20 Reasons to Drive a Manual Transmission

May 08, 2019 12 Comments

20 Reasons to Drive a Manual Transmission

    Driving a manual transmission vehicle has a lot of benefits.  We have collected the top 20 reasons all in one place for your reading pleasure.  You may call a manual transmission the following names: Standard, stick shift, shaker, clutch, 3rd pedal, manual, stick, straight drive, and even rowing the gears.  They're all good in our book!


    1. Better control in difficult driving conditions.
    • When slippery conditions and unique road scenarios are present, having a manual transmission vehicle gives you the ability to quickly decide the amount of power you want to your wheels. Another advantage is knowing that you can down shift to reduce the car’s speed in addition to using your brakes.
    1. Better fuel economy.
    • For many years this was a true statement. In the last 10 years, automatic transmissions have been adding more gears to increase fuel MPG in addition to other specific engine modifications to surpass manual transmission vehicles.
    1. Not as many people can borrow your car.
    • A prospective car borrower will think twice about asking you by not knowing how to drive or not wanting to look silly trying to learn.
      1. Built in anti-theft system
      • Less and less people know how to drive a stick that receive licenses every day. That statistic does not escape those who wish to participate in grand theft auto.
      1. Can start the vehicle with a dead battery without a battery jump.
      • Do you ever want to impress an automatic transmission driver? Show them when you roll start your car in 2nd gear with a dead battery. Feel free to collect high fives after you come roaring back afterwards. (don’t forget to leave then engine on, with the e-brake pulled, so the battery can recharge itself)
      1. Transmission lasts longer.
      • As technology further innovates, this reason gets harder and harder to prove. The theory behind this rule is based on proper shifting and normal maintenance.  Manual transmissions take less stress because of the clutch that sits in-between the engine and transmission.  The clutch will eventually wear and need replacement before the transmission. 
      1. Less opportunities to text and drive.
      • Unless you are an octopus, it is harder to shift and text at the same time as you are driving from A to point B.
      1. You will try harder to avoid bumper to bumper traffic.
      • If you have ever been stuck in traffic with a manual transmission, you are probably nodding your head right now. Driving in bumper to bumper traffic will give your left foot one heck of a workout.
      1. Great conversation piece at parties.
      • Sometimes in life you find yourself not knowing what to talk about with a person or people. Just bring up that your car is a stick shift and watch the conversation follow.
      1. Ability to teach loved ones a new skill.
      • In life we cherish the moments of quality time with the people we love. Nothing says, “I love you” more then watching them stall a car 10 times on a small incline.
      1. More alert when driving and more aware of surroundings.
      • When driving a manual, you have extra steps to do when it’s time to stop. This fact alone keeps you more aware of traffic, road signs and other elements of driving. 
      1. You will be more sensitive to malfunctions, smells and sounds of your vehicle.
      • Due to the nature of being more in tune to your car while driving a stick, you will find yourself to notice issues or quirks faster.
      1. Exercise.
      • There are more things to do while driving a stick shift and that means there’s more energy spent.
      1. Use brakes less/longer lasting brake life.
      • Downshifting will reduce the times you have to use your brakes to slow down. Make sure to do it properly and not create extra stress on your clutch and transmission.
      1. Faster access to power when passing vehicles.
      • Running at 4,000 RPMs waiting to pass someone on a two-lane road is one of the most satisfying feelings in a manual transmission car.
      1. Better understanding of how your car works.
      • This could be a stretch but if you poll manual and automatic drivers and ask them basic car questions, who would get more correct?
      1. Worst case scenario.
      • Imagine visiting your favorite Volcano with friends and it starts to erupt. The only vehicle around for your getaway is a 5-speed Jeep Wrangler. Glad you learned how to drive a stick, right?
      1. They're just more fun.
      • If you rolled your eyes when reading this, you probably own an automatic vehicle right now. If you smiled, you either have a manual transmission car or now want to drive one again. Stick shifts are more fun to drive! It doesn't matter what make and model it is, as long as you can have the ability to row through the gears.
        1. You always get the gear you meant to get.
        • There’s nothing worse then pushing down the gas and your automatic transmission decides you don’t need to downshift when you really wanted to.
        1. Nostalgia
        • There is no doubt that the manual transmission is tied to the history and joy of automobiles. The progression of technology has been shrinking the demand for this experience but there is an underlying enthusiasm that still resonates with the select few.  Long live the stick shift!

        12 Responses

        senor mango
        senor mango

        January 02, 2023

        to each their own, its not really a question of whether automatic or manual is the beter choice but whichever one suits the driver better, and whichever one the driver prefers. its why both car choices are available.

        Mei Mei Solomon
        Mei Mei Solomon

        January 02, 2023

        I love driving manual. I’ve been driving manual long as I can remember. Great feeling. I drive long distance. Work on NYC live upstate NY. The dexterity of the stick shift. I’m engaged with the vehicle and I’m always alert on the road. I make sure my sons drive manual before automatic. To ensure their versatility. Manual transmission is fading. Fingers crossed never

        Stewart Newman
        Stewart Newman

        December 26, 2021

        Well written, but you neglected to mention that manual gearboxes are not sequential, you have the option of selecting any gear at almost any time. If you feel like selecting 2nd gear at 100km/h you can, it might get a little tricky but also can be fun locking up the rear end for a bit. Also when taking off down hill, start in second, punch it and drop it straight into 5th. You can skip any gear you want, shifting up or down. The world is your oyster. And as you said, it keeps your mind active.

        Ella Starr
        Ella Starr

        August 16, 2021

        How great that you talk about how a manual transmission can be impressive because the vehicle can be started on a dead battery without a jump. My car has actually been having some transmission problems the last couple of weeks. I will find a great transmission service in my area. http://www.budgetautomotivetucson.com/transmission-services

        Taylor Hansen
        Taylor Hansen

        May 27, 2020

        I’m glad to hear that driving a manual will make you more alert while driving. I’m trying to find a Mazda3 hatchback that is manual since I love driving a stick shift. Thanks for the tips and I’ll be sure to keep researching and find one that is manual. http://www.northgatetransmissions.com/automatic-transmission

        Power Steering
        Power Steering

        March 11, 2020

        I am glad after reading such a wonderful article. Your article about 20 Reasons To Drive a Manual Transmission is fantastic. It was a wonderful experience to read on your website. Please keep posting more information like this on the same or different topics. Get Back soon with us by a new article. https://powersteeringshop.co.nz/


        February 13, 2020

        I’m 57 and at the age of 29 or so I taught myself to drive a 5 speed Chevrolet Beretta. It took me about an hour to get it going smoothly but considering there are 7 siblings me at #2 and my parents never taught any of to drive I did pretty good. Since then I have owned more stick shifts than automatics. Love them.

        David Buroker
        David Buroker

        October 18, 2019

        Since 1985, every car I have purchased (8 new and 2 used) has had a manual transmission. It is a prerequisite for any car I buy, and unfortunately, at least on new cars, they are becoming harder and harder to find. My current “toy” is a 2005 Mercedes SLK350 convertible. Even the Mercedes dealer in Rochester is amazed I found one in a stick. I’m glad I stumbled onto your dealership. If I’m ever in the market for something used, I know where I’m going.

        John Wright
        John Wright

        October 13, 2019

        The great reason is that if you can drive a manual car, you can have a go at a variety of other vehicles too, including truck, tractor, forklift, motorcycle, old cars and utes/pickups, etc. I find that being able to drive a manual takes the mystery out of all these other machines and I’ll happily try to drive anything!

        Lee Hodgman
        Lee Hodgman

        September 30, 2019

        Sadly manual transmission cars are rapidly declining in popularity. We noticed this several years ago when we had a fair bit of difficulty selling my wife’s 2011 model 6 speed manual Mazda 3. The cars replacement is a never version Mazda 3 and we once again chose a manual. Needless to say our adult children are clueless!! 😂 My " toy" happens to be a 1970 model Holden Kingswood complete with 3 on the tree manual transmission, carburetor incorporating a manual choke, no air con, no power steering and no power windows and drum brakes around. This beautiful car takes me back to my childhood when times were so thoroughly different, but indeed no one else in this household could even successfully start my old Holden, let alone drive it! Yes indeed I’m thankful for my parents insistence that we all learnt to drive in manual transmission cars back in the mid 80’s! 😀

        John Winter
        John Winter

        July 16, 2019

        Very well said! I have owned over a dozen manual transmission cars. Every one had Its idiosyncrasies and every one had its true pleasures. My current manual transmission car, a 1965MGB roadster, it’s just great fun to downshift, after double clutching, and hear that engine brake and that exhaust rumble. Yes, double-clutching. The second gear synchro‘s stopped synchronizing in 1967. Still great fun!
        Ron Martinmaki
        Ron Martinmaki

        June 27, 2019

        You forgot…its way more fun!

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