Allegiance Shifts: Automatic Sticks it to Manual
The stick-shift vehicle is becoming an endangered species in lots across America, according to the Sacramento Bee.That is, "standard" is no longer the rule. Industry experts say only about 9 percent of the cars and light trucks built today have manual transmissions -- drivers simply don't want them, the Bee said. Part of the explanation is improved technology, according to the Bee. Twenty-five years ago, automatic transmissions were both unreliable and inferior to their manual counterparts when it came to fuel efficiency. That's not the case today.Stick-shift vehicles still outperform automatics, but only by about three miles per gallon. Experts say the advantage is not enough to offset the convenience of an automatic, according to the Bee.