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The manual transmission is gaining popularity in the United States

There manual gearbox has already known more glorious years. Although appreciated by purists and owners looking for an economical car, the manual gearbox has lost a lot of popularity in the United States and Canada. To be honest, only 1.2% of vehicles sold in 2022 on the other side of the border were equipped with a manual transmission. Good news for enthusiasts, 2023 seems to show hope, as sales of manual transmission-equipped vehicles in the United States increased by 0.5%, now at 1.7% of sales.

Young drivers and purists to the rescue

According to a study published in the wall street journal, this resurgence of the manual gearbox is attributed to automotive purists and young drivers. This study also revealed that more than half of the buyers of an Acura Integra equipped with a three-pedal gearbox are between the ages of 18 and 46. Also in the United States, 25% of manual Mazda MX-5 buyers are under the age of 35. BMW also conducted a public survey, and the result is once again encouraging for enthusiasts. More than 65% of drivers aged 18 to 34 would really like to learn to drive a manual vehicle. This means that a flame, although marginal, still lives around this gearbox.

Is this news good news for Canadian purists? In a sense, yes. As the United States market is economically more important for automobile manufacturers, certain strategic decisions in the importation of vehicles in use in Canada are based on the behaviors of American consumers. So this rather surprising increase in sales of manual vehicles may indicate, and we weigh our words carefully, that this gearbox is not doomed to disappear completely.

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The automatic gearbox clearly retains the first place

The convenience of automatic transmissions is undeniable. Now faster, more fuel efficient and definitely more efficient than a manual transmission, the different variants of automatic transmissions have won the hearts of the majority of drivers in North America. Not only the drivers, but also the manufacturers who rely on their performance to offer even more energy efficiency and speed of execution.


Although the manual transmission may envy several advantages to the automatic, the latter remains lighter and more affordable. The list of vehicles equipped with the purists’ gearbox decreases each year, but it is still possible to buy a manual vehicle in Canada. We need only think of the Mazda3, Volkswagen Jetta, Subaru WRX and Toyota Tacoma, to name a few.

It is therefore a positive start to the year for the 3-pedal box. It goes without saying that the interest seems to be increasing, but nothing confirms a grand return of this gearbox. Electric vehicles don’t seem to be taking the manual transmission route, although Toyota has introduced a fake manual transmission for its future electric vehicles. One thing is certain, for the manual gearbox to survive the many changes in the automotive field, sales figures must continue to rise.

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