Manual Transmission Isn’t Dead: 15% of Ford Bronco Drivers Chose Manual
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These days, it seems like manual cars are fading fast. However, tides may be changing with the new 2021 Ford Bronco, which was released earlier this year to high fanfare.
With Ford’s recent acquisition of Jeep, the new Bronco was revived with automatic and manual options.
According to The Drive, around 15% of new two-door Bronco buyers opted for manual transmission. This enthusiasm might help keep manual models alive. Many consumers were excited about the manual options for the Ford Bronco.
Manual is losing out to advanced software and tech features
Manual Bronco models saw impressive demand, but buyers had limited options.
Ford only offers a manual for the 2.3-liter EcoBoost engine, which is smaller than their more popular 2.7-liter turbo V6. Only one of their higher trim level packages, the Badlands, can be equipped with the manual in 2021.
Though manuals may be mounting a comeback, software like Apple CarPlay, high-tech touchscreens, and advanced driver-assist features dominate the market. This doesn’t seem to be changing anytime soon.
Just a few years ago, only 1.1% of cars sold had a manual transmission. Many consumers prefer automatic cars since stick shift demands more attention from the driver. Automakers have been putting an increasing focus on software to stand out and attract buyers.
Why do some consumers prefer a manual Ford Bronco?
One of the main reasons why manual transmissions haven’t disappeared completely is because they offer a lot more control of the car. Controlling when and how you shift gears can be important in complex driving scenarios, hence why sports cars and off-roaders tend to be manual. Driving stick isn’t an easy skill to master, but it helps you gain a noticeable amount of dexterity.
This is something Bronco owners may be looking to take advantage of. The car itself is heavily advertised as a potential off-roading vehicle, and their two-door model is the more popular manual pick.
Though some car enthusiasts may simply enjoy driving stick on city streets, the manual option has a practical application for buyers looking for some outdoor fun.
Enthusiasts are helping manual cars hang on
Ford’s decision to limit manual options for the Bronco has caused tension with enthusiasts. Fans started a petition that pushed Ford to offer the manual with the Sasquatch package. It received over 12,000 signatures, and Ford later announced that this pairing would be available with their 2022 Bronco model.
The Drive reported that as of now, 50% of current Bronco orders have included the Sasquatch package. However, the brand has no plans to offer the manual with the highly popular 2.7-liter V6.
Potential buyers will have to make trade-offs if they want a manual Bronco. But, the demand shows that stick-shift cars can still be a viable option for automakers.
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