Do manual vehicles have adaptive cruise control?

By Product Expert | Posted in FAQs, Mazda 3 on Friday, June 5th, 2020 at 9:00 am
2020 Miata stick shift showcase

Can Manual Transmissions Use Adaptive Cruise Control?

Adaptive cruise control and a manual transmission may initially seem like they’re completely incompatible. If a vehicle manually requires you to shift gears, then how could adaptive cruise control regulate speed? Despite this seemingly inherent contradiction, some manual vehicles do have it, like the 2020 Mazda3 Hatchback Premium six-speed manual variant.

So then, how can a manual vehicle have adaptive cruise control?


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driver shifting a 2020 Miata

How Adaptive Cruise Works with Manual Transmissions

Yes, some manual transmission vehicles have adaptive cruise control. However, it has two big differences from automatic transmission adaptive cruise. First, it is programmed to disengage whenever you press the clutch. So, if you have to switch gears, you’ll need to turn on the cruise control after you shift. This isn’t that big of a deal, since changing gears means you’re either slowing down or speeding up anyway. Second, the adaptive cruise system disengages when the RPM dips too low or goes too high. If you’re cruising along and the system detects slower traffic in front of you, it will slow down and stay engaged if the speed difference isn’t enough to drop your RPM too low. If it is slow enough that you will need to downshift, however, the system automatically disengages.

What About Low-Speed Follow?

Low-speed follow is a nifty feature found on some automatic vehicles with advanced cruise control. However, given that low-speed follow requires a lot of shifting in a manual vehicle, it is not a feature on stick-shifts. Including it would be self-defeating, as the cruise would have to turn itself off every time a upshift or downshift was needed. While a manual can have adaptive cruise control, since the system can’t regulate shifting, a manual can’t have low-speed follow.

Want to Learn More About the 2020 Mazda3?

If you’re looking for a new vehicle with a stick shift, the 2020 Mazda3 Hatchback is a great option. If you’d like to learn more, give Hall a call. Check our available financing options by filling out our no-commitment pre-approval form.

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One Response to “Do manual vehicles have adaptive cruise control?”

  1. Terry Wyse says:

    Wanted to correct you on something in the post about adaptive cruise control and manual transmissions. It was stated that the cruise control disengages when the clutch is depressed and has to turned on again (“Resume”) after shifting gears. We own a 2018 Mazda3 Grand Touring and this is not the case. If the cruise is on and your depress the clutch, it will disengage but when you shift gears and engage the clutch again, the cruise control will automatically re-engage again. Mazda thinks of everything!

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