By on June 6, 2014

2013 Buick Verano Turbo, Exterior, Front 3/4, Picture Courtesy of Alex L. Dykes

If you want a Buick with three pedals, your only option is now the Regal.

Buick has dropped the manual Verano for 2015, due to what must be a lack of demand. Aside from our own Daveincalgary and a few press loaners, there are next to no examples of manual Veranos existing in the wild. And as we’ll see in our next installment of Dave’s Verano adventures, his experience with the manual transmission hasn’t been entirely pleasant.

Get the latest TTAC e-Newsletter!

150 Comments on “Buick’s Manual Offerings Cut In Half...”


  • avatar
    mitchw

    Plenty of car companies make their automatic selectors look like manual knobs, complete with leather shroud. So we’ll still have that.

    Looking at you Mini

    • 0 avatar

      I don’t care what the appearance is – I care what the driving experience is. I couldn’t care less if the shifter looks like a manual – I want it to drive like a manual… which means having three pedals.

  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    Has it been in the shop already!?

    Pearl white does not work on the LaCrosse! It looks too boat-like.

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    Would have made more sense to wait for the refresh to drop options (or is it being refreshed in MY15?).

  • avatar
    Scott_314

    I say if they were smart they would keep offering it regardless of take rate. The word of mouth and discussion on internet forums is worth it.

    • 0 avatar
      Jeff Weimer

      There’s a lot more to it than that – emissions and fuel economy regulations just for starters. Going way back, that’s the reason the Subaru SVX was automatic-only; they couldn’t justify the expense of certifying a stick shift.

      • 0 avatar
        dtremit

        Yeah, but for the current car, that’s all sunk cost. Unlikely they would have to recert until the next refresh.

      • 0 avatar
        Tim_Turbo

        Not to mention that Subaru would have had to design and build a manual transmission built for the SVX specifically as the manuals they had at the time could not handle the torque of the 6 cyl. Couldn’t justify it-even though they had higher hopes for- as the SVX was always going to be a low sales volume car.

        Never heard about the emissions aspect, interesting.

        Hindsight being 20/20 I wish they had made that manual transmission-a Legacy 3.0R (now with the 3.6) with a manual would have been a hell of car.

    • 0 avatar
      Roadie73

      It’s not worth it from a vehicle assembly point of view. Under a certain volume, there aren’t enough of them being built to keep the line workers familiar with the low running options, along with keeping an inventory of manual specific parts..

    • 0 avatar
      redav

      Hahahahahaha, that’s a good one.

      Internet car sites do nothing to affect sales. Otherwise, Toyota bland-mobiles and other appliances wouldn’t sell in the numbers they do. If offering a manual hasn’t led to sufficient internet word-of-mouth to affect sales yet, it won’t do it in the future, either.

    • 0 avatar
      Sigivald

      Talk that doesn’t sell cars isn’t worth anything.

  • avatar
    Lie2me

    The more automatics improve the argument and the demand for the standard transmission diminishes, it’s just the way it is. Hopefully there will a few available to satisfy what has become a nitch market

    • 0 avatar
      VoGo

      I think there needs to be a redefinition of the market for manual transmissions. Until 10 years ago, you bought a manual transmission because:
      1. you were cheap and wanted to save the extra $800 an automatic cost
      2. you were a control freak and wanted to determine which gear you were in
      3. you wanted better fuel economy
      4. you wanted better performance
      5. image reasons – you felt more manly; conversely there is something so cool about a woman who can handle a stick
      6. you defined the act of driving — and enjoyed driving — with a stick

      Reasons 1-4 have essentially gone away, now that automatics are so sophisticated and have at least 6, often 8-9, or even infinity gears (CVT). 0-60 times are better, economy is better, and the fuel savings over the life of the vehicle pay back the upfront costs.

      Finally, mobile phones. It’s really hard to steer with one hand on the stick and another on your phone.

      Which leaves us with 5 and 6. It’s a small market, but I think if someone took the effort to develop it (Mazda? Honda?) the payoffs would be strong in terms of consumer loyalty and brand image.

      • 0 avatar

        6 has always been my number one reason.

        5 never figured, but I do like women who can drive stick.

        I also like the fact that manual trans take less maintenance, and it’s much less expensive.

      • 0 avatar
        djsyndrome

        Well, reason 1 certainly hasn’t gone away – automatics are still an extra-cost option on almost every car, and the price of admission is over a grand in most cases. On a $35k BMW that’s no big deal, but on a $12k Mirage to someone just out of college it can be a dealbreaker.

        As for mobile phones, I don’t care what kind of transmission you have – if you are holding one in your hand while driving, get the hell away from me on the road.

      • 0 avatar
        DeeDub

        7. Ensuring no one but you gets to drive your car, because no one else in the family can drive a stick.

        • 0 avatar
          TheyBeRollin

          This can be both positive and negative.

          I also consider it a stealth anti-theft device, since probably 85-90% of the population in the youthful criminal age range in the US can’t drive one. Most traditional passport holders probably know how, though…

          Haven’t take rates been going up in recent years? Do we know which models are the main source of this?

      • 0 avatar
        davefromcalgary

        I fully admit that modern autos can shift faster and get equal or better performance than most manuals (provided of course the shift logic is decent). This has never entered into the equation for me, though.

        Can we please just accept that some of us simply enjoy the action of manipulating a manual transmission, image, cost, and metrics aside?

      • 0 avatar
        Power6

        LOL mobile phones…I have an automatic now and texting and driving is pretty easy…compared to back in the day I used to smoke…I’d be driving my car, shifting gears and steering with one hand with a cigarette and somehow also a coffee in the other hand since the car didn’t have a cupholder…

        I really want to go back to a manual trans next car.

  • avatar
    troyohchatter

    I understand that new automatic transmissions are outstanding marvels of engineering. My big issue is that with very few exceptions, I am not confident of their long term reliability. CVTs and dual clutches, if they break at the 160K mark, cost more to repair than the car is worth. Would you put 4-5K or more into a single item on a car that is, by that point, 10 years old?

    With all of the tiptronic/dual clutch/cvt, and all of the additional hardware and software it takes to run such things, the manual is still trumps all comers when it comes to bulletproof reliability and long term cost and durability, that is as long as the owner knows how to operate it.

    I still maintain if you are going to drive a car into the ground, as I do, then the manual model with a relatively limited amount of options is still the way to go. All of the gee whiz infotainment stuff becomes obsolete in a hurry and it’s obsolescence only adds to the depreciation of the vehicle.

    And Buick is all about premium luxury, from the transmission to the infotainment. Because of this alone Buick is off of my shopping list.

    • 0 avatar
      Jeff Weimer

      Hint: No manufacturer is all that concerned with long-term reliability beyond the warranty period. It gets in the way of car sales.

    • 0 avatar
      Halftruth

      Agree with Troyo. Strippers with sticks (err.. doesnt sound right) are the way to go. All day long. I could care less about the tech crap.

      • 0 avatar
        Sigivald

        Get 20-plus million people to agree with you – with their wallets, not their internet comments – and you’ll see more no-spec cars with manuals.

        People who actually spend money on new cars, though, are what the market follows.

        And they don’t want a lot of stripper models with manuals…

      • 0 avatar
        burgersandbeer

        If you could care less, then maybe it is worth including:-)

        I think most people buying manuals do it primarily because they enjoy it. Perceived durability is a bonus. I can’t imagine suffering through a transmission I don’t enjoy for 10+ years just because it will probably be lower maintenance.

        With that in mind, I think manuals should be offered with at least mid-level trims. I like manuals, but have no interest in driving a bare bones car for any length of time.

        • 0 avatar
          Kyree S. Williams

          That’s me too. Now that my commute is much gentler, I’m not so turned off by the idea of a manual transmission. But I don’t want a freaking base model. If I were to get a manual, it’d probably be in a Passat.

    • 0 avatar

      +10

    • 0 avatar
      redav

      Instead of just being concerned, go out an look at the data. These things aren’t new to the market, you can easily research how long they last.

      Since nearly every car sold today will pass 200k mi with basic maintenance, odds are it’s not that big of an issue.

      And I’m sure Buick isn’t fretting over whether you buy one of their cars or not.

    • 0 avatar
      hybridkiller

      “I still maintain if you are going to drive a car into the ground, as I do, then the manual model with a relatively limited amount of options is still the way to go.”

      I tend to do as you, but with my vehicles the powertrain not only far outlasts the body/paint, interior bits, and general cosmetics, but they’re usually in top running condition when I get rid of them. And in ~35 years of owning and driving cars (most were AT) I’ve never had to rebuild an AT. I know it’s strictly anecdotal, but that seems to be what informs most people’s attitudes about such things.

  • avatar
    davefromcalgary

    Guess I got while the gettin was good.

    According to the dealership, 100% of all 2014 6MT Veranos in Canada belong to me.

  • avatar
    an innocent man

    My oldest kid is 10. I’ve told my wife they won’t be allowed to get their licenses until they can drive a manual. Guess I should buy one now to have one then. (Also, it’s likely a silly notion and I have no idea why I feel they should be able to drive one, I just do.)

    • 0 avatar
      Kenmore

      Why not make them learn to write Gothic script?
      It’ll be about as necessary.

      • 0 avatar
        an innocent man

        Oh I agree. And I have no doubt I’ll change my mind before it’s time to actually expend the energy.

      • 0 avatar
        VoGo

        Reading an actual map is still essential.

        • 0 avatar
          Lie2me

          Why? I’ve been carrying paper maps since I got my first GPS. Finally threw them away about a year ago, never once had to refer to them

          • 0 avatar
            Kenmore

            I will never toss my DeLorme Wisconsin Atlas & Gazeteer. Never.

            If that makes me a progress-hypocrite, fine. I’ve smelled worse.

          • 0 avatar
            VoGo

            I hear you, but to me, the ability to read a map – to know where you are, where you are going, and how to get there – is a critical life skill.

            I recognize how easy it is to just say “Siri, give me directions to 42 Main street”,and I do it most of the time. But I still believe that people should understand their relationship to the physical world and how to navigate within in it.

            Maybe that’s just me being caveman dad, but its one of the (many) burdens my children must bear.

          • 0 avatar
            Kenmore

            VoGo,
            As someone who once routinely used USGS topographic maps, I hold cartography to be among humanity’s greatest achievements. And it’s always better appreciated on nice, big paper.

          • 0 avatar
            Sigivald

            Yeah … even without relying on a GPS unit it’s been a long time since I’ve needed a paper map.

            I have them in my truck (the daily driver doesn’t go on long trips to unfamiliar places), but … they don’t get used.

            It’ll be a hell of a set of circumstances where I’m without the GPS, out of cell service to look a map up on my phone, out of pre-printed directions, and so lost I need a map to find the Interstate … but still know where I am enough to need the map.

            The need just ain’t adding up, rationally.

            (Now, the ability to READ a map is another matter; that lets you figure out a route from the Google Map or Bing Map on your phone without blindly relying on hoping the server isn’t going to do something insane like route you over a mountain pass on a logging road in winter…

            But carrying physical maps? Maybe if you’re doing cross-country runs offroad in the desert?)

          • 0 avatar
            djsyndrome

            This all goes out the window when you travel to another country and don’t feel like paying through the nose for international data access.

      • 0 avatar
        Mullholland

        My two kids can operate a manual transmission and write Gothic script. They also have degrees in refrigerator repair.

      • 0 avatar
        burgersandbeer

        It’s as necessary as you make it. If an innocent man plans to have manuals in the driveway when the kids can drive, then it is basically necessary.

        And somehow, despite the extremely low sales numbers, I have plenty of friends and acquaintances with manuals. It’s useful to be able to drive a friend’s car in a pinch.

    • 0 avatar
      MBella

      This was on my short list for my next car. It’s too bad. Maybe there will be a leftover 2014 if they aren’t selling well.

    • 0 avatar
      Lie2me

      I used to believe this was important, but if they cease to exist why bother

    • 0 avatar
      Sammy B

      I agree, an innocent man. My son is 8 (and 5 & 1 yr old daughters). All must learn to drive a stick and the other basic maintenance items [oil change, change a tire, etc]. I see those are relatively rare occurrences as well, but important to learn.

      We will always have at least 1 or 2 sticks in the family, so I want to be sure they learn. Heck, my next car (likely an Accord Sport or EX 6MT) could very possibly be my son’s first car!

    • 0 avatar
      FormerFF

      I don’t think you’ll have a problem getting a manual transmission car in that time frame. A quick perusal of cars.com shows there are 1346 new manual transmission cars available near me.

      What are they? Lots of sporty cars, led by the three ponycars, a handful of mid sized pickups, a number of different Jeeps, lots of compact and subcompact sedans, plus Accords and Passats. If you were looking for a crossover, those are pretty limited other than for the smaller Jeeps.

      There was a time there where I was thinking that the dual clutch transmission was going to be the end of manuals, but it seems like not all that many carmakers are that impressed with them, it seems like the CVT is gaining popularity instead. Since most sporting drivers don’t much care for the CVT, I can see the manual staying in the marketplace for quite a while.

    • 0 avatar
      DevilsRotary86

      My daughter is 4 so this is a ways off. However, my policy will simply be “Learn stick or go bug Mom for her keys’

      • 0 avatar
        FormerFF

        I’m running into the opposite problem. I have a 14 year old daughter, and one evening I asked her if she was looking forward to getting her learner’s permit next year. She’s terrified at the idea and wants to be driven by her mom and I instead.

    • 0 avatar
      Luke42

      I think driving a manual is an important skill for my son, too, because it helps build an intuition for how vehicles move.

      He’s 4, so the availability of manuals is going to be even limited when it’s time for him to learn to drive.

      I noodled on this one for a while, and then realized he will probably be learning to repair and drive a 2015 Jeep Wrangler in 2025. Plus, I secretly like Wranglers but have absolutely no use for one – except, perhaps, teaching someone real seat-of-the-pants driving skills.

      Of course, the plan may or may not meet the approval of the real world, so we’ll see what works.

  • avatar
    challenger2012

    This is only important to the 14 people left in the entire country that drive manuals.

  • avatar
    Kenmore

    I’m guessing this means Chinese don’t have a stick-shift subculture. And why would they?

  • avatar
    ant

    Is there a auto Verano available with a turbo?

    What’s the take rate on that?

    Back in 2012 I was looking for a manual sedan. I liked the Verano, but stick wasn’t available then either. Even so, I didn’t want a turbo, so, that would have ruined it for me anyhow.

    This news is a shame I think.

  • avatar
    hybridkiller

    Regarding long term durability of ATs, I can remember the concerns about PCMs/ECMs when carburetors were phased out, some people were positively freaking out about it – likewise as OHC gradually displaced (pun intended) OHV engine configurations, people proclaimed loudly and often that they would be less durable.
    Every AT vehicle I’ve owned made it to at least 180K with nothing but fluid/filter changes (and that includes a Firebird and a Dakota, vehicles legendary for their heinous unreliability). Maybe I’ve just been lucky, maybe I don’t beat on my cars hard enough, whatever.
    In any case, I don’t think there is enough macro data yet to condemn dual-clutchers as being long-term unreliable – I know they’ve been around for a while, but not in proportionally large numbers.
    Regardless, the general trend seems to be toward better reliability for powertrains across the board, so I wouldn’t lose any sleep over it.

    The notion that increased complexity inherently decreases reliability has been disproven many times before – it’s more about good engineering, and that is almost always a work in progress.

  • avatar
    Mandalorian

    Buicks should be smooth comfy cruisers. A manual doesn’t really go with that image. The Regal is a bit of an oddball though.

    • 0 avatar
      FormerFF

      I agree. You don’t usually hear the words “Buick” and “manual transmission” unless the speaker is talking about antique cars.

      • 0 avatar
        davefromcalgary

        If I can share my experience, I didn’t wake up one morning and decide “I must have a Buick and it MUST have an MT”. It was more of, “this car ticks all my boxes, and hey it happens to be a Buick.” I will admit, I take perverse delight in the “rarity” of my car.

        My Buick is smooth and comfy. I may occasionally botch a shift but because I almost always drive alone, its smooth enough to me.

        • 0 avatar
          NormSV650

          But the Verano 2.0T heel-n-toe down shifts so easy.

          • 0 avatar
            thornmark

            The professional reviews of the Verano Turbo manual point out that the “Buick” manual is nothing to aspire to.

            Those reviews seem to agree – avoid the Buick manual, so its absence is no loss.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        The thing with Buick though is, it is no longer Buick in the traditional sense. Buick has become the middle tier brand in GM’s lineup and has to fill in where Pontiac, Olds, or ever Saturn would have offered product but not interfere with Cadillac.

        • 0 avatar
          CoreyDL

          I dunno about that though. I think Pontiac customers must go to Chevy for their Driving Excitement. Olds customers can go to Buick (likely) or Caddy (less likely), and Saturn customers end up in lower-end Chevies, or a Mitsubishi – or a Dart.

          • 0 avatar
            PonchoIndian

            Most of us would choose Dodge or the Regal for our driving excitement, Chevy doesn’t cut it.

          • 0 avatar
            FormerFF

            @28 cars, when I did my search for manual transmission cars, within 50 mile radius of north metro Atlanta, there were only 10 manual transmission BMWs available. They’re all but extinct around here.

        • 0 avatar
          FormerFF

          True, but isn’t Buick positioned as a mid-luxury brand? How may luxury cars come with a three pedal setup?

          • 0 avatar
            LALoser

            My friend has a CTS-V with 3 pedals and loves it. Not easy on gas or tires…but loves it.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            BMWs do, Saabs did, Volvos did.

          • 0 avatar
            davefromcalgary

            “How may luxury cars come with a three pedal setup?”

            Not enough.

          • 0 avatar
            FormerFF

            @28 cars, when I did my search for manual transmission cars, within 50 mile radius of north metro Atlanta, there were only 10 manual transmission BMWs available. They’re all but extinct around here.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            @FormerFF

            That’s a shame, I suppose it goes in line with BMW itself effectively being extinct.

            @NormSV650

            I like Buick, I have owned Buicks, and probably will again in the future, but I have no disillusion as to what the brand represents and offers. Buick is the middle child now and effectively the FWD flip-side of Cadillac, and neither is a true luxury brand.

        • 0 avatar
          NormSV650

          Middle brand or not, Buick sells more in near-luxury/luxury segment except for MB, BMW, and Lexus.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            Which of Buick’s vehicles actually count as luxury, are there any? Not being sarcastic.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Buick is a collection of premium Chevrolet models and misc foreign oddballs, it fits the definition of middle brand well.

    • 0 avatar
      Mandalorian

      There are a lot of mid-lux marques out there and it helps them to have a niche. Acura’s for example is technology. Volvo’s is safety, etc.

      Buick’s should be a classic American cruiser done right experience. Buick should be to Cadillac what Bentley is is Rolls-Royce.

      Under the hood, an engine that’s smoothness is more important than it’s numbers on paper. In the cabin, STANDARD leather seats with nice trim and high quality materials at least where they matter. Ample rear seat room for three adults or grandkids behind. A big trunk that can swallow several golf bags or bodies tacked on the end.

  • avatar
    krhodes1

    Much as I love manuals, offering the Verano with one was a total oddball move on the part of the General. Not in keeping with the target audience in any way, shape, or form. How many Buick salesmen can even drive a stick these days?

    The Regal is more appropriate given its sporting bent, but it is a Buick in name only anyway.

  • avatar
    bullnuke

    A manual transmission is the best anti-theft device available. These days I could leave my car with windows open and keys on the dash in a major urban area and be assured that it will still be there when I return a couple of hours later….

    • 0 avatar
      bumpy ii

      Yes and no. A clutch pedal will discourage most casual joyriders, but any organized car thieves will simply snatch your car with a rollback truck, unless your car is a beaten, undesirable piece of crap.

    • 0 avatar
      redav

      Considering most cars have an immobilizer that’s harder to defeat than learning to drive a clutch, I doubt that. I echo bumpy–if they really want your car, they will know how to take it, and odds are it will be in the form of towing it. A far more common problem is breaking into cars to steal stuff inside, not the car itself.

  • avatar
    jetcal1

    Verano 6MT was on my shortlist. I had a better chance of winning the lottery than finding one in DFW. One in OKC, no interest in selling it. Bought ST instead.

    • 0 avatar
      Kyree S. Williams

      I’m surprised. Usually people here in OKC end up flocking to Texas to buy cars, since there are a lot more of them. But a MT in a FWD car seems more like a Northeastern-culture thing.

  • avatar
    omer333

    A Verano turbo is like a unicorn in California, regardless of transmission.

  • avatar
    deanst

    I parked next to my clone earlier this week – a black Astra XE with manual and sunroof. I would guess there are less than 100 similarly equipped cars in Canada – probably a lot less.

    Makes it easy to get a good deal on a new car – nobody want to buy the leftover manual transmission cars at the end of the year…

  • avatar
    the_yeti

    I have seen a Verano or 2 in San Francisco (can not confirm if Turbo or not), but I have the only Regal GS (manual) in the entire Bay Area. I have not even seen another Regal around here.

    Valets NEVER know what to think of my car.

  • avatar
    LALoser

    Does it have the hill/hold? I never asked my friend if they do.
    *That was for The Yeti, sorry*

    • 0 avatar
      davefromcalgary

      Mine does.

      • 0 avatar
        LALoser

        That makes it nice. Sticks are so easy and fun to drive anymore I’m surprised people don’t buy them. But as someone pointed out it would get in the way of cell/texting/facebook/eating etc.

        • 0 avatar
          Sam Hell Jr

          We may see some mild resurgence of them in the Land of Ever-Upshift as male American drivers are squeezed into global-platform small-displacement vehicles. Certainly if I were shopping for a new car today as opposed to three years ago I’d be thinking about a <2.0L engine and a stick to make it tolerable.

          You'd still have to figure out a way to to orient an entire generation of drivers that has next to no exposure to the technology, and get them competent enough to derive some enjoyment from it. That's a big hurdle even if the demand rises some.

    • 0 avatar
      the_yeti

      I do have Hill Start Assist. Its *ok*, but I actually just emailed Trifecta about tuning it out.

      I think Hill Start assist is fine, IF, you are on a moderate hill, and you are used to it.

      On an extreme hill, 5% grade or more, its actually harder then if I could just let the clutch out to the friction point and then start gassing it. The only time I have stalled the car is on a 5% grade or higher.
      In reverse, HSA is useless and you get a nasty clutch burning smell. If you are trying to parallel park on a hill its impossible.

      Why is it impossible? I need to pull the car forward a couple inches. Without HSA, I let the clutch out to the friction point, release the break, and slowly let out the clutch while adding a tiny bit of gas to creep the car forward without stalling, and hold the car with the clutch while i switch from the gas to the break.

      With Hill Start Assist, to creep the car forward, you let off the break, wait 2 seconds for the car to release and then switch to letting out the clutch, revving the gas. Its either that I have the clutch too far out in that 2 seconds, and not enough gas and it stalls, or the gas is to revved up and I lurch forward to fast. Its also very hard to flip back to the break when you have it in place, after revving it up so high.

      i realize I am a niche case for having to parallel park on a hill, and living in San Francisco, but the extreme grades make HSA a PITA.

      • 0 avatar
        LALoser

        Good point. Didn’t think about the parking problem. Ever go to La Cumbre on Valencia St? Good stuff.

      • 0 avatar
        NormSV650

        You don’t have to wait 2 seconds with hill assist to rev and clutch out. Just go when you want too. Same goes for the electronic parking brake. You don’t have to release the electronic brake just clutch out and blip the throttle and the elec parking brake releases.

        This is great as I can’t remember if I’m supposed to pull up or push down on the parking brake button.

        • 0 avatar
          the_yeti

          True, but you have to rev high while releasing the clutch. Not something you want to do in a turbo when trying to parallel park if you like your bumper. Go try it sometime.

  • avatar
    Ion

    The truth is Buick/gm doesn’t want to really sell the stick. If they did they wouldn’t be restricted to the top trim levels.

    • 0 avatar
      Sam Hell Jr

      You’d feel that way too. In the time it takes to engineer a small car with a manual transmission, they could have kitted out seven more up-sellable Yukon trim-level monikers. “The ‘Kilimanjaro’! With leopard-skin floormats!”

    • 0 avatar
      MBella

      I think they make more sense in limited performance models, than stripper base cars that nobody wants.

    • 0 avatar
      DenverMike

      @Ion – There’s too many ways to destroy a clutch under warranty. Simple hot-spots on the flywheel will cause hard shifting. Automatics are hard to kill, plus the OEM sells them for lots more.

  • avatar
    Sam Hell Jr

    Hypothetical: If Sergio were GM’s CEO, what age group would he blame for not buying a stick-shift Buick? Millennials again, just because?

  • avatar
    PonchoIndian

    I live less than 5 miles from one of the largest (if not the largest) BMW dealerships in New England. They currently have over 150 cars in stock.

    They have one car with a manual transmission. A leftover 2013 128i

    What does that tell you about the future and take rate?

    • 0 avatar
      burgersandbeer

      The dealer stock is not entirely reflective of the take rate. I believe the majority of manual BMWs are custom ordered rather than bought off the floor. However low the actual take rate, it’s high enough that they at least still offer them.

    • 0 avatar
      Lie2me

      There was a time that a BMW driver would not be caught dead with an automatic transmission, in fact they were hard to come by and usually meant a long wait on a special order. They also had no resale value. Yes, times have changed

    • 0 avatar
      FormerFF

      That’s what I found here, too. Out of 885 BMWs in stock as listed on cars.com, 10 were manual transmissions.

  • avatar
    Freddie

    GM never gave it a chance. I checked Autotrader periodically and there were never more than a handful of Verano manuals in dealer stock in the whole country. The nearest one to me was a thousand miles away (and I’m in a major metro area).
    You can argue that low stock = low demand, but it’s chicken-and-egg: you need to plant some in the showrooms so buyers even have a chance to consider the vehicles.

    • 0 avatar
      NormSV650

      Yahooautos used to have a few Premium Veranos.

    • 0 avatar
      NormSV650

      1600 Premium listings with only about one quarter of them turbo 2.0T. You can look at the pictures to see the turbo engine cover and wing on the rear.

      https://autos.yahoo.com/used-cars/buick-verano.html?askpricelb=26000&askpriceub=31000&modelyearlb=2013&modelyearub=2014&location=Nationwide&keywords=premium

  • avatar
    wang chung

    I’m curious to know what is the new definition of “bare bones”. Around here we always buy cars with manual. They do come equipped with A/C, power windows, power locks, alarm, decent sound system, four wheel disk brakes. No sunroof and of course no leather trim.

    • 0 avatar
      burgersandbeer

      That’s close to it, though I’m not sure what your definition of a decent sound system is. I certainly don’t need a giant touch screen with nav, but I would like bluetooth with A2DP and a 3.5mm input just in case. And quality speakers (usually means not the base system).

      Engine choice is another issue – it irritates me to no end that Mazda doesn’t have a manual with their 2.5L engine right now or maybe ever. And this is the effing zoom zoom company. Another example is the Fusion – manual 1.6T but not 2.0T, nevermind that the same pair is used in the Focus ST. Or the Accord not offering the V6/6MT in a sedan.

      Speaking of Mazda, interior colors and materials are another issue. Bare bones typically means gray or black mouse fur. I think you need the automatic if you want the rather attractive two tone interior. Adding color or quality to the interior often means leather, with the exception of GTIs.

      I’m also a fan of sunroofs (if done right), automatic climate control (again, depends on the execution), and heated seats, mirrors, and washer nozzles.

      • 0 avatar
        Moparmann

        I’ve discovereed that honda limits your COLOR choice if you want a manual!! For this reson, I will NOT be getting a new Accord coupe, because I DO NOT want a black car!!

      • 0 avatar
        TMA1

        The 2.5 has a standard manual in the 6 Sport and Touring trims. As for the interior, sand leatherette is available on the Touring trim, and almond leather is available on the Grand Touring.

  • avatar
    dwford

    I’ve seen this happen so many times, it’s not even news

    • 0 avatar
      NormSV650

      Seems like allot of manufacturers bring a car out to get reviewed and appeal to the auto journals then soften up in coming years. Look at the S2000 and iir’s rev happy 2.0l, only to increase displacement and lower peak operating range in later years.

  • avatar
    lOmnivore Sobriquet

    I’m French and enjoy a little tour of the TTAC posts at time. More for that direct plug into real America, than the actual latest news of the US car market. Ah internet…
    Yes I’m a manual transmission man.

    Having read it all, my views :
    1- Here in West europe the automatic or ‘automated’ demand is steadily on the rise, quite desrvingly so (still minor, of course.) I’ve been a passenger in some of these (“big” Volvo, Citroën, taxis..) and I can understand. Also recently for nearly a year I was the happy regular driver of a vintage lovely Renault 5 which happened to be, urgh, an automatic (3 speeds only!). So I got used to it, to the point of, even, appreciate it (less work, overall.)

    2- Still there is no competition, MT is indeed “the proper way to drive a car.” It’s… simple : just ask your motorcycle riding friend or familly member what he would make of an automated motorbike..
    There is nothing of a “control freak” in this, it’s just the way gasoline automobiles work. If it’d be an electric engine, fine, but oil&pistons engines cannot be stalled, and have a limited range of rpm’s where they operate fine. So they require clutch and gear, anything else is an imitation of an eletric car.
    Some day there might be self steering cars, yes even into your country home rock’n vegetables lane.., predominant in the automotive market for one or two generations of ‘drivers’ already : Still, wouldn’t you say that “driving a car” defines at least turning that wheel between your hands to steer the car ? I feel the same regarding MT.
    Yes it does have smthg to do with the satisfaction of controling things out…

    3- There will always be a market for MT new cars. I understand that the 2014 US market ‘biggies’ are quite puzzled about what to offer over there, and feel certain the definitive niche will (should???) be settled by Europe. Where I, my father, young nephews and nieces have all learnt to drive on MT’s, and do so everyday since.
    Thinking about the motorbike idea, this niche will some sort of “fun cars for the real amateur car drivers”, any cost, any power, but a dedicated ‘driver’s car’.
    If in doubt of whether this niche will ever exist just come over here, and have loose talk with anybody you can pick, feelling he or she might even remotely “be considering” this… insist well on the “AT or MT ?” question… I garantee a sizeable ‘fromage’ (portion) of the entire drivers’ population, no less.
    European “MT fundamentalists” of future times may well be the equivalent of iconic “Easy Rider” and likewise ‘Angels’ of sorts of American fame… Do they seem to dissapear ?
    Does not the US industry, hm, lend an ear to these today ? Or then the Japanese…

    4- Yes as said smwhr above having to garantee a clutch must be scary nowadays for any US market actor… It is so easy to ruin when you don’t have a clue “what’s that 3rd pedal for ?” Young testosterone filled ignorants, roaring the exhaust all evening long ‘on the clutch’ , nobody making a difference betwwen neutral and clutch action etc.
    And I’m not talking about the legendary female approach to the mystery…
    Perhaps car dealers in the USA should just sell those ‘fun MT cars’ with a replacement clutch, direct.

    • 0 avatar
      wang chung

      It’s nice to know what’s going on outside our shores, around here most people are of the impression that manual transmissions are about to completely disappear. As you already experienced, it’s actually very nice to not have to be shifting gears all the time. however when a modern automatic transmission fails the cost is astronomical in fact it could cost $6,000 to $10,000 to get a proper replacement also at point of purchase a car with automatic transmission cost around $1000.00 more than the one fitted with manual. So there are incentives for manufacturers and dealers to push their automatics.

      • 0 avatar
        lOmnivore Sobriquet

        Thanks. Sorry for the typos I’ve left above (missing verbs at time!)

        It is all arguable. Apparently automatic gears are quite solide, and new computer driven robot boxes (that’s the way they’re called here) might well be solid too. Or not ?
        (and when they’ll be network-linked, will they simply continue to operate when, say, your bank account appears to be <0 when the inevitable monthly probe that WILL acompany them is being caried out ?)

        Manual gearboxes are solid but clutches are the weak , more exactly 'consummable' (dispendable? renewable?), point. Should be changed every 150 000 milage (Km or miles, that's about the idea) of normal usage, that is.
        Not very expensive, and always a good arguing point in 2nd and 3rd hand deals.

  • avatar
    FJ60LandCruiser

    The entire consumer base for MT vehicles in the US is comprised of people who comment on this blog. That’s it. And I bet that over half of those who say how great MT vehicles are don’t own one for practical reasons, or just drive one only on the weekends.

    Just because literally dozens of people scream about how awesome MT vehicles are on this site, it can give you the idea that in the real world just as equal percentage of the population want to buy them.

    Plus, an MT Buick? Really? I’ve seen Buick’s typical customers at GMC dealerships, sporty and MT are probably the LAST things they are looking for in a car.

    • 0 avatar
      thornmark

      Check out C&D or Motor Trend. The manual Verano Turbo appears to be something to avoid.

      “As I said in a previous update, the shifter’s long throws combined with the clutch’s vague engagement point made for a very unsporty driving experience. Also, as Christian pointed out in an update, the gears for the manual are taller and more fuel economy-oriented than the automatic. To review, it’s not very fun rowing the Verano’s gears, and you’re actually better off with the six-speed auto acceleration-wise. Those attributes are deal-breakers for most enthusiasts.”
      http://www.motortrend.com/roadtests/oneyear/sedans/1402_2013_buick_verano_turbo_verdict/#ixzz34ENZgUMk

      So Buick is actually upgrading by dropping it.

  • avatar
    danio3834

    Apparently this is not true, the 2015 Verano will have a manual trans option after all. Buick cleared the confusion on this.

    From AB: “UPDATE: Buick wrote back to let us know that it will indeed continue to offer a six-speed manual transmission on the 2015 Verano, and the automaker expresses apologies for the previous, incorrect information. In any case, good news for row-your-own fans! Also, Desert Dusk Metallic paint is not part of the Appearance Package, as was previously reported.”

    It appears that at first, even Buick didn’t realize they make an MT Verano.


Back to TopLeave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Subscribe without commenting

Recent Comments

New Car Research

Get a Free Dealer Quote

Staff

  • Contributing Writers

  • Jack Baruth, United States
  • Brendan McAleer, Canada
  • Marcelo De Vasconcellos, Brazil
  • Vojta Dobes, Czech Republic
  • Matthias Gasnier, Australia
  • W. Christian 'Mental' Ward, Abu Dhabi
  • Mark Stevenson, Canada
  • Cameron Aubernon, United States
  • J Emerson, United States