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.)


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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