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  • Writer's pictureRobert Routt

The stick shift transmission's appeal to drivers

What are the chances of stick shifts coming back? Most drivers today drive automatic transmissions, but there was a time when operating a stick transmission was a necessary skill - that's why they called it a "standard" transmission. The Wall Street Journal reports that stick shifts are now experiencing a modest, yet significant resurgence. Several automakers, including Mini and Mazda, are doubling down on three-pedal cars. What's the reason? Millennials are driving the trend. There are many millennials and Generation Z drivers who love the old-fashioned way of

car transmission
Manual Transmission

driving, according to the Journal.

Why did stick shift transmission's lose popularity?

In recent decades, automatic transmissions have supplanted stick shifts as the dominant model. Ian Bogost noted in 2022 that manual transmissions accounted for 15 percent of new and used car sales in 2000, but only 2.4 percent two decades later. Exactly why? It's partly due to electrification: Newfangled cars don't even have gearboxes. But it's also because automatics have improved over time, writes Joe Wiesnfelder on When compared to automatics, stick shifts had a higher fuel economy. Things have changed since then.

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