The fact is, manual (stick) transmissions once had their perks, but more and more people are giving it up for the comfort of automatic transmission. As a matter of fact, in 2013, only 4% of cars sold had manual transmissions. On top of that, 67% of new models sold don’t even come with a manual option.
More so, some popular sports car manufacturers, including Porsche, Lamborghini, Jaguar, and Ferrari, are beginning to make newer models that do not come with manual transmissions.
A manual transmission, also known as a manual gearbox, a standard transmission or colloquially in some countries (e.g. the United States) as a stick shift is a type of transmission used in motor vehicle applications.
It uses a driver-operated clutch engaged and disengaged by a foot pedal (automobile) or hand lever (motorcycle), for regulating torque transfer from the engine to the transmission; and a gear selector operated by hand (automobile) or by foot (motorcycle).
A conventional 5-speed manual transmission is often the standard equipment in a base-model vehicle, while more expensive manual vehicles are usually equipped with a 6-speed transmission instead.
An automatic transmission, also called auto, self-shifting transmission, n-speed automatic (where n is its number of forward gear ratios), or AT, is a type of motor vehicle transmission that can automatically change gear ratios as the vehicle moves, freeing the driver from having to shift gears manually.
Vehicles equipped with automatic transmissions are not as complex to drive. Consequently, in some jurisdictions, drivers who have passed their driving test in a vehicle with an automatic transmission will not be licensed to drive a manual transmission vehicle. Conversely, a manual license will allow the driver to drive vehicles with either an automatic or manual transmission.
So what are the factors contributing to the decline of the stick shift?
Driving stick is often perceived to be “more fun” than driving automatic, but it also requires additional skill beyond knowing the rules of the road. In essence, the car needs you to drive, and if you don’t shift and clutch properly you can do serious damage to your vehicle.
Automatic transmissions take proper shifting, acceleration, and deceleration out of the mix, lowering the involvement of the driver. As driving safely already demands a lot of attention, the proposition of taking additional stress out of the equation is attractive to many drivers.