MOBILE USERS: m.isthmus.com
Connect with Isthmus on Twitter · Facebook · Flickr · Newsletters 
Thursday, July 24, 2014 |  Madison, WI: 72.0° F  Mostly Cloudy
Collapse Photo Bar

Automatic vs. stick-shift

If it doesn't fit anywhere else, it fits here

Automatic vs. stick-shift

Postby kurt_w » Thu Jan 31, 2013 10:50 am

This got me thinking:

Would-be carjackers foiled by mysteries of the stick shift

Who here still drives a stick shift? Only about 6% of new cars are manual transmission. Most car models now don't even offer it as an option.

All of the cars that Ms Kurt and I have owned have been manual. I wonder how long that will even be feasible?
kurt_w
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 4963
Joined: Tue Jul 22, 2003 3:11 pm

Re: Automatic vs. stick-shift

Postby fennel » Thu Jan 31, 2013 10:55 am

We're looking a (used) manual right now and have had a mix over the years. I have a slight preference for manuals in the winter.
fennel
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 3120
Joined: Thu Sep 28, 2006 4:24 pm
Location: Inside the Green Zone, Madison

Re: Automatic vs. stick-shift

Postby rabble » Thu Jan 31, 2013 11:01 am

My little toyota beater pickup.

It was kinda funny when I bought it. Saw the sign on it when I was driving by, stopped and asked. Got in and went "huh." Hadn't worked a clutch in about ten years. "Now lemme see.... ah, there we go." Took a few blocks but I finally remembered. The guy looked a little worried but got over it when I asked if we could drive to the bank so I could pull out the cash I'd been saving up.

That was about eight years ago. And that's the only stick shift I've driven since. My daughter's inlaws have a farm and I think some of their implements have clutches but I can't think of anything else.

Thanks for reminding me how much my world has changed around me while I was looking someplace else.
rabble
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 5995
Joined: Tue Jun 10, 2008 7:50 pm

Re: Automatic vs. stick-shift

Postby TheBookPolice » Thu Jan 31, 2013 11:03 am

Never owned a manual, never driven a manual save for a few brief getting-to-know-you sessions just for the exposure. The only time I'd consider a manual transmission to be a benefit would be for those cars where you really want the umbilical -- to feel tethered to the machine. Thinking fun little burnin' key cars like a Mini or Fiat, or the big supercar beasts that no one reading this will ever be cut off by in traffic, much less drive.

When it's a Corolla? Why bother? I'd rather not have to concern my left foot and right hand with a lot of business for a mundane driving experience.
TheBookPolice
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 8355
Joined: Fri Aug 04, 2006 1:09 pm
Location: The mystical Far East

Re: Automatic vs. stick-shift

Postby Henry Vilas » Thu Jan 31, 2013 11:05 am

I've driven a stick for close to 40 years. Just call me old fashioned.
Henry Vilas
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 19587
Joined: Wed Sep 04, 2002 8:57 pm
Location: Name sez it all

Re: Automatic vs. stick-shift

Postby Galoot » Thu Jan 31, 2013 11:13 am

I've never owned a car that was automatic, nor would I want to, though I actually don't plan on owning any car at all until I retire, and maybe not even then.

I thought the percentage was more like 14% of new cars in the U.S., but who knows. It's a tiny percentage, and isn't it the reverse in Europe and most other places? It is here in Brazil, I think the vast majority of cars sold here are stick shift.

I tried teaching the Little Brother how to drive my stickshift VW Golf a few times in Madison, and he actually did ok and mostly got the hang of it. He even took off on a decent hill at one point, peeling out through the intersection.

I learned to drive in various cars/trucks, but they included a 1961 Ford pickup with three-on-the-tree, a 1960 Mercedes 190 with four-on-the-tree, and a 1970 International Scout that had a regular floor shifter, but no synchro at all from what I remember.
Galoot
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 1452
Joined: Thu Jun 14, 2001 1:10 pm

Re: Automatic vs. stick-shift

Postby chance » Thu Jan 31, 2013 11:17 am

Henry Vilas wrote:I've driven a stick for close to 40 years. Just call me old fashioned.

42 years for me. Learned to drive on my band's old Econoline, which had a column shift (remember those?). First car was a '63 VW beetle; manual, of course. All manual since then. But every time we buy new, we find fewer out there on the dealers' lots.
chance
Forum Addict
 
Posts: 405
Joined: Wed Jun 07, 2006 12:05 pm

Re: Automatic vs. stick-shift

Postby fennel » Thu Jan 31, 2013 11:17 am

Galoot wrote:three-on-the-tree
This is the best pass-phrase ever, by the way, when visiting your favorite backdoor speakeasy. (If you don't know what it means, you're in the wrong place, buddy.)
fennel
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 3120
Joined: Thu Sep 28, 2006 4:24 pm
Location: Inside the Green Zone, Madison

Re: Automatic vs. stick-shift

Postby narcoleptish » Thu Jan 31, 2013 11:22 am

Of course they're falling out of favor, the right hand is for texting.

We have one of each. Her's is the manual but I love driving it. Tiny car with a V6, lots of fun.

The last manual I had was a 3-on-the-tree chevy pick-up, and I will grudgingly admit that I just couldn't drive that thing. Owned it for all of 2 weeks. I guess I prefer the automatic for my truck which is mostly a work vehicle, but I hope we keep a manual in the family.
narcoleptish
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 3615
Joined: Mon Mar 14, 2005 1:35 am

Re: Automatic vs. stick-shift

Postby jman111 » Thu Jan 31, 2013 11:37 am

My last two cars have been automatics but all before that were manual, including a bunch of 5 speeds, one 4 speed and the token 3 on the tree ('63 Falcon). Maybe I'm getting old. I sometimes miss the "driving experience" offered by manual transmissions, but auto sure is easier on a daily basis.

I don't even mind being stuck in crawling traffic with an auto. Creeping through the loop with a manual, non-air conditioned car several times a year made the semiannual trips to Michigan all about the destination, not the journey.
jman111
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 2922
Joined: Wed Aug 12, 2009 12:43 pm
Location: Dane County

Re: Automatic vs. stick-shift

Postby Ned Flanders » Thu Jan 31, 2013 11:41 am

Had a 5 speed Acura in the 90s. Fun little car.
Ned Flanders
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 13247
Joined: Wed Jun 13, 2001 2:48 pm

Re: Automatic vs. stick-shift

Postby kurt_w » Thu Jan 31, 2013 11:49 am

Gotta agree with jman that the stick shift is just a pain when you're stuck in endless stop-and-go traffic.

I didn't realize that the fuel economy gap had closed, or perhaps automatics have the advantage now. But I wonder about the lifetime maintenance cost. Doing any kind of work on automatics seems to be expensive.

The way time passes nowadays, the daughter is going to be learning to drive before long. I'd feel a bit queasy if she didn't know how to drive a manual. What happens if you're stuck somewhere in an emergency and need to drive someone else's car?
kurt_w
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 4963
Joined: Tue Jul 22, 2003 3:11 pm

Re: Automatic vs. stick-shift

Postby gargantua » Thu Jan 31, 2013 11:51 am

I'd have been interested in buying a Honda Civic SI, but ironically they are ONLY available with manual transmissions. That would be OK with me, but my wife doesn't know how to drive 'em and a past effort to teach her did not go very well.
gargantua
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 3962
Joined: Sat Apr 13, 2002 1:30 pm
Location: Madison

Re: Automatic vs. stick-shift

Postby Michael Patrick » Thu Jan 31, 2013 12:01 pm

kurt_w wrote:All of the cars that Ms Kurt and I have owned have been manual. I wonder how long that will even be feasible?


All of the vehicles save one that Mrs. Patrick and I have bought over the years have been manual. I just prefer it, and they get better mileage as well.

The lone exception was a beater Honda Acccord we bought used a few years back when I changed jobs and couldn't take the bus anymore. It was a lucky purchase, as the automatic came in handy after I had surgery on my left foot shortly thereafter. I wouldn't have been able to drive our other manual-equipped vehicle that we owned at the time...

On a side note, one of the things that impressed me about my future wife was that she already knew how to drive stick when we met. She learned how to drive on an old manual trans farm pickup her grandfather gave her...
Last edited by Michael Patrick on Thu Jan 31, 2013 12:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Michael Patrick
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 3938
Joined: Wed Sep 03, 2003 8:56 am
Location: Around here somewhere

Re: Automatic vs. stick-shift

Postby narcoleptish » Thu Jan 31, 2013 12:02 pm

Now if we could just get car alarms and beeping/honking locks to fall out of favor, the world would be a better, quieter place. I mean how many people Really need a car alarm, and who the fuck pays any attention to them anyway.

And the loud locks.... if you really need an auditory confirmation that you've secured your precious Prius then maybe you should just push the fucking door button on your way out. Nothing wakes up a table of sidewalk diners like some oblivious dink activating their horn lock on the car next to their table.

Up with manuals, down with noise.
narcoleptish
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 3615
Joined: Mon Mar 14, 2005 1:35 am

Next

Return to Catch All

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest

moviesmusiceats
Select a Movie
Select a Theater


commentsViewedForum
  ISTHMUS FLICKR

Promotions Contact us Privacy Policy Jobs Newsletters RSS
Collapse Photo Bar