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Old 04-17-2019, 03:00 PM
 
Location: SNA=>PDX 2013
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Quoted from another thread. But it made me wonder, why do people choose MT over AT? I tried to search to see if there was a thread, but didn't find anything I'm sure there is one, so sorry for the repeat).

Quote:
They are becoming more rare. As people don't learn how to use them, your market of users will dwindle. Outside of performance cars, they are pretty useless since they get worse mileage than automatics these days. I used to insist on a standard but this isn't the 90s anymore... get with the times.
I'm sure most of us who drive a MT aren't doing it for resale or gas mileage...if anything it's so we can drive specific performance cars or just that feeling of control. For myself, it's also because I get bored driving an AT and start to nod off or get super distracted (not good). Most MT's aren't cheaper anymore; if anything, they're getting more expensive because yes, they're harder to find or you are having to pay for the "premium" version of a model.

So, why do you choose to drive a MT?

I personally drive a MT because I enjoy having that control, being able to downshift and get some torque when needed, I hate paddle shifters and to me it's not the same feeling. I don't care how much "better" paddle or AT is nowadays, it's not about that for me. I don't care about gas mileage, if I did, I'd buy a super gas efficient or hybrid/electric car. If anything, it comes down to one word for me. FUN. I haven't found an AT that is fun as a daily driver.

Disclaimer: I took out the author of the quote, not sure if I'm supposed to or not.
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Old 04-17-2019, 03:21 PM
 
7,721 posts, read 4,842,945 times
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Driving an automatic is boring, and even the so-called manual shift modes don’t work as well as good old clutch and shifter. Manuals allow better control when driving mountain roads, either up or down.

For the same model, the manual still gets better mpg than the automatic version does.

And I am talking about a truck, not a sports car.

With small, fuel-efficient cars, automatics feel sluggish whereas the manuals have some pep.
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Old 04-17-2019, 03:24 PM
 
Location: Maryland
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I choose it based on what I'm going to do with the car, and whether it's even an option. In small engine cars I'll only have a manual. IN larger engine cars, I'll choose it if it makes a difference in the drive (like my Mustang GT was chosen with the manual, even though it's a fairly high power car. In my BMW 7 series, there was no option for a manual, and it really wouldn't added anything but a "look at this car" to the driving experience). IN an EV, of course, no real "transmission" since they are single speed. And I don't miss it in the Volt.


When we went looking for a car to replace the manual transmission MINI, my wife said she wanted a smaller car, a convertible, preferably, and after decades of driving stick, she also wanted an automatic, so I had to find something small with adequate power to overcome the choice of an automatic, which is why we settled on the 330ci ZHP (which adds hp and torque over the standard 330i). The 5 speed steptronic is well matched to the engine, so it's not too bad as a fun car, even in the twisties:


https://www.midatlantic7s.com/galler...serialNumber=1



I don't know what my next car will be, but the trans will match its engine well or I won't get it. That could be manual, could be automatic, could be neither if I get a more serious EV.


After decades of driving, both on the street and on the track, I've learned one thing: having more TO control does not equal having MORE control. And the trans only matters in getting the most out of the engine. A good automatic in a torquier car can often get more out of the engine than a manual. I'll only have an automatic to tow. I'll only have manual in a small engine traditional sports car. But a high powered sports car or sport sedan can get by with a good automatic OR a good manual, and a plain jane daily driver on the commute doesn't get anything added by wiggling my left foot occasionally. I've driven my manual and automatic cars back to back on the same commute and there was no added fun due to shifting. It's muscle memory and you barely even notice you're doing it, much less add any control or fun.



For me, fun is in the G forces: acceleration, cornering, braking. If shifting were all the fun of driving, then one could add a shifter to your laz-y-boy at home and get all the fun of driving without any of the cost or danger. Would that be fun? No? And those 50 mph indoor karts would be no fun at all (and I suggest that they are massive fun and can wear you out in a 15 minute session) as there is no shifting whatsoever.


https://kid101.com/wp-content/upload...art-Racing.jpg



Would they be MORE fun with a shifter? They may in fact be more frustrating with one.

Last edited by elnina; 04-17-2019 at 06:07 PM.. Reason: Copyrighted
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Old 04-17-2019, 03:35 PM
 
Location: Eastern Washington
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I just like a manual better. And to be different from the droids who don't even know how to drive stick.



I like to be able to pick the gear I want without the tranny trying to second-guess me and bang down a gear when I didn't necessarily want that. I like being able to accelerate under normal conditions using more throttle but still shifting up sooner than a slushbox would on it's own (although I can and have just modulated the throttle, knowing what the automatic's regular shift points are, and back off a bit when I hit the eigenvalue speed, so it shifts on up)


The one thing I really can do more smoothly with a manual, is downshift for a pass. I can rev-match and so bring up the revs, *then* when I am ready I hit the gas. With an automatic it's always herky-jerky. Well probably newer Lexus and such have a rev-matching routine that makes them smooth. But I am talking about a "traditional" automatic with vacuum modulators and other analog control systems.
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Old 04-17-2019, 03:48 PM
 
Location: Maryland
2,339 posts, read 775,162 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by M3 Mitch View Post
I just like a manual better. And to be different from the droids who don't even know how to drive stick.

That's a good point and it often can keep carjackers or thieves from stealing your manual trans car.



Quote:
The one thing I really can do more smoothly with a manual, is downshift for a pass. I can rev-match and so bring up the revs, *then* when I am ready I hit the gas. With an automatic it's always herky-jerky. Well probably newer Lexus and such have a rev-matching routine that makes them smooth. But I am talking about a "traditional" automatic with vacuum modulators and other analog control systems.

If it's herky jerky, it's either old or you're not adapting to it. You say that if you're shifting, you anticipate and then bring up the revs when you want to. Well, you can do that in an automatic after less than 5 minutes living with it, by anticipating what it does and modulating what you do to make it do what you want. This car was never herky jerky when I wanted it to shift down to pass:


http://www.midatlantic7s.com/gallery...serialNumber=1



And neither is the E46 I have.



Point is, you have to drive every car in the way IT wants to get the most of what YOU want whether you're in a manual trans car or an automatic (for example, you can't just shift down willy nilly because YOU want to: you have to wait until the revs are low enough that you don't overrev dropping it in that next gear down, right? That's the car telling YOU when to shift.)


That's being a good driver (a good driver can adapt to any car and drive it well, while a poorer driver has to have the car adapted to them in order to drive it well).

Last edited by elnina; 04-17-2019 at 06:08 PM.. Reason: Copyrighted
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Old 04-17-2019, 04:02 PM
 
Location: moved
11,267 posts, read 6,969,814 times
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Besides the factors of personal fun and driver-engagement, I prefer manuals because I dislike the decisions that automatics make. Sure, they can shift much faster and more precisely than I could, but they don't do this at the right time, for the right reason. When driving an automatic, too often I find myself disagreeing with its decision to shift up or down, or its decision to not shift at all. I cringe in dissatisfied and impotent frustration.

A modern manual may not deliver better mileage or even better performance, vs. a modern automatic. But it delivers what I want, when I want it. And that is ultimately what matters the most.
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Old 04-17-2019, 04:11 PM
 
Location: Eastern Washington
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Well, yeah, I am talking old Detroit dinosaurs with TH 350, C4, C6, etc. To me, engaging passing gear is just smoother with a stick. I mean, yeah, what the old auto cars does is I guess acceptable, but the engagement of passing gear is either done manually, or if you let the kickdown do it, at least in my experience, it's not as smooth as I would like. I imagine your Bimmers do a better job with the downshift, they certainly should.



To elaborate: During normal commuting driving, I generally aim to set the throttle to be neither accelerating nor decelerating just before I shift, then rev match and again very little torque is being transmitted through the clutch as I engage and disengage it. Sort of like the technique you would use to shift without disengaging the clutch. The point of this is very little shock load on the driveline and very little wear on the clutch. This does take more time than a "speed shift" of course, but if you have driven a Scirocco, for one thing, the shifter action is not one of the car's most compelling points, and with a more or less stock 1.7 liter engine, straight line acceleration is not going to be anything to write home about in any case. So I avoid beating on it.



On my old Scirocco, I have driven over 200K miles and estimating from the clutch throwout lever on the side of the transaxle, I still have over 85% of the original clutch (clutch was replaced just before I bought the car) left. So I think my technique has some merit. All that said, this is rural driving and I avoid uphill starts by routing away from them. I doubt I could get 200K out of a clutch in Seattle, for example.



You do make a good point about adapting to a particular car, to paraphrase, you cooperate with the car and its design, rather than fight it. That seems to be something that some people can do, and some can't do it and can't in my experience be taught.
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Old 04-17-2019, 04:27 PM
 
Location: Saint Paul
1,121 posts, read 745,695 times
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I want to choose which gear I'm in, not let some mechanical or digital device make that choice for me.
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Old 04-17-2019, 04:43 PM
 
Location: Outskirts of Gray Court, and love it!
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You will get better mileage with a stick than an auto.
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Old 04-17-2019, 04:44 PM
 
Location: North Carolina
748 posts, read 458,348 times
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I drive a manual because I like it better. The only car I've driven with an automated clutch (Ferrari 430 Scuderia) was better than I expected, but I suspect once the novelty of paddle shifters wore off, I'd want a real manual. All of the regular automatics I've driven have been complete garbage.

Side note: if your gear changes are rough in a manual, you're doing it wrong. I've seen (and felt) lots of people who try to speed shift through the gears when there's no point, and don't rev-match on downshifts which is both unsettling to passengers and tough on a clutch.
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