Shift it yourself

manual shifting jaguar roadsterA shift has been under way for years in automotive culture — the move from manual transmissions to automatics.

At the Denver Auto Show, Jaguar was so proud of offering a car with a manual transmission that they plastered that fact on the door.

I made the shift myself about five years ago. I used to love manual transmissions. The old story was that you could squeeze more performance and fuel economy out of your vehicle with a manual transmission. Now it’s the opposite for many newer vehicles.

And there’s the drawback of the pain of shifting in stop-and-go traffic. My last two years in Nairobi, Kenya taught me that it’s no fun to keep shifting over and over in heavy traffic. I almost vowed to never get a manual transmission again.

Then again, if someone offered me a new Mazda Miata with a manual for free, I would not turn them down.


Tip: One way to save fuel with an automatic transmission is to pop it into neutral while going down a mild hill. (Use this tip at your own risk. Results may vary. Some users have been known to have increased blood pressure.)

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One Reply to “Shift it yourself”

  1. In automatic transmission there is a shift to constant velocity transmissions. Makes for a smooth, quiet ride.

    I have used manual transmissions in Colombia. It’s hard to get a little Hyundai rolling when you’re on a steep hill. I don’t miss it.

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