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  1. #26
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    My garage is occupied with both manual and automatic. My auto Honda Accord takes me to and from work in traffic.

    When the mood strikes and I need the visiril sensation of analog driving, I take my 5sp SW20 though the mountains passes of Angeles Crest.

    Both tranmissions serve a purpose.

  2. #27
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    In 35 years of driving, I've only owned 2 cars, and both were manuals.

    I prefer them for many of the reasons mentioned above.

    As you can tell, I keep my cars for a long time, and I'm concerned that as I age, my driving skills will decline and driving a stick might become a problem in my 60's or 70's. It makes me sad to think about it, but I'm considering going to an automatic for my next vehicle.

  3. #28
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    I agree.
    Personally, I prefer manual transmission. And, it took me about an hour to teach my girlfriend (now wife) how to drive a manual transmission.
    Anyone can learn it, it is simply a personal preference. There's nothing more to it than that - other than the fact that it's getting very difficult to find cars offered with manual transmissions. A lot of very nice cars are not offered with manual transmission(at least in the US).
    Oh, one other point is that it can be hard to rent a car outside the US if you can't drive a manual. At least that was my experience 20 years ago, it may be different now.

  4. #29
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    I have driven both, and I used to prefer a manual, but the newer automatics, particularly the dual clutch gearboxes, are every bit as good. I have driven several vehicles with non-synchromesh gearboxes, and once you get used to them they are not a big deal.

    Right now my wife's car has a 6 speed, but it is a VW diesel and it is going back to where it came. The replacement is a Jaguar XE with an 8 speed automatic and flappy paddle shifting as an option. Go figure.

    My winter commuter is an index shift, as is the tandem. In the summer I ride an ancient Peugeot CFX-10 with the Simplex retro-friction shifters.

    I guess you could say I really don't care. I did have one interesting experience with a stick shift car. I was a fire fighter / medic on a quick response team agency and I responded to a heart attack.

    The transport agency showed up with 2 guys, and since one of them had to drive, and I was the only person in our agency who could push drugs, I ran the call with them. The folks on our crew said they would drive my Volvo 740 wagon back to the station.

    It was a 4 speed with electric overdrive. When I left, no one could figure out how to get it into reverse, so they got a bunch of folks together and pushed it back up the driveway. Then one guy drove it back to the station but he didn't know how to activate the OD...

    Very antiquated tech. A modern automatic is much better in every way.

  5. #30
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    Me and Sogno prefer manuals but if the car we want only comes with an automatic so be it. I also have to say that manuals can be pretty miserable beasts. I've learned to hate heavy clutches, chattery clutches, and clutches where you can't feel where they clutch. Excessively notchy gear boxes come across as hair shirt. Sneeringly old school. Sloppy gearboxes feel cheap.

    The reason I like manual gearboxes? I like to be confident that the gear won't change until I tell it to. Sometimes I just like skipping gears. Going directly from fifth to second is a real luxury. I can use a lighter foot on the accelerator pedal because I can instantly find the gear that puts the engine in the sweet spot. Everything feels more efficient and precise.
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  6. #31
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    I won't even sugarcoat the reason I drive cars with manual transmissions, I'm cheap. Currently driving a 2015 Nissan Versa Note with roll up windows, 5spd manual, and no center armrest. If I can get 10 years/200k miles out of it I might feel like I got my money's worth.
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  7. #32
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    Four-, five-, even six-speed trannys?

    Pshaw.

    I once drove one of these, a specially modded one for work (it was used to pull railroad cars). It had twenty-four forward gears (and twenty-two reverse ones):



    We used to enjoy having new workers "go get the truck," and then watch them try to figure out why the truck wouldn't do anything but inch forward for the first nine gears or so....
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  8. #33
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    Don't get me wrong - Manuals are fun as hell to drive. I'd love to own some kind of fun/hotrod/project car with a manual someday.

    But, learning to drive a manual requires two things: A manual car, and somewhere to learn. As manual cars become less common, that first requirement gets harder to come by. Even back in 2002 when I was taking drivers' ed, I wanted to learn on a manual, but that option wasn't offered. I finally got the opportunity to learn to drive a manual at the ripe old age of 26 when my dad bought an old Jeep for a fun little project. That was fairly easy to learn, especially since I've been driving ATV's and dirt bikes nearly my whole life, but the fact that I didn't have a stick-shift car available to me until I had been driving for over 10 years speaks volumes.

    So, the "big deal" is just people being cocky and bragadocious? Is that what I'm gathering? I'm not saying that everyone who drives a stick is cocky, but I'm just trying to wrap my head around why some people (probably myself included, by starting this thread) just won't let it go.
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  9. #34
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  10. #35
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    That's horrible lol

    When I learned how to drive a 5 ton truck in the Army they put me in it and said "just go, cars will get out of your way" and it took a bit of grinding but I got it. I have taught people to drive sticks, that's always interesting. I won't own a motorcycle with anything but a manual transmission ;)
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  11. #36
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    I grew up in South Africa. When you take your driving test there, if you take it on an automatic, you end up with a restricted license (well you did in the 90's, who knows these days), limiting you to driving automatics. Test with a stick, no restrictions.

    There are tons of cars out there with manuals, the problem is, like using Honda and Subaru (some models, WRX STI models are the exception), the manuals are usually only available in the lower trim levels. We had this problem when looking. We ended up with a Mini Cooper Clubman S with a nice solid shifting 6 speed. Granted, it is technically a BMW.

  12. #37
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    It's a heated topic b/c it's MANual transmission vs "slushbox," "auto-tranny," etc. Men like using a stick to control things, pretend it's a necessary third item in any situation, that their handling skills are what keeps things going and such.

    Tried learning while living in Europe, but simply wasn't driving that much, if ever. John had a manual truck for two decades, just replaced it with an automatic.

    What if you get into a situation where the only vehicle available has a manual transmission? This was one reason he decided on automatic- he wanted me to be able to drive the thing home in case he became hurt while skiing. I figured there was no reason to get a manual b/c the automatics are now better than the manuals.

    Had I known how much cheaper a manual was, I'd have considered learning to drive stick......but ultimately figured the automatic would be better for city driving anyway.

  13. #38
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    The last couple of cars we have had are autos, just because that's what was there at the time a car was needed.

    I (and she, too, I guess) would have liked Mrs. 10ae's car to have been a manual at the end of last week when the battery decided to check out. The ability to start without a starter is a nice trick from time to time.

    I was in a car club for a while, and it was well known that all of us who rowed a stick had the proper configuration of car, etc. Sometimes breaking balls is just breaking balls.

  14. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by Christine View Post
    It's a heated topic b/c it's MANual transmission vs "slushbox," "auto-tranny," etc. Men like using a stick to control things, pretend it's a necessary third item in any situation, that their handling skills are what keeps things going and such.

    Tried learning while living in Europe, but simply wasn't driving that much, if ever. John had a manual truck for two decades, just replaced it with an automatic.

    What if you get into a situation where the only vehicle available has a manual transmission? This was one reason he decided on automatic- he wanted me to be able to drive the thing home in case he became hurt while skiing. I figured there was no reason to get a manual b/c the automatics are now better than the manuals.

    Had I known how much cheaper a manual was, I'd have considered learning to drive stick......but ultimately figured the automatic would be better for city driving anyway.
    ...Are you insinuating that a manual shifter is a phallic symbol?

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  15. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by nOOky View Post
    That's horrible lol

    When I learned how to drive a 5 ton truck in the Army they put me in it and said "just go, cars will get out of your way" and it took a bit of grinding but I got it. I have taught people to drive sticks, that's always interesting. I won't own a motorcycle with anything but a manual transmission ;)
    While it was a bit more refined when compared to a 5 ton Army truck, first time I drove a stick shift was when I bought a car and had to get it home. Never even test drove it. It being a lowered '64 VW that had a 1835cc engine with dual carbs, merged header, and pretty lopey cam.
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  16. #41
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    Manual transmissions will eventually be gone like the dodo bird... sigh... I love manual transmissions. Not because it's manly, or that I think people that drive autos are inferior. I personally like being fully engaged and as much in control when I drive. I enjoy that sensation of controlling what gear I'm at and anticipating based on the road and terrain if I need to up or down shift. This was really good back in the days when the crappy slushboxes wouldn't downshift or upshift when you want it too and would lag so long you wanted to rip that thing out of the car.

    The reality is that new cars are progressively taking control of the driving and engagement. All the stability control, lane assist, automatic braking, automatic cruise control, electronic throttle, steering, auto parallel parking and eventually autonomous vehicles will make driving obsolete. An the fact of the matter is... most of the time, machines will do it better than humans can with the current technology.

    Eventually we will not be driving... we will be driven.

  17. #42
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    I've always loved sports cars and racing and 4-on-the-floor was the only way to go. Back in the '60s, automatics were terrible; inefficient and unreliable. Remember the 2-speed Powerglide?
    And driving in the NE Ohio snow was much more controllable with a clutch.

    I was lucky to find a 5-speed Acura as less than 4% were manual that year. And I got a great deal (40% below book) because it had been on the lot for a while; dealer said no one wants to drive stick anymore.

    After 16 years and 150K miles I needed to replace the clutch. The clutch kit and new flywheel were $150 and a good friend/mechanic changed it in a day for $450.
    Honda/Acura had a badly designed auto trans in the early 2000s that failed easily and often. Cost $3K+ to fix or replace.

    I'm now 65 and retired. Still don't mind shifting (but I don't have to drive in rush hour traffic anymore either). I plan to keep this car forever...we'll see if I still like shifting 20 years from now.
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  18. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by Christine View Post
    Had I known how much cheaper a manual was, I'd have considered learning to drive stick......but ultimately figured the automatic would be better for city driving anyway.
    My (now-ex) wife had never driven a manual trans until we bought a VW GTI. It was so much fun to drive that she thanked me many times.
    She's owned many sports cars since and still loves to shift. Her current second (fun) car is a neat BMW Z3 with 5-speed.

    I think you would enjoy shifting a sports car yourself.
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  19. #44
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    I think a stick gives you better control in slippery conditions. I would have a stick but my car was on the lot and they couldn't sell it so I got an $18,000 (sticker) car for $13,000. That's a pretty steep discount so I bought it. Most of my cars have been sticks. My wife bought a new car 2 years ago and insisted on a stick. Two of my daughters drive a stick. My youngest, who lives in Detroit, considers a manual transmission part of her theft deterrent system.
    Of course I'm sure...that doesn't mean I'm right.....

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  20. #45
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    I've driven rally cars and 18-wheelers (9 speed, 13 speed, and once even a 16 speed twin-stick Mack). You have more control over a manual, which is good in racing, as well as when you are hauling 23 tons of freight down a long 6% grade.....

    Still, my last 2 cars have been automatics.

  21. #46
    Matnlely Dregaend
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    Quote Originally Posted by Christine View Post
    I figured there was no reason to get a manual b/c the automatics are now better than the manuals.
    I'd just like to point out that this often parroted blunderbuss of a lie was invented and perpetuated by VW and their DSG transmission. They later admitted that they detuned the manual transmission cars so that the DSGs ran faster times and got better mileage. The mileage claim especially is really a blatant lie, as modern VWs have a huge difference in mpg numbers for DSG, usually at least a 10% penalty.
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  22. #47
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    a manual trans gives you more control over the car.

    more control is better than less. it "feels" better, anyway.
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  23. #48
    Ricardo Cabeza
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peter P. View Post
    In 35 years of driving, I've only owned 2 cars, and both were manuals.

    I prefer them for many of the reasons mentioned above.

    As you can tell, I keep my cars for a long time, and I'm concerned that as I age, my driving skills will decline and driving a stick might become a problem in my 60's or 70's. It makes me sad to think about it, but I'm considering going to an automatic for my next vehicle.
    My first car was an auto, because at 17 I didn't have much choice.

    When I did have a choice, it was a manual, as were the next two after that.
    My last one was an auto because it was free. My current one is an auto because it's a truck, and I find a manual in a truck, especially towing, to be more of a chore than anything.

    My only manual now is my race car :-( I sure do miss driving one every day.
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  24. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by blackfrancois View Post
    a manual trans gives you more control over the car.

    more control is better than less. it "feels" better, anyway.
    Especially in the snow. Engine braking works wonders.
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  25. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andy69 View Post
    Especially in the snow. Engine braking works wonders.
    You can engine break with most modern MCT/DCT transmissions. Some slush boxes with lockable TCs can also engine break, but not recommended.

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