Published at Tuesday, 14 April 2020. manual car. By Jacqueleen Meunier.
The Miata’s organically responsive handling mixed with a large dollop of 1960s British roadster drew buyers by the tens of thousands to Mazda stores. But it’s no stretch to say it was Mazda’s brilliant five-speed manual transmission that seriously added to the thrill ride. The stubby little shifter was so effortless, it moved with just a modest flick of the wrist. The second-generation Miata of 1999 got one more gear in tenth anniversary models—a six-speed—that remained optional (the five-speed was standard) well into the third generation was equally great to use.
Transmission repair costs vary widely based on the vehicle and what it needs. Repairing a leak might cost a few hundred dollars or less, but tearing apart a transmission to find the cause of problems can be much more expensive. That is why many repair shops recommend replacing a car’s transmission instead of trying to fix internal problems with a rebuild — especially in the case of newer continuously variable and dual-clutch automatics, because parts are more difficult to come by and there’s less repair know-how when compared with conventional automatics.
The art of heel-and-toe shifting was once a prerequisite to get the most performance from manual transmission, but downshift rev-matching technology now makes anyone look like a pro. Found primarily on performance cars like the Nissan 370Z and Honda Civic Type R, this feature automatically adjusts engine speed to the gear you’ve selected for smooth, seamless downshifts. It’s particularly helpful during demanding racetrack driving, but it can make your favorite winding road even more enjoyable, too.
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