R.I.P. STICK-SHIFT JEEP?

4 Wheel & Off Road - - DRIVELINES -

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.”

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