Manual transmissions used to be popular. Just a few short years ago, it was shameful to admit you had no idea how to drive a stick. That’s changed, and now most people shrug and don’t see the big deal. But some still love driving a stick shift, and they’re frustrated that the Dodge Charger no longer has one.
There’s a good reason for this, no matter how annoying it might be. Manual transmissions aren’t suitable for all vehicles, even if automatics don’t make driving more challenging in a good way. So why does Torque News think stick shifts are going the way of the eight-track?
The Dodge Charger is loaded with power
There’s no denying the Dodge Charger is a powerful vehicle. The base model comes with a 3.6 V6 engine that produces 292 hp. The SRT Hellcat Widebody packs an even more powerful engine. It comes with a 6.2 V8 that gets 707 hp. The transmission is an eight-speed automatic.
That’s coupled with an interior that makes drivers feel spoiled. Even though most muscle cars are known to be cramped, the four-dour Charger offers plenty of room. It comes with six trim levels, which means consumers can easily create the car of their dreams — if they can afford it. The 2020 Dodge Charger costs $29,995 to $72,095.
The fuel economy is admittedly dismal, especially for a sedan. The SRT trim gets only 19 mpg. The SRT Hellcat Widebody is even worse. It gets only 12 mpg. Still, some think this is a suitable price to pay for the power and speed of a Charger.
Manual transmissions don’t work on sedans
As hard as it is to think of the Dodge Charger as a sedan, it’s true. Dodge decided not to design a coupe for the 2020 model, so consumers have only the four-door. Given that sedan sales are rapidly dropping, we think that’s an unusual decision.
With that said, very few sedans come equipped with a manual transmission. Torque News believes this is because most drivers who buy sedans aren’t concerned with having fun. They just want to reach their destination.
So did this play a role in Dodge’s decision to offer only an automatic transmission in the 2020 Charger? Torque News thinks so and gives several reasons to back up this theory. Though it hurts to admit it, the reasons are too solid to ignore.
Stick shifts are disappearing
Just because we want something doesn’t mean it will happen. It’s a tragic fact of life that translates into the auto world. And the manual transmission is just the latest feature to get the ax.
“For those of us who are coordinated enough to handle three pedals with two feet, rowing your own gears adds a key element of excitement to the driving experience while also providing a very different feeling of control when putting the power to the pavement,” Torque News wrote.
“Unfortunately, manual transmissions don’t sell very well in the modern era, which is why so many high-performance vehicles — which were once only offered with a manual transmission — are not only offered with some variety of self-shifting gearbox.”
With that said, the Dodge Charger brings enough to the table that it will doubtless draw buyers despite its lack of a manual transmission. Those who desire a Charger will most likely have to purchase a used model if they want a stick shift.