Save the Manuals

Cars.com survey reveals surprising facts about manual transmissions

The Volkswagen Jetta is one of the models still sold with a manual transmission.

Photo courtesy of Volkswagen AG

It's National Stick Shift Day and while that has little consequence for a large swath of the population, there are still a fair amount of passionate manual transmission advocates out there.

According to Edmunds, in 2020 just 41 of the 327 new car models 13 percent) sold in the U.S. is offered with a manual transmission. A decade ago, 37 percent were sold with that style transmission. Why? Simply put, the demand isn't there so automakers have stopped selling them. Also, automatic transmissions have gotten better generally offering better fuel economy than manuals.

2020 Mazda MX-5 Miata The Mazda MX-5 Miata is famously sold with a six-speed manual transmission.Photo courtesy of Mazda North American Operations

Cars.com recently surveyed 500 adults to find out more about their history with the manual transmission and current driving habits.

Sixty percent of women and 84 percent of men surveyed said that they know how to drive a manual transmission. Most learned to drive it when they were young. Twelve percent learned before they were 15, 36 percent when they were high school aged, and 18 percent when they were college aged. Thirteen percent learned when they were over 40.

Moms are generally not the ones teaching manual transmission driving lessons. Thirty-seven percent were taught by their dad and 21 percent responded that a friend taught them or they were self-taught. Seventeen percent were taught by a driving instructor.

Most of the models offered with a manual transmission come from companies that produce products designed to be sold in Europe as well as the U.S. Five- and six-speeds are more popular across the pond. However, the influx of hybrid, plug-in hybrid, and battery electric vehicles as a result of government regulation may be having the percentage of manual transmission drivers decreasing.

In the U.S., 23 percent of those surveyed that said they drive a manual transmission car own a BMW. Eleven percent drive a manual Toyota while nine percent were with Honda. Six percent of the audience drove a Ford or an Audi.

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Toyota's ready to make a big announcement.

Photo courtesy of Toyota Motor Corporation2

Auto Shanghai has another surprise in store. Toyota will debut an electrified vehicle next week and ahead of that moment, the company has leaked teaser photos and video featuring the model on its social media channels.

One of the posts, available on Twitter and Instagram, showcases the vehicle and a series of conceptual, perhaps inspirational, related items. A light shines as a reflection in an eye. A design on paper leads to a math equation. A laser, perhaps a plasma cutter, is focused on an object. Watch the see the rest.


It passes by quickly, but in there is the shape of a crossover. We've captured the moment in a still photo below so you can take a longer look. From the body design quickly shown here, the SUV is shaped more like the Toyota Venza than the Toyota RAV4. The key here is the rear side window, which is more triangular, like the Venza, than the squared-off RAV4''s.

202 The shape of the vehicle is similar to the Toyota Venza.Photo courtesy of Toyota Motor Corporation

2022 Toyota Venza EV

The face of the vehicle, shown in another social media post (this time on Instagram) and at the top of this article, shows a pared back vehicle face. The height of the vehicle confirms that it's in fact a crossover body style.

We do know that Subaru and Toyota have been working on an electric SUV for a while. While Subaru is likely calling the vehicle "Evoltis" there's some indication that Toyota may be reviving the "Celica" name for the EV. Batteries, after all, are made up of cells.

As of right now, we have to take the wait-and-see approach. One thing's for sure. We'll know more next week.

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The 2021 Volkswagen ID.4 is on sale now.

Photo courtesy of Volkswagen AG
The all-electric range of the 2021 Volkswagen ID.4 has been confirmed. The model is the first modern electric Volkswagen to be sold in the U.S. and a model that the German automaker is resting a lot of hopes on for the future of sales in the country.

The 2021 Volkswagen ID.4 Pro with all-wheel drive will achieve an EPA-estimated 260 miles of all-electric range on a full charge. The ID.4 Pro S and 1st Edition, which have more features and equipment and therefore weigh more, achieve an estimated 250 miles of range.

The EPA-estimated fuel economy for ID.4 Pro RWD is 107 MPGe in the city; 91 MPGe on the highway, and 99 MPGe combined. The ID.4 Pro S and 1st Edition does slightly worse achieving 104 MPGe in the city, 89 MPGe on the highway, and 97 MPGe combined.

2021 Volkswagen ID.4: Exterior The "1st" badging denotes the vehicle as a first edition model. Photo courtesy of Volkswagen AG

These new numbers come as part of a second round of EPA testing. Original testing found that the model did not quite hit its target.

How does that compare to other EVs? The Nissan Leaf Plus offers 226 miles of all-electric power. The Hyundai Kona Electric delivers 258 miles. Volvo's XC40 Recharge has just 208 miles of all-electric range but the Tesla Model Y can go up to 326 miles on one full charge.

First out of the Volkswagen gate will be ID.4 models with an 82-kilowatt-hour battery and rear-mounted AC permanent-magnet synchronous motor. That system delivers 201 horsepower and 228 pound-feet of torque.

At a public DC fast-charging station with 125 kW charging, the ID.4 can go from five to 80 percent charged in about 38 minutes. With purchase, ID.4 owners receive three years of unlimited charging at Electrify America DC Fast Chargers at no additional cost.

The 2021 ID.4 is on sale now, with pricing for the rear-wheel-drive ID.4 Pro starting at $39,995 MSRP, before a potential Federal tax credit of up to $7,500. The Pro S carries an MSRP of $44,495. The limited-run ID.4 1st Edition, which sold out the day the vehicle was launched, carried an MSRP of $43,995.

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