U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Automotive
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
 
Old 08-12-2011, 10:53 PM
 
Location: Metromess
11,798 posts, read 21,355,046 times
Reputation: 5054

Advertisements

I prefer manual transmissions. I find them quite practical.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 08-12-2011, 11:05 PM
 
Location: Dallas, TX
4,464 posts, read 9,638,897 times
Reputation: 2819
Quote:
Originally Posted by Flyover_Country View Post
There are several reasons automatics are much more popular than manuals:

1. You have to pay attention to driving when you have a manual transmission car. This largely precludes texting, eating, applying makeup, playing with the navigation/stereo, talking on the phone, or reading the newspaper while driving unless you are cruising in top gear on the interstate. This is the #1 reason manuals are less popular.

2. It takes much more skill to drive a manual even if you do give driving your full attention. All you have to do to execute a perfect launch and shifts in a car with a slushbox is let off the brake and hit the gas. A five-year-old could do that. A manual takes practice to feather the clutch and throttle to get a smooth launch and not roll backwards on hills and to match revs to upshift/downshift smoothly. Considering that many people don't even pay attention to driving due to wanting to text and such, how many do you think would want to drive a car that takes even MORE attention and skill to drive? I'll give you a hint- cars with slushboxes outsold manuals 91% to 9% in 2010.

3. Manual transmissions have a rated lower towing capacity in pickups than automatics, since the manufacturers assume that people don't know how to drive a stick without burning up the clutch.

4. Automatics can be made to be column shift or console shift and require no direct linkage to the transmission, allowing designers more leeway for interior design. Manuals require direct linkage to the transmission and are all console-mount, which generally results in two fewer cupholders and no center console bin. I have it on good authority that some vehicles (minivans) sell based on crap like cupholder count and center console size, so a manual would be a detriment there.

5. Manual transmissions sometimes tend to be larger than automatics as manuals rarely have fewer than 5-6 gears, while there are a lot of smaller 4-speed slushboxes out there. Modern cars have the entire powertrain squished into a small space for aerodynamics, interior space, and fuel economy reasons (especially in FWD card), so a longer six-speed manual loses out to a smaller gas-eating four-speed auto.

6. Manuals are really associated with people who enjoy driving. Most people hate driving and just want to get from Point A to Point B with as little effort as possible.
1. I can easily manage to mechanically drive my manual transmission car while completing all the tasks you mention, I tend not to, because I prefer to keep my concentration on the road, but it's never been a problem to do it if I so wish. I do occasionally eat as well as drink and after I had shoulder surgery I used my left hand to change gears for a few weeks, it's not really that hard.

2. I actually disagree. Operating a manual transmission is very easy, for everyday and doesn't take much skill, imo. Hill starts can be challenging for some, but thats what the e-brake is for, other than that it's my experience that most people manage smooths starts etc on their first or second time driving a car with a manual transmission, getting good enough for everyday driving isn't all that hard of a thing to do.

4. I've actually driven manual cars with column shifters, so they do exist, people just tend to prefer it on the console. Most consoles still have a storage box/arm rest as well as cup holders, (my car has 2 large ones).

5. Though I have no reason to dougt that, I do think it has more to do with what sells, most of the car companies here do offer a manual, if they sell their cars on the European market, Ford for instance have several manual transmissions to chose from that all fit in very compact sized cars.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 08-13-2011, 12:50 AM
 
Location: Chicago
38,691 posts, read 86,838,061 times
Reputation: 29355
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheViking85 View Post
1. I can easily manage to mechanically drive my manual transmission car while completing all the tasks you mention, I tend not to, because I prefer to keep my concentration on the road, but it's never been a problem to do it if I so wish. I do occasionally eat as well as drink and after I had shoulder surgery I used my left hand to change gears for a few weeks, it's not really that hard.

2. I actually disagree. Operating a manual transmission is very easy, for everyday and doesn't take much skill, imo. Hill starts can be challenging for some, but thats what the e-brake is for, other than that it's my experience that most people manage smooths starts etc on their first or second time driving a car with a manual transmission, getting good enough for everyday driving isn't all that hard of a thing to do.

4. I've actually driven manual cars with column shifters, so they do exist, people just tend to prefer it on the console. Most consoles still have a storage box/arm rest as well as cup holders, (my car has 2 large ones).

5. Though I have no reason to dougt that, I do think it has more to do with what sells, most of the car companies here do offer a manual, if they sell their cars on the European market, Ford for instance have several manual transmissions to chose from that all fit in very compact sized cars.
As to point 2, once you learn to drive a manual it's easy. For many, learning is the hard part. There are some people who simply never pick up on it. But it's not an issue for automatics. And now the latter are so ubiquitous that many people never even attempt to learn to drive the former.

As for point 4, the column versus console argument doesn't seem to hold much water when you consider that even most automatics put the shifter on the console now. Bin storage can still be had in the arm rest and there's still room for 2 cupholders.

I'm not sure when's the last time anyone offered a column-shifted manual. 1970s maybe?



[Mod cut]

Last edited by ElkHunter; 08-13-2011 at 10:13 AM.. Reason: Orphaned quote.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 08-13-2011, 06:50 AM
 
Location: Dallas, TX
4,464 posts, read 9,638,897 times
Reputation: 2819
Quote:
Originally Posted by Drover View Post
As to point 2, once you learn to drive a manual it's easy. For many, learning is the hard part. There are some people who simply never pick up on it. But it's not an issue for automatics. And now the latter are so ubiquitous that many people never even attempt to learn to drive the former.

As for point 4, the column versus console argument doesn't seem to hold much water when you consider that even most automatics put the shifter on the console now. Bin storage can still be had in the arm rest and there's still room for 2 cupholders.

I'm not sure when's the last time anyone offered a column-shifted manual. 1970s maybe?
Re 2: I really do think it's more a matter of culture, hardly anyone drives a manual, so learning it just isn't high on the agenda for most average drivers here, you more or less have to be an enthusiast or in need of knowing it to do so, whereas in Norway, and several other countries, you only get a license for driving automatic cars, if you can't figure out shifting and very very few driving schools actually have cars with automatic transmissions in the first place, well over 99% of those who get a license learn to do it at least well enough for everyday driving, there's the occasional oddball who needs an auto, but I've never met one, and it's borderline news story when it happens, because of that and the fact that I don't think Americans have significantly worse motor skills than the Europeans, I think it's only natural to assume that it's not so much skill based.

Re 4: I actually don't remember how old the last column shifted car I drove was, but I think it was probably very early 1980s, it was a Toyota HiAce van, it felt quite awkward.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 08-13-2011, 07:17 AM
 
Location: SW MO
656 posts, read 955,604 times
Reputation: 673
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheViking85 View Post
I've actually driven manual cars with column shifters, so they do exist, people just tend to prefer it on the console. Most consoles still have a storage box/arm rest as well as cup holders, (my car has 2 large ones).
The last column-shift manuals I've seen are in cars and trucks from the early 1980s. Column-shift manuals tended to be three gears or less (three on the tree), floor-mounted shifters were typically used when there were more gears (four on the floor.) Most manuals are five or six speeds and have been so for quite some time, and shifters have been mounted on the floor/console.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 08-13-2011, 07:30 AM
 
Location: Woodland Park, CO
3,133 posts, read 9,108,808 times
Reputation: 2463
My wife's '07 Durango has a column shifter, very nice since it frees up lots of room in the center console. All minivans have a column/dash shifter as well for the same purpose.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 08-13-2011, 01:30 PM
 
Location: Northridge/Porter Ranch, Calif.
22,152 posts, read 26,624,774 times
Reputation: 6441
Quote:
Originally Posted by Flyover_Country View Post
3. Manual transmissions have a rated lower towing capacity in pickups than automatics, since the manufacturers assume that people don't know how to drive a stick without burning up the clutch.
I didn't realize that. Kind of makes sense, though.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 08-13-2011, 04:13 PM
 
Location: Dallas, TX
4,464 posts, read 9,638,897 times
Reputation: 2819
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fleet View Post
I didn't realize that. Kind of makes sense, though.
That too is an interesting cultural difference, in Europe few people would do serious towing without a manual with high and low series.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 08-13-2011, 11:50 PM
 
Location: Not far from Fairbanks, AK
16,174 posts, read 27,449,163 times
Reputation: 11838
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheViking85 View Post
1. I can easily manage to mechanically drive my manual transmission car while completing all the tasks you mention, I tend not to, because I prefer to keep my concentration on the road, but it's never been a problem to do it if I so wish. I do occasionally eat as well as drink and after I had shoulder surgery I used my left hand to change gears for a few weeks, it's not really that hard.

2. I actually disagree. Operating a manual transmission is very easy, for everyday and doesn't take much skill, imo. Hill starts can be challenging for some, but thats what the e-brake is for, other than that it's my experience that most people manage smooths starts etc on their first or second time driving a car with a manual transmission, getting good enough for everyday driving isn't all that hard of a thing to do.

4. I've actually driven manual cars with column shifters, so they do exist, people just tend to prefer it on the console. Most consoles still have a storage box/arm rest as well as cup holders, (my car has 2 large ones).

5. Though I have no reason to dougt that, I do think it has more to do with what sells, most of the car companies here do offer a manual, if they sell their cars on the European market, Ford for instance have several manual transmissions to chose from that all fit in very compact sized cars.
You are so right about multitasking while driving manual. I remember driving dump trucks with manual transmissions, ones that had 5 low plus 5 high forward gears, while holding a cup of coffee. Besides, once the vehicle is cruising there is no need for more shifting.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 08-13-2011, 11:58 PM
 
Location: Not far from Fairbanks, AK
16,174 posts, read 27,449,163 times
Reputation: 11838
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheViking85 View Post
That too is an interesting cultural difference, in Europe few people would do serious towing without a manual with high and low series.
It's the same in the US. Also, in the US a "towing package" is an option for heavy towing on lots automobiles with automatic transmissions. Yes, some are sold with this as an standard feature, but more than likely the feature is optional on the base models.

Quote:
Transmission
Surprisingly, the drive train component that takes the most abuse when towing is not the engine or even the brakes. It is the transmission---especially if the vehicle is equipped with an automatic transmission. Automatic transmissions will generate significantly more heat when towing than when in general use so require additional cooling. While all automatic transmissions have cooling lines that pass through the vehicle radiator, a towing package will include a larger heat exchanger in the radiator to compensate for the heavier-duty use. This is perhaps the most important aspect of a factory-installed tow package and should not be overlooked when simply installing a hitch.


http://www.ehow.com/about_5037993_tow-package.html
Read more: What Is a Tow Package? | eHow.com http://www.ehow.com/about_5037993_to...#ixzz1UyqC3jzA
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Reply
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:

Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Automotive
Similar Threads
Follow City-Data.com founder on our Forum or

All times are GMT -6.

2005-2018, Advameg, Inc.

City-Data.com - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35 - Top