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Old 03-28-2011, 03:52 PM
 
861 posts, read 2,304,076 times
Reputation: 942

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Manuals are tiresome in traffic and it's been proven that the newer auto gearboxes are quicker than their manual counter part.

Add in the fact that in a lot of cars there is no cost savings and for going with the stick and it's no wonder why auto's are the favorite.

I will agree that there is nothing more fun than rowing the gears in a fun sport car or banging gears in a real muscle car but for day to day livability autos are the way to go.
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Old 03-28-2011, 08:19 PM
 
2,632 posts, read 5,714,288 times
Reputation: 1393
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fleet View Post
So every single person who is driving a car with an automatic doesn't have "control" of their vehicle? Did you disengage the anti-lock brakes on your car so you have "more control?"



On my 3 pre-computer '60s and '70s cars (all with automatics) I frequently down (and up) shift manually.



Yeah, my '69 Cadillac had a lag in the shifts. I put in a shift kit and it now shifts instantly and firmly.



You can't power out in the corners with an automatic?



All my cars weigh over 4,000 lbs so the extra weight of an automatic isn't going to make much difference.



There is engine braking with automatics.

Must be in the newer models or something. I'm failing to see how an automatic can engine break without touching your breaks.


Are you serious? Some of the best burnouts I've seen were with cars with an automatic trans.

Naw I wasn't.


I didn't buy my cars for their fuel economy, so that's irrelevant for me.
I can power out the corners but its just not the same. I was exaggerating.
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Old 03-28-2011, 10:56 PM
 
Location: Northridge/Porter Ranch, Calif.
22,163 posts, read 26,727,919 times
Reputation: 6447
Quote:
Originally Posted by Veyron View Post
I can power out the corners but its just not the same. I was exaggerating.
Of course there is engine braking with an automatic.

Glad you weren't serious about automatics not able to do good burnouts. Here is a good example of one...


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kj68Cc5MEIc
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Old 03-28-2011, 11:20 PM
 
Location: Scranton
1,384 posts, read 2,625,566 times
Reputation: 1639
Not all Americans prefer automatics. Sometimes, automatics are shoved down our throats. I'll say that probably about 50% of all makes and models sold in the USA, don't even offer a manual transmission option, even if such option exists in models sold overseas. And even in the ones that offer it, it might be only on the basic level trims.

Want a minivan with a stick - Won't happen
Want a SUV with a stick - Ain't gonna happen
Want a full size pickup with a stick - Fugget about it
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Old 03-28-2011, 11:46 PM
 
Location: Chicago
38,691 posts, read 87,070,553 times
Reputation: 29358
Mazda actually still makes a minivan with a stick. But you have to admit that's an an extremely small niche to fill.
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Old 03-29-2011, 07:57 AM
 
Location: Ohio
780 posts, read 2,147,152 times
Reputation: 628
You can get a full-size truck with manual transmission. Just be prepared to pay a lot more as they are usually diesel. V8 gasoline-powered trucks with manual transmission are extremely rare; it can be special-ordered when new and by then the admission price will get quite high. I presume the dealers wouldn't give you a deal when you had to special-ordered a vehicle instead of taking one out of their inventory.
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Old 03-29-2011, 08:31 AM
 
Location: Poway, CA
2,698 posts, read 9,570,153 times
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Another manual transmission aficionado here. I've obviously driven and even owned a few auto transmission vehicles, but my preference is a stick. The list of vehicles offered in manual is obviously ever-dwindling, but as long as there are brands out there like BMW that cater to a driving enthusiast in just about every model they make, I know I'm OK.

At this point, I simply can't stand the way an auto drives. My wife has an 04 Accord that's auto and it drives me nuts. The tranny has 5 gears, but I can only select 1, 2, D (1st through 3rd), and OD (all 5). 5th is too high for running around town. There's simply no power and the transmission has to downshift anytime you even think of hitting the throttle. 3rd is too low and leaves the engine revving higher than I like. 4th would be ideal, but because it's an auto, I can't select the gear I want.

The other thing I cannot stand about autos is all the unwanted downshifting. I want to be able to get the exact amount of power needed and not have to worry about controlling the throttle enough to either get or avoid the downshift I do or don't want. I cringe everytime I put my foot into an auto and feel it lunge from some low RPM to racing at the top of its revs because I know the wear and tear that's putting on the tranny. In a manual tranny, I can GENTLY put it into any gear I feel necessary and THEN mash it. I could also just leave it in the gear it's in, hit it, and get the exact acceleration I need without the lurch of a downshift. I don't even want to think of how many times some of these newer auto trannies with up to 8-speeds must be shifting. Oy.

And I know that a lot of newer autos have some sort of paddle shift system. They're a step in the right direction, no doubt, and an absolute minimum should I ever be wrangled into a situation where I HAVE to buy a slushbox, but they're not ideal. For starters, they don't react as quickly as I would like them too. With the exception of DSG tranny cars, every paddle shift I've tried has a noticeable pause between when I hit the paddle and when it downshifts. There might as well be a Microsoft hourglass that pops up on the dash and says 'Processing'. And while the paddles do make it fun to 'put it into manual' every once in a while, they're impractical to use when driving around on a day-to-day basis. I tried driving around a new Camaro with this feature, and it drove me nuts trying to use it going around corners because the paddles turned with the wheel and I would have to hunt for them to make the shift. If it were on the shifter instead (or maybe in both locations), it would've been OK, but it's still not the same.

Mike

Last edited by whiteboyslo; 03-29-2011 at 09:51 AM..
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Old 03-29-2011, 09:12 AM
 
Location: Golden, CO
2,181 posts, read 5,437,657 times
Reputation: 2069
Quote:
Originally Posted by Trucker7 View Post
Not all Americans prefer automatics. Sometimes, automatics are shoved down our throats. I'll say that probably about 50% of all makes and models sold in the USA, don't even offer a manual transmission option, even if such option exists in models sold overseas. And even in the ones that offer it, it might be only on the basic level trims.

Want a minivan with a stick - Won't happen
Want a SUV with a stick - Ain't gonna happen
Want a full size pickup with a stick - Fugget about it
This is true. I know a few people who would like to know how to drive a manual transmission, but never had the chance to learn, since their parents owned automatics -- usually because the vehicle wasn't available with a manual. Both my sister and her boyfriend want to learn, but never had the chance.

In my case, I learned how to drive on an automatic (my parents' car), but then bought myself a vehicle that had a manual. My dad had to come with me (this is when I was 23 years old - haha!) so that he could test drive it and then drive it home for me. It didn't take too long to learn, but I definitely needed help from mom and dad.
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Old 03-29-2011, 10:22 AM
 
Location: Pikesville, MD
5,229 posts, read 11,541,580 times
Reputation: 4846
Quote:
Originally Posted by Veyron View Post
There is engine braking with automatics.

Must be in the newer models or something. I'm failing to see how an automatic can engine break without touching your breaks.
That's one of the stupidest responses yet. Your clutch doesn't touch your BRAKES (not "breaks") either. Engine braking means that the engine slows the car down when you let off the throttle as you shift down though the gears. My 12 year old BMW will do that with it's automatic in sport mode. My V8 RX7 back in '93 would do that so violently that as you shifted down with the automatic it would bark the tires from the engine braking!

No, most standard luxury-smooth stock automatics wouldn't engine brake (unless you shifted from D to 2 or L, and often the valve bodies wouldn't actually shift down when you moved the lever), but that's due to the fact they are tuned to be smooth as "luxury" features, not from anything inherent in the automatic itself. An automatic tuned properly will do just the same as a clutch will as far as feel for shifting up and down and engine braking, but most people would say it was too harsh then and not buy it.
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Old 03-29-2011, 10:24 AM
 
506 posts, read 1,132,027 times
Reputation: 333
Quote:
Originally Posted by chiroptera View Post
I grew up in Europe and still visit; manual trans cars are still common there. In fact, last time I was in the UK, it was cheaper to rent a manual trans car than an automatic - do US rental agencies even rent manual vehicles, exotics excepted?

Anyhow - to this day I vastly prefer them. For many reasons:
More power and performance. (More fun!)
Better control in adverse or hilly conditions.
Cheaper - better gas mileage, less brake wear, much cheaper to replace - my 1995 Nissan beater pick-up with almost 250,000 miles still has the original clutch.
When my Chevy Venture needed a new transmission at 160,000 miles, the cost of having it done at a shop almost exceeded the value of the van; I sold it.

I've also owned a Saab Viggen and a Porsche 944S - both very nice sports cars and I cannot imagine them being nearly as much FUN to drive with an automatic! I adore driving, though.

The Advantages of Buying a Manual-Transmission Vehicle — Edmunds.com

"There is no question that manual transmissions "resonate with customers who still enjoy the act of driving," said Marie.
...To many people, driving is just getting from Point A to Point B. ... In recent years, consumers have been willing to pay more, get fewer miles per gallon and have less control of the vehicle — all for the sake of convenience."

I've asked people I know and the most common reason they prefer automatics is because they're "easier to drive in traffic." Maybe it's because I'm used to driving a standard, I don't put any conscious thought into it; in fact it's automatic. LOL.

Is it a convenience factor? Are newer automatics better, cost-wise? (I haven't owned anything newer than ten years old in several years but the article I linked to suggests they are.)

An aside - I think driving a standard makes a person a better driver, because it's a bit more interactive. For several years back in the 1980s I drove a semi over the road; having 18 speeds does make you more conscious, especially when how you drive impacts fuel economy and your bottom line! (I was a company driver but got fuel bonuses.) Maybe I am an old fogey, but I also prefer stiffer steering and brakes and guages instead of warning lights; because it seems to me I pay more attention to the act of driving generally. I've driven hundreds of thousands of miles on several continents and different countries without an accident and I wonder if learning to drive in a more conscious, interactive way makes people more attentive drivers in general?
I like manual transmission cars but I think I found my favorite when I bought a car with tiptronic, which allowed for fully automatic or manual with no clutch. That way, I would use manual most of the time, but when in traffic, I'd go automatic.

The last time I had a fully manual car and was commuting in heavy traffic I started having severe leg cramps from sitting on the clutch all the time.

Outside of traffic or drinking coffee in the car (which Euros don't do) , driving a manual is much more fun.
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