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The half dozen or so Americans who actually got really excited the other day about the prospect of Nissan selling its new Maxima diesel only with a manual transmission can go back to their routines. The rest of you who abhor the thought of manipulating a third pedal can now go back and re-consider the new compression ignition option. One of the crew from Motive met up with a Nissan engineer at a Maxima media drive and posed the question of transmission choice. It looks like U.S. drivers who opt for diesel will actually be saddled with an automatic regardless of their preference. While a manual is under consideration for the U.S. market, it's very unlikely to happen. With upwards of 95 percent of U.S. drivers opting for self shifting gearboxes, a manual probably wouldn't sell enough units here to justify the cost of certification.

[Source: Motive, thanks to Stu for the tip!]


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 11 Comments
      • 7 Years Ago
      Yes, I'd complain about manual transmissions, I drove a stickshift for nearly a decade. Sure, it gets better fuel milage and better performance than a "slushbox automatic", but it was one more distracting hassle to deal with while driving, especially when I'd grind gears or blow a shift by hitting the wrong gear. Stalling when I'd forget to clutch when braking, and rolling backwards after stops on hills were also major ulcer generators. Then the synchros went out, leading to a major transmission repair bill.

      Now I'm driving a car with electric CVT transmission and no clutch or gearshifting to worry about, super reliable, and it gets better milage than any manual tranny. Oh, Joy!
      • 7 Years Ago
      Umm... by "hard to find" transmission, you've GOT to be talking about a manual (obviously, since 95% of 'Merryicans' are to inept to drive anything but a slushbox), and "Hard to find" engine, diesel...

      A manual diesel is what I drive now (Jetta TDI), and what I will most likely buy in the 2010~2011 area. I tend to have a preference for Japanese car makes over German for a variety of reasons and would give serious consideration to a Nissan if it were available in a form I desired. Hopefully Subaru won't be a disappointment, or maybe the VAG group will bring over a TDI Audi that has gotten past the issues I currently don't like about my VAG vehicle.

      In any case... I don't wear panties, and nothing is bunched up. Nissan are just idiots for not offering a manual transmission.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Nice one Zig, your comment is pointless and insulting at the same time!
      • 7 Years Ago
      Guess I won't be buying a Nissan.... idiots.
      • 7 Years Ago
      most people complain when a manual isn't offered.
      I can't blame them - they are more reliable, more efficient, and more fun

      have you ever heard a guy complain about a stick shift?

      if you don't like them, fine, but don't complain when a hard-to-find transmission is paired with a hard-to-find engine. It's a nice package and a good decision on Nissan's part.
      • 7 Years Ago
      UGH! I hate living in a country with so very many people too lazy and ignorant to shift for themselves. I will accept a CVT, because it is reputed to be much more efficient than a slushbox, so if Nissan offers the diesel with a CVT, fine.

      But I had an automatic transmission overheat and blow oil all over the road once; I didn't love them before that time, but that sealed the deal. Anything that requires so much extra oil to move is nothing I want anything to do with.

      Plus I currently EOC with my manual, something I think would be a bit dodgy to do with an automatic (and maybe with a newer manual, even). Thanks to judicious EOCing, I now get 3 to 4 more MPG than I did before.
      • 7 Years Ago
      I had seriously wondered why a manual transmission only decision had been reported as Nissan's solution to turbo lag. I remember reading a review of 1980's Maserati BiTurbos. The reviewer preferred the auto transmission on the turbo'd car, as it masked the turbo lag much moreso than those equipped with a manual transmission.

      The automatic-only decision by Nissan would make sense if turbo lag is noticable on the car.


      • 7 Years Ago
      BrianM don't get your panties in a bunch
      • 7 Years Ago
      I don't mind the auto trans so much, as I mind the fact that Nissan cars have practically slipped into the "luxury" pricing bracket. At 30K MSRP, the Maxima should get an Infiniti logo from now on :(
      • 7 Years Ago
      Manual vs automatic is so last century.

      I used to love manual transmissions (except in traffic jams). Not anymore. And I still don't like automatics. Continuously variable transmissions (like Mazda) and electronic CVT (like on Toyota hybrids) are the way to go. Sure, it takes a little while to get used to, but you get the best of both worlds - efficiency and power and convenience and lower maintenace. You don't have to shift correctly to achieve max torque (like in manuals) or let the car decide the gear for you (like in automatics).
      Plus, EV's don't really need any transmissions at all. One gear does it all.
      • 7 Years Ago
      I would prefer a manual, but won't be able to afford this anyways, so it won't matter :(