What do the 2018 Audi A4, BMW 340i, and Ford Mustang GT have in common? They are all members of a prestigious club: Cars.com’s favorite manual-transmission cars of 2018.
The Cars.com editorial team, consumers’ source for automotive news and reviews, recently discussed its seven favorite clutch performers. The occasion was none other than the first-ever National Stick Shift Day, which Cars.com created to celebrate the joy and romance of shifting gears and adjusting your speed the manual way.
With as little as 18 percent of Americans knowing how to use a stick shift[i], it’s fair to say that stick shifts have a cult following. But manual transmission enthusiasts love their stick shifts. As Mike Hanley of the Cars.com editorial team wrote, “Many of the one-time benefits of manuals, like better gas mileage and performance, have been erased by modern automatic transmissions, but the feeling of complete control that comes from driving a stick shift hasn’t yet been matched by an automatic.”
The Elite Seven
For stick shift owners, nothing beats that feeling of mastering the art of gear shifting and adjusting your speed as you adapt to the demands of the road. Cars.com called out seven 2018 vehicles that do an exceptional job creating magic for stick shift owners (in alphabetic order):
- Audi 4 (“The shifter has a light feel and flicks easily through the gears, and it pairs with a smooth-revving turbocharged four-cylinder that’s surprisingly gutsy”).
- BMW 340 (“. . . the manual is a delight to row with satisfying throws and enough of a mechanical feel to keep you feeling connected to the car”).
- Ford Mustang GT (“The metal ball shifter feels great in your hand and moves between gears with direct, mechanical precision”).
- Honda Civic Type 4 (“The short-throw shifter clicks through gears, and the light clutch pedal feels right for a car like this”).
- Honda Accord (“. . . swift accelerator response makes for easy rev-matching”).
- Fiat 124 Spider (“Some cars are still a lot of fun even at slower speeds, and this is one of them”).
- Subaru BRZ/Toyota 86 (“These coupes are relatively light, have great chassis balance and are fitted with an exceptional manual gearbox”).
If your dealership offers any of these makes and models, you may experience an uptick in queries and site visits as consumers learn more about them. And by all means celebrate the occasion! Let your customers know your vehicle made the Elite Seven. Meanwhile, check out the entire article, and happy selling!
[i] US News & World Report, “Why Are Manual Transmissions Disappearing?” September 27, 2016.