It is, and I've had 2 of them over the past 15 years, but I really wanted the new A3, and it only comes with the DSG transmission. The stick is also not so much fun in stop and go traffic on the westside highway.Mac
PS: While i don't advice doing this you can shift between gears without using a clutch by syncing up engine speed. It's easy to get out of gear by matching engine speed so you are not speeding up or slowing down with no tension on the transmission it is easy to pop it into neutral. Getting into the next gear is harder. You kind of need to estimate the proper engine speed for the next gear then jam it in... It works, but it is not recommended if you have a working clutch. OTOH if you have just blown your clutch into a million pieces so it will never disengage, and you have miles to go to get home, you do what you gotta do. Getting into first gear from a dead stop is a bitch... If you have a strong enough starter you can start it up in first gear. Or have some friends get you rolling (park on a hill)... Once you are rolling you don't want to stop so avoid stop lights.
I had to drive home with a broken clutch cable in my 1960 VW bug. I used the starter motor to get going at every stoplight. I'm not teaching my daughter how to shift without the clutch.
I don't pay extra for the adaptive cruise control that manages traffic spacing, I like to manage that myself.Mac
I really enjoy driving my manual transmission Focus; it's much more fun than an automatic car.
As I understand it, automatic transmissions in Europe are about as rare as manual (stick shift) transmissions are becoming in the United States. Or so I've been told.I've heard that European car rental agencies charge a steep premium for automatic transmission, because they know they can get it from the clueless Americans who wouldn't be able to get out of the parking lot with only a manual.
I expect that will change, as modern 6-speed automatic transmissions are now generally more fuel efficient than manual transmissions - more gears, better shifting logic than the average human. I like driving a manual too, but my commute to work and back includes an hour a day of 5 mph or less bumper to bumper traffic. That's not a lot of fun, and pretty hard on your clutch if you have one.
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