August 10, 2016 at 1:03 am #22496Alfredo_TParticipant
I used to drive a 2010 Honda fit with a 5-speed manual transmission. It had a CD player that could play standard Red Book CDs as well as CDs containing MP3 or WMA compressed data files. There was also an auxiliary input jack which could be connected to any line level audio source. I loved that car. Then, on Christmas Day, 2015, it was totaled.
I postponed the search for a replacement vehicle. Once my threshold of pain was reached, I started searching and quickly came to realize that the new car dealership inventory is quite different from that of even six years ago. Honda is aggressively pushing continuously variable automatic transmission technology. All the 2016 Fits in Portland area dealerships have CVTs. By comparison, in 2010, I was able to find manual Fits in a variety of colors at one dealership. All the Civic sedans have CVTs; there are only a handful of sport coupes that have conventional clutch manual transmissions.
With other car makers, the manual cars are out there, but one has to actively look for them. If one finds a few, the selection isn’t that great.
I saw first hand that the 2016 Honda Civic does not have a CD player. Other brands that have done away with them to date include Scion and GMC.August 10, 2016 at 6:12 am #22497BrianlParticipant
I bought a brand new Jeep Renegade last December, and it does not have a CD player, either. It seems to be going the way of cassette decks and 8-track players in vehicles.
And, sadly, it is getting harder and harder to find a manual transmission. That is the one deal breaker for me – if it has an automatic transmission, I will NOT buy it. They had the Jeep in a six speed manual. Done.August 10, 2016 at 7:14 am #22498edselehrParticipant
Also gone: manual crank windows, vent windows, hardtops (no “B” pillar), and front bench seats. I know a couple of those have been gone for awhile but i still miss them.August 10, 2016 at 9:35 am #22500Alfredo_TParticipant
Unfortunately, I have never owned a car with a front bench seat. Bucket seat cars make it much, much more difficult to safely install two-way radios. In bench seat cars, they could be mounted under the dashboard, in the center.
On the other hand–and I am showing my relatively younger age–wouldn’t a bench seat preclude having a handbrake, which, in turn, would make it more challenging to drive a manual transmission? I discovered a number of occasions, mainly when parking in tight spots on hilly streets without curbs, where the handbrake was my best friend. I could easily pull out without stalling or rolling into the next car.August 10, 2016 at 10:34 am #22503edselehrParticipant
Can be done, Alfredo.
In prewar cars, the parking brake lever was on the floor to the right of the floor gear shifter. Set the brake, put it in gear, and let out the clutch while leaning over to release the brake once you get going. A little awkward, but doable.
Later cars had either a center pull-up brake like you described (bucket seat cars), a foot activated parking brake on the left, or a pull-out lever under the dash that set the brake. For parking brake assist on each of these, you would set the brake, put it in gear, release your clutch to get going, then release the parking brake once the clutch engaged. Releasing the foot activated brake required pulling the release cable handle, while the pull-out lever required that you twist and push the lever back in.
The only type of parking brake that would be troublesome to use as an assist on steep hills would be the food activated brake on the left that was released by depressing the pedal a second time. Since your clutch and accelerator feet are busy, you couldn’t release the brake. But I’ve never seen this type of parking brake on anything other than an automatic transmission car, so maybe the engineers realized the problem and only installed them on cars with that type of transmission.
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