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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So, doing due diligence in my vehicle search, I visited the lone local Kia dealer today, as I'd been told the Sportage SUV was available with a manual transmission. It is--but not with AWD. You can have one or the other, not both.

This is the same story at Mazda, and I recall years ago this being a reason my wife did not purchase a Toyota Matrix. I'm getting a bit tired of the same routine at every dealer:

"Hi, I'm looking for a small SUV with 4 wheel drive and a manual transmission."

"Good luck. You won't find one--nobody makes those anymore."

"Subaru does."

"Well, OK, Subaru, but no-one else."

And, to be honest, even Subaru is slipping--they used to offer every vehicle in every trim with a manual, but now some of their higher-level offerings are automatic only. Yes, there are others--the Mini Countryman All4 comes to mind, and we did purchase my wife's 2013 Suzuki SX4 largely because it has a stick. And of course, the Renegade--but it's getting to the point I'm wondering if it might be me.

I just prefer driving "stick." So does my wife. We both find we're somehow more connected to the vehicle, the "driving experience" is enhanced. We feel more in control. As an engineer, I can offer a pretty good argument on the merits of an automatic--but dammit, I like my stick.

Maybe it's just me...
 

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I have always enjoyed driving a stick and have had many over the years with 3 of them being 4wd. Last year I hurt my knee and realized that I wasn't able to drive my stick safely. We were going to get a 6 speed Latitude but decided to go with the auto instead. Even though my knee injury was temorary, it was a good 3 months before it felt ok. Not being physically able to drive a stick was something that I never considered. I know the auto stick feature on the Latiude isn't the same as a regular stick it is pretty good and satifies the manual need that I still have. I actually use the auto stick feature a lot and enjoy it. Good luck with your decision.
 

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I don't mind which gearbox. Some cars I've had have been auto, but these were mainly luxury motors, Jaguar, Mercedes and BMW and suited to an auto box. You're more involved with a manual. Having a manual box isn't a deal breaker for me.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I don't mind which gearbox. Some cars I've had have been auto, but these were mainly luxury motors, Jaguar, Mercedes and BMW and suited to an auto box. You're more involved with a manual. Having a manual box isn't a deal breaker for me.
In the UK, I imagine you have a bit more choice--some vehicles sold in the UK aren''t availalble here in North America, and those that are often have limited engine & transmission choices--for example, we get very few small diesels, and of course the basis of my rant is that so few vehicles are available with manual shift here, even though I'm sure many of the same ones are offered with manual elsewhere.

For whatever reason, the North American market has decided that people won't buy manual transmissions. I guess I could look at the bright side--it narrows the field so much that it's a fair bit easier to make a decision.
 

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I had no issue to order a manual. If it was just me alone, I would have done so. However, planning for my wife's preference who prefers her automatic Jeep Liberty, I went with the auto. However, I still kept my now classic 1996 Suzuki X-90 4x4 5 speed manual.
 

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This thread on it's own is kinda random. I know you have other posts, but have you ordered a Renegade? Again, what is the issue with the manual transmission? Are you just having trouble finding one? Subaru's are cars with AWD, not Jeeps with 4x4. Do you battle snowy stormy winters?
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 · (Edited)
This thread on it's own is kinda random. I know you have other posts, but have you ordered a Renegade? Again, what is the issue with the manual transmission? Are you just having trouble finding one? Subaru's are cars with AWD, not Jeeps with 4x4. Do you battle snowy stormy winters?
Yes, it's' random. Just a rant.

I just put a deposit on a Renegade. A major factor in that decision is the fact I could get one with a manual. It's just a personal preference, but it annoys me that so many manufacturers no longer offer them (at least, not in North America). Indeed, if Jeep wasn't owned by Fiat, I doubt they'd be offering a manual transmission either (I note the TH doesn't have the option). I get it that they make what the market demands--but that begs the question, when did people lose interest?

I know, I guess I'm just an old curmudgeon.

BTW, I live in a mountainous area of British Columbia, where we do get winter. Lots of snow (and I try to keep young by playing in it--skiing, snowboarding, backcountry).


 

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I grew up riding in my Dad's 1978 Corolla SR-5, watching him shift. Once I got to driving age I had no interest in any car that wasn't a manual, and I've never had one. The Renegade is only my 7th vehicle since 1993, but all have been manual.


When I drive automatics it just doesn't feel like I'm really driving it. Just steering it.

I was excited about the Renegade when I first heard it was coming out. When it was confirmed that it would be offered with a manual, and not just in bare-bones trim levels, I was sold.

Many manufacturers have moved away from offering manuals in the U.S. because the take rate is so low. I get the sense that the take rate on Renegades seems to be higher than average, but that may be because the owners on this group and others tend to be enthusiasts of their vehicles, and are more likely buy the manuals.

When I took my Rene in for an oil change last week, the dealer had eight Renegades on the lot, and two of them were manual. (And that was before @The Drifter got there.) That is a much higher percentage than one can expect to see with other models. In fact, those were probably the only two manual vehicles on the whole lot, although there may have been a Dart or two.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
When I drive automatics it just doesn't feel like I'm really driving it. Just steering it.
............

When I took my Rene in for an oil change last week, the dealer had eight Renegades on the lot, and two of them were manual.
That's it--feels like you're just steering. I mean, I don't want to go back to manual spark advance, but I do enjoy having some control over how the engine power is transmitted.


During my shopping, I visited four dealerships. Only one dealer had a manual--and only the one. That's the one I test drove (I also tested one with auto, for comparison).

BTW, I didn't grow up with manuals. My parent's cars were (mostly) all autos. I learned to drive in a 1961 Toyota Corolla with a 2-speed Toyoglide automatic, but learned to drive stick when I bought my first car, a 60s-something Vauxhall Viva (bought it for $40). Over the years, I've owned both autos and manuals, but for the last few decades it's been manuals only. And as my wife also prefers manuals, there is no friction there.

WRT young people and the current market: a couple of years ago my nephew was visiting, and my wife took him out in her car for a quick lesson in driving a stick shift (we live in a rural area with very quiet roads). When she asked him if he could drive a manual in the city, he said, "Oh no--I would die!" So there it is, straight from the millenial's mouth :) (I will add that another nephew--different family--learned to drive in his dad's Toyota Tercel with manual, and he drives a manual shift Honda car now).
 

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I had no issue to order a manual. If it was just me alone, I would have done so. However, planning for my wife's preference who prefers her automatic Jeep Liberty, I went with the auto. However, I still kept my now classic 1996 Suzuki X-90 4x4 5 speed manual.
I plan on using my Renegade to teach my wife how to drive manual. Her dad never taught her because he thought it would make her want to speed (DUMB thought process)...my wife doesn't care to speed she is very grounded and laid back, she just wants to obtain a new skill. I tried to teach her on my Nissan 350z and she did learn a lot, but she's not 100% comfortable yet, I think the Renegade will be a great vehicle to learn on. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
When we bought our manual Ford Focus there were 89 Focii on the lot, only 1 was a manual and we bought it.
We had a 5-spd Ford Focus wagon. Had to order it in.

Prior to that, we owned a 1997 Ford Escort wagon. In purple--I mean, bright jelly-bean purple. My wife's favourite colour; we were driving past a used-car lot and when I spotted the purple car, I jokingly said to her, "Hey, there's a car for you!" She immediately said, "Stop! Let's take a look!"

Turns out the car was a 5-spd manual, on lease return. We negotiated a reduction in price due to the colour (even though my wife loved it). We drove that car for several years and our good experience was one reason we replaced it with the Focus.
 

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During my shopping, I visited four dealerships. Only one dealer had a manual--and only the one. That's the one I test drove (I also tested one with auto, for comparison).

a couple of years ago my nephew was visiting, and my wife took him out in her car for a quick lesson in driving a stick shift (we live in a rural area with very quiet roads). When she asked him if he could drive a manual in the city, he said, "Oh no--I would die!" So there it is, straight from the millenial's mouth :)
Huh, that's interesting. Over here we always assume that people in the UK and Europe drive mostly manuals.
 

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We do drive more manuals in the UK and Europe than you guys over the pond. Just one of those things I guess.
I'm pretty sure it has to do with the huge difference in the price of fuel, combined with the fact that, until recently, manuals were universally more fuel-efficient than the same vehicle with an automatic.
 

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The manuals were always better on fuel than their equivalent auto models. How that fares nowadays, I'm unsure as technology has moved on and everyone wants better mpg. Unless you are a multi millionaire or an Arab Sheikh with their super cars.

Our fuel price is mainly tax which goes to the government's coffers.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Huh, that's interesting. Over here we always assume that people in the UK and Europe drive mostly manuals.
That's the thing--I live in Canada. I know there are some cars--probably many cars--which are offered with a MT overseas, but not in North America.

And while yes, the market drives part of that, in a way the manufacturers influence it too. If they can't find a MT car to buy, many people just settle for what's available, even if it's not really what they want.

I was talking to the sales mgr for the local Honda dealer, he says he gets a lot of requests for MT cars, and he wishes Honda would provide more of their vehicles with MT. He tells me he can actually price used vehicles higher if they're MT.

As to why I (and obviously some others) prefer to drive stick, I can't really say. Perhaps it's a better sense of control; perhaps it's just habit. Personally, I think it's that I like to be involved in the process; I want to be a driver, not just a passenger.
 

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As to why I (and obviously some others) prefer to drive stick, I can't really say. Perhaps it's a better sense of control; perhaps it's just habit. Personally, I think it's that I like to be involved in the process; I want to be a driver, not just a passenger.
I can go with that.
 

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I had manuals (Stick's to you!) for years, ever since my 1976 Ford Escort Mk 2 that I drove back in 1982, I had a whole series of manuals. Multiple Ford Escorts, Ford Fiesta's, Ford Mondeo's and a Renault Laguna. Then in 1998 I joined a major IT company and got a new Mondeo Automatic, tempoary from Hertz. It was hideous! Possibly the worse car I had ever driven. I then had a Ford Puma, an Audi A4, VW GTi and Mondeo ST TDCi..... Then Finally I drove an automatic again - a BMW 5 Series and the Auto box was just perfect. Compared to the old Mondeo Auto I had which was so bad, that we called that car Ermintrude as it made a sot of mooing sound like a cow.

I had my wonderful 5 Series a couple of years, then I got another Auto, this time a 1 Series 2Ltr Diesel Sport. The gearbox and engine combination was awesome.

So to put my viewpoint, I think its an historical thing in the UK, there were a lot of very bad auto's about, but with the arrival of Audi, BMW and others the gearbox technology has just got better and better.

The cost of fuel does have a bearing - especially as prices went up, but Diesel cars changed the MPG economics.

I wouldnt go back to a manual, I cant cope driving round London or in town, with all that clutch pumping. Auto all the way.
Its what I have ordered on my Renegade... :D
 
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