By on August 30, 2015

bmw-228-track-7-1

UPDATE: According to commenter krhodes1 and Facebook commenter Michael Smith, the 228i manual (order code 162A) is still available and there is a bug in the configurator. Which reminds me, you should like The Truth About Cars on Facebook.

Jalopnik is reporting that a number of BMW models — namely the 228i, 328i, and 428i — have lost their manual options for 2016. BMW’s online configurator for the 2016 model year shows the cars as automatic-only options, effectively making the manual transmission a premium option by forcing manual-loving customers into higher trims.

Does this mean the end of the manual transmission as we know it? Probably not. (Yet.)

The models relieved of their manual transmission options represent the base models in their respective ranges, with the exception of the 320i. The base model 3-Series will still be available with a manual gearbox. Aside from the 320i, the 235i, 340i, and 435i are the new entry models for the row-your-own set.

This should come as no surprise considering more and more BMW customers are opting for the automatic, even those who purchase M cars such as the M3 and M4.

What is surprising is that these models have already been engineered and tested with manual transmissions and BMW is opting not to offer them even though the costs have already been incurred. Automakers typically wait for a generational change before dropping stick shift options, but that doesn’t seem to be the case with BMW.

Get the latest TTAC e-Newsletter!

85 Comments on “BMW Didn’t Receive “Save The Manuals” Christmas Card for MY2016, Retaliates [UPDATE]...”


  • avatar

    I’ll say it again. Blame the EPA. Since you have to certify EVERY engine+trans+body shell, you look at the bottom five and cut them.

    Even BMW, a company who (used) to have a reputation for the hardcore driver had to look at the actual take rates.

    Look for a used/cpo beemer on line. Sort by “manuals”. You go from a million cars to 230, nationwide.

    We should have a system where the transaxle or engine family is certified alone.

    Much of this also reflects the “I drive a beemer” mentality, with no understanding of why, other than it impresses other humans.

    • 0 avatar
      sportyaccordy

      I don’t think it’s fair to classify all auto Bimmer owners as desperate crowd pleasers. If anything that award should go to folks who take doing something millions of European grandmas have been doing for decades to be some kind of badge of honor.

      This is a legit blow, but ultimately most new cars suck these days anyway. The simple fact that they have invested billions into infotainment systems that don’t work or integrate with my phone as well as a $200 Pioneer in dash kind of says it all.

      • 0 avatar
        Reino

        Auto bimmer owner here, after owning four manual cars. I didn’t do it out of choice: I bought a used E60 with a V8. Good luck finding one with a manual. This car was at the right place at the right time, so I bought it. It’s the best automatic I’ve ever driven (and it’s only the 6-speed, not the ZF 8-speed). It’s still no substitute for a manual, but I’ll live with it.

    • 0 avatar
      pragmatic

      EPA has a part in it but lack of dealer interest and lack of dealers wanting to stock anything but big sellers is more of an issue than EPA.

      If EPA was as big an issue as everyone claims, BMW would not sell a thousand versions of their cars (3 series sedan, wagon, grand turismo, plus 4 series coupe, convertible, and grand coupe) covering very similar market positions, requiring multiple certs for marginal market gain. Obviously the costs of certs is small enough that offering a niche vehicle is worth it if the niches cover market segments you wish to keep. So BMW does not think manual are a niche worth covering. Manufacturer’s use the EPA bogeyman to justify their marketing directions.

      Actually I think the BMW move is good. Manuals should not be thought of as the low price leader. Much as horse equipment moved up market with the wide spread use of cars, manually shifted cars and eventually manually driven cars will become a premium niche.

      • 0 avatar
        derekson

        This is 100% right. BMW stopped offering the x28 models with manuals because dealers haven’t been ordering them. If you’ve ever looked at BMW dealership inventories you’d find that manuals are really hard to find, which is part of why used ones are now harder to find. Most buyers aren’t willing to special order a car and wait 4-6 months for delivery.

        Even if they go to the dealership with a manual BMW in mind, a car that is actually available and that they can get a good lease deal on will result in compromising that ideal. Not everyone who can drive a manual is 100% inflexible in getting one in their car. Hell even if you do want to special order the manual, the dealer will do their damnedest to talk you out of it. Given an attractive lease offer with incentives to drive an automatic today vs waiting 6 months for a special order with whatever incentives are MAYBE available at that time can complicate decision making.

        • 0 avatar
          krhodes1

          A special order on a BMW is 6-8 weeks, not 4-6 months. BMW builds every single car they build to order anyway, the wait time is to get it on a ship and get it here.

        • 0 avatar
          baconator

          This has certainly been my experience. We literally could not find a single manual 228 to test drive in the entire Bay Area, which has half a dozen BMW dealerships within a 1.5hr driving radius.

          A current BMW with an automatic is just a Mercedes that rides badly and has unreliable window regulators. So we’ll be keeping the E36 M3, the M Coupe, and and BMWCCA membership, but probably not putting a new BMW in the driveway anytime soon.

      • 0 avatar
        sportyaccordy

        Yea, I meant to also say, dealers are the manufacturer’s real customers, and if having manuals on hand will just waste valuable floor space for months, why should they order them? People keep crying about manuals not being available, but they never seem to actually want to sign the paperwork on a brand new car with one.

        I think BMW should still offer manuals on these but make them special order only with German delivery. They can pad the cost and make it worth the hassle. Personally I’m not bothered as I don’t see the point of a BMW without a 6 banger anyway.

    • 0 avatar
      Superdessucke

      Why does VW offer manuals on its cheapest Golf models? Blaming the EPA is a cop out. BMW just trying to figure out a way to charge enthusiasts more money. That’s all it is.

      • 0 avatar
        sportyaccordy

        Why wouldn’t they just make the manual a more expensive option then?

      • 0 avatar
        Zykotec

        If enthusiasts bought BMW’s (in sufficient enough numbers to make an impact) you wouldn’t be having this problem in the first place.
        As for VW, they can keep their manuals for a while, because their customers aren’t mostly people who are too spoiled to dread having to use any sort of physical effort driving their car.

        • 0 avatar
          Superdessucke

          Amen brother amen. And I really wish the just-offer-it-at-extra-cost crowd would shut its f****** mouth. We know that’s coming but we don’t have to accelerate the process at least. My Accord Sport’s MSRP with manual was $800 less than CVT. Plus there were huge discounts to bring it way below invoice since no one else wanted it.

          I also got treated like a curiosity. Sales staff actually kept walking by where I was to get a look at the person who asked for the only manual out of 85 Accords in stock. I got the sinking feeling that this will be my last new manual transmission car :-(

          • 0 avatar
            sportyaccordy

            So you bought your car essentially at a loss to the dealer after it sat for months, and you can’t figure out why auto companies and dealers aren’t too hip to manuals? LOL.

          • 0 avatar
            Superdessucke

            Marketing, or lack thereof.

        • 0 avatar
          sportyaccordy

          Yea, those privileged BMW drivers. So spoiled, just like the folks buying 18K Camrys. Wait, what?

          Why do folks find it necessary to try and pass judgement on people because of their transmission choice? Are you a better person than someone who drives an automatic? I doubt you would pass such a judgement onto someone who drives a Lambo or Pagani or whatever despite them being just as easy to drive….

          • 0 avatar
            Zykotec

            I ment ‘spoiled’ in comparison to VW buyers. And yeah, I would pass more judgement the more powerful the car gets, until you reach the point where a manual just wont do because the engine is just too powerful…
            If you have a car with a decent amount of low end and mid end torque, and a broad powerband you ‘need’ and auto even less than in something like a typical European turbodiesel (where shifting becomes almost a chore)
            What annoys me the most is the never ending adding of even more gears. If you ‘need’ more than 5 speeds in an auto , you might as well just get a CVT.

          • 0 avatar
            sportyaccordy

            But I’m sure the equally redundant 7 speeds in Corvettes and 911s are OK. There’s just no rational basis for your superiority complex. Driving stickshift is not hard and there are plenty of legitimate reasons for automatics to exist. Some people don’t care about driving engagement, and frankly that is more than fine.

          • 0 avatar
            Zykotec

            No automatics are OK, except for the 2 speed powerglides in dragsters, just because a manual (or probably the clutch) couldn’t handle the power, and there would be no time to row any gears in the few seconds a race lasts.
            Any person with 4 functioning limbs can use a stick, and in many cases it’s even easier to use a stick than the auto.
            And, driving a manual doesn’t make me a ‘better person’, but I feel it makes me more inclined to be an actual ‘driving enthusiast’ than someone with an automatic.

          • 0 avatar
            John

            Mr. Baruth’s recent mention about how he owns one superb Gibson Les Paul guitar instead of another superb Gibson Les Paul guitar solely on looks, and status points with those “in the know” vs. actual utility demonstrated the tone of discussion on this site.

            Yes, one of the main purposes of TTAC is to increase the readers’ “self esteem” by denigrating the automotive choices/driving skills of others.

          • 0 avatar
            sportyaccordy

            One with 4 functional limbs can also ride a motorcycle instead of drive. Do you have one? Because I do, and if you don’t I am going to write off your value as a human being.

          • 0 avatar
            Zykotec

            Touche .
            But, I still think if you are buying the ‘ultimate driving machine’ to drive it you should at least try actually driving it.
            My dad has has only ridden bikes since ’94, and he hates driving cars because they are so slow , unresponsive and give ‘no feedback’, so I guess I’ll get there eventually.
            Also, I’d like to repeat that I’m not (necessarily) a better person than someone who drives an automatic, but I do have something of a superiority complex when it comes to the large mass of buyers who buy a BMW just for the badge, and prefer to just tag along as the car brings them to their destination. Those people could just as well buy a Lexus or a Mercedes.

          • 0 avatar
            sportyaccordy

            As long as we are in agreement that it boils down to an irrational superiority complex. You don’t know why people buy BMWs, and even if it’s only for the badge how does it materially affect you? Just seems like a stupid thing to get worked up about, especially considering even with a stickshift the F30 is not even the dynamic king of the segment. “Real” enthusiasts buy ATS 2.0T 6MTs.

          • 0 avatar
            Zykotec

            Nope, no superiority complex, just a casual observation.
            I don’t have to get worked up about it, because all the cars I want to drive were usually available as manuals when they were new.
            Statistically, someone who buys a brand new BMW is more likely to be some spoilt rich kid than someone who buys a VW though.

    • 0 avatar
      DeadWeight

      Manuals are superior to any slushbox in every respect except for bumper to bumper traffic – regardless what the techno-nerd reviewers, who happen to find accolades in every vehicle, such as Alex Dykes.

      • 0 avatar
        krhodes1

        Manuals are better in traffic too, if you do it correctly. I spent 1.5hrs in an absolutely miserable traffic backup outside Venice yesterday. It was my right leg that got tired, not my left. The car would idle along just fine at a couple mph in 1st gear. Having to constantly ride the brakes on an automatic is far more annoying than having to dip the clutch occasionally.

        • 0 avatar
          pragmatic

          My thoughts exactly.

          I always preferred my personal vehicles with their MTs in NYC traffic to driving the company cars with their ATs on the same roads.

        • 0 avatar
          Zykotec

          This is my main pet-peeve with automatics. Constantly having to use the brakes. Not just in traffic, but in any situation where I would normally just have to ease on the throttle or downshift.
          I’ll admit, I haven’t driven any of the most modern automatics out there, or even a proper sequential one. And tbh, I probably won’t buy a brand new car ever. Luckily for me, apart from some older v8 cars, all the cars I could imagine myself buying were available with a proper gearbox when new.

          • 0 avatar
            dal20402

            Why don’t you just downshift with the automatic? Both of my cars are automatics and I don’t have to ride the brakes.

        • 0 avatar
          UncleJunior

          Thank you. The most disconcerting thing about driving an automatic is having to ride the brakes to get the damn thing to slow down, as opposed to just lifting off the gas and downshifting if I need to.

          A manual is only a chore in traffic if you drive like an a$$shole.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            UncleJunior,
            Unless you drive a diesel manual.

            Diesels aren’t throttled the same as a gasoline engine, or more specifically in modern diesel the throttle is used for a different reason.

        • 0 avatar
          sportyaccordy

          My right leg gets sore in traffic whether I’m driving stick or auto. I don’t think there is a legit gripe one way or another unless you have a bum left knee.

        • 0 avatar
          FormerFF

          Some sort of electrified drivetrain is best in traffic, whether BEV, PHEV, or hybrid. They’re all so much smoother and more energy efficient.

        • 0 avatar
          DeadWeight

          This is actually true, or true to me, at least, now that you mention it.

          I’ve been driving manuals so long now that shifting even in rush hour traffic is 2nd nature, and there’s less wear on other components such as brakes if the vehicle had a slushbox.

      • 0 avatar
        tonyola

        I’ve been driving Hondas with stickshifts in Miami traffic for close to 20 years, and have never really found it a chore. It’s nice to have decent engine braking and the process of shifting becomes such second nature that I don’t even notice it anymore.

        • 0 avatar
          Zykotec

          I admit I haven’t tried all brands of car in the world, but I have never tried any manual that is as easy and smooth to shift as most of the Hondas I’ve owned. Even the more modern CR-V’s with cable shifters are a lot better than any European car.
          I’ve test driven a (not brown I’m afraid) 2007 CR-V with the 2.2 diesel, and the shifter was as easy to operate as the indicator stalks in most cars.
          Honda should charge a lot more for the auto option in all of their cars, just so people would know what they are missing out on.

    • 0 avatar
      tooloud10

      It’s not the EPA’s fault in any way. The EPA doesn’t require any manufacturer to ‘certify’ anything–the manufacturers self-report the fuel economy figures to the EPA, and the EPA spot checks about 10% of the vehicles available in any given year to make sure the automakers are being honest.

      I’ll tell you the reason that they’re not selling many manuals any more–it’s because nobody is buying them. And no, that friend of a friend that once went to the dealership to buy a manual but couldn’t find one doesn’t mean anything, because he eventually shrugged and just bought an automatic.

      • 0 avatar
        Scoutdude

        The EPA absolutely requires the mfg to certify (swear if you will) that the vehicles meet emissions standards. Doing the calibration to ensure that the standards are meet in all situations takes time and time is money. So the EPA does raise the level of sales needed to make good financial sense to offer that manual.

        Yes if enough people were buying manuals in the recent past they would continue to offer them but the EPA influences what that cut off point is.

        • 0 avatar
          pragmatic

          I haven’t followed EPA certifications since the early 90s. But at that time only one car of a similar weight class had to be tested.

          For example a Challenger 5.7L with 6MT could be used to certify the Challenger, Charger and 300 since all were similar weights and aero. This may have changed.

          I just checked the EPA database and there are no manual test results for the Challenger 6MT for MY15 (data updated in July 2015) so I’m unsure how the current system works. I’m only involved in HD engines where the engine is certified not the vehicle.

  • avatar
    05lgt

    Horay. Its been less than a week since we, the B&B wondered in these pages why OEM’s insist that manuals be available only in poverty spec. a blatant slap in the face of automotove enthusiasm. BMW got the card, and will sell manuals to those of us who love them.

    • 0 avatar
      Superdessucke

      And who have enough money (or lack of brains) to swing an $800 lease payment!

      • 0 avatar
        05lgt

        If you’re not trying to show how much money you spent, don’t buy the stupid roundel. I prefer your choice in any case. I really wish the Camry SE had a 6 manual option though. BMW’s cost too much to own. Factoring in depreciation, you can get a much higher priced Lexus for the same cost at the end of ownership.

    • 0 avatar
      DeadWeight

      1) Rear wheel drive (or light AWD system, sending no more than 18% of power to front wheels)

      2) Diesel (turbocharging a diesel, unlike a petrol motor, is not only fine, but the only way to fly)

      3) Manual transmission with hydraulic foot operated clutch & 5 or 6 speed gear lever

      4) Durable yet supple whale peni foreskin leather interior trim* (or PeniTex per 30-mile fetch; see below)

      5) Mocha and/or dark’caramel brown exterior paint option

      6) 0-60 time of less than 7.5 seconds/top speed of 150 mph @ 48mpg

      7) Starting MSRP of $12,998 with fully equipped model maxing out @ $16,339, including destination

      8) Factory standard bumper-to-bumper warranty that is 12 years/120,000 miles

      9) Only station wagon or true hatchback configuration

      10) Actual center console mounted, non-electronic hand brake

      *Per 30-mile fetch: 30-mile fetch
      March 19th, 2014 at 9:00 am
      “DeadWeight,
      I see nothing unreasonable on your list. Except the seating surfaces. Would vinyl grained to imitate whale foreskins be sufficient? Named something catchy like V-fore or Peni-Tex? No?”

      **Tom Szechy
      March 19th, 2014 at 9:03 am
      “PeniTex sounds awesome!”

      ***FoulWX
      March 19th, 2014 at 9:57 am
      “Fore-tex”

  • avatar
    raph

    I honestly can’t remember if I read it here or someplace else but I guess this smothers the ” Europe will save the manuals ” idea.

    • 0 avatar
      derekson

      The 2016 Jetta 1.4T not offering a manual also argues against this idea. The 1.4T is absolutely paired with a manual in any number of VAG products in Europe.

    • 0 avatar
      redav

      I predict everywhere in the world will follow the trend of the US regarding manuals. It will take longer, but it is inevitable.

      But when EVs gain a foothold, you can kiss the multispeed transmission goodbye, anyway, since it exists only for the deficiencies of the ICE.

  • avatar
    JD-Shifty

    the automakers don’t offer manuals because the take rate is microscopic. it’s just supply and demand.

  • avatar
    LS1Fan

    Odd.

    I went to a BMW dealership yesterday, and was marvelled by all the performance package options.
    Id heard you had to buy your options in expensive bundles, which is why I was shocked when the salesperson handed me a checkbox list of options I could specify a-la-carte.

    So, I picked out a White 435 Convertible, with M-package wheels and suspension, no navigation because GOOGLE MAPS YO, premium audio because FOO FIGHTERS, …..hey my salesperson’s taking her shirt off, and she looks a lot like Scarlett Johansen–

    BLEEP BLEEP BLEEP

    Why is the fire alarm going off -oh mother#*#er Im-

    BLEEP BLEEP BLEEP

    -waking up in my studio apartment.

    “#*#*”

  • avatar
    krhodes1

    For the 2-series, this seems to be a bug in the beta configurator. The dealer order sheets show the manual option, and several people on the forums have ordered manual 228i’s.

  • avatar
    Sjalabais

    This is just the US? True enthusiast cars will probably offer manual options forever, except…the electric ones. :D Loaded BMWs are just not aiming for that market anymore?

    • 0 avatar

      Not just the US if you look at the high end enthusiast cars they are all dropping manuals (Ferrari etc) I would expect this to flow down the market I;m sure there will be a microscopic number of manuals in the market by about 2025. Like well under a fraction of one percent. I used to go on and on about manuals when I was younger I still prefer them at least in smaller cars, but in the end It dose not really bother me that they are going away.

      • 0 avatar
        Sjalabais

        Well, I see that happening, but I can’t wrap my head around it. The most modern automatic I have driven was an ’08 one in ’08, and it did the same awful wrong shifts that I mourn with my wife’s automatic. But people are inherently listless (electric tailgates, anyone?) and the lazy folks will win.

        Sad.

  • avatar
    mitchw

    When I tried to configurate a 4series earlier this week I also noticed the lack of manuals, but I can’t say I mind. BMW manuals not only heel-toe for you, but there’s some software in there which controls the engine revs and tranny all the time so one’s shifts are smoother, I guess. These are manuals only in name. I’m lightening up.

  • avatar
    derekson

    The Jetta S and SE also lost their manuals (gas versions.) You need to get a Jetta Sport, GLI, or TDI to get a manual now.

  • avatar
    Zykotec

    Apart from the Dodge Viper and the Civic Si, how many cars for sale today are not available as automatics?
    (Edit; I mean in the US))

  • avatar
    migmog

    Interesting UK perspective:
    http://www.autocar.co.uk/car-news/industry/death-manual-gearbox

    Essentially – New cars in the UK are still 75% manual transmission, down from 85% 10 years ago. There is no kudos in Europe about driving a stick, in fact it’s the other way round. Fancy cars are all going hi-tech autoboxes because they are faster, and low volume manufacturers don’t want to develop a manual because in lucrative markets (ie US) nobody is buying them.

  • avatar
    dolorean

    Reasons to get a manual:

    1. Cheaper to purchase at sale. Save the extra cash that you would’ve blown on the slushbox for navigation or leather.

    2. Metric F-ton more fun to drive. You really can’t “drive it like you stole it” in an automatic.

    3. The sheer joy of the perfect heel-toe shifts from launch to top gear.

    4. Maintenance is way cheaper, especially when something goes wrong.

    5. Bullit. Fast and the Furious. James Bond. The Transporter. The Bourne series. Ronin. All had great chase scenes NOT with the actors dropping from “4” to “3” or banging stupid flappy paddles. They rowed it themselves, like real men.

    6. American car thieves hate manuals. A vast portion of the country doesn’t know how to manipulate the gears themselves, best anti-theft device in the U.S.

    7. Burnouts. ‘Nuf said.

    8. When you were small and playing with your Hotwheels, you didn’t make the sweet sound of a CVT expanding its power band as you drove your cars through the couch of doom.

    9. Street cred. Nothing worse than going to a Corvette swap and seeing this gorgeous car in front of you and, oh, it’s an automatic :P. It’s akin to “Hey, you want a beer?” “SURE!” “It’s Milwaukie’s Best Light!” “Oh (mustering enthusiam), yeah sure, okay”

    10. Most important reason, my girlfriend stands nearly 6′ tall and has nearly 4’ of leg. She likes to wear tiny shorts and skirts. NOTHING hotter than to watch her work a stick. Cannot fathom the same joy from an automatic.

    • 0 avatar
      JRobUSC

      Your gf is 6′ tall and 4 of those are leg? So her entire torso AND her head are only 2′? I’m all for long, shapely legs, but that’s… I’m not even sure what that is. Are you counting everything below the armpits as “leg”?

      And if more than a handful of people bought sticks, manufacturers would still offer them. Instead they like to come on Internet forums and complain that XYZ brand doesn’t offer a manual anymore on a car they never were going to buy anyway (common refrain: “BMW’s are for poser douchebags and I’d never get one anyway but this proves why…”). Even more amazing is how incredulous people are that they can’t find used sticks, like the transmission fairy is supposed to come around with her used car factory and magically build a limitless supply of used cars that you all refused to buy when they were offered as new cars in the first place. If you want a stick, order one. If you don’t, don’t blame dealers for not stocking them, or manufacturers when they stop building them.

    • 0 avatar

      I’m not sure manuals are any more reliable anymore looking at the forums. For instance Patriots with the manuals seem to fail more often then the CVT figure that one out.

    • 0 avatar
      sportyaccordy

      1. False (see M3s, 911s, Accord V6s, etc)
      2. Subjective (I prefer stickshifts personally)
      3. Why would you be heel toe shifting at a launch? Do you know what this term means?
      4. Wrong. If something goes wrong, one way or another you are removing the transmission. And most automatics these days simply don’t break if they are properly serviced. Manuals are much easier to break.
      5. Who gives a crap.
      6. You are 1 for 6.
      7. You can do burnouts in automatics too.
      8. You have the critical thinking skills of someone who still plays with Hot Wheels.
      9. It is natural for humans to want to assess their value and status in society, but there is no sadder way to try to achieve either than to do so by the things you buy. The kinds of people who make character assessments based on transmission choice do not have opinions that matter.
      10. Really? Nothing hotter? Do you guys not have sex?

      You can’t be older than 16.

      • 0 avatar
        DenverMike

        You wouldn’t heal/toe into top gear, makes no sense. Braking for the upshift?? But I’ve done some heal/toe at launch for the smoky burnout or slipping the clutch to build boost. Or simply for getting the right rpm before sidestepping the clutch. True I wasn’t trying to get the most miles out of the clutch.

      • 0 avatar
        ItsMeMartin

        @sportyaccordy
        Actually, Dolorean is right on the 4th point. Automatic transmissions are much less durable, and getting even less so with the added complexity. A manual in a passenger car application will usually outlive the rest of the car. These 150K mile “rebuilds” that are often a necessity in AT cars just don’t happen. Neither are the recently popular “reflashes”. The only thing that is sure to wear out sooner or later is the clutch. The thing is, even that is cheaper than an AT rebuild, and is often done even later – a clutch’s life varies between 120K (worst cases: Subaru 2.0 diesel, Ford 2.0TDCi) and 300K miles (Euro vans, taxi-spec W124, brick Volvos).
        You say about “proper servicing”. Let’s face it: pretty much no one services a transmission, and an MT is much more likely to survive deferred maintenance than an AT. And supposing you bought a new car and serviced it the way you’re supposed to: it’s true that in that case an AT can prove to be as reliable as a comparable manual, but its inherent complexity means that there is a much higher possibility that something can go wrong through no fault of your own, and if something does, it’s gonna cost much more than with a manual.
        There’s also another important point: when you buy a used car with an AT, you can be almost sure that the transmission oil has never been changed, and you can never be sure just how much damage that did to the tranny. If you buy a car con Manuel, the worst thing that can happen to you is a dying clutch – a manual tranny itself is hard to damage.
        So no, sportyaccordy, AT might have many advantages, but durability ain’t one.
        Bear in mind, I am talking about regular usage in passenger cars; I’m not talking about heavy trucks or track use or anything similar.

        • 0 avatar
          sportyaccordy

          Well, if we are looking at practice vs theory, nobody is keeping a car for 150K miles either. Similarly nobody is rebuilding trashed transmissions…. they just replace them with already rebuilt ones. Faster and not much more expensive, if at all.

          Ironically the most problematic AT is the one based on a manual transmission (DCT). I would have no qualms buying a used car with an AT, even considering the potential failure.

          • 0 avatar
            pragmatic

            I just hit 150K that I put on my Lincoln LS MT. Even though I know I’m an exception. Yes I did not buy it new (I tried but the dealers would not order one). Purchased with 36K now have 186K.

            Transmission/clutch maintenance has consisted of a 2 quart fluid change at $5 a quart (Pennzoil Synchromesh fluid) and a master cylinder fluid change at $5 (done with the brakes since they share a master cylinder) Fluid changes on the newer 8 speed ATs would have run at least $300 in fluid and filter.

          • 0 avatar
            ItsMeMartin

            My, and Dolorean’s, point was that maintenance on a manual transmission is less expensive than on an automatic. The fact that people just throw in new transmissions instead of rebuilding the broken ones – as you noted – does not disprove our point: ATs ARE more expensive to maintain because it is very rare that an MT needs to be replaced. That’s the major difference between the cost of running an MT car and an AT car. In one of them, it’s the clutch that is a consumable. In the other, it’s the whole transmission.

            You say nobody keeps a car for 150K miles. No argument there, that might as well be true. But bear in mind that there are a lot of people that keep a 150K-mile car because that’s all they can afford. And THAT’s when the reduced maintenance cost of a MT-equipped car becomes relevant. Do not assume that the only way to buy a car is new. There are many Americans whose automotive reality is closer to a 170K mile 2004 Sebring than a 2015 328i.

            Anyway, I still have to disagree. Ceteris paribus, a car with a manual transmission IS, in my opinion, cheaper to run.

      • 0 avatar
        baconator

        I’m way older than 16 and reasons (2) and (3) are sufficient for me. I’ll be driving my 5-speed M3 into work today.

  • avatar
    Big Al from Oz

    I prefer to use the automatic transmission mode when playing Gran Tourismo. This has more to do with the controllers as they are not very “carlike”.

    But for driving a real vehicle you just can’t beat a manual.

    Off roading a manual is great, better than an auto.

    With todays electronic traction aids an auto has become the preferred vehicle off road. I suppose like the auto only on road drivers, they just don’t know enough about a car to use a manual.

    Driving a manual keeps one more atuned to the sounds and noises of your vehicle. You become aware of your engine and how and where it is best to gain the most advantage, whether using torque when driving slow or when to change when you want to squeeze as much from the engine as possible.

    Automatics are good on Fork lifts, golf carts ,etc. But a real driver whether on road or off road with choose when and where the gear is selected.

    • 0 avatar
      TonyJZX

      I think this is the old argument of manuals vs auto again.

      But really back to the topic… a $75k+ BMW of this type will tend to attract a professional customer who will think that driving isnt the most important thing that they are doing while they are driving.

      I doesnt surprise me that they will eliminate the manual transmission everywhere, from the lowest price BMW to the most exotic.

      God knows I love manuals but even modern traffic tests me and I see it in kids these days… its all about the flappy paddle. They dont want it now, they dont want it in the future.

  • avatar
    RideHeight

    Automatics are unarguably superior for us Boomers joining the ranks of the Silver-Haired Hazards.

    They’re already foisting those gotdammned roundabouts on us every effing block, the last thing we need is to add coordinating pedals and shifter while worrying about which effing lane to be in and where we can escape.

    • 0 avatar
      See 7 up

      :) love it.

    • 0 avatar
      sgeffe

      Got in the wrong lane of one of these socialist, Rube Goldberg answers to a question that didn’t need to be asked some months back, and all I could do for about five laps around the fvcking thing was spout “colorful metaphors,” as well as lines from Clark W. Griswold’s London misadventures in “European Vacation!”

      ODOT (Ohio Department Of Transportation) has a pathological obsession with the godforsaken things nowadays!

  • avatar
    darex

    If BMW stops making manual transmission MINIs, then be very worried, but until then, all MINIs can be ordered with manuals, and the take rate, even in North America, is very high. It’s one of the reasons I bought another MINI: I could build it completely to order AND get my manual transmission too. No other car company in this market allows me to do that (at least for mainstream cars), and almost all of them restrict my choices severely (talking particularly about you, VW), especially if I want a manual transmission.

    If the F48 X1 doesn’t have a manual option, at least you can be certain that its twin, the F60 MINI Countryman, will!

    • 0 avatar
      lon888

      You are absolutely spot on about VW and manual gearboxes. It took a helluva long time to find a GTI that had a manual and nav system. The GTI is a car that HAS to be driven with a manual.

  • avatar
    See 7 up

    And all this time, journos have been telling me the 328i MT is the enthusiast real gem. Now your saying only the “performance” variants are available in stick.

    I’ll never understand this country’s lack of MT preference. I here all the excuses, and I really think its because most people just can’t do it well. But its blamed on traffic, spouses, kids, dogs…you name it.

  • avatar
    minidriver1

    I prefer manual transmissions for a lot of reasons, but I have one really important one.

    I keep my cars until they are a small pile of dust. Currently driving an 03 Mini Cooper S with 200k miles so far. Most of the time, I am driving out in the country where other people are few and far between. The couple of times I’ve had the battery pancake on the car, I can still push-start it to get to someplace that I can get a replacement. These days, the battery on a car works 100% until it suddenly doesn’t. It’s not like the old days where you get some warning with the lights being dimmer than usual, or the starter not running as fast as usual. Last time I had an automatic car with a dead battery where I was working, I had to wait 6 hours to get a ride back to get another battery (after waiting 6 hours for a tow truck that never arrived.)

  • avatar
    Ryoku75

    I think we all need to remember this is Jalopnik, I wouldn’t trust them for my car news.

  • avatar

    I’m not all that upset. I’m pretty disinclined to buy any BMW that doesn’t have a straight-six or V8…and even then, there are few that I’d get with a manual. I’m pretty indifferent about manuals. 335i manual? Sure. 328i manual? Nah…

Read all comments

Back to TopLeave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Recent Comments

  • JMII: This has my interest because of its height, decent power and tow rating. Agree with the general vibe –...
  • Daniel J: I’m mildy interested in this. We often have items that won’t fit in the CX-5 and its because of...
  • IH_Fever: This is perfect for the hip urban condo dweller whose idea of being outdoors is a trip to the full amenity...
  • Jeff S: Agree extend the bed another 6 inches and bring back the volume knob and buttons. I even like the color.
  • Mackey: This write up doesn’t say much at all, other than perhaps showcasing the passive aggressive tendencies...

New Car Research

Get a Free Dealer Quote

Who We Are

  • Adam Tonge
  • Bozi Tatarevic
  • Corey Lewis
  • Mark Baruth
  • Ronnie Schreiber