Manual Windows - Again, please!

Yes, I know there was a discussion about cars with manual windows last summer, but is there any chance we could do an update on this? I’m looking for a NEW car that gets at least 32 mpg (36 mpg would be great) AND gives buyers the option of manual windows. I have checked around and have yet to find any car that has both of these qualities. Have I missed something?

Why manual windows? I want to be able to roll down the windows, whether or not the car is turned on or is able to be turned on. For me, this is a safety feature. I realize for most of you, this is not important or seen as an advantage. I don’t care about resale value, as I maintain and keep a car to the very end.

If I could, I would buy another '95 Saturn SW-2, just like I have. My car has over 252,00 miles on it and still averages between 31-32 mpg. It also has manual windows, that ever rarer delight.

Still loving the vent windows on my 94 f250, manual windows also. Had an 03 ranger with manual windows, last month I had to replace a window motor in an 03 windstar passenger side, drill out the rivets, pain in the catharsis, the more toys the more that breaks.

I picked up a 2010 Cobalt LS in February with manual windows and door locks. Currently there are rebates of 3 or 4k on Cobalts at the moment. The dealer offered 5.5k in rebates on a car with a list price of 17.6k.

It has A/C, Automatic trans, a decent XM stereo, and a timing chain instead of a belt. The mileage has improved from 28 to 32 mpg in local driving with 4k miles so far. The engine has decent power for a 4 cyl and is a nice match for the car.

Ed B.

I suggest you shop for the least expensive model within each brand. The least expensive car is likely to have the least power features.

Good luck.

It may not be possible to actually see any of these cars on dealer’s lots, as they rarely keep the really low-end, “stripped” models in stock. The lower-end models with no power accessories appeal to very few people and they also provide much less profit to dealers. The result–these models exist, but frequently have to be ordered.

I hear you. It use to be a truck domain that most had manual windows with the idea that you didn’t need power for non existing rear window seats. Now that’s disappearing. At some point, we may see cars with climate control, always on, and windows that are permanently closed. Glass sunroofs have replaced convertibles…we may never go outside again if we park in an attached garage and drive to work and park in a parking garage.
The windows will then be replaced by displays and George Lucas will be in charge of what we see see when driving, or maybe we will never really drive. We’ll never know.
Guess I got off the point a little.

2010 Ford Focus can have manual windows.
2011 Ford Fiesta can have manual windows.

You’re not so far from the current truth that so many drivers these days drive as if they’re sitting on their living room couch playing a video game.

As VDC says, you probably will never find your car on a dealer’s lot.

But, for you and me who keep our vehicles to the bitter end,

just ORDER it your way. There’s no easier way to get exactly what you want.

That why some seem so insulated while texting, talking and driving. What’s the worse that could happen to them ? They go off the road, and the game resets.

The cheapest models for each brand will probably have manual windows.

If you can’t find a new car with the features you like, buy a used car. Used cars with roll down windows might be hard to find, but if you pretend you want power windows, you might be able to bargain for a lower price.

Start looking at the base models of the cheap econoboxes. Like the Aveo, Versa, Yaris, or Fit. I don’t see how being able to roll down the windows when the car is off can be a saftey feature though. Power windows these days are just as, if not more reliable than manual ones. They’re lighter too. A couple years ago, when Ford produced the Cobra R Mustang, you couldn’t get A/C, you couldn’t get power locks, but you power windows were mandatory, why? Because they weighed less than a manual setup did.

It becomes a safety feature if your car ever ends up in water. With roll-down windows, you have a chance to roll them down before the car is fully submerged. Once you hit the water in a car with power windows, you can’t open them, so you can’t open the doors once it becomes partially submerged.

Can you honestly say power windows last the life of a car that lasts at least 300,000 miles?

"Can you honestly say power windows last the life of a car that lasts at least 300,000 miles?"
No, but then again, neither is that true of manually operated windows!

I can think of several cars that I owned years ago whose manually operated window mechanisms needed repair before the odometer even hit 75k. On the other hand, I have never had a power window failure, even at odometer mileages as high as 160k.

The bottom line is that both types of mechanisms are subject to failure and the relative simplicity of manually operated windows does not exempt them from needing repair.

I suspect you never saw the Mythbusters episode that pertained to getting out of a sinking car. Basically your best bet is to open the door ASAP before the car sinks significantly, if the water gets about halfway up height of the door you won’t be able to open it. Bascially if you are still in the car when the water gets up to the windows, your bad day is about to get even worse.

And yes, I have seen many cars with high mileage that never had an issue with their power windows.

Well, I haven’t. Every car I have owned with power windows had problems with them, while I have never had a problem with manual roll-down windows…ever.

The bottom line is that both types of mechanisms are subject to failure and the relative simplicity of manually operated windows does not exempt them from needing repair.

I think side curtains are the way to go. I had a fellow graduate student that had an MG Midget with side curtains. I believe it was a 1962. The following year, MG went to roll-up windows. I liked the side curtains better.

I have had to replace the crank handles on manual roll-down windows, but it really wasn’t a big deal. The new handles didn’t always match, but it solved the problem. On the other hand, I have never had a problem with power windows. I think every car I’ve owned since 1989 has had power windows.