Cadillac Says 66 Percent Of American Adults Know How To Drive A Manual Transmission37
Living in North America, sometimes it feels as though most people have never even seen a manual transmission – let alone know how to drive one. This is a bit of a misconception, though, as a surprising amount of American adults actually know how to drive a car with three pedals and a stick shift, according to a recent study commissioned by Cadillac.
Cadillac recently hired Harris to conduct a manual transmission-themed study in preparation for the upcoming launch of the 2022 Cadillac CT4-V Blackwing and CT5-V Blackwing sport sedans, both of which will come standard with a six-speed manual.
Of the men and women surveyed for the study, a whopping 66 percent knew how to drive a manual transmission, while another 55 percent say they have owned or leased a car with a manual transmission at least once before.
Interest in learning how to drive a manual transmission car is also high among those who aren’t currently capable of doing so. Of survey participants who said they did not know how to row their own gears, 40 percent said they are somewhat or very interested in learning. Interest in driving or learning how to drive a manual is also higher among those with $75,000 or more in annual household income (64 percent) and among those in the coveted 18 to 34 age demographic (62 percent).
While many automakers have begun to phase manual transmissions out of their vehicle lineups, Cadillac believes the standard six-speed manual in the upcoming CT4-V Blackwing and CT5-V Blackwing is an essential feature for the true performance enthusiasts that will buy the vehicles. The six-speed transmission in the new sport sedans will also utilize 3D printed parts, Cadillac announced this week, which will help reduce production costs and material waste.
“There are a few ways to really get that connected feel with the vehicle and the manual transmission is probably the most obvious one,” Cadillac performance variant manager Mirza Grebovic said in a statement.
While the CT4-V and CT5-V Blackwing will be the only Cadillac products available with a six-speed manual, they will also offer the familiar GM 10-speed automatic transmission as an option. The only other vehicles in GM’s portfolio that are offered with a manual are the Chevy Spark and Sonic compacts and the Chevy Camaro muscle coupe.
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Cadillac says 66 percent of American adults think they know how to drive a manual transmission
Every car I’ve owned since my first one has been a manual with the exception of the Cadillac XTS I bought recently as a car for my fiancée and I for long trips. As much as I love driving that car I’ll always have one with a manual, even if I have to keep one going for years. Very happy to see Caddy keep them going. Now build a CT5-V Blackwing Wagon!
I do not believe that Statistic at all. Hope to be the case but I highly doubt it.
I don’t tend to believe the 66% number, as it’s really easy to say you “know” how to drive a manual transmission in a survey, but the 55% who said that they have owned or leased a car with a manual seems much more legit. “Have you ever owned or leased a manual transmission car?” has much less grey area than “Do you know how to drive a stick?” If that number is accurate, and it’s far more likely to be than the 66% number, I’m pretty impressed.
Doesn’t even matter in the long run though, because the market for this car is niche. Niche, but also mostly uninhabited. You want a manual sports sedan, you have these two beasts or the porky, overweight M3. I think they’ve got a real success on their hands.
I’m inclined to believe the number. But knowing HOW to drive a manual is not the same as wanting to, or wanting to buy a car equipped with one. I know how, but I’ll never buy a vehicle with a manual.
On a weekender fun car, sure. Everyday driving is a no.
I’ve driven a manual as my daily driver for over 30 years. Lived in Philly for three and commuted in bumper-to-bumper daily. Still don’t want an automatic.
The thing is people like you are aging, getting leg, back and other health issues, and simply can’t handle the clutch in traffic. Happened to my dad, and it seems to be a common theme for people selling manuals on Craigslist and other car sites.
Use it or lose it.
Michael to each his own, but after owning three 5.0L fox bodies in a row, i was and am done with a clutch. A drive to the city would make my left leg ache and i was in my 20s. But shift on bud.
I for one plan on buying a camaro and it will be a 6 speed no matter if its the V8 or V6 plus its cheaper. The problem with people not buying a manual is the dealers. Many won’t stock them so people just buy what they have in stock. same with black interiors. GM has six different interiors for the camaro but but 95 percent on the lot are black. They say that’s all people buy. Which is BS its just that is all the dealer is ordering. GM should be encouraging dealers to buy other color interiors and stock more manuals if the cars are available with them.
Because of the all black interior almost on all stock camaros i’m going to have to order one. Which is fine but probably won’t be able to get and discounts if it comes in after they expire.
I agree. Black seats are a sore point: I live in a hot climate, and while black leather breathes well, my current “parchment” seats are so much cooler in summer.
66 percent is a high number given that most Americans between the ages of 18-48 do not know how to drive a manual transmission and if Cadillac’s numbers are accurate, they need to ask why no one buys American cars with a manual transmission over the past 10 years as Cadillac should know that their own CTS-V sold mostly with an automatic transmission.
66% may know how to drive a manual but that doesn’t mean if you put their butt in the seat they would be able to get out of first gear. Knowing and doing are different things. They should have asked the last time they actually drove a stick.
If it was really 66% the take rate would be higher for manual cars.
Why? I can drive a manual as in most of my younger years I drove them, but I don’t want one now. Being able to do it and wanting to do it are not the same thing.
Might be 66% of those who would buy a performance car.
I have seen other surveys that indicate the stick shift capable population is around 18% at most. Even if that is incorrect, I am quite skeptical that 66% is even close to accurate. That just seems incredibly high.
Even though it’s a pain in stop-and-go traffic, I’d own another car with a manual in a heartbeat. Much more engaging in the driving experience as opposed to letting the computer do it for you. Just my two cents…
Dealers are part of the problem. They aren’t ordering them. One dealer in my area said we won’t bring any in you have to order it. Can’t even test drive one. That is stupid on the dealers part.
They were probably stuck with one they couldn’t sell years ago, and the order to not order them has not been overruled.
Cadillac should have a manual or two on rotation in each region.
The best part of a manual is up-shifting as you accelerate on to a highway.
I had a 4 spd Turbo Sunbird for 4 years and 2 clutches. I blame the turbo. Never tried a 6 spd and probably wouldn’t like it.
My older brother has had nothing but manuals since 1981. You’d think that his ratty used Chevy van with 3 on the tree (that would sometimes get stuck in first) and no power steering would have deterred him from buying another. His wife has also shifted since 1988. Their daughter finally got her license at 18.
One thing that can influence a result is where/who you ask, asking at cars & coffee will gain a different result to asking each person entering a Cadillac dealership.
I learned how to drive a in a 1954 Chevrolet it was a three speed on the column my first two cars that I bought a 1968 Pontiac Firebird 4 speed manual and 2 years later I owned a 1969 Dodge Super Bee 440 three deuces with the lift off fiberglass Hood one bad ass car
My next car has to have a manual. I had hoped the CT4-V or CT5-V would offer one for the next (2022) model year. If they don’t, I will look at the 6.2L Camaro with a manual.
Last one I had was an ’02 Pontiac Firehawk. Got caught in heavy traffic on I-95 outside of Philly and I went through more gear changes than Emerson Fittipaldi at Monaco. My left foot was cramping somewhat distractingly. Then there was that one time I was accelerating up an on-ramp to match the speed of traffic (maybe a little faster) on I-80 right at the Milton Truck Plaza. What a blast going through the gears.
I worked as a sale day driver, at an auto auction, for about 12 years. I would estimate that about 15% of the random cars were sticks and that about 20% of the drivers knew how to drive sticks. Many a time drivers were reassigned to drive automatics, because they had no idea about how to drive a stick.
I’m 68 years old and I’ve driven a manual for the last 52 years. My current car is a 2017 C7 with a manual. When my car finally arrived at the dealership and I went to take delivery, the first thing I was asked by the Corvette guru was, “Why did you order a manual?” I looked her straight in the eye, and without cracking a smile, I responded, “Well, I’m kind of embarrassed to say, but I never learned how to drive an automatic”. She shook her head and and said, “Hmmmmm…”. True story! Not only could she not drive a manual, but apparently they had to go in search of someone to drive my C7 around to the front of the dealership.
So when I saw the title, “Cadillac Says 66 Percent Of American Adults Know How To Drive A Manual Transmission”, I thought, bull! Of all the people I know in my personal and professional life that can drive a manual is probably in the range of 15-25%.
I took Drivers Ed Class in high school. The ’57 Mercurys we drove all had stick shifts. That was the last year that the school used vehicles with stick shift. The next year, all of the ’58 Mercurys had automatics, and all of the following class vehicles did after that.
Their insurance company wised up.
Interesting. In the 70s in Albuquerque, the public school system had an overbooked drivers ed program downtown, so several of us went to private driving schools. Ours had mostly automatics with a couple of manual Mazda RX-3s. When gas prices jumped, I’m not sure what replaced those 12 MPG wonders: fast but thirsty.