Poll: Escapist: Can you drive a Manual?

Verlander

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Manuals tend to be more economic (around 10% according to the AA), and they last longer too. So very good reasons to drive manual. I'm UK, which has been discussed to death, manual is the standard. With the price of fuel over here, it's not surprising.
 

Arakasi

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Jun 14, 2011
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Scrumpmonkey said:
Arakasi said:
Scrumpmonkey said:
Entirety of Europe here. Yes we can. They are just straight better. Outside of "urrrrrr it's really haaaard, i don't wanna learn to drive properly i just want to push the peddles and go like an eight year old in a go kart" there is really no reason to not have a manual gearbox.
Don't get it.

One's easier, one's harder, why the elitism?
It's convenience vs. versatility and responsiveness. If you can be bothered going through the effort to learn how to use a manual gearbox (and if millions of British 17 year olds can do it I'm sure 'murca can) there are a great number of advantages to physically changing gears.

Yes it's a higher level of driving skill, it requires you do learn and do more. Not being able to use a manual gearbox in most EU countries means you have a limited license, it's a very useful skill to have and makes you a more skilled driver and certainly more adaptable driver. If you ever want to do any kind of racing or track time then a manual gearbox is vastly superior. There is a reason most high performance cars and motorsport have manual gearboxes (although at the higher end they tend towards "Flappy Paddle" gearboxes now. The exceptions to this i would say are extremely new and high end clever sports automatic gearboxes. But in terms of mainstream and especially older and affordable vehicles manual is still going to be better if you can get used to it.)

If i can drive a manual i can drive an automatic. I can do both. Those who have only ever driven an automatic can only drive one type of car so why limit yourself for the sake of short-term convenience?. I also find it funny that people who have only even learned to drive automatic can comment on driving manual gearboxes. If you don't know how to drive a manual how can you have an opinion that goes beyond "That stick thing scares me".

It's kind of like asking someone why they think being able to speak more than one language is objectively better. It's an extra skill, i don't think it's 'elitist' to think being able to do more is better.
I ride a manual motorcycle, actually, and I find changing gears is a pain in the ass, and I've been riding for about 2 years. I don't really want to do racing or anything, I just want to get from A-B. If I'm ever rich (ha), then maybe, but just for driving around I'd rather something easier that allows me to devote more attention to other aspects of driving.
 

Sofus

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Apr 15, 2011
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This poll is missing an option between the top two choices.

I have only once driven a car that had an automatic transmission (though I have operated plenty construction vehicles that did)... and it just felt odd / weird / wrong... almost like i'm not 100% in control of the vehicle.
 

Varis

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Feb 24, 2012
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I can and do drive a manual car, and given that it's such an old model that it hasn't got any luxuries in it, I doubt anyone in their right mind would risk jail time for stealing my dear rustbucket.
 

Caffiene

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Jul 21, 2010
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Nope.

Just not common enough here in Australia. Of all the cars Ive owned, my family has owned, my partners have owned, the driving instructor I learned with owned, and even my friends have owned as far as I can think of, not one of them has been a manual.

Ive got nothing against learning if I have the opportunity, but theres no point in seeking one out.

As a side comment, Im very bemused by the number of people driving manual who are talking about not liking auto because of the lack of control. It makes it sound like there are huge groups of people out there so borderline in their driving ability that any reduction and theyre out-of-control. I understand that it does give you more control over the fine details, but Ive never felt like driving was particularly complex for me to need more control. As a personal preference, sure, but not as a required feature.
 

FFMaster

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May 13, 2009
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Yes, I live in the UK , if you don't learn to drive in a manual you can ONLY drive an automatic which means basically most of the cars that are sold here you cannot drive.

So you learn to drive the manual, then can drive both, simple.
 

shootthebandit

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May 20, 2009
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Arakasi said:
One's easier
http://m.wikihow.com/Drive-a-Car-With-an-Automatic-Transmission

one's harder, why the elitism?
http://m.wikihow.com/Drive-Manual

These are both sources from the same website. One reads like its been written for a four year old and the other reads like its been written for an adult. Its institutionalised elitism, just wait till tumblr finds out about this needless discrimination and we have an automatic rights activist group.

seriously though its not really elitism. Its just that as you said one is vastly simpler than the other. Once you get used to shifting gears and having a clutch you do genuinely feel out of control when you drive an auto. Ive driven a manual with no handbrake before as a works car. I didnt trust that it was going to stop on the hill itself so I nearly burnt the clutch and my foot was aching after balancing it on the clutch. Ive driven autos before and trust me its just as confusing as someone going from an auto to a manual. If you put your car in gear in a manual and lift your foot off the clutch it will lurch forward and stall. The first time I drove an auto I genuinely didnt know how to get started because I thought it would stall
 

Spaceman Spiff

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Sep 23, 2013
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I drive a stick shift everyday. Driving an automatic actually feels weird to me now. I much prefer the extra control and attentiveness I have with a manual transmission.

I actually never drove a stick until my previous car got totaled and I had to get a new one. On a whim I went with a manual transmission. My father gave me a 1-2 hour lesson and I've been driving it ever since. The sad thing is most cars here are automatic. The dealership had to get mine from a partner dealership in a neighboring state.
 

Blow_Pop

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Jan 21, 2009
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I drive a manual transmission. Have been driving it for 8 years now. I hate driving automatics. Unless it's a choice of someone drunk driving or me driving and getting us there safely.
 

AD-Stu

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Oct 13, 2011
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I drive manual, in part because I find it terminally boring to drive an auto :p

I'm the odd one out among my siblings though, my younger brother and sister never learned to drive manual. There's a few guys at work that are auto-only too.
 
Sep 14, 2009
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Lilani said:
I suppose that makes sense. America is a lot of hills and long, straight roads that go on for hundreds of miles. I have a basic idea of how gears work just hearing my parents discuss their experience riding their motorcycles (which have manual gear shifts), so if my understanding of what they do is correct then that does make sense.

Which still means the elitism is unfounded, lol. They can feel all superior with their manual transmissions if they want, I'll feel superior knowing I can creep slowly up a hill and not sputter and ruin a clutch.
oh god this, stopping on some of the hills here with random manual cars is scary as shit, especially when some light intersections are 20-30 yards apart, so most people are pretty tight on each others asses to make sure they don't get caught in the last intersection. with lots of hills and straight roads it is much easier driving automatic.

(then again, I'm of the opinion that I can't wait for autonomous cars to become mainstream, safety is key when it comes to driving, as it is a privilege, so I couldn't care less about the "fun factor" of driving manual)

OT: I can drive manual, I have more than a few friends who are car nuts and I've driven with them enough times to get around if I need to with not much traffic around.
 

Jamash

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Jun 25, 2008
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shootthebandit said:
Arakasi said:
One's easier
http://m.wikihow.com/Drive-a-Car-With-an-Automatic-Transmission

one's harder, why the elitism?
http://m.wikihow.com/Drive-Manual

These are both sources from the same website. One reads like its been written for a four year old and the other reads like its been written for an adult. Its institutionalised elitism, just wait till tumblr finds out about this needless discrimination and we have an automatic rights activist group.

seriously though its not really elitism.
It's not elitism when manual is the norm, but it is something close to elitism or a sense that the other is inferior when automatics are so much simpler than the norm that it's reflected in automatic drivers and their attitudes towards driving and how a car operates.

I was shocked when I first heard of the debate about whether a handbrake is necessary at all in a (automatic) car. Apparently lots of automatic drivers don't think you should use the "emergency" brake except in an emergency, and that stopping your car from rolling after you've parked it isn't a good enough reason to lift the handbrake lever.

A surprisingly high number of automatic drivers argue that the parking gear/pawl on an automatic car is all that you need to park it (unless you're on a very very steep hill) and a tiny pin of metal in the gearbox is all you need to hold a 2+ tonne car in place (and cars lurching forward after you've parked them is normal), but the handbrake shouldn't be used for parking because there's a very real danger that automatic drivers will forget they've activated the handbrake, then drive off with it on and wreck the car's tyres and engine (which apparently happens more than you would think).

Another circular problem this reliance on the automatic gearbox and aversion to using a handbrake causes, is that because lots of people never use it, the cable becomes slack and corroded, so then if they suddenly do have to use handbrake it won't work properly, causing people to think that handbrakes don't work and should never be used or relied upon.

I don't think it's necessary elitist to recognise that the simpler choice of gearbox can encourage complacency and poor driving practices and car knowledge when that simpler and less engaging method becomes the norm so people don't learn beyond that or acquire basic knowledge that most people take for granted.
 

Dark Knifer

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May 12, 2009
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I can't legally since I got my license in an automatic but I can on a full license and want to learn. Automatic is very common where I live though, I only have one mate who has a manual and that's because he bought a care from the 80s.
 

Dirty Hipsters

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Yes, I can drive a stick. In fact, I can a manual very well, and drove a manual Audi R8 at just under 200 mph just last weekend on a closed track. I would not want to drive a manual for every day things though. I live in California, there's tons of traffic and having to constantly shift gears in stop and go traffic would drive me fucking insane.
 

Olas

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Dec 24, 2011
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How about just a "no" answer?

I'm not learning how to drive one, but I don't think they're unsafe, nor would I never like to drive one. Chances are the first car I buy myself will be a manual, but so far the hand-me-downs I've gotten have all been automatic so I haven't even gotten an opportunity to learn.
 

Synyster

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Jul 20, 2011
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Yes I can drive a manual car quite well actually. I can also ride a manual motorcycle (which makes up 95% of them so it's not that impressive).