It’s not just the manual transmission that’s disappearing. In fact, you’ll be harder pressed to find new cars with the gear shift on the steering column.
Not only that, but when it comes to new cars. For better or worse many manufacturers are abandoning the once ubiquitous gear shift altogether.
This is largely to do with automakers working to provide you and your passengers more storage room.
Shift it in drive as we cruise through a handful of the last crusaders to keep the column shift.
1. Chevrolet Silverado
image source: Autoblog
Although the latest Chevy Silverado received some notable upgrades to compete with the half-ton Ford and RAM.
It holds a rarified position within the current automotive industry as one of the few models to offer a column shifter.
But that doesn’t mean column shifter Ford truck buyers are completely in the lurch.
Ford has reserved the column shift for its heavy duty offerings: the latest F250 and F350 trucks to be exact.
But in the RAM camp, unless you’re talking about the Rebel TRX which comes with a floor shifter.
Many new RAMs can only be shifted with a dial.
2. Mercury Sable
image source: BassMotorsports
I remember when the third generation of the Sable was introduced for the 1996 model year.
To me it was more beautiful than the Ford Taurus. Even though you can get this car with a floor shifter in certain trims.
It’s the only car in existence that I actually prefer to drive as a column shift – not sure why.
Maybe it’s because a column shifter makes way for that switchblade, Transformer-like center console that still looks cool today.
3. Toyota Sequoia
image source: Drivingline
Used Toyota pickup trucks and SUVs from the 2000s have always been in big demand.
They’re an extraordinary value for what you’re getting even though they go for a premium in the used car market.
The first-generation Sequoia was the only Sequoia to offer a column shifter.
Sold between 2001 and 2007 to compete against the Ford Expedition and Chevy Tahoe.
You can even see a bit of the first-gen Expedition (which also had a column shifter) in the dash layout.
The Sequoia is still a coveted rig among off road enthusiasts. And thanks to Toyota’s reputation for reliability, there’s a big aftermarket.
4. Honda CR-V
image source: Pinterest
Although the latest CR-V has moved to a more floor-oriented shifter. The 1997 to 2001 Honda CR-V came with a column-shifted automatic transmission.
Because the interior borrowed heavily from the Civic parts bin, a column shifter looked out of place in any Honda that wasn’t an Odyssey to me at the time.
Even the 2nd generation CR-V offers a peculiar automatic transmission shifter that, while not exactly a column shifter.
Nevertheless, juts out ungracefully from the dashboard.
5. Ford Crown Victoria
image source: Pinterest
Throughout most of the 90’s and 00’s, this was the police vehicle d’jour.
Even in video games like Need for Speed lll up through Need for Speed: Most Wanted, you can look into your rear-view mirror to find a Crown Vic chasing you.
And it’s no wonder. Built on the Panther chassis, this is a sturdy car.
It’s not until the final production years that Ford started producing Crown Victorias with a floor shifter.