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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I was totally set on having my next sedan (hopefully the CTS) come with a manual transmission. Yet practically every review I've read so far gives the CTS manual very poor marks. I was hoping to hear from someone that has one. Maybe even test drove one?

Tony
 

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No one's going to own one yet because very few dealers are going to stock one, so it'll be special ordered, and that's going to take a while.

Which reviews are you referring to? I've driven the first-gen CTS with manual transmissions in both regular and V form. The shift feel of the V, a 2004, left much to be desired. But that of the regular CTS was fine, and I think the same transmission is used in the new car. The throws were a bit long, but the feel was smooth and solid.

Oddly enough, the car that has felt most similar in shift feel to me is the Ford Fusion / Mercury Milan with the four cylinder and manual transmission. Totally different car, I know. But if you can find one of those to drive, it'll give you some indication of how the first gen CTS shifter feels, which shouldn't be far off the supposedly improved second-gen shifter. I suspect that a heavier than usual shifter knob contributes to the feel I experienced in both cars.

The aftermarket must have shift kits for the V. For the regular CTS, maybe not, because there aren't many such cars out there.

Bottom line is I think the shift feel in the regular CTS should be okay, but if you want short throws you'd better hope the aftermarket comes up with something.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Which reviews are you referring to?
AutoBlog: "While pedal placement was spot-on, and heel-and-toe downshifts were easily achieved, the action of the shifter left much to be desired. Rubbery, long throws lacked any real feedback and were the preeminent buzzkill for the day. With everything else going for it, the manual-equipped CTS was a considerable disappointment, but thankfully, we doubt that many owners will check off the stick-shift option, which is all well and good, since the automatic fits the bill six days a week."

Car And Driver: "A revised version of the Aisin six-speed manual carries on with modified ratios to alleviate a previously large gap between second and third gears. But even with a new shift linkage for shorter throws, the manual isn’t nearly as fluid as those from BMW. The CTS’s ho-hum shift action teams with an abruptly engaging clutch and a slightly too high center console to make the row-your-own option less than satisfying. Add a drink in the cup holder (directly behind the shifter) to that combo, and you’re constantly whacking it with your elbow. Suddenly, BMW’s dash-mounted cup holders make a lot of sense."

Winding Road: "No hedging on this one: the manual shifter is a letdown. The shifter’s action is decently damped, but the shift knob isn’t ideally shaped. It’s also positioned too far aft on the console, where an unmovable armrest stuck its unwanted nose in the action for us and other drivers. And in the twisty bits, wrestling with the shifter only seemed to amplify the CTS’s size and weight."

Those are from what I can remember, although I think there's more floating around somewhere.

Tony
 

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Yeah, pretty much every magazine and online professional review had very similar comments on the manual, saying it isn't as well done as some competitors, could use some improvements, etc., but then also that the automatic is so good, it's not really a big deal that the manual isn't sublime since there won't be many made.

Of course, a lot of times, what professional reviewers think and say doesn't translate into an owner's real-world impression. I'm not sure if they're even off constraint yet, and exist, or still delayed. Actually finding one and trying it out is the only surefire way to tell...but that won't be easy.
 

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Solution to the cup holder issue: don't drink while driving a manual shift car.

You'll adjust to any clutch issue. In my experience, this sort of thing can vary greatly from car to car.

The biggest issue sounds like the location of the shifter, especially vis-a-vis the armrest. I'll pay attention to this when I'm able to test drive one, likely with automatic. This problem will probably depend somewhat on the height of the driver and how the driver's seat is positioned.

Should GM do a better job with manual transmissions? Absolutely. The one discontinued from the Pontiac G6 was among the worst I've ever experienced, and those in the C5 Corvette, CTS-V, and GTO left much to be desired, with long throws and a ropy feel. Compared to these, the shift action in the gen-1 CTS was pretty good. Not far off BMW, which frankly is hardly the gold standard for shifter feel.

But if they have designed the armrest so its in the way, that just shows they didn't put much thought into the manual transmission car. Should be interesting when the new V arrives, assuming they're still all sticks. I personally wouldn't be surprised if they go slushbox with that car, though.
 

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I have had those in the order bank for a few months in the 6 speed and so far no movement..
 

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It's almost as if they don't really want to offer a manual...

Do you have them in the order bank for specific customers, or for dealer stock?
 

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we now have 6 new cts on our lot, but none in manual. remember that automatics are supposed to be the "optional" tranny. i think it's a way of gm trying to lure more of the enthusiast/upscale buyers - the only difference being that competitors (such as audi and bmw) actually have manuals on the lot and SELL them
 

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I have driven some very bad manual transmissions. In particular, my 1999 Jetta. The shifter was extremely notchy and vague. The clutch had a very long travel, and engagement was almost at the top of the throw. But I got used to both.

I dont think a clunky shifter is a reason not to buy a car. You WILL get used to it in time. I have only 5000 miles on my V and I can get any gear in a snap now. The car rags only have a few days with a car and complain that they cant get used to the shifters. Bunch o idiots.
 

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we now have 6 new cts on our lot, but none in manual. remember that automatics are supposed to be the "optional" tranny. i think it's a way of gm trying to lure more of the enthusiast/upscale buyers - the only difference being that competitors (such as audi and bmw) actually have manuals on the lot and SELL them
Mercedes is much the same as Cadillac. Try finding a manual C-Class. And sadly even BMW is heading this way. It's not as easy to find a manual on a BMW lot as it used to be. Automatic became a no-cost option on the 5 this year--that's a sign of which they're more interested in selling.
 

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Checked with the dealer today on my manual transmission DI order. They said it was somewhere in the ballpark of

2500-Order sent to production, preferenced
3000-Order accepted by production control
3100-Order available to sequence

I don't know the exact code because I didn't personally talk to the dealer, but I do know that it does not have a build date yet. Who knows, maybe I will call the dealer tomorrow to ask for the code so that I can keep everyone here up to speed.

P.S. Test drove and saw my first 08 today (very impressed overall), and I'll tell you, the non-DI has some pep. But what do I know, I drive an old beat up Jeep.

:badger:
 

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Discussion Starter #12
The reason why I've been researching the heck out of the new CTS is that the last car I bought (2007 Infiniti M45 Sport) turned out to be VERY disappointing, even though most every review I read gave it very high marks. I don't want to make the same mistake. The couple of test drives I took in it were very nice, but it wasn't until I owned one for a while that the gripes started. I truly believe that some cars are born to be autos and some with manual transmissions. I had a 2001 Maxima for almost 5 years that was clearly an auto...I test drove a Maxima with a manual and it just didn't feel right to me at all. My other current car, a 2006 Mustang GT coupe, has an awesome 5-speed manual that ROCKS.

My local dealership has a CTS arriving soon and I have very high hopes, based on everything I've seen so far, that I'll be ordering one shortly thereafter. But I'll have to make my decision without driving a manual first, since they'll probably be very hard to come by. And I'd HATE to order a manual just to have it arrive several weeks later and then regret my decision if I don't like it. And of course, if I order an auto I'll always wonder if I should have gotten the manual.

So basically what I'm saying is that if I decide to get a CTS I'll be ordering a manual. I just hope I don't regret it. That's why I was hoping someone (a REAL person, not a reviewer!!) already had one.

All your responses have been great. Thanks.

Tony
 

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I test drove a Maxima with a manual and it just didn't feel right to me at all.
i have 170k on my 2000 Maxima 5-speed, and it is still my favorite tranny. I like it better than the V. of course i have been driving it for 7 years so i am very used to it. rubbery action, long throws, heavy clutch with a long engagement; all negatives, but like i said you get used to it.
 

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Sorry to get your hopes up if I did. I just got off the phone with my salesman. She said that the code is still at
1100 - Order Placed At Dealer
However, she also said that the constraint has been lifted on the manual production, so they should give it a production date some time soon. Also, supposedly in years past, there has been an estimated week of production, and now there is not. They just pull them out of the queue and start building without telling the dealers. Hopefully I can post some good news soon!
 

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I've had a chance to put several hundred miles on a 2008 with a manual. The car I drove was a base-engine (non-DI) unit. I really liked it; the shifter feel is much more like a Solstice than it is like the 2007 CTS.
 

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Sorry to get your hopes up if I did. I just got off the phone with my salesman. She said that the code is still at
1100 - Order Placed At Dealer
However, she also said that the constraint has been lifted on the manual production, so they should give it a production date some time soon. Also, supposedly in years past, there has been an estimated week of production, and now there is not. They just pull them out of the queue and start building without telling the dealers. Hopefully I can post some good news soon!
This might explain why my order has been sitting unchanged at status 3000 for three weeks.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
I've had a chance to put several hundred miles on a 2008 with a manual. The car I drove was a base-engine (non-DI) unit. I really liked it; the shifter feel is much more like a Solstice than it is like the 2007 CTS.
Thanks for your input. Where'd you get a hold of one?

Tony
 

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So the salesman called today. She was in the middle of saying that the dealer she works at (Crestview Cadillac, Rochester Hills, MI) will not be allotted any manual transmission CTS's. Then her sales manager walked in while she was on the phone and told her that they would be allowed to order only one manual and it would be mine. It's a relief for me, but I just thought that I'd warn anyone out there that was preparing to order their manual. It's not guaranteed that your dealership will be able to order for you. :( :suspense:
 
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