• Aug 4, 2011
Driving a manual transmission is a dying art these days. More and more automakers are moving to faster-shifting dual-clutch transmissions for performance cars, and the high-volume best-sellers only offer stick-shifts on the very base models (if at all). Of course there's Porsche, an automaker that is currently putting the finishing touches on its seven-speed manual transmission. But that's Porsche.

Mini is doing its part to promote the manual transmission by offering a $500 discount on certain stick-shift-equipped cars through the end of August. This offer applies to the stock Cooper, as well as the Clubman and Convertible (sorry, Countryman). It's a pretty sweet offer, and when you consider that manual-equipped Minis already get better fuel economy and carry lower price points than their autobox kin, this purchase decision should be an absolute no-brainer for anyone who gives a flip about driving pleasure.

Head over to Mini's website for the full details about this promotion. Thinking of buying a new Mini? Use this opportunity to spread the joy of the manual transmission before this essential piece of driver involvement goes extinct.


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  • 71 Comments
      theBizMachine
      • 3 Years Ago
      Its a sad world when a standard transmission isn't standard on most cars.
      th0mb0ne
      • 3 Years Ago
      I'm sorry, but if you're buying a Mini with anything other than a manual, you're totally missing the point. If there's one car that screams to be driven with a stick, it's this one.
      natron3030
      • 3 Years Ago
      Some of my best car memories are in an old Peugeot with like 50 hp.. you got a manual and you can have fun in anything. In fact it's an art form working the power bands on a weak motor and highly entertaining.
      creamwobbly
      • 3 Years Ago
      If you pass the UK driving test in an automatic, you get a restricted licence and you're not allowed to drive a manual. Hence, driving an automatic is a stigma. No 17 year old wants to say "Yay! I passed my test!" and wave a code 78 or 106 licence around (used to be Group B). http://uk.answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20081012073329AAEdZ1S
        BG
        • 3 Years Ago
        @creamwobbly
        You mean they still require competence when using a 3000+-lb machine full of flammable liquid on a public roadway? What is this world coming to?
      Stephen
      • 3 Years Ago
      I always go for the clutch when I borrow an automatic car. Manual FTW.
      Javier Montes Toro
      • 3 Years Ago
      I have Manual Transmission car, i live in San Francisco and I love it, wouldn't change it for an automatic
        David
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Javier Montes Toro
        Ditto here in Philly. Third manual in a row. We have stop signs every 20 ft. If I'm not complaining then no one should! I highly doubt anyone has a worse situation than we have here, in terms of how much exercise my clutch and shifter get. Even so, I will always have a manual. Instant power and control are too important to me, especially in a smaller car with a less powerful engine.
      emperor koku
      • 3 Years Ago
      Also, props to MINI for their whole manual-supporting ad campaign.
      Prince David
      • 3 Years Ago
      I thought it's not dying in Europe, only North America.
      Kevin Gu
      • 3 Years Ago
      So I've only had a car for about 6 months, and when I started shopping, the first thing I insisted on was that it was equipped with a manual transmission. I taught myself how to drive it on the 40 minute drive home from the Secretary of State office which was...interesting. Over 2500 miles later, I don't have any regrets. There's nothing that can replace the mechanical tactility and complete control that a manual transmission gives you. What car did I buy? A 2003 Mini Cooper S. Surprise, surprise.
      Dick Trickle
      • 3 Years Ago
      Maybe they should offer free instruction, since I think most people today have never learned how to drive a stick, and most don't know anyone that does. I think your average customer would be too scared to buy something that couldn't easily drive home off the lot.
        creamwobbly
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Dick Trickle
        Maybe they should offer instruction for $499... Save a dollar, be a better person.
        Hazdaz
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Dick Trickle
        That's actually a really good idea.
        nardvark
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Dick Trickle
        Actually, I would love the opportunity to learn how to drive a manual again. I haven't done it in 10 years, and never had my own car with a manual, and it becomes a self-perpetuating problem. I hope to have enough coin in the next few years to acquire a 5-6 year old Miata as a weekend car, and I'd like to buy one with a stick (otherwise, what's the point?). But I'd like to know how to drive the car so that I can give it a proper test drive. Does anyone know if driving schools would offer a 1-2 day course in driving a stick?
          BG
          • 3 Years Ago
          @nardvark
          They used to offer manual classes, but that was a long time ago. In a big city, you can probably still find one.
      Anthony P.
      • 3 Years Ago
      I loathe the slow death of the manual. I'm car shopping right now and it's almost impossible to find manuals to test drive. Acura has 1 TL. Subaru has 1 Legacy GT. Infiniti has NO G37 manuals. Also, for some reason they don't offer all the exterior colors with a stick.
        Kirill Apoulov
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Anthony P.
        Check out the Acura 3.2 CL Type-S. 2003 model was the only year with stick. Great car, and super reliable with a stick.
      Rotation
      • 3 Years Ago
      This is pretty transparent, it's clear that BMW MINI saw the uptake rate on manual transmissions in the Fiat 500 in the US and they want some of those customers.
        David
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Rotation
        They already had/have them. Most people buy manual MINIs already. Do a survey where you live and you'll see that it's so. Only a loser buys a CVT MINI, and by loser, I mostly mean they lose out on most of the fun.
        m5nm3
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Rotation
        I've test driven the Fiat 500 and to me the MINI is superior in terms of handling dynamics and comfort. Materials seem better too. I don't see what the big deal is with the 500.
          Dick Trickle
          • 3 Years Ago
          @m5nm3
          Agreed, I have never read any comparison between the two, where the Mini didn't win, including a bunch of European ones. Everyone seems to agree that the Mini drives better, and has nicer materials on the inside. But like others have said, the Fiat is quite a bit cheaper, so they aren't true competitors. That being said, I did stop by my local Fiat dealer, and everyone I looked at on the lot were priced at $21-$23k, which surprised me.
          David
          • 3 Years Ago
          @m5nm3
          It is inferior to the MINI in every single way except on price, for which it is much, much cheaper. That's why. Incidentally, I have yet to read a single review where the 500 beat the MINI in a head-to-head. It always comes in as "nearly as good, but not quite as good", regardless of the category in question.
          RJC
          • 3 Years Ago
          @m5nm3
          Your OPINION is completely contrary to all of the magazine reviews.
          Não Pirilamparás
          • 3 Years Ago
          @m5nm3
          It's also more expensive…
          theBizMachine
          • 3 Years Ago
          @m5nm3
          The Fiat is a fun, cool little car. Plus its new to the US market, and pretty refreshing. Plus I also feel its coming off a bit as a luxury item, a center peice of discussion for many. Hopefully Alfa sees Fiats success and changes their minds on their current US plans.
        RJC
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Rotation
        I remember that report. Percentage wise, 70% of all Fiat 500's are ordered with a manual. I suspect once the high performance Abarth version comes out, that number will climb.
        nickyfeist
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Rotation
        The reason is our auto transmissions are made in (Japan) and we don't have enough for the demand as of now. The 6 speed is made in Germany:-) I wish MINI would make a duel clutch transmission because the current auto sucks @$$.
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