As auto enthusiasts, we have to accept that the general public is never going to embrace the manual transmission in a big way ever again. Automatics, CVTs and dual clutches are winning the war, in part because many people think of their car as an appliance. It transports them to and from work, and any way to make the drudgery involve less conscious thought is a welcome relief. The fact that modern automatics are often more fuel efficient than three-pedal setups isn't helping either. However, the stick shift isn't dead yet, especially if we take Motor Authority's advice and Give a Shift about them.

The video, which is a dead-on parody of Sarah McLachlan's ASPCA commercials, implores enthusiasts to keep the manual alive by owning one. Not only are they probably safer, but the tactile control creates a bond between man and machine that's absent with an automatic. It's certainly a welcome message to our ears and very similar to the Save the Manuals campaign from Car and Driver from 2010.

The manual transmission battleground is now in the world of performance cars, and enthusiasts at least have a beachhead there. The latest Corvette and Camaro both reportedly have a stick shift take rate of around 30 percent. However, every Porsche with PDK or similar choice might be one more nail in the coffin for the clutch pedal. Let's keep that from happening. Scroll down to watch Motor Authority's PSA and do what you can to keep the H-pattern gearbox on the road.


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  • 183 Comments
      SinShaark
      • 6 Months Ago
      This is a typical north-american problem. I'm European, from Switzerland, and here, 95% of the cars have manual transmission. I'm driving a manual transmission car (Citroën C3 Mark II phase I). But for not too long again, maybe :/ I was born in a great drivers family. My mother has driven more than 1 million kms without any accident, as my dad (was a trucker), and my grand-pa earned the Diamond-Palm ( 42 years without having been responsible for physical injury accident in traffic) of "Prévention Routière" (translation: "Road Safety"), a french association who's acting for more safety on the roads in France. All told me : manual transmission cars are better then automatic ones. Just because you can totally control the car. You want more power, you can shift down. No more brakes when you go down a mountain ? Put the first gear and when you are slow enough, hit the mountain. I have many many advise like this possible to apply only on a MT car... My car is not a sport car, but, damn, I love it !
        evilleo22
        • 6 Months Ago
        @SinShaark
        you Europeans also get the great small cars with diesels and sticks! Lucky you. Ill take a Seat Ibiza please :)
          SinShaark
          • 5 Months Ago
          @evilleo22
          That's right : we're lucky. We have hatchback here, and that kind of cars is just fantastic. Small, agile, high fuel-efficiency, and not too expensive. Seat Ibiza is great looking car, but not really common here. People prefer the VW Polo or Golf (a lot of GTI here in CH), or Citroën or Renault or Peugeot. I drove once a Renault Clio RS (Mark III phase II). 4 cylinders turbo, 220 bhp, FWD. Not incredible. But as it's light, it's incredible !
      methos1999
      • 6 Months Ago
      I don't know why, but I'm amazed by the vitriol between the people here who favor manuals and those who think manuals are obsolete. So here's my view: I prefer manual transmissions, my current car is a WRX. However If I could afford a Tesla I would be fine with not having a manual since there are no gears to change. If I could afford a Maclaren 12C I would be fine with the dual clutch since that's all it has. As manual transmissions offer a more engaging drive, I will lament the day they are no longer available and are replaced by DCT's, but I will not complain and will accept that there are benefits the new technology brings (kind of like when cars went from Carburetors to Fuel Injection...) Also, I do not hate people that do not know how to drive manual or do not want to learn (after all I'm married to one). I accept not all people see their cars or driving in the same light as I do. So for those of you who seem to have vitriol against manual transmissions or the people who drive them, know you may hate me but I do not hate you.
        King of Eldorado
        • 6 Months Ago
        @methos1999
        "I accept not all people see their cars or driving in the same light as I do." Well said. I do not understand people who resort to name-calling and criticism of other drivers' intelligence simply because those others have different ideas of what they want in a car. Eleven of the 14 cars I've owned over the last 45 years have been manuals because I enjoy driving them, but I can see the day not too far off when an automatic will make better sense for me. I also do not understand people who chase a little white ball around a grassy field in 85-degree weather, but their choices don't affect me in the least. To each his/her own.
      SquareFour
      • 6 Months Ago
      Here's the deal, manuals are for people who remember that driving isn't just another form of transportation. For us, driving isn't a means to an end, it is an end in and of itself. Nothing--no flappy paddles, no dual clutches and certainly no torque converter--will ever be able to replicate or replace the kind of control a manual tranny imparts nor the sheer level of connection a driver feels when operating a stick shift. Plus, just like rest of the populace, most carjackers and thieves can't drive a manual anymore, so it's like another layer of security!
      jesscott
      • 6 Months Ago
      I haven't owned an automatic transmission car since 1977. No joy in them, I love to shift..matching revs on the downshift going into a corner and coming out the other side hitting it perfect. Not only is driving a manual fun, it just gives you so much more control in traffic, in bad weather, jeez why would anyone own an automatic. In rush hour, put it first or second , open a big gap and you'll never use the brakes. And for those troglodytes who tell me that downshifting wrecks clutches and transmissions I say this..........I have not replaced a clutch since my first VW bug when I was 17 and I have never broken a transmission in 40 years of driving a stick. If you drop a clutch or kill the tranny, you're doing it wrong.
      sean s
      • 6 Months Ago
      I just went out of my way to find a manual transmission BMW X5. I am totally on board with keeping stick shifts alive. I don't want my boys to be the ones at age 20 that don't know what the third pedal is. What a shame.
      mylexicon
      • 6 Months Ago
      My DD is manual. Just trying to keep it real.
        evilleo22
        • 6 Months Ago
        @mylexicon
        duhh, It took me a second, I was thinking Dodge Dakota not Daily driver, LOL
      Victor Kuc
      • 6 Months Ago
      I am more focused while driving a manual. Fewer and fewer people know how to steal a manual. A clutch replacement is $200 opposed to a transmission replacement 10x as expensive. You can also hill start your car.
      • 6 Months Ago
      Both my cars are manual shift. My daily driver is a Subaru Wrx hatchback, and my weekend car is an NA Miata. I hate driving automatics, cars to me are not an appliance they are extension of your personality! There is no better feeling than rowing your own gears.
      Ryan Glass
      • 6 Months Ago
      I've always a owned a stick-shift since college, even though I live in LA's crowded Westside. Are there times that I regret it? Sure. But, like the video mentions, it keeps me from being distracted from phones or the radio, and also allows me to feel a connection with my car. And then when I have a chance to take my car on a windy, mountain road, it's all worth it. Plus it's nice to know not everyone, including my husband, can drive the car, and I like to think of it as a theft-deterrent of sorts. My husband, parents, best friend......basically everyone I know, drives an automatic, and I find that driving their cars lacks some of the simple joy of driving But I have to admit, many manufacturers don't make it easy to buy a manual. I've been browsing and looking at buying a new subcompact car soon and when I tell a salesman at the dealership that I want a stick, I typically get the following responses: "Oh, we don't have those. They're impossible to find" "Oh we don't have those. Don't you want an automatic anyway?" Oh, we don't have those. We can give you an automatic for the same price" "Oh, we don't have those. Why would you want one in LA?" I'm not going to give up and will be persistent when the time is right, but it does make me think about how many manual buyers out there just give in to the never-ending tsunami of automatics on the market
        Susan
        • 6 Months Ago
        @Ryan Glass
        You forgot some other moronic excuses: 1. I live in the mountains. You don't want manual in the mountains. 2. Your wife will not know how to drive it. 3. The resale is awful. 4. Etc., etc. (said typically by the macho-men who don't know how to drive manual)
      Garrett
      • 6 Months Ago
      I always prefer rowing my own gears. The 6spd in my s2000 is magical
      raughle1
      • 6 Months Ago
      I love the versatility of an automatic. I can loan my car to my great grandma or any 16-year-old girl at the mall. Or an orangutan, if I ever need to. Also frees up one hand so I can stick it in my pants.
      yyz
      • 6 Months Ago
      I am doing my part, three manual transmission cars in the family.
        Susan
        • 5 Months Ago
        @yyz
        Four man. trans. cars in our family, and definitely no automatics or CVTs.
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