Are Electronic Shifters Confusing Or A Technological Advancement You Get Used To?

I recently drove a new car with an electronic parking brake and was immediately reminded this feature, thought to be tech-ish and a space-saver is actually much more complicated than it needs to be. The same criticism could be leveled against electronic shifters – and that’s exactly what Consumer Reports did.

CR‘s criticism with these is valid in some cases. The electronic wand found in BMWs, the little column stalk on Mercedes models and the rotary knob on new Chrysler and Jaguar Land Rover products take some getting used to, as most of us are used to shoving an automatic gear lever from park to drive and not thinking about it too much.

These electronic units aren’t nearly as clear in which gear you’re actually going to, meaning you’re not really sure if you’ve set the car to Park, Reverse, or Drive – and that’s not exactly confidence inspiring. This is especially true of the models where you push a separate button to get into Park, not at all what drivers who’ve been driving cars for decades are used to.

But just because we’ve done something a certain way for many years doesn’t make it the best solution. Some of these electronic shifters free up a ton of console space, as well as make it more likely A BMW owner told me that if you shut off the engine and open the door, the shifter wand thing will automatically put itself in park, something a mechanical shifter wouldn’t do.

Like that electronic parking brake I was screaming at the other day, electronic shifters take some getting used to. For those who review cars for a living, the fact that various automakers have taken various approaches is confusing. For those who actually live with the car for years, it’s probably less of an issue.

And frankly if you have a real problem with these, you’re probably shopping for something with a manual transmission, anyway. But take a look at the video below and see what you think.

Video

Ford Recalls 2019 Rangers Over HVAC Fire Risk

This is the second recall to impact 2019 model year Ford Rangers in the U.S.

Musk Says Tesla Pickup Will Be Like A Futuristic “Armored Personnel Carrier”

The Tesla pickup truck is shaping up to be unlike any other truck on the market.

2021 Hyundai Tucson Drops Heavy Camo To Reveal Sporty Body

The all-new Hyundai Tucson will feature a more raked roofline and coupe-like window line.

Volkswagen Delays Final Decision On New Turkish Car Factory Over Syria Invasion

VW is postponing their decision as criticism grows over Turkey’s ongoing military operation in Syria.

2020 Ford Transit Custom Nugget Launched With New Engine, Onboard Wi-Fi Modem

The latest Ford camper van has gained an 182 HP variant of its 2.0-liter diesel engine and has just been launched in the UK, where it starts at £56,273.

This Is It: 2020 VW Golf Revealed Ahead Of Schedule, What Do You Think?

These photos of a 2020 VW Golf look like the real deal and likely show an entry-level version.

Renault’s Sharpening Up Its Electric Game, Zero-Emissions Twingo Comes Into Play

The electric Twingo, which will use a rear-mounted motor, could launch as early as next year and is one of eight EVs Renault plans to have in its fleet by 2022.

Toyota Copen GR Sport Is A New Tiny Convertible Sports Car For Japan

Made by Daihatsu but marketed as a Toyota, the Copen GR Sport will launch next month priced at nearly $22,000.

Peugeot’s New Electric Mountain Bike Has Better Range Than Some EVs

The eM01 FS PowerTube has an autonomy of up to 87 miles and will launch early next year in five versions.

Ferrari 488 Pista Demonstrates That McLaren’s 720S Is Not Invincible

Although not exactly direct rivals, they’re both really fast and capable around the track, so it makes for an interesting comparison.