Print 86 comment(s) - last by Apone.. on Aug 6 at 1:01 PM

Don't call it a comeback...

Many automotive enthusiasts have been lamenting the fact that automakers are starting to shy away from the manual transmission. Most automakers cite that take rates for manual transmissions are in steady decline. This is due to several factors, one of which being that many modern automatic transmissions now get better fuel economy than manual transmissions thanks to having more forward gears.
Some sports car companies are sticking with the manual transmission and are actually adding gears, such as Porsche. Porsche unveiled a seven-speed manual transmission for its sports cars not long ago.
While Porsche is sticking with the manual transmission, BMW has announced that it is axing the manual as an option for its M5 and Audi has discontinued manual transmissions in some of its vehicles in Europe.
According to, the manual transmission has made a slight comeback this year. According to statistics put together by the website, 7% of all new cars sold in 2012 are equipped with manual transmissions. That is a massive decline from 20 years ago when one out of every four cars sold had a manual transmission. However, 7% is much higher than the 3.9% take rate for manual transmissions last year. 2012 is on track to be the year with the highest rate for manual transmission vehicle purchases since 2006.
"A combination of factors - from the growing age of vehicle trade-ins bringing more manual drivers back to market, to a greater proportion of smaller cars on the road - is creating a small spike for stick shifts," says Industry Analyst Ivan Drury. "But even though manual cars are on the rise now, they're on track to be virtually extinct in the next 15 to 20 years." also reports that 64% of all 2012 model year vehicles are only offered with automatic transmissions. Ten years ago, the number of vehicles that weren't available with the manual transmission was must lower at 48%.
It's worth noting that some sports cars are only offered with manual transmissions, including the Audi TT RS, Aston Martin V12 Vantage, Fiat 500 Abarth, Ford Shelby GT500, MazdaSpeed 3, and Volkswagen Golf R.

Source: MarketWatch

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Subaru All The Way
By Yeah on 8/2/2012 5:18:48 PM , Rating: 0
Okay I may be a bit of a Subaru Fanboy but you cant argue the fact that to get a comparable model vechicle with ALL WHEEL DRIVE or 4wd for that matter you have to pay CONSIDERABLY much more for any other vehcile than a comparable subaru.

Heres the biggest thing that tipped the scales for our family- we had two cars where the timing belt broke both times the whole engine needed to be replaced which I think is just totally ridiculous.

For the new subarus' the timing belt is on the outside of the engine- so when it comes time to needing replaced .. how about a nice cost of 80. bux compared to 400.00 on any other manufacter's engine where you have to tear the whole engine apart to get to it.

That was the deciding factor of getting the Outback instead of a Honda.

RE: Subaru All The Way
By DiscoWade on 8/2/2012 6:03:47 PM , Rating: 2
I thought Honda used a timing chain. I could be wrong. Or maybe Honda uses both depending on the model. My 2004 Nissan 350z (6-speed manual by the way) uses a timing chain. I believe Nissan uses a timing chain on most of their cars. Timing chains last much much longer than timing belts.

RE: Subaru All The Way
By Nfarce on 8/2/12, Rating: 0
RE: Subaru All The Way
By Apone on 8/6/2012 1:01:11 PM , Rating: 2
@ DiscoWade

You're correct, timing belts were just that...actual rubber belts that were plentiful back in the day. Now (as of early 2000's), auto manufacturers have replaced the rubber belt with a metal chain because they last longer. Having owned my share of late 90's Civics and Accords, timing belts last around 85-90k miles while timing chains are supposed to last 110k-125k miles depending on the brand and model.

RE: Subaru All The Way
By Reclaimer77 on 8/2/2012 7:39:40 PM , Rating: 1
Truth. Nobody packs more bang for the buck in a vehicle like Subaru does.

For the new subarus' the timing belt is on the outside of the engine- so when it comes time to needing replaced .. how about a nice cost of 80. bux compared to 400.00 on any other manufacter's engine where you have to tear the whole engine apart to get to it.

So are some old ones like my RS. When the water pump went out, I figured what the hell, and did the pump and belt myself thanks to a friend and the power of forum tutorials. It was a lot easier than I thought it would be.

RE: Subaru All The Way
By wrxtunr on 8/2/2012 8:20:37 PM , Rating: 1
Been a long time reader around here but have never posted until now.

Just wanted to agree upon the greatness of subaru cars. Bought my first car 2004 wrx with the 5mt (the wagon for insurance purposes) with 154 miles on it. Currently have 261k and still going strong.

Someone list a car for the $21k I paid new that gives more smiles per mile than the spunky ej20t paired to the 5mt. Also show me a car that you can replace two exhaust pipes and retune the ecu (learned to do it myself) that will give you close to 275whp.

I cannot think of another car that you can do these modifications to (@70k) and have it running strong close to 200k miles later while at the same time giving ±31mpg (sticker said 25hwy lol). Replacing only a timing belt (replaced by me), 3 clutches (first was defective and replaced by dealer at 20k, 2nd got 210k before the tob crown split apart and was replaced by me), and changing oil ± 7k (mobil 1 extended) at this point I won't be supprised to be able to double my milage. Subaru forum members are also some of the most helpfull group of people I can think of and more than likely will have an answer to your questions.

Shit come to think of it show me just an auto tranny that can last that long without a full rebuild.

RE: Subaru All The Way
By gcor on 8/3/2012 12:16:23 AM , Rating: 2
I've owned 4 Subaru's over the years and was an unabashed fanboy, till I tried to tow a 1.1 ton camper trailer behind one. For this purpose, they fail miserably. Unfortunately I was such a fanboy I asked Subaru if they had anything suitable, which of course they said they did. After a Forester, a Tribeca and many k$ down the tube I gave up. What killed Subaru for me was their BS. I was stupid to trust their sales people, but they have lost a long term customer, who would have stayed with otherwise.

RE: Subaru All The Way
By Reclaimer77 on 8/3/2012 11:48:12 AM , Rating: 1
You tried to tow a one ton....camper with...a Subaru??

I just, okay. Takes all kinds I guess

RE: Subaru All The Way
By 91TTZ on 8/3/2012 3:05:40 PM , Rating: 2
Also show me a car that you can replace two exhaust pipes and retune the ecu (learned to do it myself) that will give you close to 275whp.

300ZXs are like this, but they were getting close to $40k back in the early/mid 90's. When I did exhaust and ECU on my stock Z, I put down 339 rwhp and 389 ft/lbs of torque.

"There is a single light of science, and to brighten it anywhere is to brighten it everywhere." -- Isaac Asimov

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