Tuesday, November 28, 2023


How well can you drive a manual transmission vehicle?

How well can you drive a manual transmission vehicle, be it car, SUV or pickup truck?

Is it easy for you — no problem at all? Is it so bad that heaven help the passenger riding shotgun as he or she lurches forward and backward with every shift? Or is driving a manual transmission vehicle something you never learned to do or forget how to do years ago?

That’s our question today. Remember, it can take a few moments for the poll to load, so stand by.


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Millicent (@guest_239435)
5 months ago

I drove a 1996 Saturn towed behind my motorhome for years. The car had so much pick up and was so much fun to drive. I could hitch it up, put it in neutral, drive cross country, not ever taking the key out till I got to my destination, as much as 6-7 days. And that car would start right up with zero problems. I sold it for a Honda Fit to tow and had problems all the time. Regrets all the time for selling the manual.

Cancelproof (@guest_239427)
5 months ago

Just as well as an automatic. No difference.

Bob P (@guest_239366)
5 months ago

After years driving semi’s 9-18 speed transmissions yes I can drive a manual. When I first got my license if you took the test in an automatic transmission an A only designation was on your license. Since, that was removed due to discrimination, now it’s a theft prevention device. Lol

Lance Craig (@guest_239331)
5 months ago

I taught my friend’s daughter to drive in my F150 5 speed. She had a manual VW Cabriolet in college. Her friends would ask to borrow her car. She tossed them the keys, but they always came back saying they could not drive it. She never had anyone use her car. Best anti-theft device there is today.

Mitzi Agnew Giles and Ed Giles (@guest_239206)
5 months ago

True story. When DH had his first hip replacement surgery 20 years ago, I asked the surgeon if he’d be able to drive his 5 speed. The surgeon said, “No, you’ll have to drive her (meaning my) car.” I said ‘I’ve got a 4 speed!” He looked startled, then said” You’re going to be chauffeured until your 1 month follow-up”. We taught both our kids to drive stick, figuring out that at least they’d be skilled enough to work as valets.

Uncle Swags (@guest_239023)
5 months ago

I’m willing to bet that based on the poll results that 90% of the readers are over 60.

Karen Bates (@guest_239034)
5 months ago
Reply to  Uncle Swags

I was just thinking the same!

Ron L (@guest_239062)
5 months ago
Reply to  Uncle Swags

Yep,,, I’m 79 and have a resto modded 64 Fairlane and also a restored
86 Toy SR5 pickup. 4-speed and 5 speed. Tried to teach my grandson with the pickup….total failure, just could not get the hang of the clutch.

Robert (@guest_239193)
5 months ago
Reply to  Ron L

I’m only 64 but also tried teaching my daughter. She was able to do it but it wasn’t smooth at all…….guess in a pinch she could get it done now that she has the concept down!

Andy (@guest_239155)
5 months ago
Reply to  Uncle Swags

36 here. I don’t enjoy driving as much without one. My guess is that the question catches the eye of car enthusiasts that are more interested to begin with.

Jim Maynard (@guest_239412)
5 months ago
Reply to  Uncle Swags

I’m 73. Learned how to drive in a 1954 Kaiser Darrin. Fiberglass 2-seater, Willys engine, Warner Gear 3-speed with overdrive.
A couple of years later I took Drivers’ Ed so I could get my License six months earlier. They offered a hugh Buick with power everything and automatic. The power steering gave you absolutely no feel for what the front wheels were doing. I really felt sorry for the other kids.

Jere Jarrell (@guest_238930)
5 months ago

Learned to drive in 3 speed on the tree in 1955 Plymouth. Shifted with my knee. Taught both daughters to drive in early VW— they can drive anything. In late 60s bought new ford could afford AC or automatic transmission—- chose the AC. Got a four on the floor in garage right now.

Skip (@guest_238920)
5 months ago

Three on the tree, then to 4 then five then split. Now that age has caught it auto but I’m sure I can still do standard well.

Neal Davis (@guest_238895)
5 months ago

My first car had a 5-speed manual transmission. Currently DW’s car has a 5-speed manual transmission. Neither of us has any problem driving a vehicle with a manual transmission, including going from a dead stop on a hill.

Lillian (@guest_238884)
5 months ago

In my family, we were not allowed to drive an automatic until we knew how to drive a stick. I always say I have two things going for me. I can drive a stick shift and I can read cursive.😊

Nancy (@guest_238868)
5 months ago

When I got my driver’s license, if you didn’t use a “stick” there was note on the license that you could only drive an automatic. My driver’s ed class used a car with a stick shift. So glad.

vanessa (@guest_238864)
5 months ago

I hated giving up my manual transmission vehicle about 9 years ago when I faced surgery on my legs…using the clutch was painful. But then that vehicle was bare bones, roll down windows and no AC. I would have had to leave it behind when I moved to the desert anyway.

Wayne Caldwell (@guest_238860)
5 months ago


Split Shaft (@guest_238857)
5 months ago

I have never owned a motorcycle with an automatic transmission and would not want a motorcycle with an automatic transmission.

Don Capellani (@guest_238843)
5 months ago

We tow. 2020 KIA soul 6 speed manual at home I drive a1996 geo tracker 4 speed and a 2012 Fiat Abarth 5 speed no problem at 83 years old. It’s called driving

Phil (@guest_238817)
5 months ago

One of the vehicles that were manual transmissions was a 1949 Studebaker truck with a no- synchronized transmission. Had to double clutch on both up shifts and down shifts. Getting into the granny gear while still moving was a talent not soon forgotten. I’ve driven a 4 speed without a clutch when linkage failed, started the engine at stoplights in first gear and went from there. Had many cars over the years, both manual and automatic and not a problem getting into either type.

Les (@guest_238807)
5 months ago

Should give this poll based on age group.

JAMES (@guest_238828)
5 months ago
Reply to  Les

We already know the answer to that

B N S (@guest_238876)
5 months ago
Reply to  Les

Our Youngest Learned And Still Drives A Stick Shift… He’s Mid 20’s now…

Rolling Coal (@guest_238803)
5 months ago

My daily driver is a 6 speed manual transmission Jeep JK. My back up is a 5 speed manual transmission Jeep TJ. My wife’s daily is also manual. Almost every vehicle we’ve owned has been a manual transmission. Manual transmissions are now called a millennial anti-theft device!

Ed K (@guest_238798)
5 months ago

61 Ford and 60 Dodge were the cars I learned to drive in and both were three on the tree. I have had several manuals since then, but the Automatic is about the only choice you can have if you want a better optioned vehicle.

Stitz (@guest_238797)
5 months ago

I learned on a 1954 Ford. I used to race at local tracks from age 18-59, until an accident required rods and other metal to be placed in me. I still have a vehicle that has a stick.

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