I have never driven a stick shift but I would love to. Looks cooler and sexier for a woman to drive a stick shift (in my opinion). Lord knows I've tried to learn, multiple times much to my husband's dismay, but just can't get the hang of it. Finally accepted that there are two things in this world I am uncoordinated to do - drive a stick shift and aerobics (I never move in the same direction as the rest of the class). I am only coordinated for an automatic - so sad :-(
I took driver's education in the mid-1970's, and even by then it was considered unnecessary to teach us how to drive a stick-shift. And so I never learned. I wouldn't mind knowing how, but I've come this far and hopefully can escape the need to drive a stick unless I want to learn how. In the age of folks with a cigarette in one hand, a cup of coffee in another, and a cell phone next to their ear also, I'm for having my hands free as much as possible--in case I need to pull the wheel quickly to dodge someone who hadn't noticed me.
So, I guess it's an automatic for this old guy here....
My truck is an automatic and I like it like that cause I drive to work in city traffic.
When I build my '70 Chevelle you can be assured that it will have a stick. Nothing like powering through a corner by dropping into a lower gear to slow the engine down, plus you get faster acceleration out of the corner doing this. You can't do that in an automatic.
I know what you mean. I love my standard, but I always borrow my wife's car, which is an automatic, if I have to drive into the city. The last time I took my car to Manhattan I got stuck in bridge traffic and my left leg was in so much pain from the stop and go traffic.
Misha, from an old veteran over the road truck driver, you would not make it unless you were in an automatic drive. Believe me when I say Wes is correct on downshifting to slow a vehicles progress forward. One can use an automatic the same way. I prefer an auotmatic in icy or snow covered roads, front wheel drive or 4x4 preferably. Both of my vehicles are automatics now.
With ever increasing traffic on the roads, auto is looking much more attractive. I'm seriously planning to buy one next time around. That will be car no 33, is it. No, 34. Oh heck, I'll have to count them again.
I used to be "neither here or nor there", although I leaned toward thinking I liked having more control (on things like ice-covered hills) in a standard. Somewhere along the way I ended up with two automatics in a row, and I discovered that there are "subtle" little things you can to increase your control in a automatic. These days I don't really care, but I lean toward not having to be bothered shifting.
I love stick shift....85 Mustang GT, 96 Mustang GT, and especially "Gretchen" my pick up/stompin truck! In my old cheapy rust buckets I prefered a stick, too. Something about being able to push and pop the clutch rather than find a guy.... Holly
For the last ~10 years the automatics I've had here in the UK have all had the option of either paddles on the steering wheel or the ability to manually shift the auto box by moving the gear shift to the left and then flicking it up or down. This usually switches the gearbox to "sports" mode.
I've also seen semi-automatics which offer a manual shift but without the clutch pedal - VW apparently do a good one for the Golf.
Surely the best option is to be able to do both, depending whether you're in city traffic/congestion or on an open road. In terms of "sportiness", real racing cars typically use paddles, and unless a racing driver is shifting, the car will react and shift faster. Surely this isn't just a European feature?
I raced bikes and cars for many years and the manual is pretty good for delivering big horsepower, it is just that the auto has come so far lately that they even work well in small cars without loss of acceleration or fuel over the manual. The Honda Jazz 1.5 litre has a 7 speed auto with little paddles on the steering wheel, and the gear changes up or down are sensationally quick and smooth.
I definitely prefer a manual gearbox here in the UK. It gives me more control of the car. My hubby prefers an automatic, for the laziness of it. As mentioned before, most people here in the UK drive a manual as automatics are for people who can't use gears.
The new automatic transmissions will out-drive a manual gearbox. The computer is much better at picking peak talk least fuel settings than the old transmissions without electronic management were, and a lot better than the average driver can with a manual box.