "sport" mode that is automatic, but shifts gears at a higher RPM. I'm happy with it. Most of the time I'm just in plain automatic mode.

And, again, that isn't "manual" in the least. Hell, I rented a base-level Toyota RAV4 – now the best-selling vehicle in America btw – just last week that had a "sport mode" along with a console shifter that let you change gears "manually." (This despite it having a pokey non-turbo four-banger engine with no real power to it.)

Nowadays there are more vehicles that *do* have either this function and/or steering-wheel paddles than otherwise.

[quote]Looking at the latest issue of C&D I don't even see a car equipped with a manual being featured.

You must've missed this article at link – here's one quote: "There's a six-speed manual, proof that Cadillac cares deeply about those of us who love cars, and a prescient 10-speed automatic transmission for those of us who suffer in traffic. With the manual, 60 mph is gone in 4.0 seconds, the quarter passes in 12.4 at 116 mph, and the V-6 gets titanium connecting rods."

As for the snobbery: they Eve Harringtoned the BMW 3-series off of their 10Best List to replace it with a Cadillac, for fuck's sake! If you delve into the comments, you can see that they did so largely on this basis. (Granted that it's quite odd to see an automatic-only 340i & any type of Cadillac with a stick shift, but still.)

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by Anonymousreply 127January 12, 2022 9:59 PM

In their minds it represents power and control. You know, manly shit. RAWR.

by Anonymousreply 128January 12, 2022 10:15 PM

This is all going to be a non-issue within a decade once every vehicle is either electric or a hybrid.

by Anonymousreply 129January 12, 2022 11:24 PM

Are 4X4s "real" 4X4s or just computerized 4X4s?

Go...

by Anonymousreply 130January 12, 2022 11:27 PM

Hey, everyone knows that Miata is always the answer

Stick shift

Convertible

And Gay face for days...

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by Anonymousreply 131January 13, 2022 12:00 AM

Cadillac was among the first majors to offer automatic transmission in 1941, having introduced the first clashless Synchro-Mesh manual transmission in 1928, so automatic transmissions have been around for a good long while--it's comforting for me to watch the retro female film stars driving manual transmissions without at second thought, since those were the standard of the day. Lest we forget, Queen Elizabeth (who by my estimate has been driving some 80 years) drove and serviced heavy military vehicles during the war--most likely manual transmissions . . . of course she's now driving an automatic Landrover, but still . . .

A fond memory was of being stopped behind a girl driving a VW beetle, stalled northbound at the crest of Taylor & California in the City; I jumped out & asked if I could help; she explained that she just couldn't get it over the intersection; I did the hand brake/clutch finesse thing & got her over & through the intersection; she was delighted.

In Europe, we usually drive manuals, unless treated to an automatic; here, both of our vehicles (including a large diesel truck) are automatics, but as some upthread have alluded to, it's like riding a bicycle . . .

by Anonymousreply 132January 13, 2022 12:43 AM

Alpha male wannbes thinking working a stick makes their stick bigger.

by Anonymousreply 133January 13, 2022 12:55 AM

what about sports cars like ferrari? are they also only manual transmissions?

yes, I am stupid, I don't drive

by Anonymousreply 134January 13, 2022 12:58 AM

@r133, Watching a guy shift gears makes me all tingly inside

by Anonymousreply 135January 13, 2022 12:59 AM

R135 Watching you ride a stick makes me tingly inside.

by Anonymousreply 136January 13, 2022 1:12 AM

A MT can make an average ride very exciting. I have a Corvette and a Z3 that are MT. A couple of others are automatics. Btw: Chargers do (or did) have a MT option, I know because I drove one.

by Anonymousreply 137January 13, 2022 1:35 AM

An automotive journalist’s ideal car is a brown station wagon with a manual transmission. Read this in Motor Trend or Car & Driver.

by Anonymousreply 138January 13, 2022 7:10 PM

^ It used to be a brown, manual, diesel station wagon, but I guess diesels are out of favor

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by Anonymousreply 139January 13, 2022 7:39 PM

[quote]Are 4X4s "real" 4X4s or just computerized 4X4s?

It depends considerably on the type of vehicle it is. Newer, pricey 4x4s – meaning legitimate trucks or truck-based SUVs, along with specialty vehicles like Land Rovers – have fairly elaborate off-road systems, but nowadays they're mostly computerized. Somewhat older American trucks have 4x4 systems that are often largely manual in nature, especially on their lower-end variants.

A better question might be whether AWD vehicles "real" or computerized: the answer is definitely the latter (and btw the majority of German cars at this point either have AWD as an option or include it as a standard feature; all Audi SUVs have their standard Quattro system, as do all but their lowest-end sedans).

[quote]Hey, everyone knows that Miata is always the answer

True, the Miata is the one car out there that's always had a manual & likely always will, at least until EVs wholly take over. What it is definitely *not*, however, is a gay-face-for-days vehicle: used Miatas are readily the most popular cars for autocross racing, a hobby almost wholly hetero in nature. (But yes, quite a few new Miatas are still bought by women & gay guys.)

[quote]what about sports cars like ferrari? are they also only manual transmissions?

No: Ferrari hasn't sold manual-transmission cars for over a decade now. They use the best-of-the-best dual-clutch manuals (which, again, don't have literal clutches) that are largely the same as the ones used in Formula 1 racing: you can either let the transmissions' computers do all the shifting, or put them into manual mode and do instantaneous shifts with a flick of a paddle shifter behind the steering wheel.

[quote]An automotive journalist’s ideal car is a brown station wagon with a manual transmission. Read this in Motor Trend or Car & Driver.

Not quite: auto journalists have a definite fetish for high-performance German wagons sold here in minuscule numbers, but there are only three still sold in the US, where even hausfrauen have decided they prefer SUVs mainly because they sit higher up & afford a better view. See link for info on one of the last remaining wagons, which basically has supercar-level performance in a practical package (one that American men eschew basically because they stupidly think "station wagons are for pussies").

Btw R139 older Benz diesels have a cult following – though not really among auto journalists per se – mainly because they last forever as long as they're maintained reasonably well. OTOH they're an environmental nightmare, given that they date back to the days when diesels still belched massive amounts of foul-smelling, plainly visible exhaust.

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by Anonymousreply 140January 13, 2022 7:53 PM

^ Wow (again) You are really into this shit, aren't you? Actually different 4X4/AWD systems are very complicated as each one is a bit different. The secret is knowing the type of driving you do and picking the right system to suit your type of driving

by Anonymousreply 141January 13, 2022 8:02 PM

Our family was mostly pick-ups. My dad insisted on manual, always saying something about more power, higher torque. I assumed it to be true as driving those pick-ups was such a pain in the ass. His last truck, a 2003 Silverado, had manual.

by Anonymousreply 142January 13, 2022 8:05 PM

A firm stick that shifts easily is quite fun.

by Anonymousreply 143January 13, 2022 8:28 PM

Studebaker invented the hill holder.

by Anonymousreply 144January 13, 2022 8:49 PM

The auto mags...Car&Driver, MotorTrend etc... are for car enthusiasts.

ALWAYS have been.

If you want straight reporting, if you want to know what economical SUV to buy, then read Consumer Reports, read Edmonds.

Geeeesh.

by Anonymousreply 145January 13, 2022 8:51 PM

[quote] Studebaker invented the hill holder.

What’s the hill holder?

by Anonymousreply 146January 13, 2022 9:13 PM

^ So you don't roll back on a hill while trying to shift into gear. Driving a stick in San Francisco used to be quite a trick

by Anonymousreply 147January 13, 2022 10:47 PM

Oh, wow. Thanks.

by Anonymousreply 148January 13, 2022 10:48 PM

Over 80% of cars in Europe are manual so you pussies better learn to drive one if you're going to drive there.

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by Anonymousreply 149January 13, 2022 11:04 PM

Enjoy your sticks while you can, Europe, in 10 years all your cars will be electric

by Anonymousreply 150January 13, 2022 11:46 PM

[quote]If you want straight reporting, if you want to know what economical SUV to buy, then read Consumer Reports, read Edmonds.

Consumer Reports actually stopped licking Toyota’s twat and stopped eating out Subaru’s snatch for a brief minute and recommend some fun-to-drive SUV’s like the Mazda CX-5 and BMW X3 a few years ago.

by Anonymousreply 151January 13, 2022 11:55 PM

You don't need Consumer Reports to tell you what car to buy, just go online and ask people who own what you're interested in. You'll find out quick enough what's good and bad

by Anonymousreply 152January 13, 2022 11:59 PM

I thought that Subaru invented the hill holder....

They have a couple of cute journalists on the TV version of CONSUMER REPORTS.

by Anonymousreply 153January 14, 2022 12:00 AM

[quote]Our family was mostly pick-ups.

SLUTS!!!

by Anonymousreply 154January 15, 2022 4:38 AM
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