Why I Love my Car (and why you should drive a manual transmission before it’s too late!!)

I recently published an article on why I prefer gas-operated vehicles over EVs (Electric Vehicles) and I didn’t have the time to elaborate on WHY I love my car, so I thought I’d take the time to do that. My hope is that you might find it helpful if you are considering purchasing a new or used vehicle, particularly if you are deciding whether to make the jump to an EV vehicle, or deciding between manual/automatic transmission. I have some direct and personal experience in these matters, so I hope I can be of help!

My 2018 WRX sitting outside the car dealership

I work part time for Carmax, and so I regularly drive and experience many different makes and models of vehicles. I get to demo so many vehicles, which helped me narrow down which one I wanted to purchase. I am very happy with the WRX, and I’ll share with you a few reasons why I love my car, and why I am happy I made the choice I did. For the sake of this article, I will reference my current daily driver, which is a 2018 Subaru WRX premium in 6-speed manual transmission. The following will be 5 reasons why I chose a traditional gas powered vehicle over an EV.

Sunset side view I took this past winter.

1. Price– The car market in general is so volatile right now, and car prices are erratic at best. In general, every car is more expensive than it was two years ago. Having said that, Teslas and other EVs have also significantly climbed in price. With new car prices rocketing out of the affordability range for the average American, people are turning to used vehicles. As a result, the used car market had also climbed. The average customer is spending between $25k and $35k on a vehicle, which leaves Tesla and most EVs out of the conversation. They are simply not affordable yet for the average middle class American. I purchased my vehicle used with 12k miles, and I paid around $30k. To get a comparable Tesla Model 3, you will spend closer to $50k, which is well outside of the budget of the average American. Until EV technology starts to come down in price, you can purchase a wonderful vehicle for thousands less than their EV counterparts. Unless you have disposable income, it’s just not a financially viable option yet for most people.

2. Modification Capability-This is not for everyone, but if you are the kind of person that enjoys making your car your own, there are no shortage of aftermarket parts and performance mods available for many gas operated vehicles today, especially those makes and models that have been in production for years. Honda, Toyota, Nissan, Subaru just to name a few-All these makes have extensive aftermarket availability, which not only allows you to modify your vehicle to your liking, but also offer many alternatives to OEM parts in case you need to replace anything. When it comes to the EVs, they are still so relatively new that the aftermarket is just not as varied. Most of the time, you only have one option for replacement parts as well if the need should arise. For me, I prefer to have choices and options. In my car, the aftermarket is so rich and strong that if I chose to do so, I could order from a different company everyday and totally rebuild my vehicle.

Engine dress up in my 2018 WRX

3. Aesthetics-Now this point is a matter of opinion, but to me, I find the designs of the gas-operated vehicles to be vastly superior to the newer EV vehicles, both inside and out. Perhaps part of it is that they’re newer and haven’t had enough time to perfect the look, but they’re lacking in that department. Teslas, for instance, don’t require a front grille because there’s no radiator or front mounted intercooler. Instead, you just have this plain, boring looking front end devoid of any style, shape or beauty. There’s nothing that draws you in, visually, other than the fact that it’s “new”. Even the Tesla wheel covers, while serving the purpose of reducing drag, are not visually appealing (although underneath, their wheels are much nicer looking!)

The interior of EVs are also a spartan, barren landscape of mediocrity. In Teslas, for instance, all the manual physical controls have been removed from the interior. Everything is controlled through the giant computer in the center console. There is no more interaction with your car’s interior. To some, this total reliance on the computer will feel easy and streamlined, but for me, the absolute reliance on technology is not only foolhardy, it removes more of my driver control and direct interaction with my vehicle. To me, it removes a bit of the car’s individuality and personality.

Interior of Tesla Model 3
Interior of my 2018 WRX

4. Performance Upgrades-For people who enjoy their vehicles, one of the fun aspects of ownership is the ability to upgrade the performance (as time and money allows!) With traditional gas-powered vehicles, there is no shortage of options and companies. You can upgrade exhaust systems, engine components, air intake and fuel management systems, turbos and superchargers, and in the modern era, you can even have your engine tuned to allow for maximum performance. In EV cars, as we mentioned, your options are not only limited by availability, but also by the nature of the car. There is no engine, no exhaust, and no mechanical parts. In a sense, this simplifies the vehicle. In another sense though, it once again removes your control over the vehicle, and it limits your ability to control the vehicle yourself. This leads me to my final point.

5. Manual Transmission-For many people, including myself, a major reason for not making the switch to EVs is the lack of manual transmissions. If you haven’t driven a manual transmission vehicle, it completely changes your whole interaction with your vehicle. You are married to your vehicle, and it forces you to become part of your car, and function as an aspect of the vehicle. You are in direct control of your vehicle, and no computer will shift for you, give you more or less fuel, or change the rev range automatically. When you drive standard transmission, you drive your car, the car doesn’t drive you. In a modern EV car, it is designed to remove as much out of the driver’s hands as possible.

For me, and others like me, this is the opposite of what we want. We want to feel connected and proud of our vehicle. We want to feel that this is our “build”, that we are in direct control of designing, building and operating our cars. We want to feel that pride of ownership. It’s hard to have those feelings for something you merely make your monthly payment on.

And so, I’ll stick to my dinosaur, at least for now.

The decal on my rear window summarizes my feelings.

Do you agree? Do you disagree? Do you have a totally different perspective? I’d love to hear about it! Leave a message/comment below!


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