Why has Mercedes decided to move the gear shifter to the steering column - Page 3 - Mercedes-Benz Forum

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post #21 of 34 (permalink) Old 08-14-2015, 01:13 PM
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Isn't it interesting how we all become accustomed to doing or having things a certain way, and when they change, it can be difficult to readjust.

I'm certain I have habits which are 60+ years old too, but even when I change cars for a few days, I have to first adjust to those changes, and then re-acclimate when getting back into my own vehicle.

Even at my age, my brain can learn rather quickly, but it doesn't automatically relearn. It seems I only forget the things I'm suppose to remember!

When out on the road, it's always best to watch out for Pot holes, Sink holes, and those other Holes!

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post #22 of 34 (permalink) Old 08-14-2015, 01:46 PM
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I used to drive old Chryslers. My '55 had the auto trans shifter coming out of the dashboard. Later ones had pushbutton shifters ('59 and '62). In both cases, I found them convenient and easy to use. I think column shifters and the old Chrysler types were designed mainly to provide easier space for three front seat passengers. Some of us remember trying to floor shift a manual tranny in an old car with someone sitting right next to you. It was a mixed blessing depending on the gender of the passenger.

Moving the shifter back to the center console was, I think, mainly to appeal to the boy racer in all of us. There is no advantage to shifting an auto tranny from the center no matter how much we like to do it. Almost any other configuration is faster, safer and offers more space for other stuff.
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post #23 of 34 (permalink) Old 08-15-2015, 02:10 AM
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Perhaps you are not old enough to remember the steering wheel attached gear shifter even on manual tranny MBs. Not sure if those were available in the US though. If you come from this age, you should complain all cars that have the centre console stick.
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post #24 of 34 (permalink) Old 08-15-2015, 04:02 AM
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MB had cars in the US with manual column shifters.
Many US car models also a similar setup for quite some time. We call the "three on the tree" cars at auto shows or other car gatherings.
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post #25 of 34 (permalink) Old 08-16-2015, 05:13 AM
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Not only that, but MB had cars in the US with manual four-speed column shift. Apparently, this was quite rare otherwise.

"Engineered like no other car in the world." That's both a bug and a feature.
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post #26 of 34 (permalink) Old 08-16-2015, 09:04 AM
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I love the gear selector in the new location on my E Class. I remember a Plymouth station wagon that had the automatic transmission selector buttons on the dash.
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post #27 of 34 (permalink) Old 08-16-2015, 09:09 AM
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It was on the console because the shift linkage was right on the transmission. With the electronic transmissions there is no shift linkage.

I think some cars like the AMG SLS have a little itty-bitty lever still on the console but to me it looks funny.

Originally Posted by Diesel Benz View Post
Perhaps you are not old enough to remember the steering wheel attached gear shifter even on manual tranny MBs. Not sure if those were available in the US though. If you come from this age, you should complain all cars that have the centre console stick.
Yep, the old Pontoons and Finbacks had a 4 speed manual shift lever on the steering column. Seems like it would have been a lot harder putting a manual shift linkage through the steering column than directly on the transmission.

I think it was an option.

Last edited by wlb50; 08-16-2015 at 09:15 AM.
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post #28 of 34 (permalink) Old 08-17-2015, 03:20 AM
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A lot of English cars also had the 4 on the tree. It was a lot of rowing to get those mothers up to speed.
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post #29 of 34 (permalink) Old 08-18-2015, 09:34 AM
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Originally Posted by Decboy View Post
Just wanted to hear all your opinion on Mercedes' decision to move the gear shifter from the center console to the steering column. They started with the ML, S, CL, GL, E and now the new CLS. Although I have seen some pictures and videos of the W212 E class "SEDAN" with the gear shifter on the center console. Is this an option for certain countries? I know the E coupe still has it in the center for all countries.

Personally, I prefer the shifter to be in the center....the steering column mount reminds me too much of an old Buick. I know this design frees up room for the center but I don't really need that area as the armrest compartment is good enough storage space. I never had issues with the foldup cup holders in previous Mercedes. Ironic how BMW went from the steering column mount back to a center console mount with their new 7 series and Mercedes vice versa.

What's your thoughts/opinions on this?
I have a loaner car now( as mine is in for maintenance) with the shift on the steering column. I cannot stand it..I will not buy a new Mercedes until it goes back to the usual and intuitive central shift.

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post #30 of 34 (permalink) Old 03-23-2016, 03:17 PM
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I like the small shift lever that came on 2012 Merceds and the shift wheel that Jaguar use
Just like on the pictures below
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