Mercedes Manual Transmissions - Do They Still Exist?

Learning to drive a manual transmission was a necessity in our parent's generation, but today, we can get along fine without having to learn. However, it is a skill that most car enthusiasts would agree bring an excitement to your driving experience and a certain level of control. Manual transmissions seem to be on a decline, especially in luxury vehicles like Mercedes-Benz. There are still models within Mercedes that produce manual transmissions along with other luxury vehicle automakers, but technology is advancing to features like Tiptronic, and pushing the standard clutch required manual out the door.


Mercedes' SLK-Class was released in 1996, standing for sportlich (sporty), leicht (light) and kurz (short). The name was eventually shortened to “SL” with the class of Mercedes added to the end of that, for example, “SLC” refers to a C-Class roadster. One of the “newer” Mercedes-Benz to offer a manual transmission was the 2015 SLK250. The vehicle featured a turbocharged 4-cylinder engine rated at 201 horsepower and 229 lb-ft of torque that offered a 6-speed manual transmission. As we scoured the internet for other older models that had manual transmissions, there were many labeled as “rare.” In the US, it is more uncommon to find a Mercedes with a manual transmission than it is in Europe, so one could argue there is a valuable market for these vehicles here. Mercedes has put a lot of focus into engineering advancements on their automatic transmissions, for example, the 9G-Tronic Transmission is a 9-speed automatic transmission capable of skipping individual gears when downshifting which provides quicker accelerations and faster sprints. If you are looking for a Mercedes-Benz with a manual transmission, you will have to look into used models, but fortunately for you, Ck Auto Exclusive is a service and repair shop that specializes in working on Mercedes-Benz vehicles whether you have a manual or automatic transmission. You can easily reach out to us and set up an appointment if you want us to take a look at your used Mercedes-Benz.


Beyond those enthusiasts who simply love manuals for what they are, manual transmissions used to be popular for their low initial cost, better fuel economy and durability. With an increase in technology, these benefits started to shift toward automatic transmissions. Automatics have quicker shift times, more gears for better acceleration, efficient highway cruising, and shifters that allow manual gear mode (e.g. paddle shifters). Along with hybrids and electric vehicles becoming more popular, the demand for better fuel economy has risen significantly. Automatic transmissions provide engineers with better control over how each drop of fuel is used, so it has been easier to advance fuel economy. With such a higher saturation of automatics, there has been less of an incentive to learn how to drive a manual, dropping demand for automakers to produce as many.


A transmission system that has become a popular addition to many vehicles is known as “Tiptronic.” Mercedes-Benz uses this technology coined as 5G-Tronic, 7G-Tronic and like I briefly mentioned above, 9G-Tronic. Tiptronic systems is usually a mode on your shifter that you can press or shift to and it places the vehicle in an automatic/manual combination. Tiptronic overrides your car's computer and uses a torque converter rather than a clutch. It can be a desirable feature to those who do not know how to drive manual but crave that control over shifting gears themselves. Also, because it does not have a clutch, it can shift through gears faster, making it attractable especially in sports cars. Automakers generally incorporate Tiptronic into your vehicle on the actual shifter where you can push the shifter forward to go into a higher gear and pull the shifter backwards to go into a lower gear. The other Tiptronic option is through paddle shifters that appear behind your steering wheel within the reach of your fingers with one “paddle” having a plus sign to go to a higher gear and the other having a minus sign to go to a lower gear.


Ck Auto Exclusive is a family owned and operated independent Mercedes-Benz service and repair center. No matter if you have a manual or automatic transmission, we have been working on Mercedes-Benz vehicles for over 30 years. Our factory trained master technician utilizes the latest in computerized diagnostic tools to service and repair whatever model you have. Being an independent service and repair shop, we give you a more personalized service and will never sell work that is not needed.

Bring your automatic or manual transmission Mercedes-Benz into CK Auto Exclusive or give us a call to set up an appointment!