Why drive a manual car?
Manual transmission cars, also known as stick shifts, can be cheaper to purchase and repair, but modern technological advances have narrowed the price and performance gap between automatic and manual transmission vehicles. Manual transmission cars are largely disappearing in the U.S., but some drivers still prefer to drive a stick shift because it puts you closer to the driving experience.
Are manual cars cheaper?
According to Edmunds , a manual may cost less than its automatic counterpart, but it varies by make and model. Also bear in mind that very few models come with a manual option, so odds are you won't be able to find a manual version of the car you want.
What are the benefits of driving a stick shift car?
One of the biggest benefits of driving a manual car is more engagement with the driving experience. When you drive a manual transmission vehicle, you need to make more decisions about driving based on road conditions, speed, road incline, and more. While some drivers regard this as unnecessary, others relish the added control that a stick shift provides. A manual transmission also keeps you more involved while driving, which can help to avoid getting distracted on the road.
Other benefits of driving a stick shift car are less clear-cut. Manual transmission cars used to get better gas mileage, but technological improvements have resulted in more fuel-efficient automatic vehicles. Many automatic cars now get comparable mileage to their manual counterparts, and some get better mileage.
CarMax states that less than 3% of its online new car sales in 2020 were manual. Although manual transmission vehicles are getting harder to find, they often remain cheaper to purchase and repair because they tend to be simpler to produce.
Learn more about the difference between manual and automatic transmissions.
Why is the manual transmission disappearing?
The disappearance of the manual transmission is primarily due to automatics becoming better. According to U.S. News & World Report , the automatics of today shift faster and quieter, have more gears, and other improvements, closing the performance gap between manual and automatic transmissions. For that reason, both automakers and consumers have gravitated toward automatics over the years.
When will manual cars be phased out?
There's no official date for phasing out manual cars, but they represent an ever-shrinking portion of new car sales. More manufacturers are discontinuing manual transmission as an option, even high-end sports car manufacturers like Ferrari. As manufacturers move increasingly toward electric, hybrid, and other alternative fuel vehicles, phasing out less popular options makes production easier to manage.
Should I buy a manual car?
Today, buying a manual car is less about fuel economy or price and more about the driving experience. If you like being immersed in the drive and having more control over your car, a manual transmission might be the right fit for you. If you're looking for an easier car to drive, an automatic transmission may be a better fit.