“Save The Manuals” – Will The Manual Transmission Become Extinct?

It has been estimated that less than 10% of new cars sold in America are equipped with manual transmissions.

Are manual transmissions going the way of the dinosaurs? It looks like it. Somehow, due to technology advancements just in the past 10 years, we are witnessing a virtual meteor destroy the raw mechanics that allowed purists to really ‘DRIVE’ their car like they stole it and feel good about it in the process. We have reached a paradox of the mindless driver over-taking the automotive world which will be left replaced with flappy paddle gearboxes and automatic slush-boxes.

Car and Driver has started a campaign to “Save the Manuals” with Consumer Reports joining in on this endeavor to resurrect a natural part of automotive enthusiast’s DNA to manually shift their car. This may be prove to show that there are some die-hard gear-heads still left in this dire economically stricken world. Remember the days you could buy an SUV with a manual transmission? Today, you would be hard pressed to find one. Even in today’s high powered sports cars, the option (what use to be standard) to outfit it with a manual transmission is just about gone. Their only remains a short list of vehicles that can be purchased new with a manual transmission.

The technological advancements that have trickled down to automotive transmissions are truly remarkable. For instance, take the Nissan GT-R’s double-clutch box. You would end up breaking something if you even attempted to shift a manual transmission that fast. Ferrari is another one. They are notorious for creating a vehicle specifically designed around a floppy paddle gearbox technology that shifts in an unbelievable short 60 milliseconds. I am not even sure if you can blink your eye that fast. These types of transmissions work great and can be a lot of fun at times. But nothing compares to a good-old manual transmission. You can ask just about any tobacco chewing car-nut out there. Okay, they don’t have to chew tobacco. I am sure you get my drift.

So what current day cars can you still buy new with a manual transmission? Below is a list compiled by Consumer Reports. Hopefully we can fight to at least keep these cars on the list and maybe add a few along the way.

Current 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
Cadillac CTS
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
GMC Canyon
Honda Accord, Civic, CR-Z, Element, Fit
Hummer H3
Hyundai Accent, Elantra, Genesis Coupe, Santa Fe, Sonata, Tucson
Infiniti G
Jeep Compass, Liberty, Patriot, Wrangler
Kia Forte, Optima, Rio, Sorento, Soul, Sportage
Lexus IS
Lotus Elise, Evora
Mazda B-Series, MX-5 Miata, RX-8, Tribute, Mazda2, Mazda3, Mazda5, Mazda6
Mercedes-Benz C-Class, SLK
Mercury Milan
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

[sources: Car and Driver, Consumer Reports]

Do you think the manual transmission is doomed? What type of transmission do you prefer? Participate in our on-going transmission poll below!

Note: There is a poll embedded within this post, please visit the site to participate in this post’s poll.