In other news, Jeremy Clarkson said some things that might’ve ruffled a few feathers that has to do with people that choose manuals.
Even though Jeremy Clarkson is not involved with Top Gear UK and is cooking up his own show, he’s still very much a writer at heart and many papers love to post up what he has to say. According to Clarkson himself on the Sun Motors, drivers who choose manuals over automatics are just plain mad. What makes this particular column more surprising is that towards the end, Clarkson recants everything he said against “flappy paddle gearboxes” and actually says he loves them now. Wait, what? Click here to read the tirade for yourself.
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In the United States according to the NY Times, only 3.8 percent of Americans choose a manual transmission over an automatic. In stark contrast, in the U.K., a whopping 70 percent of new car owners choose a manual over the automatic or dual-clutch transmission.
First Clarkson blatantly calls out those who choose a manual as just plain mad.
"The only people who would buy an old-fashioned gearstick manual are the sort who choose not to have a washing machine because they prefer to clean their clothes in the local river"
Clarkson doesn’t particularly hate manuals perse. They are actually quite brilliant when used in the right context (i.e. racing and performance driving.) With rules in the U.K. much stricter than their American counterparts and with much of the driving population relegated to town streets and busy highways, there are few places for U.K. residents to enjoy a proper romp with a manual.
Clarkson then points out that automatics today aren’t so bad.
"There was a time when automatics chewed fuel, weighed a ton and cost about the same as a house. Those days are gone. Flappy-paddle gearboxes now are sublime. Fast. Easy. Rewarding. Nice."
Which is mostly true. Automatics today are leaps and bounds better than what they used to be. With speeds surpassing 9 ratios and with some automatics outperforming manuals, there are now fewer advantages to choosing manuals.
But just like siding with the wrong political party can brand you as a heretic, siding with automatics in a car enthusiast world can label you as just plain wrong.
Then again, this is Jeremy Clarkson and we’re not at all surprised that he’s said what he has to say. The surprising thing is some people might agree with him under their breath.
But this writer won’t say he agrees. At least not on paper.