R.I.P. STICK-SHIFT JEEP?
The crew at Sam’s 4x4 in Tulsa, Oklahoma, has made an interesting observation: Manual-transmission Wranglers are fading away. Using data from Cars.com and Autotrader, Sam’s discovered that fewer than
4,000 of the more than 20,000
2017-2018 Wranglers listed had manual transmissions. The researchers then went back to data from the last year of the TJ to see how much things had changed. Of the 2006 TJs listed, fully 56 percent had manual transmissions, compared to just 19 percent of the 2017 JKs.
“More and more, we can’t find real value in manual transmis- sions,” says John Guffey, the general manager at Sam’s 4x4. “As off-road enthusiasts, we don’t understand why you’d risk losing your position on a rock or getting stuck in rough terrain just to use a laborious heel-toe-shift operation. Automatic transmissions get better all the time, and many of our customers prefer keeping two hands on the wheel. Frankly, we were surprised how many manual transmissions Jeep makes available these days and think the standard stick shift will soon be gone altogether. It had a good, long run but needs to retire.”