Why drive a manual?


After 160 posts:


Now you’re making a completely different argument. So what they don’t make them for cars. But thanks for proving my point.


We are not going to agree here because you’re talking about EPA number, which the manufacturers have the freedom to post a lower estimate, whereas I’m talking about mechanical efficiency.

I now live in a part of the world where I bought my last car that was the size of a Toyota Camry powered by a 1.5 liter 4 banger. Mine was a five speed manual, but it was also offered with a six speed amt. I can’t imagine it having a torque converter dumping heat into the radiator on a 10 minute hill climb(I usually descend that hill in 2nd), with the ac on full blast, 5 adults on board, and in 95Fo summer heat


My 2008 1.5 liter five speed Toyota Yaris seldom gets less than 40 mpg even though the EPA rates it at 29/36 manual and 29/35 automatic. A lot of that is how I drive though, obeying speed limits, not accelerating towards each and every red light, letting the car coast down hills, etc…
Also, the automatic version of this car has the type of transmission that gave slush boxes a bad name in the past.
One thing I feel that handicaps many manuals is that because they tend to be sport oriented, they are short geared, lacking a true overdrive, or have a top gear that’s an overdrive in name only.
With chain drive motorcycles that is easily remedied. It didn’t take me long to replace the 14 tooth front sprocket on my Kawasaki Ninja 300 with a 15 tooth sprocket, now sixth gear actually feels like an overdrive instead of being “permanently in a passing gear”.


My 93 Miata has 186000 on it, original clutch is still good on it.


Gee with 3.7% of the cars sold with manuals, you wouldn’t think this discussion would be so long. Now my four speed manual 59 VW bug with a 36 hp engine, got 25 mpg. My 60 Morris with a four speed four cyl got around 5 mpg. So I switched to an automatic and haven’t had a manual since.


My 200,000 Yaris is also on it’s original clutch, and disk brake pads too. An unabused manual is one of the most reliable transmissions there is. It’s abusive driving habits that give manuals a bad name.


Back in the 1940s and 1950s, if you wanted good gas mileage, you bought a car with the 3 speed manual transmission with the Borg Warner automatic overdrive. The overdrive was phased out in the late 1960s. Not only did the overdrive equipped car save gas over the same model without the overdrive, but there was less engine wear.