It’s no secret that car buyers are moving away from manual transmissions so quickly that you’d swear their gear sticks were coated with Polokwane polony.
It’s also not hard to understand why, given the improved efficiency and shifting-speed achieved by many modern self-shifters, not to mention that all-important freedom from the drudgery of clutch-in-clutch-out on increasingly congested streets.
Yet the manual gearbox still has a rightful place in the hearts and souls of many car enthusiasts, who will - quite rightfully - argue that you’ll never get the full experience of “actually driving” a car if it doesn’t have an old-fashioned ‘stick shift’.
Many enthusiasts have found an even happier compromise in dual-clutch gearboxes, which have become so good at marrying the best of all worlds that these days you could hardly imagine anyone asking for a new M5 or Porsche 911 with a manual gearbox.
Unfortunately not all car companies have invested their money in that expensive direction. Some smaller outfits like Subaru have been swayed by the sensible efficiency and cost advantages afforded by a continuously variable transmission.