Does Adaptive Cruise Control Work With a Manual Transmission?

Adaptive cruise control has been around for quite a while now and it is even a standard feature in some of the most affordable cars on the market. Adaptive cruise control adds a bit of extra safety and convenience to your day, especially if your car is equipped with an automatic transmission. But what you might not know is that it’s also available on cars with a manual transmission as well. But how does it work?

Adaptive cruise control is not like regular cruise control

At first, it might seem like a manual transmission and adaptive cruise control wouldn’t work well together. We say this because, unlike regular cruise control, adaptive cruise control regulates the car’s speed. And when the car slows down, the RPMs will drop, which would cause a manual transmission car to either bog or stall. But in a car with an automatic transmission, the car will easily slow down and even come to a complete stop with the adaptive cruise control engaged.

So how does it work with a manual transmission? According to Autotrader, adaptive cruise control in a car with a manual transmission works half as good as one with an automatic because the system will regulate the car’s speed when cruising, but when it’s time to slow the car down or stop, the system will disengage.

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“Low-speed follow” is not allowed

Another advantage of having an adaptive cruise control system on a car with an automatic transmission is that the car will actually take care of itself in stop-and-go traffic. When traffic slows down, the system will detect the car in front of you and adjust to its speed, effectively doing the “traffic dance” for you. However, for cars with a manual transmission, this feature is not included since you would have to depress the clutch and shift gears manually in order to keep the car going.

Cruise control on steering wheel
A Saudi woman holds onto the steering wheel | Maya Anwar/Bloomberg via Getty Images

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It’s still an effective safety feature to have

You might be wondering why any automaker would include adaptive cruise control on a car with a manual transmission if you’re only able to use half of what the feature has to offer. Considering adaptive cruise control is a safety feature it’s still great to have on any car as it will make the car hit the brakes and slow down if a car were to suddenly cut in front of you or slow down abruptly on the freeway.

Sure, you might not be able to take the stress out of sitting in rush-hour traffic on a Friday, or any day for that matter, but you can at least still set it and forget under normal driving conditions.

However, we must warn you that if you do ever use the adaptive cruise control feature on a car with a manual transmission, remember to stay extra alert when it slows the car down or accelerates it while on the freeway, you might just forget to shift gears. Otherwise, we highly recommend using this feature as it’s extremely useful in almost any driving situation and there’s an added bit of safety as well.