12 Reasons Why Manual Transmissions Rock September 07 2013

The manual transmission is an endangered species, but there are so many great things to love about them. Here is our list of reasons why we love manual transmissions.

1. Push starting. If your starter went out or your battery is dead, you can start your car using this trick. 1) Turn the key to the on position. 2) Put the car in neutral 3) Get the car to a jogging pace using a hill, friends or whatever other way possible. 4) If you were outside your car pushing, you'll have to run and get into your car before it hits a parked car. Don't trip.Shift into first and release the clutch quickly.  5) Wait for the engine to start. 6) Clutch in once the engine starts. 7) Your car is running now!

2. Control on inclines. I hate starting up inclines with automatic transmissions. You slowly squeeze down further and further on the gas pedal and the car doesn't do anything as the revs build. Then all of a sudden you surge forward at warp speed. It's like the ice machine in your refrigerator door. You hold it down and nothing happens, and then all of a sudden it sends a deluge of every last cube of ice that it has. With a manual, you control how much power goes to the wheels and when.

3. Hard launches. You can rev up the engine and then dump the clutch for some tire smoking action. Yes, if you have an automatic, you can select neutral, rev it up, and slam it into drive, but your transmission will not last very long.

4. That "snick" sound that the shifter makes. It is just so satisfying.

5. You have much more control over the engine power band. As you make your way up the on-ramp, an automatic doesn't know to hold a lower gear in case you need a burst of acceleration. It doesn't know to hold the gear through a corner so that you can power out. Automatics will never be as good as you are at reading your own mind.

6. Engine revving. Is the person ahead of you asleep at the light? Revving the engine is less harsh than honking to get people's attention. Admittedly, you could select neutral in an automatic and then rev, but that's just awkward.

7. Control over the mood of the car. Just loaded up the trunk with watermelons and a few cartons of eggs? Trying to get to the auto parts store before they close? For whatever situation you might have, you control exactly how fast the clutch engages, you can determine exactly how smooth or how aggressive your shifts are.

8. Better fuel economy. The manual option isn't always more fuel efficient than the automatic option, but in most cases it is.

Porsche 911.

9. Fun factor. Either you will find driving a manual fun, or you will not find it fun. For those who find it fun, it can definitely make a car that is normally not that fun and actually make it kinda fun.

10. Clutch-kick drift technique. There is a method for initiating a drift that involves clutching in, building revs and then dumping the clutch to break the tires loose. Automatics need not apply.

11. Sculpted calves. If you drive a car with a heavy clutch through stop and go traffic regularly, you're likely to have a beast of a left leg.

12. Built-in anti-theft feature. I heard a story about a carjacker in New York City who took control of a car by force, but then exited the car immediately thereafter because he didn't know how to operate the manual transmission.