Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: New Jersey, USA
Thanked 67 Times in 61 Posts
I was young once. As I approached driving age in the early 1980's, I'd see a cool car on the street. I wouldn't drool until I peaked into it, and saw the manual shift lever. I took my driving test in a manual, my oldest son did as well. When my second son went for his test, they told us that NJ no longer allows the driving test to be done in a manual transmission car.
When I was growing up, the choices were pretty much 3 speed auto or 5 speed manual. That's a no-brainer for me, I'll take the manual.
Then they went to 4 speed automatics. I said, ok, I'll bite and bought one. The 5 speed manuals still had a clear advantage, and I grew to regret my decision.
The number of gears kept growing on the automatics to the point where you get more gears, faster acceleration and better gas mileage in many (most?) automatic cars over their (increasingly fewer) manual counterparts.
I've been driving an Automatic V6 accord sedan for the past 4 years, and I really enjoy it. Don't get me wrong, if they offered a V6 Sedan with a manual, I'd have been all over it. On occasion, I almost wish I'd had gotten the coupe just to get the manual. But clearly the argument will favor the automatic for most people. For me though, my regret for driving an automatic car is still there, but it is not as much as it was long ago.
Why would I favor a manual, now that the technology in the automatics is so much more advanced?
1. I always found that a properly driven manual car will outlast a properly driven automatic. I don't know this for a fact, but I just feel that going to the next gear and having the rpm's forced downward while your foot is on the accelerator (which is what happens in an automatic) is just not good for the drivetrain.
2. Although an automatic can outshift me driving a manual, I still value being able to control what gear I'm in and when the transmission is going to shift. When you're driving a manual, there is no need to flip a switch for sport mode, eco mode or comfort mode, because it's all you, all the time.
3. As one other post above says, it gives me something to do while I'm driving, which keeps me more alert. Also, you need to keep one hand on the wheel, while having the other ready to shift as needed. So even if the thought comes to mind to take out my phone - its really impractical.
4. I think one is more attuned to the overall mechanical condition of one's car when driving a manual. If something is amiss, I'm more likely to feel it somehow.
just my 2 cents
2007 Accord LX-SE 4d 5spd MT Graphite Pearl (sold at 161k)
2015 Accord EX-L V6 4d AT Crystal Black Pearl/Ivory (His)
2015 Accord EX-L V6 4d AT White Orchid Pearl/Ivory (Hers)
1993 Buick Regal 3.8
1992 Acura Legend LS 4D 5MT
1992 Nissan Maxima SE 4AT
1986 Nissan Maxima SE 5MT
1981 Saab 900 Turbo 4D 3AT "The money pit" $5K+ in repairs in 2 years
1976 Volvo 242DL 3AT "The Vault"
1976 Toyota Corona 4D 3AT "The Oven" black vinyl interior and no A/C