A strange device on the center console that may be involved with shifting.

Why doesn’t Mercedes-Benz make vehicles with manual transmissions?

Manual Transmission Availability on Luxury Cars

Luxury car enthusiasts sometimes overlap with a similar, but slightly different category of human: the driving enthusiast. Driving enthusiasts tend to have a lingering preference for the feel of a manual transmission. Despite the fact that there are few practical reasons to have a manual transmission in a vehicle (considering the capabilities of modern automatic technology), driving enthusiasts sometimes wish they could get their dream vehicles with that old-fashioned shifting feel.

Mercedes-Benz, however, currently refuses to accede to the demands of these drivers. Why doesn’t Mercedes-Benz offer manual transmissions in their models?


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Mercedes-Benz does not offer manual transmissions in their models because of a lack of demand; most luxury shoppers do not prefer a manual transmission. As a result, Mercedes-Benz dropped the manual and instead uses automatics to make its drivers happy.

Modern automatic gearboxes have such a level of refinement and quick-shifting capability that it simply seems a natural fit for a luxury car. Remaining manuals are typically only found on the base trims of conventional, non-luxury vehicles. Slowly but surely, the last of the manual transmission loyalists are being converted. Resistance, as they say, is futile.

Relive the golden years with this video compilation of classic Mercedes-Benz models.

Paddle Shifters on Mercedes-Benz Models

Those intent on shifting manually can at least find some solace in the fact that many Mercedes-Benz models do come with paddle shifters. Paddle shifters allow the driver to manually control gear changes without having to take their hands off the steering wheel.

The system even allows customization, with drivers able to vary shift points and customize their drive using the DYNAMIC SELECT® driving mode selector system. The result is a highly-personalized driving experience.  Paddle shifters allow drivers to stay engaged while also allowing them to switch back to automatic whenever they so choose.

What was the last Mercedes-Benz model that offered a manual transmission?

2015 Mercedes-Benz SL-class Roadster on a white background

The 2015 Mercedes-Benz SLK250 (now known as the SLC) was the last Mercedes-Benz model to offer a manual. That manual transmission was only available on the base model.

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