Study Suggests That More Young People Are Purposefully Driving Manual Cars

A running joke these days is if you want to prevent your car from being stolen, make sure it has a manual transmission. According to J.D. Power, less than 1% of all new car sales in 2021 had a manual transmission. However, a new study suggests that there has been a rise in interest in manual cars, and young people may be responsible.

Sales for new manual cars rose from 0.9% to 1.2% in 2022, and again to 1.7% in 2023 according to the Wall Street Journal, and the next generation of drivers are intentionally seeking out cars with a stick-shift due to them being more affordable and more fuel-efficient than its automatic counterparts.

In 2019, major automakers produced 69 models in the U.S. that came with manual transmission. In 2023, it is now 43. Regardless of this decline in available manual models, especially with the era of EVs on the horizon, they are still getting snatched up by enthusiasts that see them as a commodity. According to Acura, 70% of its reservations for the new Integra are for the stick-shift models, and half of those customers were aged between 18 and 46. The Mazda Miata is also being produced solely with a manual transmission, with approximately 25% of its buyers between the ages of 18 to 35.

While some automakers will be keeping manual transmissions alive for the long run, some may be dropping it entirely. The new Corvette will only be automatic/dual-clutch transmission going forward, and the next-gen Dodge Chargers and Dodge Challengers will be going fully electric to reduce their carbon emissions.

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