Monday, 30 November 2020

Manual Transmissions Shifting Towards Extinction

MW, Subaru and Porsche sold 100% of their new cars in Costa Rica with only automatic transmission

The manual transmission that used to drive cars for more than a century, appears to have its days numbered. Other than being more enjoyable to a limited subset of the population, it’s quickly (and understandably) slipping into obscurity, according to the worldwide sales data and which, in the case of Costa Rica, also begins to be noticed.

The manual transmission – also known as ‘Stick Shift’ – equipped in cars for decades which is based on the engaging and disengaging operation of a clutch by the driver to regulate torque from the engine to the transmission and shift through gear ratios with a shifter.

- Advertisement -

The arguments for the manual transmission are they cost less, they tend to get better gas mileage and they’re more fun to drive. But every year, cars with manual transmissions account for fewer vehicles sold.

Some will argue that a driver with a stick shift is more proactive as compared to driving one with an automatic transmission where the changing of gear ratios occur automatically.

In Costa Rica, finding a new car with an automatic transmission was near next to impossible. Only imported cars from North America had those. And then where would you get it serviced? Having a car with an automatic transmission was not only a headache when the car experienced problems, but it was also difficult to sell

In fact, you needed a car with a stick shift to take the driver road exam. It wasn’t until 2011 that the Ministry of Transport (MOPT) changed the rules of the game and allowed driver exams in cars with automatic transmission. From 2008 to 2011 automatics banned from taking the road test in obtaining a driver’s license.

- Advertisement -

This allowed for increased acceptance and reliability for the automatic transmission in the national market, coming to learn that an automatic transmission makes life easier on the road, especially in San Jose’s nightmare traffic congestion, as compared to a manual transmission.

Also, besides the relative ease in learning how to drive, stalling in cars with automatic transmission isn’t an issue either as there is no clutch to create that embarrassing judder that always seems to occur at the lights.

Automatic transmissions are also easier to drive on Costa Rica’s steep hill climbs and slopes. They might not be as fun to drive on a hilly road, but it’ll definitely be less stressful as navigating steep roads using a manual transmission can be tricky business.

It’s not that manual transmissions are bad, it’s that automatics are so good

Technology has advanced rapidly, making the automatic system a more reliable, silent, fast option.

And that has been reflected in the sale of new cars.

Porsche is one of the examples of brands that, in Costa Rica, only offers the automatic transmission model in 100% of its stock, both for SUVs and sports cars.

- Advertisement -

However, the models allow you to activate the manual mode and drive with the paddles on the steering column.

Similarly, Subaru, despite having manual models, sold all 2018 models in the country with the automatic transmission.

Over at the Danissa Group, exclusive dealer of Audi and Nissan brands in Costa Rica, they reported that three-quarters of its sales were with automatic, and only one-quarter manual.

According to figures reported by La Republica, Porsche, BMW and Subaru sold 100% of their new cars with an automatic transmission, 90% of Volkswagens sold were with an automatic, Ford ith 80%, Audi/Nissan 75% and Hyundai 65%.

No numbers were available for Toyotas and Mercedes Benz.

I have been driving automatics and manuals for most of my life, my first car was a stick shift. Today, of the two vehicles I own, one is an automatic (Mercedes sedan), the other a stick, a 1975 Toyota Landcruiser.

Which is better? For me, it depends on the day, the destination, my mood. If I am going to downtown San Jose or highway driving, I prefer the automatic, but, the stick is a lot of fun, especially up and down the hills of Santa Ana.





- Advertisement -
"Rico" is the crazy mind behind the Q media websites, a series of online magazines where everything is Q! In these times of new normal, stay at home. Stay safe. Stay healthy.

Related Articles

Legislators, ministers, magistrates and others in goverment would pay the full 2021 Marchamo

QCOSTARICA - The members of the supreme powers such as legislators,...

2020 Expectations For Electric Cars in Costa Rica Good

New models, better financing conditions and increased imports of used vehicles...


19 dead and 45 injured in traffic accident in Waslala, Matagalpa

TODAY NICARAGUA – The overturning of a truck left 16 people dead and 45 injured in the community of Ocote Tuma, in the municipality...

On the Back of the Pandemic, the Militarization of Latin America is Gathering Momentum, Analysts Warn

(QREPORTS) During the Covid-19 pandemic, armed forces in Latin America have been taking on essential tasks: manufacturing protective equipment, delivering food and treating civilians...

Western Union closes in Cuba due to U.S. sanctions

(Q24N) The financial services company Western Union closed its operation in Cuba, this Monday, November 23, forced by pressure from the Donald Trump administration,...

Bossa Nova’s birthplace closes due to Covid-19 in Brazil

(Prensa Latina) Casa Villarino, one of the cradles of the bossa nova music movement in Brazil, closed its bar and restaurant in Rio de...

Mexico received a request for the sanitary registration of the vaccine from BioNtech / Pfizer

Q24N - The alliance of Germany's BioTech, which developed the vaccine against COVID-19, and the Pfizer consortium have delivered documents to the Commission for...

Traveller’s Tale: Costa Rica has reopened to travelers. Here’s what it’s like to visit

LONELY PLANET -  Twenty-one years ago, Costa Rica was the first country I had ever visited outside the United States. Since that first trip,...

Let's Keep This Going!

To be updated with all the latest news and information about Costa Rica and Latin America.

Log In

Forgot password?

Forgot password?

Enter your account data and we will send you a link to reset your password.

Your password reset link appears to be invalid or expired.

Log in

Privacy Policy

Add to Collection

No Collections

Here you'll find all collections you've created before.