The Fiesta ST is often posed with the question, how does it do as a daily? It is fine so long things aren’t at a merciless crawl. This will lead to a rebuttal quizzing its relevance given how ZF and PDK transmissions are able to shift yet providing better economy. Then again, the debate on whether the car or the driver is doing the actual driving will indefinitely continue without Generation Z ever knowing the existence of the stick.
A manual transmission is easily dismissed for the sole joy of being in control of gear alteration. Truth is, rev matching and the act of heel-toe is more than just engagement but they are required to be done well in order to not upset the balance of the vehicle. All these behind the scenes ‘goodies’ that enables the driver to better know each gear is what’s missing from an automatic.
The fear of stalling on a hill start, believe me, is the least of problems because once you get it right, you’ll never look into automatic shifting gubbins. Unless.. maybe, if it’s got more than 500 horsepower.
There is no denying that driving manuals is an admirable art form as it takes years to master those perfect downshifts and heel-toe malarkey. Why not save them before they are all gone since waiting will always lead to nothing because who knows when one will turn lactose intolerant or worse, lose an arm.
" Do people actually care for heel-toe mumbo jumbo? Porsche doesn’t.. not entirely "
It is also true that anyone at all can drive fast in a straight line with an automatic. Then again, do we really want to make life tougher by constantly engaging the clutch, shift the knob then disengage the clutch on our daily commute? This is simply an argument for engagement against the dilution of driving pleasures.
Truth is, we live in a day and age where automated boxes shift materially faster than any stick. Adding salt to the wound, revving on neutral which we dearly love can now be done on dual clutch transmissions. Be it manual or automatic, this is purely a matter of preference much like the food we eat or music we listen to.