Every day, we car enthusiasts are warned that the manual transmission is dying. Automatics shift quicker, accelerate faster, and deliver superior fuel economy. The stick-shift is old fashioned, out of date.
Well, it seems someone forgot to tell Miata buyers about the death of the manual transmission. In the 2019 model year, the majority of the delightful drop-tops that Mazda sold were equipped with three pedals, according to Autoblog.
Turns out, between July 2018 and April 2019, 76 percent of soft-top Miatas were sold with a manual transmission. The number was a bit lower for the retractable-hardtop Miata RF, just 52 percent sold with a stick-shift. Still, that means the majority of Miatas were manuals.
That’s especially heartening news considering that manuals are dwindling even among enthusiast vehicles. During a similar period, just one in three Toyota 86s were sold with a manual transmission, according to CarBuzz. And let’s not forget that the all-new mid-engine C8 is the first Corvette since 1957 that doesn’t offer an available manual transmission.
So with 2020 around the corner and the future of the manual transmission looking as dim as ever, take some time today to thank a Miata buyer. More than just about anybody else, the people putting money down for brand-new MX-5s are keeping the stick-shift alive.