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FLYFIRSTCLASS
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The death of the manual transmission

Sat Nov 05, 2022 3:36 pm

Since I am soon moving out of the high sierra and will no longer need a snow beast, I think its time to have a fun car, so I began the search this last week. I previously had a VW GTI Autobahn which was a kick to drive, not super fast but still a lot of fun. It had the all important manual transmission. I stopped by the local VW dealer to have a look at the current GTI. He had ONE with the DSG on the lot, and he said he could get one with a manual (he told me $20,000 markup-- I laughed at him told him not to his breath on that). But anyway, he told me the 2023 will be DSG only unless you go to the Golf R. That pretty much killed it for me, I will try and find one 1-2 years old with low miles and a manual.

But got me thinking there are hardly any cars that still offer a manual now. I know the new Z offers, Honda Civic SI, Civic R, Subaru WRX STI...but thats about it. Most econoboxes now are even automatics. The mentioned Honda's will exclusively be manuals, the Z will mostly be produced in auto, not sure about the STI.

Every year manuals are getting harder to find
 
frmrCapCadet
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Re: The death of the manual transmission

Sat Nov 05, 2022 3:42 pm

Back in the 60s I decided to replace my Mustang with a Pontiac GTO. After the initial bargaining they asked which transmission I wanted (auto or 4). I said I would take the standard one. LOL, the list price did not include a transmission. I walked!
 
petertenthije
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Re: The death of the manual transmission

Sat Nov 05, 2022 3:49 pm

Funny you should bring that up, as Mini just announced they would start a "shifting course" in the USA.
https://www.roadandtrack.com/news/a4186 ... ive-stick/

The days of manual transmissions are numbered anyway. Not just because automatic transmissions are getting better and cheaper, but because electric cars don't require transmissions as all.
 
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Francoflier
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Re: The death of the manual transmission

Sat Nov 05, 2022 3:53 pm

Some manufacturers are keeping manuals on their sportier models, to cater to the few enthusiasts still out there.
There's an article from last year listing all 2022 models with the stick shift option still available in the US:
https://autowise.com/manual-transmission-cars/
There may be a more recent one.

Europe also tends to have more manuals available across the model ranges, although they're dying there too.

Eventually, and unfortunately, hybrids and electrics will render them extinct.

Get a good one now and keep it. I reckon they'll be worth a fortune as classics a couple of decades down the line.
 
ltbewr
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Re: The death of the manual transmission

Sat Nov 05, 2022 4:14 pm

'Save the Manuals' goes out the cry but modern automatic shifting transmissions and variations like CVT's, DCT are numbering the days for manuals. Over 90% of my driving has been with automatics and the last time I drove a stick was a Ford Fiesta rental in England and Wales in 2017.

Some automatic transmissions have manual shifting abilities like paddle shifters near the steering wheel so can select a gear more appropriate to the driving situation. Many modern automatics have many more speeds, like 7-10 on some vehicles, than manuals, giving more optimal fuel mileage than some manuals. The cost to design and have automatic and manual transmissions available including to meet pollution regulations for each. That for most driving by most people, especially in urban and suburban areas, automatics are much drive easier than manuals. The dominance of demand for automatics in the USA/Canada market. Even many large trucks have automatic transmissions for their efficiency, lower maintenance costs, less distractions and fewer drivers who can properly shift a manual.Of course, the lack of need for a multi speed transmission in EV's will be the final blow.
 
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T18
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Re: The death of the manual transmission

Sat Nov 05, 2022 4:41 pm

I recently got a new 2022 GTI with a stick, it took them over a month to find it, when I looked I found 32 in the entire USA in one of the two colors I liked. Can't stand driving anything with an auto as I end up hurling obscenities at it when it does silly thing and tries to get me killed. Flappy paddles are better but don't give the same tactile feel and do not allow for easy short shifts. Honestly the lack of third pedal is the biggest hurdle for me when it comes to any interest in EVs, I want something fun to drive, a commute should be enjoyable not a soulless chore to get from A to B.
 
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Aesma
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Re: The death of the manual transmission

Sat Nov 05, 2022 5:17 pm

Not just EVs will kill the manual, with the new EU emissions standards, ICE engines are still allowed, but to pass they will need to be hybrids. Hybrid means automatic transmission...
 
FLYFIRSTCLASS
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Re: The death of the manual transmission

Sat Nov 05, 2022 5:29 pm

T18 wrote:
I recently got a new 2022 GTI with a stick, it took them over a month to find it, when I looked I found 32 in the entire USA in one of the two colors I liked. Can't stand driving anything with an auto as I end up hurling obscenities at it when it does silly thing and tries to get me killed. Flappy paddles are better but don't give the same tactile feel and do not allow for easy short shifts. Honestly the lack of third pedal is the biggest hurdle for me when it comes to any interest in EVs, I want something fun to drive, a commute should be enjoyable not a soulless chore to get from A to B.


Just curious how do you like everything being controlled through touch screen? I played with the one they had (DSG) and I thought it would be confusing while trying to drive. Not sure I will be able to get one, I refuse to pay their markups. Even the Civic SI is getting $15-20K markup
 
Newark727
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Re: The death of the manual transmission

Sat Nov 05, 2022 5:43 pm

Touch screens are okay for some things, but they're not tactile enough to use with your eyes on the road. It depends a lot on how they're implemented in a given vehicle.
 
ACDC8
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Re: The death of the manual transmission

Sat Nov 05, 2022 9:25 pm

FLYFIRSTCLASS wrote:
Since I am soon moving out of the high sierra and will no longer need a snow beast, I think its time to have a fun car, so I began the search this last week. I previously had a VW GTI Autobahn which was a kick to drive, not super fast but still a lot of fun. It had the all important manual transmission. I stopped by the local VW dealer to have a look at the current GTI. He had ONE with the DSG on the lot, and he said he could get one with a manual (he told me $20,000 markup-- I laughed at him told him not to his breath on that). But anyway, he told me the 2023 will be DSG only unless you go to the Golf R. That pretty much killed it for me, I will try and find one 1-2 years old with low miles and a manual.

But got me thinking there are hardly any cars that still offer a manual now. I know the new Z offers, Honda Civic SI, Civic R, Subaru WRX STI...but thats about it. Most econoboxes now are even automatics. The mentioned Honda's will exclusively be manuals, the Z will mostly be produced in auto, not sure about the STI.

Every year manuals are getting harder to find

Not sure what dealership you went to, but he's trying to push you into a marked up R by telling you complete rubbish - but seeing that they're putting a huge markup on their R, that doesn't surprise me.

The 2023 GTI and R are still available with the manual - the rumour (nothing official from VW) is that 2024 might see DSG only, but again, that is not confirmed. The Europeans only get the DSG and have never had the manual option on the Mk8, so we are truly blessed. As for the mark-ups, there are dealerships who've been adding ten to twenty thousand over MSRP but there are plenty of dealers who are selling at MSRP. Getting a Mk8 R right now is only for the very patient, there are many people who've ordered one in 2021 and are still waiting. The GTI wait time is somewhat less, depending on the specs, but many of the top trims are being delivered without specific options like the leather seats or the HK stereo system but VW is giving a credit for deleted options.

I have a '23 GTI Autobahn (SE in the US) with the manual on order. There are about a dozen '23 GTIs for sale where I live and half of them have manual transmissions. There will also be a 40th Anniversary trim later in 2023 that is slotted between the S and SE trim, its basically an S with extra badging and DCC with a few other options as well as a couple of exclusive colours to that trim (Urano Grey and Tornado Red) but its limited to about 1500 units for North America with half being manual. There is also a 20th Anniversary R coming out in '23.

My recommendation if you really want a Mk8 GTI, is find a more honest dealership - if you head over to VW Vortex, there are probably some folks there that can hit you up with a dealership in your area or close to it that they would recommend.
 
FLYFIRSTCLASS
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Re: The death of the manual transmission

Sat Nov 05, 2022 9:31 pm

ACDC8 wrote:
FLYFIRSTCLASS wrote:
Since I am soon moving out of the high sierra and will no longer need a snow beast, I think its time to have a fun car, so I began the search this last week. I previously had a VW GTI Autobahn which was a kick to drive, not super fast but still a lot of fun. It had the all important manual transmission. I stopped by the local VW dealer to have a look at the current GTI. He had ONE with the DSG on the lot, and he said he could get one with a manual (he told me $20,000 markup-- I laughed at him told him not to his breath on that). But anyway, he told me the 2023 will be DSG only unless you go to the Golf R. That pretty much killed it for me, I will try and find one 1-2 years old with low miles and a manual.

But got me thinking there are hardly any cars that still offer a manual now. I know the new Z offers, Honda Civic SI, Civic R, Subaru WRX STI...but thats about it. Most econoboxes now are even automatics. The mentioned Honda's will exclusively be manuals, the Z will mostly be produced in auto, not sure about the STI.

Every year manuals are getting harder to find

Not sure what dealership you went to, but he's trying to push you into a marked up R by telling you complete rubbish - but seeing that they're putting a huge markup on their R, that doesn't surprise me.

The 2023 GTI and R are still available with the manual - the rumour (nothing official from VW) is that 2024 might see DSG only, but again, that is not confirmed. The Europeans only get the DSG and have never had the manual option on the Mk8, so we are truly blessed. As for the mark-ups, there are dealerships who've been adding ten to twenty thousand over MSRP but there are plenty of dealers who are selling at MSRP. Getting a Mk8 R right now is only for the very patient, there are many people who've ordered one in 2021 and are still waiting. The GTI wait time is somewhat less, depending on the specs, but many of the top trims are being delivered without specific options like the leather seats or the HK stereo system but VW is giving a credit for deleted options.

I have a '23 GTI Autobahn (SE in the US) with the manual on order. There are about a dozen '23 GTIs for sale where I live and half of them have manual transmissions. There will also be a 40th Anniversary trim later in 2023 that is slotted between the S and SE trim, its basically an S with extra badging and DCC with a few other options as well as a couple of exclusive colours to that trim (Urano Grey and Tornado Red) but its limited to about 1500 units for North America with half being manual. There is also a 20th Anniversary R coming out in '23.

My recommendation if you really want a Mk8 GTI, is find a more honest dealership - if you head over to VW Vortex, there are probably some folks there that can hit you up with a dealership in your area or close to it that they would recommend.



Unfortunately I live in a smallish area and there is ONE of each brand within a 100 mile radius (but there is no Infinity) so the dealers play the "we are the only game in town" hand. They have little incentive to negotiate, most people dont bother with shopping out of state. Well my last two cars I went out of state and drove home.
 
ACDC8
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Re: The death of the manual transmission

Sat Nov 05, 2022 9:33 pm

T18 wrote:
I recently got a new 2022 GTI with a stick, it took them over a month to find it, when I looked I found 32 in the entire USA in one of the two colors I liked. Can't stand driving anything with an auto as I end up hurling obscenities at it when it does silly thing and tries to get me killed. Flappy paddles are better but don't give the same tactile feel and do not allow for easy short shifts. Honestly the lack of third pedal is the biggest hurdle for me when it comes to any interest in EVs, I want something fun to drive, a commute should be enjoyable not a soulless chore to get from A to B.

Same here, my current Alltrack is a DSG and don't get me wrong, as far as automatics are concerned, the DSG is the way to go, but it still just isn't the same or satisfying as a manual.

FLYFIRSTCLASS wrote:
Just curious how do you like everything being controlled through touch screen? I played with the one they had (DSG) and I thought it would be confusing while trying to drive. Not sure I will be able to get one, I refuse to pay their markups. Even the Civic SI is getting $15-20K markup

Two other big complaints (and controversial topics in the VW community) about the Mk8 GTI/R are the haptic controls on the steering wheel and the temperature/stereo control slider not being backlit - both of which will supposedly be addressed in the 2024 model year with the return of physical buttons on the steering wheel and the slider being backlit.
 
ACDC8
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Re: The death of the manual transmission

Sat Nov 05, 2022 9:40 pm

FLYFIRSTCLASS wrote:
Unfortunately I live in a smallish area and there is ONE of each brand within a 100 mile radius (but there is no Infinity) so the dealers play the "we are the only game in town" hand. They have little incentive to negotiate, most people dont bother with shopping out of state. Well my last two cars I went out of state and drove home.

I ordered my car at a dealership thats 500kms away even though I have 7 dealerships in my area (only 2 of them are doing markups) - but thats because I've been dealing with the dealer at the other dealership for the last 20 years, so even though I've moved, its well worth the drive to know I'm getting a hassle free and honest purchasing experience.

Knowing that this will most likely be the very last manual transmission car that I'll be able to buy, and quite possibly the very last GTI in its current form as VW has not yet committed themselves to a Mk9, its now or never. Another manual option from VW is the Jetta/GLI.

FLYFIRSTCLASS wrote:
not sure about the STI.

There is no more STI - Subaru killed it off with the new generation, so its only the WRX. Not sure about the US, but only the base and mid trims get a manual - if you want the "Sport" WRX, its CVT only even thought they're marketing it as a "Sport CVT" - yeesh, talk about an oxymoron lol. But the STI and WRX's death sentence was written by Subaru ever since they killed off the hatch, so they shot themselves in their own foot. Subaru still offers the BRZ with a manual.
Last edited by ACDC8 on Sat Nov 05, 2022 10:05 pm, edited 4 times in total.
 
Kent350787
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Re: The death of the manual transmission

Sat Nov 05, 2022 9:53 pm

I got my first car in 1983 and my current car (bought in 2014) is the first auto I’ve owned.

I enjoy driving a manual if a get the chance, but in cars for all practical purposes it’s dead. Manually shifting an auto or automated manual gives me enough interaction when I need it on most roads.
 
FLYFIRSTCLASS
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Re: The death of the manual transmission

Sat Nov 05, 2022 11:28 pm

Oddly, my first time I ever drove a manual, I did fine. My dad always had manual cars and I watched him very closely. Ever since I was old enough to love cars (like 5 years old) I always thought automatics were boring.
 
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ER757
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Re: The death of the manual transmission

Sat Nov 05, 2022 11:38 pm

My favorite manual transmission car was my 1988 Honda Prelude - smooth as melted butter, hardly needed the clutch. Had it when I lived in Illinois and drove it out to Seattle when I moved here. A couple months driving the hills in and around the city and sitting at uphill stoplights cured me of my love for it though. Have had automatics ever since, though I do miss the manual tranny now and then. My current ride is an Outback with a 6 speed CVT. Has the manual shift paddles on the steering column, I use them most often for engine braking when heading downhill. Definitely not the same as a true manual for that purpose.
 
LabQuest
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Re: The death of the manual transmission

Sun Nov 06, 2022 12:09 am

I couldn't imagine having anything but an automatic. So convenient!
 
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Aesma
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Re: The death of the manual transmission

Sun Nov 06, 2022 2:06 am

Modern manual cars will help at stoplights by keeping the brakes squeezed.
 
af773atmsp
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Re: The death of the manual transmission

Sun Nov 06, 2022 2:43 am

First manual I drove was my uncle's Saturn sedan. It was a traumatizing experience, but I had to learn for my job at a dealership. After a couple months working at the dealership I was mostly comfortable driving manual, though once in awhile there were cars with a very sensitive clutch or I had difficulty lifting off the clutch because of my big feet (notably a Mazda minivan where I actually had to take off my shoes to drive it). A few years after I quit that job I had an opportunity to drive a Fiat hatchback with a manual in Italy. I only drove it in a parking lot, but it was nice to know I could still drive manual. Now once in awhile I drive Polaris Slingshots, some of which are manual, in a warehouse. Really smooth clutch and a fun ride, though the Slingshot is very impractical and useless.
 
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NIKV69
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Re: The death of the manual transmission

Sun Nov 06, 2022 3:03 am

I have been looking for a 70s Corvette to have as a weekend car. It's a chore to find manuals. The one I found was bright red which is a deal breaker for me. Commuter carts sure but for fun cars you need that gear shift!
 
FLYFIRSTCLASS
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Re: The death of the manual transmission

Sun Nov 06, 2022 3:12 am

ER757 wrote:
My favorite manual transmission car was my 1988 Honda Prelude - smooth as melted butter, hardly needed the clutch. Had it when I lived in Illinois and drove it out to Seattle when I moved here. A couple months driving the hills in and around the city and sitting at uphill stoplights cured me of my love for it though. Have had automatics ever since, though I do miss the manual tranny now and then. My current ride is an Outback with a 6 speed CVT. Has the manual shift paddles on the steering column, I use them most often for engine braking when heading downhill. Definitely not the same as a true manual for that purpose.


I had a 1991 Honda Prelude SI 4WS with black leather as my demo when I was F&I at Almaden Honda. Great car, Honda has always had the best manual transmissions. Their CVTs are horrible. I
 
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TWA772LR
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Re: The death of the manual transmission

Sun Nov 06, 2022 5:47 am

Most of Subarus cars on the lower end are manual, Outback, Impreza, Crosstrek come to mind. Of course there's always the BRZ too

I knew an absolutely gorgeous girl in college who took me driving in her manual BRZ. Wifey material! In fact, any girl that drives a stick instantly gets points for me.
 
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Kiwirob
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Re: The death of the manual transmission

Sun Nov 06, 2022 7:22 am

In the 16 years I’ve been living in Norway the country has gone from almost every car being sold with a manual transmission (except big luxury cars) to today where 90% of vehicles are sold with automatic transmissions.
 
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Kiwirob
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Re: The death of the manual transmission

Sun Nov 06, 2022 7:33 am

T18 wrote:
I recently got a new 2022 GTI with a stick, it took them over a month to find it, when I looked I found 32 in the entire USA in one of the two colors I liked. Can't stand driving anything with an auto as I end up hurling obscenities at it when it does silly thing and tries to get me killed. Flappy paddles are better but don't give the same tactile feel and do not allow for easy short shifts. Honestly the lack of third pedal is the biggest hurdle for me when it comes to any interest in EVs, I want something fun to drive, a commute should be enjoyable not a soulless chore to get from A to B.


Last week I test drove a BMW i4 M50, put your foot down, it goes, at any speed it just goes, instant acceleration, I like driving a manual but no vehicle with a manual could provide the instant kick an EV can, it’s intoxicating.

Which brings me onto another point, EVs are too fast, my wife drove the M50, it scared her. When a basic affordable family sedan or SUV is faster than a supercar do we really need this?
 
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Kiwirob
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Re: The death of the manual transmission

Sun Nov 06, 2022 7:39 am

ACDC8 wrote:
FLYFIRSTCLASS wrote:
Since I am soon moving out of the high sierra and will no longer need a snow beast, I think its time to have a fun car, so I began the search this last week. I previously had a VW GTI Autobahn which was a kick to drive, not super fast but still a lot of fun. It had the all important manual transmission. I stopped by the local VW dealer to have a look at the current GTI. He had ONE with the DSG on the lot, and he said he could get one with a manual (he told me $20,000 markup-- I laughed at him told him not to his breath on that). But anyway, he told me the 2023 will be DSG only unless you go to the Golf R. That pretty much killed it for me, I will try and find one 1-2 years old with low miles and a manual.

But got me thinking there are hardly any cars that still offer a manual now. I know the new Z offers, Honda Civic SI, Civic R, Subaru WRX STI...but thats about it. Most econoboxes now are even automatics. The mentioned Honda's will exclusively be manuals, the Z will mostly be produced in auto, not sure about the STI.

Every year manuals are getting harder to find

Not sure what dealership you went to, but he's trying to push you into a marked up R by telling you complete rubbish - but seeing that they're putting a huge markup on their R, that doesn't surprise me.

The 2023 GTI and R are still available with the manual - the rumour (nothing official from VW) is that 2024 might see DSG only, but again, that is not confirmed. The Europeans only get the DSG and have never had the manual option on the Mk8, so we are truly blessed. As for the mark-ups, there are dealerships who've been adding ten to twenty thousand over MSRP but there are plenty of dealers who are selling at MSRP. Getting a Mk8 R right now is only for the very patient, there are many people who've ordered one in 2021 and are still waiting. The GTI wait time is somewhat less, depending on the specs, but many of the top trims are being delivered without specific options like the leather seats or the HK stereo system but VW is giving a credit for deleted options.

I have a '23 GTI Autobahn (SE in the US) with the manual on order. There are about a dozen '23 GTIs for sale where I live and half of them have manual transmissions. There will also be a 40th Anniversary trim later in 2023 that is slotted between the S and SE trim, its basically an S with extra badging and DCC with a few other options as well as a couple of exclusive colours to that trim (Urano Grey and Tornado Red) but its limited to about 1500 units for North America with half being manual. There is also a 20th Anniversary R coming out in '23.

My recommendation if you really want a Mk8 GTI, is find a more honest dealership - if you head over to VW Vortex, there are probably some folks there that can hit you up with a dealership in your area or close to it that they would recommend.


Where did you hear the Mk8 GTI was DSG only in Europe? Unless you don’t consider the UK Europe you can buy a 6 speed manual GTI there.

https://www.volkswagen.co.uk/en/configurator.html
 
ACDC8
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Re: The death of the manual transmission

Sun Nov 06, 2022 9:06 am

Kiwirob wrote:
Where did you hear the Mk8 GTI was DSG only in Europe? Unless you don’t consider the UK Europe you can buy a 6 speed manual GTI there.

https://www.volkswagen.co.uk/en/configurator.html

Sorry, was referring to the R with that comment. As far as the Europe/UK comment, there is that Brexit thing, sooooo ..... :stirthepot: :rotfl:

The Clubsport is DSG only as well, a model we don't get here just like the R Wagon - oh how I would do unmentionable things for the R Wagon :shhh: :lol:
TWA772LR wrote:
Most of Subarus cars on the lower end are manual, Outback, Impreza, Crosstrek come to mind. Of course there's always the BRZ too

Outback hasn't had a manual option for some time now, which is a shame. Crosstrek still does, and for the price of the base model, pretty darn good deal if you want a little getaway vehicle. Not sure how the Impreza does in the US sales wise, but where I live, I could count on one hand how many I see in a year - same with the Legacy. Crosstreks, Foresters, Outbacks and BRZs on the other hand.
TWA772LR wrote:
In fact, any girl that drives a stick instantly gets points for me.

Amen to that.
 
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TWA772LR
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Re: The death of the manual transmission

Sun Nov 06, 2022 9:26 am

ACDC8 wrote:
Kiwirob wrote:
Where did you hear the Mk8 GTI was DSG only in Europe? Unless you don’t consider the UK Europe you can buy a 6 speed manual GTI there.

https://www.volkswagen.co.uk/en/configurator.html

Sorry, was referring to the R with that comment. As far as the Europe/UK comment, there is that Brexit thing, sooooo ..... :stirthepot: :rotfl:

The Clubsport is DSG only as well, a model we don't get here just like the R Wagon - oh how I would do unmentionable things for the R Wagon :shhh: :lol:
TWA772LR wrote:
Most of Subarus cars on the lower end are manual, Outback, Impreza, Crosstrek come to mind. Of course there's always the BRZ too

Outback hasn't had a manual option for some time now, which is a shame. Crosstrek still does, and for the price of the base model, pretty darn good deal if you want a little getaway vehicle. Not sure how the Impreza does in the US sales wise, but where I live, I could count on one hand how many I see in a year - same with the Legacy. Crosstreks, Foresters, Outbacks and BRZs on the other hand.
TWA772LR wrote:
In fact, any girl that drives a stick instantly gets points for me.

Amen to that.

I live in Denver so if you throw a rock you're almost guaranteed to hit a Subie. Just don't let it be mine ;)
 
ACDC8
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Re: The death of the manual transmission

Sun Nov 06, 2022 9:34 am

TWA772LR wrote:
I live in Denver so if you throw a rock you're almost guaranteed to hit a Subie. Just don't let it be mine ;)

Yes, Colorado sure does love their Subarus :bigthumbsup:
 
B777LRF
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Re: The death of the manual transmission

Sun Nov 06, 2022 9:59 am

I can count on two hands the number of car manufacturers who offer automatics as the only option in this part of the world, and roughly half of them are way beyond the means of “normal” people; Rolls Royce, Pagani, Koenigsegg etc.

Perfectly possible to order a brand new VW GTI with a manual box too (I suppose in US terms it would be a “2023” model, even though we’re still in 2022), but increasingly manual gearboxes is not what your regular customer is looking for. Used to be like that; it’s not that long ago that automatics was something you’d only see in up market vehicles, and everyone* who learned to drive did so in a manual car. Even today the vast majority of cars sold are with a manual, but given the option (and the financial capabilities) most people would opt for an automatic. Going hybrid or fully ‘leecy obviously removes any option for a manual box.

I’ve only owned one car with a slush box, but that box was the ZF 6-speed attached to the finest in-line 6 man has ever produced. That, and the daily commute, convinced me that life’s too short to change gears when a slush box and an adaptable cruise control makes life so much easier. My next car will, with 99.9% certainty, also be an automatic. Unless I win the lottery and buy a 911 GT3 Touring, but that’s not a car for commuting.

*An “automatic only” license does exist, and has so for many years. I know a grand total of 1 person who has such a license.

PS
Driving a manual box is the easiest thing in the world, as long as that’s what you’ve grown up with and/or you have just a smidgen of mechanical empathy. Now an unsynchronised manual box in a truck, that’s a whole different kettle of fish! I drove a Magirus-Deutz 178 when I was in the army; a monster with 3 driven axels attached to a 10-cylinder air cooled engine through an un-synchronised gearbox. Miss a gear change and you’d risk injuries to your hand. That was a beast!
 
ACDC8
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Re: The death of the manual transmission

Sun Nov 06, 2022 11:16 am

B777LRF wrote:
*An “automatic only” license does exist, and has so for many years. I know a grand total of 1 person who has such a license.

Is that still a thing? I know in Germany they used to have it, not sure if they still do or not.

Automatics have come a long way, for the better (even though I will always prefer manual, but thats because I like to drive).

As good as the VW DSG is, my response to those who praise it saying that its better than a manual because its faster, is that cooking a steak in the microwave is faster too but the end result is absolute sh!t :biggrin:
 
cpd
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Re: The death of the manual transmission

Sun Nov 06, 2022 12:41 pm

B777LRF wrote:
I can count on two hands the number of car manufacturers who offer automatics as the only option in this part of the world, and roughly half of them are way beyond the means of “normal” people; Rolls Royce, Pagani, Koenigsegg etc.

Perfectly possible to order a brand new VW GTI with a manual box too (I suppose in US terms it would be a “2023” model, even though we’re still in 2022), but increasingly manual gearboxes is not what your regular customer is looking for. Used to be like that; it’s not that long ago that automatics was something you’d only see in up market vehicles, and everyone* who learned to drive did so in a manual car. Even today the vast majority of cars sold are with a manual, but given the option (and the financial capabilities) most people would opt for an automatic. Going hybrid or fully ‘leecy obviously removes any option for a manual box.

I’ve only owned one car with a slush box, but that box was the ZF 6-speed attached to the finest in-line 6 man has ever produced. That, and the daily commute, convinced me that life’s too short to change gears when a slush box and an adaptable cruise control makes life so much easier. My next car will, with 99.9% certainty, also be an automatic. Unless I win the lottery and buy a 911 GT3 Touring, but that’s not a car for commuting.

*An “automatic only” license does exist, and has so for many years. I know a grand total of 1 person who has such a license.

PS
Driving a manual box is the easiest thing in the world, as long as that’s what you’ve grown up with and/or you have just a smidgen of mechanical empathy. Now an unsynchronised manual box in a truck, that’s a whole different kettle of fish! I drove a Magirus-Deutz 178 when I was in the army; a monster with 3 driven axels attached to a 10-cylinder air cooled engine through an un-synchronised gearbox. Miss a gear change and you’d risk injuries to your hand. That was a beast!


Actually Koenigsegg offers a 9 speed 7 clutch gearbox and a 6 speed manual in the same car, in the same unit. In a 1385hp machine. It even has a clutch pedal.
 
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Revelation
Posts: 28155
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Re: The death of the manual transmission

Sun Nov 06, 2022 1:26 pm

B777LRF wrote:
I’ve only owned one car with a slush box, but that box was the ZF 6-speed attached to the finest in-line 6 man has ever produced. That, and the daily commute, convinced me that life’s too short to change gears when a slush box and an adaptable cruise control makes life so much easier. My next car will, with 99.9% certainty, also be an automatic. Unless I win the lottery and buy a 911 GT3 Touring, but that’s not a car for commuting.

I think that pretty much nails it. While some people are lucky enough to live in the wide open spaces where they can/do wind through the gears, most people actually drive in rush hour each and every work day back and forth to work, and having a manual in bumper to bumper stalled traffic is no fun at all.

As for me, I've had a 2004 BMW 330i with automatic transmission that I've driven through 247k miles and it's still going strong. I'm quite sure it can shift faster/smoother than I can in many circumstances, and I am really happy it has an auto. I'm happy to leave that part of driving to the machinery and focus more on the other idiots on the road with me.
 
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cjg225
Posts: 2385
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Re: The death of the manual transmission

Sun Nov 06, 2022 2:27 pm

I understand the concept (I think) of manual and generally how it's supposed to be operated, but I have just never actually learned because I hate the idea of screwing up.

My only experience driving a manual was out of necessity. A friend and I drove to an away game when we were in college. He was going to drive, and when I got in his car, I told him, "Uh... you realize I don't know how to drive stick, right?" He said he'd be fine the only 11 hours out and 11 hours back (with a short hotel stay for rest before the game). Well, he wasn't. We got like halfway home and he said he couldn't keep up, so I had to drive. He told me he'd tell me when to depress the clutch and he'd get it up to top gear. I'd just have to keep it above 50 the rest of the way, and when we got close to our exit I should just coast to a stop on the side of the road and wake him up. This was at like 2am-4am on I-80 in Ohio and Pennsylvania with fog, so I was white knuckling it the whole way, but it worked out and we both clearly survived...
 
frmrCapCadet
Posts: 5755
Joined: Thu May 29, 2008 8:24 pm

Re: The death of the manual transmission

Sun Nov 06, 2022 2:30 pm

RIP - predeceased by hand cranking, spark control, air/gas mixture. The passing of the ICE will be even more momentous. The US fleet will be showing signs by the end of 2025.
 
GalaxyFlyer
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Joined: Fri Jan 01, 2016 4:44 am

Re: The death of the manual transmission

Sun Nov 06, 2022 2:36 pm

ER757 wrote:
My favorite manual transmission car was my 1988 Honda Prelude - smooth as melted butter, hardly needed the clutch. Had it when I lived in Illinois and drove it out to Seattle when I moved here. A couple months driving the hills in and around the city and sitting at uphill stoplights cured me of my love for it though. Have had automatics ever since, though I do miss the manual tranny now and then. My current ride is an Outback with a 6 speed CVT. Has the manual shift paddles on the steering column, I use them most often for engine braking when heading downhill. Definitely not the same as a true manual for that purpose.


Automatics killed the hand brake which was needed for managing hills. Set the hand brake, put it in gear, release the hand brake as you let out the clutch. Trucks have what we called in the fire service, a trolley brake because it was on the steering column and used for the same purpose. Last time I drove a standard, rented in the very hilly Canaries, it all came back in about one start.

Pedal emergency brakes, worse the silly electronic ones, are the bane of manual transmissions, to say nothing of their use in a service brake emergency.

Funny, but the parking/emergency brake on BBD planes are just like the hand brakes of yore.
 
FLYFIRSTCLASS
Topic Author
Posts: 356
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Re: The death of the manual transmission

Sun Nov 06, 2022 3:21 pm

At least with a clutch I could sneak out in the middle of the night, coast down the hill a bit then pop the clutch to start the car...
 
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ER757
Posts: 4670
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Re: The death of the manual transmission

Sun Nov 06, 2022 3:34 pm

ACDC8 wrote:
TWA772LR wrote:
I live in Denver so if you throw a rock you're almost guaranteed to hit a Subie. Just don't let it be mine ;)

Yes, Colorado sure does love their Subarus :bigthumbsup:

As does Washington. Every time I go hiking, the trailhead parking area looks like a Subaru dealership
 
M564038
Posts: 1222
Joined: Sun Jan 03, 2016 11:16 am

Re: The death of the manual transmission

Sun Nov 06, 2022 3:38 pm

You’ll love EVs. Haha! With the AC off my car makes ZERO sound a part from the wheels.
FLYFIRSTCLASS wrote:
At least with a clutch I could sneak out in the middle of the night, coast down the hill a bit then pop the clutch to start the car...
 
M564038
Posts: 1222
Joined: Sun Jan 03, 2016 11:16 am

Re: The death of the manual transmission

Sun Nov 06, 2022 3:40 pm

I always drove manual. 90% to this day of the deiving I’ve done has been manual. I can not fathom how anything with a stick shift could be more fun to drive than an EV with instant torque. Racing car performance for 1/5th the price and room for kids and luggage included.
 
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Francoflier
Posts: 6434
Joined: Wed Oct 31, 2001 12:27 pm

Re: The death of the manual transmission

Sun Nov 06, 2022 4:15 pm

Rather coincidentally, ABC News has published an article on the topic yesterday:

https://abcnews.go.com/Business/uninten ... d=92617428
 
marcelh
Posts: 2230
Joined: Wed Jun 19, 2013 12:43 pm

Re: The death of the manual transmission

Sun Nov 06, 2022 5:15 pm

ACDC8 wrote:
B777LRF wrote:
*An “automatic only” license does exist, and has so for many years. I know a grand total of 1 person who has such a license.

Is that still a thing? I know in Germany they used to have it, not sure if they still do or not.

Automatics have come a long way, for the better (even though I will always prefer manual, but thats because I like to drive).

As good as the VW DSG is, my response to those who praise it saying that its better than a manual because its faster, is that cooking a steak in the microwave is faster too but the end result is absolute sh!t :biggrin:


IMHO a Golf GTI isn’t “better” or “worse” when it has either a manual gearbox or DSG. Only if you want a hard core track racer a manual gearbox is preferable, but as a daily driver DSG is best of both worlds.
 
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Aesma
Posts: 16174
Joined: Sat Nov 14, 2009 6:14 am

Re: The death of the manual transmission

Sun Nov 06, 2022 5:25 pm

In France the automatic only license exists and is in fact gaining traction with young people. I know a couple of girls who got one.

Here you can do some lessons at age 16 and then drive with an adult (parents, older sibling usually). If the family car is an automatic, you're not learning stick, so it's easier to then pass the auto license. You can't have a license until 17 years and a half (a new thing, it used to be 18), and only if you have done 1 year of driving with parents.

More and more cars don't have a stick, that's what we're discussing, so that's the solution.

Last, it's easier to pass the auto license, one less thing to worry about when you're under stress. The best part is that you can then take a few lessons and have your teacher validate a normal driving license, without having to pass another exam.

If I had kids learning to drive I would want them to have the normal license one way or the other, and to know to drive stick, you never know when you might need it. When doing summer jobs and even for my current job, having a driving license was a big positive. I was a postman during a summer and had to drive a big old Renault van with a stick shift, that could still happen today. If you rent a car in some countries, knowing how to drive anything is better.

@GalaxyFlyer : I have no issue with handbrake starts and do it when in steep slopes but otherwise the hill-holder function is good enough, and if driving for a long time up and down in traffic I would also be wary of having to do the maneuver again and again. In fact I visited San Francisco before COVID and loaned an automatic SUV...
 
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casinterest
Posts: 16302
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Re: The death of the manual transmission

Sun Nov 06, 2022 5:40 pm

Part of me wants to say they are no longer needed. Electrics and automatics have come a long way, and even the purchase price difference is no longer large enough. On the other hand, my first 3 cars were all manual transmissions. There is something to be said about them. However, much like cursive. Their day has come and gone.
 
vc10
Posts: 1441
Joined: Thu Nov 15, 2001 4:13 am

Re: The death of the manual transmission

Sun Nov 06, 2022 6:05 pm

Since my first car in 1960 I have had 12 cars and they all were manuals ,but in 2014 due to a bad left hand knee which made it painful to operate the clutch , I decided to buy my first automatic car and now some 8 years later there is no way I would go back to a manual box. So if an old codger like me can be converted then I wold say manual box s have seen their day
Now does anyone remember the Fuel Choke, or the manual advance/retard selector , or even the starting handle ,No they have all gone now just like manual box will
 
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Kiwirob
Posts: 14623
Joined: Mon Jun 13, 2005 2:16 pm

Re: The death of the manual transmission

Sun Nov 06, 2022 6:07 pm

B777LRF wrote:

*An “automatic only” license does exist, and has so for many years. I know a grand total of 1 person who has such a license.

PS
Driving a manual box is the easiest thing in the world, as long as that’s what you’ve grown up with and/or you have just a smidgen of mechanical empathy. Now an unsynchronised manual box in a truck, that’s a whole different kettle of fish! I drove a Magirus-Deutz 178 when I was in the army; a monster with 3 driven axels attached to a 10-cylinder air cooled engine through an un-synchronised gearbox. Miss a gear change and you’d risk injuries to your hand. That was a beast!


We have auto only licenses in Norway as well, a lot of my sons friends have them, there parents no longer own manual cars for them to learn on, a lot of the driving schools only have electric cars. Come March 23 I will for the first time in my life not own a manual vehicle. My two younger children will likely never drive a manual.
 
889091
Posts: 1000
Joined: Sat Apr 06, 2019 7:56 pm

Re: The death of the manual transmission

Sun Nov 06, 2022 6:30 pm

Surprised no one has brought this up - it costs heaps more to service/rebuild an automatic transmission compared to a manual.....
 
GalaxyFlyer
Posts: 10294
Joined: Fri Jan 01, 2016 4:44 am

Re: The death of the manual transmission

Sun Nov 06, 2022 6:30 pm

@Aesma,

Hill holders didn’t exist in my day, sorry
 
M564038
Posts: 1222
Joined: Sun Jan 03, 2016 11:16 am

Re: The death of the manual transmission

Sun Nov 06, 2022 6:36 pm

That Depends.
889091 wrote:
Surprised no one has brought this up - it costs heaps more to service/rebuild an automatic transmission compared to a manual.....
 
ACDC8
Posts: 9106
Joined: Thu Mar 10, 2005 6:56 pm

Re: The death of the manual transmission

Sun Nov 06, 2022 9:55 pm

ER757 wrote:
As does Washington. Every time I go hiking, the trailhead parking area looks like a Subaru dealership

Yup, was going to mention Washington and Oregon :thumbsup:
M564038 wrote:
You’ll love EVs. Haha! With the AC off my car makes ZERO sound a part from the wheels.

Another reason to dread EVs. Throw on a decent sounding exhaust system on a GTI or Mustang, find a nice twisty road, turn the stereo off, roll down the windows and the drive is more enjoyable with every gear drop and exhaust note. I both Mustang's I've owned, other than at the drive in movies, I don't think I ever used the stereo in those cars once.
marcelh wrote:
IMHO a Golf GTI isn’t “better” or “worse” when it has either a manual gearbox or DSG. Only if you want a hard core track racer a manual gearbox is preferable, but as a daily driver DSG is best of both worlds.

Thats what it comes down to, personal preference. My current Alltrack is a DSG, and as far as automatics go, its been great, but I simply miss the pure interaction that a manual gives you - even in stop and go traffic. Theres just something satisfying about a manual, especially in a German hot hatch - but thats just me. Having owned a manual Mk7 R and spent lots of time in a Mk7.5 R with the DSG as well as a Mk7.5 GTI DSG, I find the DSG brings more to the table with the R than it does the GTI, but again, just my personal opinion. One should buy what the think is best for them and the fact that we have both options is fantastic.

I've owned lots of cars in my life, and have had 4 automatics, and every automatic I've owned I always wished that car was a manual but never have I wished any of my manuals being an automatic.
889091 wrote:
Surprised no one has brought this up - it costs heaps more to service/rebuild an automatic transmission compared to a manual.....

Yup, the fluid change on my DSG is every 60000kms and costs $600 CAD. Just the fluid and parts if you want to do it yourself is almost $400 CAD.
GalaxyFlyer wrote:
Hill holders didn’t exist in my day, sorry

Hill holders are the spawn of Satan himself.
Francoflier wrote:
Rather coincidentally, ABC News has published an article on the topic yesterday:

https://abcnews.go.com/Business/uninten ... d=92617428

Great article :thumbsup:
 
ACDC8
Posts: 9106
Joined: Thu Mar 10, 2005 6:56 pm

Re: The death of the manual transmission

Sun Nov 06, 2022 10:18 pm

TWA772LR wrote:
I knew an absolutely gorgeous girl in college who took me driving in her manual BRZ. Wifey material! In fact, any girl that drives a stick instantly gets points for me.

Just have to add to this - Megan Closset, she's the Product Manager for the Golf at VW of America. She's blonde, cute, owns a Mk7.5 GTI, Mk4 Cabrio and a Mk4 R32 - all manual and is a walking encyclopedia of the VW brand including aftermarket mods and a regular attendee at meets. Like, damn :cloudnine: :lol:

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