Why automatic?

I ask this as a new-car shopper who is curious at the lack of availability of manual transmissions:
Why is there a seemingly overwhelming preference for automatic
transmissions? Is it that people don't want to be bothered with manuals, don't want to learn how to drive them, or for some other reason? I personally think manuals are more fun and offer more control of the vehicle, but that's just one man's opinion.
I don't mean this question to be condescending in any way--I'm just genuinely curious.
Thanks in advance for your responses.
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All of the above...
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Nevermind. This is essentially a redundant post.
http://cartalk.com/board/showflat.php?Cat=0&Number17780&an=0&page=0

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Most people in North America don't want to fight with a gearshift and clutch, especially women. And since there's nothing stopping them from buying slushboxes, they do.
In some other parts of the world manuals are still significant. Probably has to do with pecuniary penalties for buying an automatic. Governments love that sort of thing. It's a "luxury tax", y'know.
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I have driven manual transmission equipped vehicles for many decades, I prefer automatics at this stage of my life.

There is nothing complicated about driving a manual transmission equipped vehicle. If a person can walk and chew gum at the same time it's not a big deal. Wait! There's the problem. {;^)

In city traffic it is much easier to go with the flow with an automatic transmision than a manual transmission (all the stop and crawl).

They do for some instances, but overall it's easier to drive an automatic transmission equipped vehicle.

You can only find out answers, when you ask questions.

No problem.
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Brian Smith wrote:

I love my MT car, but for a work vehicle, I prefer an automatic, because I do have to spend a lot of time in traffic, and the clutch leg gets rather tired before long.
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S.Crab wrote:

because modern autos are faster and more economical. there's also a safety argument - both hands on the wheel at all times as well as the ability to program the shift pattern to better cope with emergency situations. go drive a modern auto - they're quite effective!
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As if most automatic drivers really use BOTH hands on the wheel...;more likely they use the other hand to hold a cellphone,cigarette,food,or dangle the spare hand out the window,or rest it on the passenger seatback.

And enable "unintended accelleration" accidents.
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S.Crab wrote:

Same reason why most people take the elevator instead of stairs: easier, more convenient. And who has a third hand when one's got the cell phone, the other's got a coffee, and the knee's steering the car? =)
Me? I prefer to take the stairs, and I also prefer manuals for the fun of it.
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One main reason I can think of, is the massive amount of traffic in most urban areas. It can be a pain creeping along for 10 or miles in 1st or 2nd gear.
But I will only drive an automatic if I have no choice. Both my wife and I prefer manual.
We were looking for a new car for her recently and wanted to look at teh BMW 3 series, but none of the dealers in Orange County had a manual version for us to test drive. So we went back to Saab.
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S.Crab wrote:
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On Fri, 01 Dec 2006 23:59:12 +0000, Craig wrote:

This is a big one to me...
I own a MT, and I love it around here (Buffalo, NY). I work at night, and even in the day, rarely encounter horrible traffic. But, recently, I had to go to Toronto. Coming home, I was stuck in about 60 miles of rush-hour stop and go traffic, and man did I wish I'd had an Auto for that trip.
Seeing as how I live in Buffalo, I'll probably continue to buy MT's, but when I have to go to a really massive city in the future, I'll rent a car...
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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com says...

I prefer manuals too, but automatics have gotten a lot better in recent years than they used to be. An interesting trend in high-end exotic cars like Ferraris and Lamborghinis is that more buyers now seem to be opting for the F1-style "paddle shifter" transmissions than manuals - granted, these really aren't automatics in the true sense of the term, but it's a telling development that probably foreshadows even less interest in manuals once the technology begins to trickle down to more affordable cars.
AutoWeek recently tested the new Porsche 911 Turbo, and the Tiptronic- equipped model was faster than the manual from 0-60.
Dave
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Acura TSX gets better mileage ratings with the auto.
It's an American tradition since, oh, 1950s.
In twenty years you'll be lucky if the cars have manual steering or brakes, or if they do, you'll have to have an "expert's license" to use them.
J.

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I'm mostly an MT guy, but at the moment the only manual in my life is in my work truck. Our department heavily favors manuals because they are less likely to strand the driver in the wilderness (we go some places where a tow truck couldn't retrieve the truck). In extremis we can cut a hole through the bell housing, drill a hole through the pressure plate and clutch disk, and put a bolt in the clutch.
I dislike manuals in town, though, and they can be trickier than automatics on slippery roads. I've never seen a snow cat with a manual tranny; momentum is too critical. Sometimes that is true for cars in ice and slush as well.
Two of our cars at home now have no transmissions - they are Toyota hybrids.
Mike
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S.Crab wrote:

Try commuting the bottlenecked traffic in CA. Stop and go freeway traffic for 3 hours a day is enough to make anyone with a manual tranny curse the day they bought it.
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Yes, all of the above. Add that most cars end on the scrap heap once the warranty has run out and the auto box fails, because of the cost or repair.
I haven't bought a new car in years, and prefer manuals, because thay can make all sorts of bad noises and sound like a gravel crusher, and still work. Automatics are fine when new and have a manufacturer's warranty, but when anything goes wrong you usually end up stuck on the side of the road, and at the financial mercy of the "rebuilders".
SD
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Personally, I would prefer an automatic as a daily driver...heading to work in the mornings I'm so tired I can barely remember the right roads, let alone have to shift. But on the weekends, as a sort of sporty car, I would definitely prefer a manual. That's why I have a manumatic...it is truely the best transmission option I have ever driven; it's like the best of both worlds.
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