The 10 Best Manual Transmission Cars You Can Buy Today

The manual transmission isn't extinct — yet.

porsche stick shift gear patrol full lead
Porsche

The manual transmission used to be known as the “standard” transmission. Times have changed; the stick shift is not extinct yet, but every year it becomes more endangered. The manual transmission, sadly, serves little purpose anymore. Our electric cars of the future won’t use them. Even today, improved automatics are outperforming manuals on both the race track and on the EPA fuel economy test cycle. Take rates for sticks are too low to justify the R&D costs to offer them, even for former manual stalwarts like BMW and Subaru.

What the stick shift does still offer is a more engaging driving experience. For certain vehicles, it’s that driving experience that remains paramount. Those cars’ robust and loyal fan bases scoff at “flappy paddles,” instead demanding ungoverned three-pedal amusement. Manufacturers cater to them them…for now. Here are some such awesome cars you can still buy new in the 2021 model year with a manual transmission.

We culled it down to 10, but sadly, it wasn’t as hard to cut down this list as it once was.

best manual cars 2019 gear patrol wrangler rubicon
Jeep
1 of 12
Jeep Wrangler Rubicon

Jeep kept the manual transmission alive for the JL generation of the Wrangler. It’s still the enthusiast-preferred option, unless you do an extraordinary amount of slow-speed rock climbing. But even in Wrangler world, there’s a steady drift toward the automatic. The four-cylinder engine does not have a manual option. Neither do the diesel engine, the Wrangler 4xe hybrid or the V8 Wrangler 392.

Engine: 3.6-liter V6

Transmission: 6-speed manual

Horsepower: 285

Torque: 260 lb-ft

Base Price: $43,045

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ford bronco
Ford
2 of 12
Ford Bronco

Ford revived the Bronco lineage to great fanfare. And the new SUV lived up to the hype. Ford included a 7-speed manual transmission with a crawler gear as an option on Broncos with the smaller 2.3-liter inline-four engine.

Engine: Turbocharged 2.3-liter inline-four

Transmission: 7-speed manual

Horsepower: 300

Torque: 325 lb-ft

Base Price: $28,500

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porsche 911 gt3
Porsche
3 of 12
Porsche 911 GT3

The Porsche 911 GT3 is the closest road-legal thing you can buy to 911 race car. And by American popular demand, the GT3 can be optioned with a six-speed manual transmission. Think that huge rear wing is a bit much? A toned-down GT3 Touring package will be available in 2022.

Engine: 4.0-liter boxer six

Transmission: 6-speed manual

Horsepower: 502

Torque: 346 lb-ft

Base Price: $161,100

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2021 mustang mach 1
Ford
4 of 12
Ford Mustang Mach 1

Ford does not mess with the Mustang's success. It looks great. It's loud. It goes fast in a straight line. The Mach 1 may be the purest embodiment of that ethos. It currently serves as the "bridge Mustang," which incorporates some of the fancy features of the track-oriented Shelby cars but remains a V8-powered sports car for the masses — letting it be what the Mustang was always intended to be.

Engine: 5.0-liter V8

Transmission: 6-speed manual

Horspower: 480

Torque: 420 lb-ft

Base Price: $53,400

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best manual cars 2019 gear patrol tacoma trd
Toyota
5 of 12
Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro

For other truck manufacturers, a manual transmission is a budget option on a work truck, if it’s offered at all. Toyota, however, will let you do the shifting yourself on a Tacoma with the bigger V6 and the premium TRD Pro trim. Given the unresponsiveness of the Tacoma’s sluggish and outdated six-speed automatic, the stick shift is what you want.

Engine: 3.5-liter V6

Transmission: 6-speed manual

Horsepower: 278

Torque: 265 lb-ft

Base Price: $44,325

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all new f 150 limited in smoked quartz tinted clearcoat
Ford
6 of 12
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hyundai veloster n
Hyundai
7 of 12
Hyundai Veloster N

The Hyundai Veloster N isn't the most comfortable or practical hatchback. But it sounds maniacal, and it's hilarious fun in short stints. A manual option is still available, along with the eight-speed dual-clutch automatic. The base price jumped up a bit, but that's because the Performance Pack is now standard equipment.

Engine: Turbocharged 2.0-liter inline-four

Transmission: 6-speed manual

Horsepower: 275

Torque: 260 lb-ft

Base Price: $32,250

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porsche cayman gts 4
Porsche
8 of 12
Porsche 718 Cayman / Boxster GTS 4.0

The Porsche 718 Cayman and Boxster may be the perfect sports cars. And the new GTS 4.0 model may be the perfect versions of them. Don't like that Porsche switched the 718 to a four-pot? Here's a naturally-aspirated 4.0-liter boxer six for you. And it shares a six-speed manual with a dual-mass flywheel with the 911 GT3.

Engine: 4.0-liter boxer six

Transmission: 6-speed manual

Horsepower: 394

Torque: 309 lb-ft

Base Price: $86,800

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mk8 volkswagen golf gti gear patrol full lead
VW
9 of 12
Volkswagen Golf GTI

The Volkswagen Golf may be the ideal balance of fun, practicality, and affordability. The GTI version takes that formula up a notch with added power and some of the best handling on a road car. The legendary Mk7 version will still be on sale for a bit before the Mk8 GTI arrives later this year.

Engine: Turbocharged 2.0-liter inline-four

Transmission: 6-speed manual

Horsepower: 228

Torque: 258 lb-ft

Base Price: $28,695

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bmw m3
daniel kraus
10 of 12
BMW M3 / M4

The BMW M3 is the brand's quintessential performance sedan. And the new base model remains one of the few vehicles in the lineup to retain its manual transmission as an option. However, the racier M3 Competition with more torque is automatic transmission only.

Engine: Turbocharged 3.0-liter inline-six

Transmission: 6-speed manual

Horsepower: 473

Torque: 406 lb-ft

Base Price: $69,900

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2021 honda civic type r limited edition
Honda
11 of 12
Honda Civic Type R

The Civic Type R has a polarizing appearance, with an obnoxious wing and loud red accents that leave even a tarted-up WRX looking tame. But the car’s looks belie incredibly sophisticated tuning that makes the 306-hp hot hatch — which only comes with a six-speed manual transmission — a dream to drive. (Though it may not be the car to bring out on your first date.)

Engine: Turbocharged 2.0-liter inline-four

Transmission: 6-speed manual

Horsepower:
305

Torque:
296 lb-ft

Base Price:
$37,895

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UP NEXT
best shifters gear patrol lead 1440
Chris Delorenzo
12 of 12
Up Next: The 18 Most Gorgeous Shifters to Ever Grace an Automobile

Not only is the manual transmission creeping closer to extinction by the day, the actual art of shift lever design is all but lost as well. So we decided to take a trip through automotive history to highlight the most gorgeous shifters made. Read the story

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