Annual surveys reveal that less than 10% of new cars sold in America are equipped with manual transmissions, and more and more BMWs are starting to lose their manual boxes in favor of the newer 8-speed automatic, more efficient transmissions.
But are manual transmission really a rare commodity these days? Are the automakers stealing the pleasure of driving?
Car and Driver, shortly followed by Consumer Reports, started an awareness campaign to “Save the Manuals”.
Eddie Alterman of C&D has the first word:
You know what we need? We need a crusade. We need to save the manuals! Not only are manual transmissions often more fuel-efficient than their two-pedal counterparts, you also can’t text while operating one. So let’s lobby carmakers to produce more of these things because they’re safer and more frugal, and let’s not tell them that they’re way more fun. Let’s train our offspring in the ancient ways of the stick shift. Let all of us knights of the clutch pedal drive our manual-equipped cars to Washington and pop ’em in front of Barry O’s house.
Consumer Reports follows with a list of currently new cars available with a manual transmission:
Acura TL, TSX
Audi A3, A4, A5, R8, S4, TT
BMW 1 Series, 3 Series, 5 Series, 6 Series, X3, Z4
Chevrolet Aveo, Camaro, Cobalt, Colorado, Corvette, Cruze, HHR
Dodge Caliber, Challenger, Ram 2500, Ram 3500, Viper
Ford Escape, F-250, F-350, Fiesta, Focus, Fusion, Mustang, Ranger
Honda Accord, Civic, CR-Z, Element, Fit
Hyundai Accent, Elantra, Genesis Coupe, Santa Fe, Sonata, Tucson
Jeep Compass, Liberty, Patriot, Wrangler
Kia Forte, Optima, Rio, Sorento, Soul, Sportage
Lotus Elise, Evora
Mazda B-Series, MX-5 Miata, RX-8, Tribute, Mazda2, Mazda3, Mazda5, Mazda6
Mercedes-Benz C-Class, SLK
Mini Cooper, Cooper Clubman
Mitsubishi Eclipse, Lancer, Lancer Evolution, Outlander Sport
Nissan Altima, Cube, Frontier, Juke, Sentra, Versa, Xterra, Z
Porsche 911, Boxster, Cayenne, Cayman
Saab 9-3, 9-5
Scion tC, xB, xD
Subaru Forester, Impreza, Impreza WRX/STi, Legacy, Outback
Suzuki Equator, Grand Vitara, Kizashi, SX4
Toyota Camry, Corolla, FJ Cruiser, Matrix, Tacoma, Yaris
Volkswagen CC, Eos, Golf, GTI, Jetta, Jetta SportWagen, New Beetle, Tiguan
Volvo C30, C70, S40, V50
To take this campaign even further, a Facebook page has been setup where automotive purists can share their thoughts.
We would love to hear your opinion on this as well, so feel free to cast your vote below.