Monday, September 30, 2013

Bye bye clutch, bye bye happiness.

When I went out to buy a new Mustang back in 1999, my only 2 requirements were that it had a 6 cylinder engine and a manual transmission.  The dealership told me there were only 3 with those two in the entire state of Utah, and I could choose between the red one, the other red one or the third red one.

So I got a red one.

Saturday I was at the Honda dealership looking at cars with a friend.  She ended up buying a new Honda CRV.  While the paperwork was being put together I inquired about a Civic sedan, and discovered something I find to be a disturbing trend in the automotive world.

There are only 2 Hondas that even offer a manual transmission in their lineup.  One is the Honda Fit, which looks like a shuttle from Star Trek, and is definitely not my style.

The other option is the Civic Si Coupe, which only comes with a 6-speed manual.

Now, this is more my style, but frankly if I was going to buy a 2 door coupe it would probably be a Mustang or a Challenger.

Now I haven’t looked into other vehicle lines, but chances are good that if Honda is eliminating the manual transmission in most of it’s line-up, so are other manufacturers.

And I find it just a little sad that if you are looking for a nice small sedan with a clutch, your options are being limited.


Karen S. said...

I like the red car out of three red cars you brought home, very nice. Just for the fun of it I did a search (the link at the end)and it is pretty sad indeed.

Lisa Shafer said...

Like you, I prefer a standard transmission in a car. Unfortunately, "standard" doesn't seem to be standard anymore; automatic has become the standard.

Carmi Levy said...

Car & Driver Magazine has been spearheading a Save the Manuals campaign for a number of years. Unfortunately, as autoboxes become more sophisticated, three-pedal arrangements are slowly fading into history.

Bummer: I love driving stick. You feel like you're a part of the experience, actually DRIVING the car instead of simply piloting it down the road as you would a sofa. I had a Civic Si hatchback years ago, and it had the best manual transmission in the history of automobiles (OK, I'm stretching it, but it was a knife through butter.) I often drove the car just to feel the stick in my hand.

I shudder to think what we're losing in the process, and I'm glad you raised it here.

(FWIW, I drove a Subaru BRZ with the stick a few months ago. Not a very practical car, but holy moly, what a transmission! It was telepathic.)