Thread of the Day: Should Mercedes-Benz Offer More Manual Cars in the U.S.?
In our recent First Test of the 2012 Mercedes-Benz SLK250, we were surprised – and pleased – to see a clutch pedal and manual shifter in our tester. As it turns out, the SLK250 is the only Mercedes model available in the United States with a manual transmission. Not even the C63 AMG Black Series is offered with a stick.
Across the pond in Europe, Mercedes offers the front-drive A- and B-Class hatches and rear-drive C- and E-classes with manual transmissions. The latter two are sold here in coupe and sedan form with a seven-speed automatic gearbox, regardless of engine choice. While Mercedes only offers one U.S. model that lets you row your own gears, BMW offers a number of manual-equipped vehicles – ranging from the compact 128i to the 560-hp M5 sedan. Mercedes’ other big German rival Audi also offers a number of manual models, with the A3, A4, S4, A5, and others getting a third pedal option.
While some modern automatic and dual-clutch transmissions can match the performance of a good old-fashioned stick shift, many find changing their own gears to be more rewarding. So for today’s Thread of the Day, we ask: Should Mercedes offer more manuals in the U.S.? If so, what models would you like to see with a manual transmission option? Share your thoughts below.
By Jason Udy