Are Manuals a dying breed? - Mercedes Benz SLK Forum

General Discussion Topics must pertain to all 3 generations of SLK - R170, R171 and R172

 
LinkBack Thread Tools
#1 Old 01-14-2009
Registered Users
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: PA
Vehicle: 05 SLK 350
Other Toys: X3, Yamaha R1, 93 Nissan Pickup(Need something for firewood)
Posts: 55
Country:
Chats: 0
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Thanks: 6
Thanked 4 Times in 3 Posts
(Thread Starter)
Are Manuals a dying breed?

I don't understand why it's getting more and more difficult to find cars with a manual transmission.

I know a good automatic is faster then a manual but I just love driving a manual.

All of our cars are manual even the wife's X3 which is how we like it. I don't know what it is about rowing through the gears but I really do enjoy it.

It took me a while to find my 05 350 in a 6 speed with all of the options that I wanted.
And I don't think the newer ones are even offered in a manual.

Maybe I'm just getting old
caraddict is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
#2 Old 01-14-2009
aka John

 
UK-C200's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Richmond, Tx
Vehicle: LHD Black SLK350, LHD Firemist SLK55
Other Toys: Nacra F18
Posts: 13,012
Country:
Chats: 1143
Mentioned: 13 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 30 Post(s)
Thanks: 1,712
Thanked 2,920 Times in 2,028 Posts
Seems to be location specific to a certain extent - manuals are still pretty popular in Europe, and sure seem to be a dying breed in the US..



UK-C200 is offline  
#3 Old 01-14-2009
Registered Users

 
alroumi's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: GMT+3
Vehicle: Kleemann K2
Posts: 10,721
Country:
Chats: 1
Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 11 Post(s)
Thanks: 1,030
Thanked 922 Times in 634 Posts
Its a dying breed in the U.S, Middle east as well.

In Europe its common to find 95% of the cars to be manual.

06 SLK55 AMG (Kleemann K2)
alroumi is offline  
 
#4 Old 01-14-2009
Registered Users
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Vancouver, BC
Vehicle: 2005 SLK350 6MT
Posts: 53
Country:
Chats: 0
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Thanks: 18
Thanked 32 Times in 12 Posts
It took me a solid 3-4 months of working closely with my dealership to find a used 350 with a manual that had the other options I wanted (for some reason a lot of the manuals had no Airscarf, which I consider crazy in our climate). That said, there were quite a few that showed up in inventories throughout the city during that time, though still without a doubt were far outnumbered by the autos.

It would appear that Canadians buy (percentage-wise anyways) a lot more manuals than do Americans. I guess we get rewarded for that too, as we can still spec a new '09 350 with a manual box.
SLK James is offline  
#5 Old 01-14-2009
Sadly Woolly has passed away

 
Woolly's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Co. Durham, UK
Vehicle: SLK350 MT
Other Toys: CLK 270CDI (Slushbox!!)
Posts: 17,375
Country:
Chats: 1297
Mentioned: 10 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 120 Post(s)
Thanks: 2,912
Thanked 3,515 Times in 2,416 Posts
Garage
Quote:
Originally Posted by alroumi View Post
Its a dying breed in the U.S, Middle east as well.

In Europe its common to find 95% of the cars to be manual.
Mo, I'd disagree with that - I've got a 350 6spMT - Very rare in the UK. When I bought mine, there was a waiting list, you specced exactly what you wanted, and the car was built to order.






To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 0 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

MB SLK 350 Andradite Green (6 speed manual)

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 0 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.


Woolly is offline  
#6 Old 01-14-2009
Registered Users
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Hamilton (NZ)
Vehicle: 00 SLK230
Other Toys: 8 Horses
Posts: 450
Country:
Chats: 2821
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Thanks: 101
Thanked 90 Times in 47 Posts
Garage
Send a message via MSN to WhyBeGood Send a message via Skype™ to WhyBeGood
Manuals are definately rare in NZ too. All my car's have been manual, the SLK is my first auto. I think it is pretty much impossible to find a manual one! I didn't find one!
Considering the manual is cheaper to purchase than the auto from new, but I guess if your paying $120,000 for a car, an extra $5k is not going to make much difference!
WhyBeGood is offline  
#7 Old 01-14-2009
Registered Users

 
alroumi's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: GMT+3
Vehicle: Kleemann K2
Posts: 10,721
Country:
Chats: 1
Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 11 Post(s)
Thanks: 1,030
Thanked 922 Times in 634 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by Woolly View Post
Mo, I'd disagree with that - I've got a 350 6spMT - Very rare in the UK. When I bought mine, there was a waiting list, you specced exactly what you wanted, and the car was built to order.
The only people who I know with manual gear box cars are some friends of mine, one with a BMW Z4 M roadster which only comes in manual, a 2006 V8 Vantage which was only available at that time with a manual and another friend with a 997 GT2. Other cars like Porsche Turbo's, F430's and sports cars are all F1 over here, if I'd want to get a manual car the dealership will most surely take a higher deposit when I would want to submit the order.

06 SLK55 AMG (Kleemann K2)
alroumi is offline  
#8 Old 01-14-2009
-1-
Don - Founding Member #4
 
-1-'s Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Virginia USA
Vehicle: *2014 BMW i3*2012 Prius Plug-In*All Elect/Hybrid
Posts: 5,857
Country:
Chats: 0
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 6 Post(s)
Thanks: 1,123
Thanked 743 Times in 587 Posts
I agree, it's discouraging. Manual is both my wife's and my choice. Back in late 2005, I started looking at SLKs. I happen to stop by the local dealer and they had a used 2005 Launch Edition SLK in the show room. It was a six speed which peaked my interest. It had basic options other than heated seats and AirScarf which was a big plus. The price seemed reasonable. I mentioned it to my wife and she was interested. We went and looked at it together, drove it, and negoiated. We offered a price which wasn't accepted. With it being a early 2005, I was glad we didn't get it. I started checking eBay. I found my wife's used 2006 SLK 350, six speed, out of state. We didn't get several options we wanted, but overall the car was too good to pass on. Three years later, we're still pleased. Two years later, I wanted a SLK 55. Based on all the pluses, I was willing to live with the auto only option. I'm happy with both cars. But I would like the option of choosing a transmission.
-1- is offline  
#9 Old 01-14-2009
Registered Users
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: PA
Vehicle: 05 SLK 350
Other Toys: X3, Yamaha R1, 93 Nissan Pickup(Need something for firewood)
Posts: 55
Country:
Chats: 0
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Thanks: 6
Thanked 4 Times in 3 Posts
(Thread Starter)
It is sad that it's not even an option I wouldn't mind paying more since they're not as popular but don't stop making them especially on the higher end models.

I could see the AMG in my future but I don't want to give up the stick.
I did it once and regretted every minute of it
It seems like more and more auto manufactures are going that way of the automatic as the only option and that really scares me.

In searching for my slk I actually had a dealer tell me that mercedes doesn't make a good manual which is why they're hard to find and that I should just go with one of the automatics that they have on the lot.

I like the SLK 6speed it feels nice even without modification.
The E46 M3 I had felt sloppy/rubbery until I put on the short shift kit but that's not the case with my SLK.
caraddict is offline  
#10 Old 01-14-2009
Registered Users
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: NorCal
Vehicle: 2006 SLK 280 w. 6M
Other Toys: 2000 New Beetle GLS w. 5M
Posts: 720
Country:
Chats: 0
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Thanks: 28
Thanked 54 Times in 28 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by caraddict View Post
I don't understand why it's getting more and more difficult to find cars with a manual transmission.
Economics 101, I suppose. The dealers don't want to have cars sitting on their lots, because they come with a combination of options that is not in high demand. I suppose the manufacturers have some leverage to force a certain percentage of these cars into a dealer's allocation, but there are limits to that. Some manufacturers make more of an effort to push for manuals, because it is in their brand marketing interest to foster the perception of offering "drivers cars" (e.g. Porsche and BMW), but sadly, MB is not among those.
Ikarus is offline  
#11 Old 01-14-2009
Registered Users
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Yukon, OK
Vehicle: '07 SLK 280; '04 C 320, '01 Honda S 2000, '98 Ford Ranger truck.
Posts: 840
Country:
Chats: 0
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Thanks: 95
Thanked 114 Times in 83 Posts
Right. I can call my local MB dealer on the phone any time, and order almost any MB car through this dealer with no deposit. The GM of this dealership says, "if you don't buy it, I'll sell it to somebody else." But I said "almost" because an SLK 300 with a manual is an exception. To order one of those, the dealer requires a $5000 non-refundable deposit. The GM says he can't sell them, should something happen and I fail to buy.
Dolebludger is offline  
#12 Old 01-14-2009
DansSlk
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Chats:
Mentioned: Post(s)
Tagged: Thread(s)
Quoted: Post(s)
All of the above are totally valid points, i would just like to raise another here - protection, a manual gearbox represents a weak point, a spot where the owner can damage the car be it brought on by incorrect use or totally accidental.

The manual (i.e stick shift) is on its way out but the manual gearbox in sequential form is alive and well, i totally appreciate the feeling of driving a stick shift car knowing your physically moving cogs is really rewarding but i also see die-hard manual owners being converted to SMG or auto boxes all the time because they think they know how the box will behave only to find out its a different animal when they get behind the wheel.

Manuals in general are more popular in Europe because of the small, cheap car idea and an auto add's expense thats not required for a bare-bones machine, with certain exceptions of course. Mercedes sales and offering of manuals is low worldwide because the 'average' owner will be buying a C/E/S and sitting on the freeway at cruise 99.9% of the time and they just don't need a manual to pi$$ around with, when you add options like Distronic into the equation it becomes even more clear why auto's are so popular in the Benz model line.
#13 Old 01-14-2009
Registered Users
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: NorCal
Vehicle: 2006 SLK 280 w. 6M
Other Toys: 2000 New Beetle GLS w. 5M
Posts: 720
Country:
Chats: 0
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Thanks: 28
Thanked 54 Times in 28 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dolebludger View Post
To order one of those, the dealer requires a $5000 non-refundable deposit.
... and in California he won't even agree to that, because according to the law, there is no such thing as a non-refundable deposit.
Ikarus is offline  
#14 Old 01-14-2009
Registered Users
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: PA
Vehicle: 05 SLK 350
Other Toys: X3, Yamaha R1, 93 Nissan Pickup(Need something for firewood)
Posts: 55
Country:
Chats: 0
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Thanks: 6
Thanked 4 Times in 3 Posts
(Thread Starter)
Quote:
Originally Posted by DansSlk View Post
The manual (i.e stick shift) is on its way out but the manual gearbox in sequential form is alive and well
I hope you're wrong and the need to actually drive a car prevails.
I really did want to like the BMW E46 M3 with the SMG.
But it took something away from me and that's the whole reason I drive a fun car because I'm the one driving it. And even though you're kind of in control with that dumb looking stick that could just be a button. You know that if you just left it alone the car could do a better job by itself anyway.

If I was on the track as a profession and my only goal was to win give me anything you can to beat the other guy but for everyday driving or the weekend romp on the country roads heck even the occasional track day.
I need a manual.

You know you're probably right one day a manual transmission will be just a memory heck we'll probably just touch the map and the car will take us where we want to go.
But I'm going to go down kicking and screaming
caraddict is offline  
#15 Old 01-14-2009
Registered Users
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: NorCal
Vehicle: 2006 SLK 280 w. 6M
Other Toys: 2000 New Beetle GLS w. 5M
Posts: 720
Country:
Chats: 0
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Thanks: 28
Thanked 54 Times in 28 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by caraddict View Post
I hope you're wrong and the need to actually drive a car prevails.
People enjoy tactile experiences. Look at the success of the Nintendo Wii, that's done away with the Joystick replacing it with more natural-feeling controllers like the Wii remote and the Wii balance board. In the same trend, I believe we're going to see a revival of the stick in a form that's more efficient and more fool-proof than today's incarnation. In a way, even the status quo is an already refined version of the original design that did not have synchros. Now Nissan has come up with a nifty way to make the "manual" transmission do automatic throttle blips during downshifts in the new Z370.
Ikarus is offline  
#16 Old 01-14-2009
DansSlk
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Chats:
Mentioned: Post(s)
Tagged: Thread(s)
Quoted: Post(s)
I agree with Ikarus on his revival comment, nothing is stopping manufacturers from producing a stick control gearbox that would be computer controlled and monitored to keep everything within limits but has a clutch pedal and a stick with a layout that copies todays stick shifter manuals, you could drive the car like a manual but knowing its impossible for you to damage the gearbox no matter how hard you push it or how many times you mis-shift but at the same time you could just press a button and let the car take over.
#17 Old 01-14-2009
Registered Users
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Calgary, AB, Canada
Vehicle: 2005 SLK 350
Posts: 186
Country:
Chats: 0
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Thanks: 17
Thanked 32 Times in 26 Posts
For sure a vast majority (I think over 85% over all cars, and over 95% in some styles) are automatics. It is a shame.

WIth appologies to those with autos, I was actually going to pass on the SLK until I drove the manual. Personal opinion of course, but for me it was a whole different car.

I don't think a manual suits every car, but it certainly does for the SLK.

Some of the new DSGs and the like are OK (I have a smart with a sequential), but it's still not the same as a true manual.

Strangest I've driven are the first Eaton autoshifts (in a bus). It still had a clutch, but you just put it in "D" and the computer would shift from there. Was pretty weird the way the engine would cut out, it would shift, then the engine would cut back in. The hardest part was remembering you had to push the clutch down when you stopped. The newer models like the ZF had a torque converter, so don't have the manual clutch anymore.

Cheers!

Dang
Dang is offline  
#18 Old 01-15-2009
Registered Users
 
R171pt's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Lisbon
Vehicle: Mercedes SLK 200 K' 09
Other Toys: ML 350 CDI
Posts: 297
Country:
Chats: 0
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Thanks: 11
Thanked 37 Times in 37 Posts
Here in Europe upper level cars, like the E class, are in the majority of cases automatic, and its was a tendency that came in the last 5 or 6 years. I guess it depends the type of car and the use you want to gave it. For instance, in my case, I ordered my upcoming R171 with manual gearbox because I want to enjoy driving. For daily purposes I have the other mercs with automatic gears.

But I must say that the automatic is so addictive...
R171pt is offline  
#19 Old 01-15-2009
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 676
Chats: 108
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Thanks: 202
Thanked 113 Times in 59 Posts
...still very happy with my stick!



brgds
ir-ops
ir-ops is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Reply

  Lower Navigation
Go Back   Mercedes Benz SLK Forum > General Discussion about Mercedes Benz SLKs > General Discussion

Bookmarks

Quick Reply
Message:
Options
Upload your files to MEGAUPLOAD
Upload your images to ImageShack

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the Mercedes Benz SLK Forum forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in











Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
User Tag List

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page



Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
SLK Glove box manuals (R170 and R171 and R172) bazzle SLK R170 General Discussion 19 06-20-2017 06:22 AM
R171 SLK200 2005 manuals, documents, etc tank30 SLK R171 General Discussion 4 03-19-2009 01:01 PM
'05 User Manuals? Henryhank SLK R171 General Discussion 1 07-21-2008 08:53 AM
Chosing Between A Fine Breed of Cars aerslan SLK R171 General Discussion 32 04-04-2008 06:33 PM
Military Manuals Woolly Off Topic 1 01-10-2007 12:10 PM

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome
 

Clubs, Garage Plus vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.