Some quick facts:
- Out of the 80 some-odd vehicles listed here, 30 percent are American. Two are BUICKS, for crying out loud.
- Only three vehicles here have manual transmissions in all trims.
- Only ONE full size pickup has a manual transmission.
- The vast majority of vehicles listed here suffer a slight fuel mileage penalty for selecting the manual.
We've also provided a handy guide for each, which shows the cost or savings when choosing a manual, as well as the fuel economy compared to the automatic. We also identify which individual trim levels are available with a manual transmission.
Read the whole list, or just skip to the section that interests you:
You used to be able to save a few bucks buying a cheap car with a manual transmission, and enjoy better fuel economy to boot. Not any longer. In one case, selecting a manual adds $8,200 to the price, and these days, the fuel mileage almost never gets better when compared with an automatic transmission.
Good news: the sporty, compact Buick Verano offers a six-speed manual transmission. Bad news: If you want it, you have to purchase the Premium Turbo Group, which adds $8,240 to the sticker, and reduces your fuel mileage by 1 mpg on the highway.
Chevrolet hasn't released details on the upcoming 2016 Chevrolet Spark yet, but it does come standard with a five-speed manual transmission. However, if you do want to get all 40 miles per gallon the marketing materials boast, you have to opt for the Continuously Variable Transmission. In the 2015 model, opting for the automatic costs about $500, but there are no pricing details for the '16 model yet.
Both the Sonic Sedan or Hatchback are standard with a five-speed manual transmission at no additional cost. Manual and automatic transmissions both offer the same 26 city/35 highway fuel economy.
The Chevrolet Cruze is standard with a six-speed manual transmission in the lowest L trim, that saves more than $2,500 versus the cost of an automatic-equipped Cruze, only available when you step up to LS trim. Fuel economy in the manual is better, too, at 25 city/36 highway, versus 22 city/35 highway.
All Dart trims, including the lowest-priced Dodge Dart SE, come standard with a manual transmission. Unfortunately, to get the full 28 city/41 highway fuel mileage, you have to step up to the Aero trim, which costs $4,000 more. The SE comes in at 26 city/36 highway.
All Fiat 500 models (including the cabriolets) are equipped with a five-speed manual transmission as standard equipment. The Pop, Sport and Lounge trims all offer the best fuel economy at 31 city/40 highway.
The larger Fiat 500L comes with a better six-speed manual transmission -- in every trim configuration -- as standard equipment. Every trim offers 25 city/33 highway fuel mileage
The Ford Fiesta comes with a five-speed manual at the lowest level, the S trim. Unfortunately, to realize the Fiesta's maximum 31 city/43 highway fuel economy, you need the 1.0-liter EcoBoost engine. That's only available on the SE trim, which is $1,230 more. Adding the 1.0-liter EcoBoost on Ford's ridiculously complicated website adds another $995, for something called the "EcoBoost Economy Package." Only a car company can charge an additional grand for something and call it "Economy."
The Ford Focus comes with a manual transmission as standard equipment in both the S and SE trims. The absurdly expensive Titanium trim gets an automatic as standard equipment. Again, though, if you want maximum fuel economy you have to buy the optional 1.0-liter engine, which Ford SAYS is available, but if you can figure out how to build it that way on Ford.com, you've got a lot more patience than we do. The best we could estimate is that it costs $18,460, which is $1,290 more than the S trim.
The Honda Fit comes with a perfectly lovely six-speed manual transmission as standard equipment, but again, if you're looking to extract the most fuel mileage possible, you'll have to opt for the Continuously Variable Transmission that delivers 32 city/41 highway. That adds $800 to the bottom line.
We'll warn you right now: You'll go bleary-eyed trying to figure out which Honda Civic model is the cheapest with a manual vs. which offers the best fuel economy. There are seven separate Honda Civic models, each with a half-dozen trim levels. The cheapest way to get a manual is to select the Civic Coupe LX at $18,290, which provides 30 city/39 highway fuel economy. The HF model offers 31 city/41 highway, but it starts at $20,040 and only includes a Continuously Variable Transmission. Note that an all new Civic is coming in the 2016 model year and all of this information may change.
Frankly, we were surprised to learn that Honda still sells the CR-Z, but "sells" is a relative term. In its best month in 2015, Honda sold 255 of them. Regardless of sales performance, they are actually for sale, and you can buy one with a manual, which makes it -- we're about 99 percent sure -- the only hybrid available with a stick. Manual transmissions are available in every trim at no additional cost. However, you will suffer a significant setback in city fuel mileage, from the CVT's 36 mpg, to just 31 mpg. Highway mileage drops one mile per gallon as well.
The Hyundai Accent kicks it old-school by offering its best fuel economy (27 city/ 38 highway) from the manual transmission, which is standard on the cheapest model in the line (the GLS at $14,745).
The Hyundai Elantra provides a six-speed manual transmission on its cheapest trim (the SE), but selecting it instead of the automatic results in a 1 mpg penalty in both city and highway mileage. To get the automatic, you'll pay a $1,000 price increase.
The sporty Hyundai Veloster is equipped with a six-speed manual transmission at the cheapest price ($18,000 even). You do suffer a 1 mpg penalty, but the automatic comes in at $1,250 more.
Both the LX and EX trims get a six-speed manual transmission as standard equipment, that offers the best fuel mileage (27 city/ 38 highway) the Rio can muster.
The Kia Forte gets a six-speed manual as standard equipment, as well, but it suffers a fuel mileage penalty of 1 mpg city and 2 mpg highway versus the automatic (26 city/ 39 highway). To get that fuel mileage, the automatic adds $1,710 to the bottom line.
In all trims, the handy Kia Soul features a six-speed manual transmission as standard equipment. The base trim doesn't suffer a fuel mileage penalty, the higher trims do provide about a mile per gallon better mileage than the base model's 24 city/ 30 highway.
The sporty Mazda3 is equipped with a six-speed manual transmission in all trims except for the top-of-the-line S Touring and S Grand Touring trims. Both the automatic and the manual provide 41 mpg highway, but the manual provides 29 mpg city, a 1 mpg penalty versus the optional automatic.
Mini - All Models
Mini has made a lot out of offering manual transmissions. It offers one on every model it makes, from the base 2-Door Hardtop to the "big" (for Mini) Countryman. The cheapest way to a manual is the Mini Cooper 2-Door Hardtop, with a base price of $20,700. The Cooper's fuel mileage is TBD for the 2016 model year, but the Clubman delivers 28 city/35 highway.
The Mitsubishi Mirage is one of the cheapest way to get anywhere, this side of the Fung Wah bus. For $12,995, you get the five-speed manual, but if you want to get the full 37 city/ 44 highway fuel economy, you'll have to bring that bag of cans to the recycling center, because it's going to cost you another $1,100 for the CVT.
At the very base level, the Mitsubishi Lancer ES provides a five-speed manual transmission. Selecting the CVT does increase city fuel mileage 1 mpg to 26, but the highway mileage stays the same at 34. Like the Mirage, the Lancer CVT costs $1,100.
Undercutting the Mitsubishi by a thousand bucks, the Nissan Versa is the cheapest car in America. The S starts at $11,900 and provides a five-speed manual. However, you won't enjoy the Versa's optimal fuel economy of 31 city/40 highway unless you pony up another two grand for the CVT.
The Sentra S starts at $16,480 with a six-speed manual transmission, but only provides 27 city/ 36 highway fuel economy. To get 30 city/ 40 highway, you'll be stepping up to the FE+ S, which only offers a CVT and adds $1,250 to the price tag.
The Scion xB provides a five-speed manual transmission as standard equipment. It delivers exactly the same mileage as the optional sequential automatic transmission. The base price for the xB is $17,915.
The sportier Scion tC starts off with a six-speed manual as the base transmission. It also offers a six-speed automatic, but both transmissions deliver the same fuel economy. The tC starts at $20,005.
The Subaru Impreza provides a five-speed manual transmission as standard equipment, but the mileage is significantly less that that offered by the optional CVT. The manual provides 25 city/ 34 highway, while the CVT bumps that up to 28 city/ 37 highway. The CVT adds $1,000.
Toyota's entry-level Yaris is $14,845 with the five-speed manual transmission. It provides slightly better highway fuel economy than the automatic at 37 mpg, but the same 30 mpg estimate for city fuel mileage.
The Corolla offers a manual transmission as standard equipment in the L trim, but it's not the way to get the best fuel mileage. In order to get the LE Eco's 30 city/ 42 highway fuel economy, you're at $19,064 with a CVT, versus the Corolla L at $17,230.
It's good to see that the Volkswagen Beetle still offers a manual transmission as standard equipment. We haven't seen one in ages. The base price is $20,695 and it offers the same 24 city/ 33 highway fuel economy as the automatic.
Volkswagen offers a manual transmission on all of its Golf models. The cheapest way to get one is to opt for the Golf 1.8T 2-Door, at $17,995. Its 25 city/ 37 highway is nowhere near its best offering, though. You'll have to select the TDI Clean Diesel model, which provides 30 city/ 45 highway, but that model starts at $22,345.
It's almost exactly the same lineup with the Jetta as it is on the Golf. You can get a manual transmission starting with the Jetta S at $17,325, but to get the best fuel mileage from a non-hybrid, it's the diesel again, starting at $21,640.
Hardly a handful of midsize sedans come with manual transmissions, and they're getting harder to find all the time.
Yes the Buick Regal has a manual transmission. And yes, it's actually a zero dollar option. But in order to get it, you'd have to step up from the cellar of the $27,065 Regal 1SV, all the way up to the top of the line GS at $34,990. Fuel mileage stays exactly the same.
Another Honda with a bewildering array of trim levels, the Honda Accord is one of a few cars that offers a manual transmission in both a four-cylinder bottom-feeder, and the top of the line EX-L V-6. That EX-L V-6 Coupe is a hoot to drive, too. Selecting a manual doesn't cost anything, but fuel mileage increases a bit to 27 city/ 37 highway when you select the CVT, which costs about $800 in all the trims in which its available.
The Mazda6 is available with a six-speed manual transmission in both the Sport and Touring models. To get to Mazda's claimed "up to 40 mpg", though, you have to select the $30,195 Grand Touring trim, and add another $2,180 to it in the form of the GT package. That's $33,195, almost $12,000 more than the base Mazda6 Sport. You'd have to drive to the moon and back on a regular basis to justify the 3 mpg increase in city and highway mileage.
Volkswagen offers the Passat with a manual transmission in all of its four-cylinder trims. Like the Jetta and Golf, if you really want to see fuel mileage, you'll be forced to select the TDI Clean Diesel at a much higher price point.
The Volkwagen CC is one of those cars you may have forgotten existed. It's easy to do, since Volkswagen only sells about 550 a month. It is available in base form at $32,995 with a six-speed manual, though. Selecting the manual doesn't impact its 21 city/32 highway fuel economy.
There was a time when actual Sport Utility Vehicles like the IH Scout and Ford Bronco came from the factory with manual transmissions, but their numbers are dwindling. What you'll find almost exclusively now is that manual transmissions are only available on the loss-leader, door-buster models with front-wheel drive, which exactly nobody wants. They allow the manufacturers to claim higher mileage without actually having to build much of anything.
Jeep Renagade/Fiat 500X
The Jeep Renegade is closely related to the Fiat 500X, so we'll cover them both here. They both feature either a six-speed manual transmission, or a nine-speed automatic. You can get the manual transmission in both front-wheel and four-wheel drive configurations, but only in the lower Sport and Latitude trims, starting at $17,995 for the FWD. Manual models get 3 miles per gallon better mileage than the automatics in both city and highway estimates (24/27, respectively).
The Jeep Compass only comes with a manual in the bottom-feeder, front-wheel drive trim. It's like buying a "Rollox" from a street vendor in Times Square. You'll save a few bucks, but you'll be disappointed.
See: Jeep Compass. Same deal here. FWD only. We figure they build 20 a year and give them to employees who are serially tardy.
Outside of a few high-end cars, the Jeep Wrangler and Wrangler Unlimited are the only vehicles on the list that you and I can afford that have a manual transmission as the base offering in every single trim level. Fuel mileage is the same in manual vs. automatic. Read: abyssmal at 16/21 city/ highway. Hey, it's a Wrangler. If you're that concerned about it, buy a Prius, but don't try crossing the Rubicon Pass with it.
Like the Jeep Patriot and Compass, you can buy a manual in a Mazda CX5, but only in the front-wheel drive model. It's less cheesy in the CX5, as you could actually see somebody buying the $21,795 model where it doesn't snow. It also gives Mazda they opportunity to occasionally claim the highest fuel economy in the class, at 26 city/35 highway.
Mitsubishi Outlander Sport
Yeah, they're beating down the door to get that $19,595, 5-speed, stripped Mitsubishi Outlander Sport ES with the 2.0-liter four. Nevertheless, it makes our list for no other reason than it is present. It does get the best fuel economy of any Outlander Sport trim at 25 city/32 highway.
Nissan Juke NISMO
You can get a manual transmission on a Nissan Juke, but the lengths you have to go to to get it make it all but meaningless. It's not available at all on the standard Juke. You have to get the NISMO model with a turbocharged four, which drops fuel economy from 28/32 city/highway in the standard Juke with a CVT to 25/31. And then you can only get it in front wheel drive. It starts at $28,200.
Subaru XV Crosstrek
The XV Crosstrek has a five-speed manual in both the base 2.0i trim, as well as the next level 2.0i Premium trim. Unlike most of the other vehicles in the class, you maintain the all-wheel drive system when you pick the manual transmission. It also has no impact on fuel economy, turning in a decent 26 city/34 highway, at an entry price of $21,495.
The Subaru Forester starts off with a six-speed manual transmission in two trims -- the 2.5i and the 2.5i Premium -- maintaining the 24 city/32 highway mileage regardless of whether you choose the manual or automatic. The automatic comes with a $1,000 price tag over the opening ante of $22,395.
It is staggering to think that there are just FIVE pickup trucks -- full-size and mid-size -- extant with a manual transmission. Six, if you insist on thinking that the Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon are different trucks. Pickups used to be the place where manual transmissions thrived. Now they're the bastion of middle managers who want to appear as if they still do something resembling "work."
Chevrolet and GMC offer a manual transmission the way Walmart offers a $12 DVD player on Black Friday: For no other reason than to say they offer it. They make it nearly impossible to want it. First off, it's only available on the 2WD pickup. Second, it's only available with the four-cylinder engine, which somehow gets crappier fuel mileage than the V-6 with an automatic transmission. The only way you'd buy this truck is if you were the world's greatest cheapskate, and only then if you were particularly bad at math.
In 2015, you can still get a six-speed manual in the Ram 2500 and 3500 (3/4-ton and 1-ton) trucks, iin six possible configurations. That's it. You can't buy a manual transmission from any other full-size truck builder. To get one as inexpensive as possible, you're looking at the Ram 2500 Tradesman (read: STRIPPED), with the 6.7-liter Cummins diesel (an engine that won't be available in 2016, BTW. Nissan will be selling Cummins-powered trucks) in 4x2 form. It costs $39,890.
Nissan builds the Frontier with a manual transmission in both 4x2 and 4x4 form, in extended or King Cab configurations, and with the four- and six-cylinder engine. Depending which engine and drive configuration you choose, you'll either get a five-speed or a six-speed manual. The cheapest way out is the 4x2 King Cab S, which comes in at $17,990, coming in at 19 city/23 highway. The city mileage is 2 mpg better than in the automatic version.
Toyota builds the all-new 2016 Toyota Tacoma in 27 different engine, cab and driveline configurations. You can get a manual transmission in just four of those. The least expensive configuration possible is $24,824. That's $6,800 more than the cheapest manual transmission that Nissan offers, but it is offered only on the 4x4, rather than the 4x2 in the Nissan. Fuel mileage is 19 city/23 highway.
You'd think that sports cars would truly be the domain of the manual transmission, but they're largely absent from here, too. You'll find no Ferraris, no Lamborghinis, nor any Alfas Romeo here.
Aston Martin Vantage
The Aston Martin Vantage is one of the few exclusive sports cars that offers a manual transmission, and one of the dwindling few that offers a V-12. "I would love to be the last car manufacturer providing stick shifts in the U.S.," Aston Martin CEO Andy Palmer told Autoblog. "That's my hope, we will keep the faith." The V8 Vantage starts at $138,195, with 13 city/19 highway mpg.
The last remaining first-generation Audi R8 still offers a manual transmission in V-8 models, but good luck finding one. When the new car was introduced in Geneva last year, Automoblie magazine paraphrased Audi's CEO: "There is simply is no way for a stick-shift to match the performance of the R8's dual-clutch transmission and few buyers wanted one, so Hollerweger believes there's no point in offering a manual on the new car."
The sporty BMW Z4 is available with a six-speed manual transmission, but only in the least-expensive, slowest trim level in the lineup. The 240hp Z4 sDrive28i is $49,250 to start, with 22 city/34 highway fuel economy estimates.
The Camaro is available with a manual transmission in every trim configuration, from the 323hp, 30 mile per gallon Coupe, all the way up to the 505hp Z28. Prices for the Camaro start at $23,705 for the 2015 model, but a new 2016 is on the way.
Same deal with the Corvette. The Stingray Coupe gets a seven-speed manual with Active Rev Matching as a standard feature, and starts at $56,395. The car delivers 17 city/29 highway with either the manual or the automatic.
Chevy still sells the SS, despite being one of the slowest selling cars in America. If Chevy can sell more than 400 a month, it would be a miracle. You can buy one with a manual transmission, and the interesting thing is that when you do, the 3.27 rear axle ratio is deleted, so the price actually DROPS by $1,300, making it a rare bird among manual transmission cars.
The hairy Dodge Challenger is available with a manual transmission in most configurations, with the exception of the cheapo SXT model, which gets an automatic as standard equipment. Selecting the manual means you get a V-8 in the R/T and fuel mileage drops to 15 city/23 highway.
If you want a Dodge Viper, you will be rowing your own gears. Dodge does not offer an automatic for the Viper, and has no plans to add one at any point in the future. God Bless America. The Viper starts at $89,090.
Like the Camaro, in the Ford Mustang you get a six-speed manual transmission from the lowly V-6, all the way up to the Shelby GT350R, and in the higher performance trims, you don't have the option of an automatic. The V-6 model starts at $24,200 and delivers 17 city/28 highway, a two mile-per-gallon penalty versus the automatic's city mileage in the V-6.
Hyundai Genesis Coupe
All of the trims in the Hyundai Genesis Coupe are offered with a six-speed manual transmission. The 3.8 trim starts at $26,750 and provides 16 city/25 highway.
If you can find a Lotus dealer anywhere in the United States, they have an Evora with a six-speed manual. It's basically the only car they sell.
Mazda MX5 Miata
We just drove the updated Mazda Miata a few weeks ago, and yes, it still has a six-speed manual, and yes, it's wonderful. Highway mileage suffers two miles per gallon by selecting the manual transmission at 27 city/34 highway. The Miata starts at $24,915.
Nissan 370 Z
The Nissan 370 Z provides a six-speed manual transmission as the standard offering at the base level of $29,990. Fuel mileage comes in at 18 city/26 highway, in either the manual or the automatic.
Porsche Boxster/Porsche Cayman
The Boxster (and its roofed twin, the Cayman) is one of the few sports cars left that starts out with a manual transmission. It's a six-speed manual gearbox that starts at $52,100. The sad thing is that not only does fuel mileage suffer by 2 mpg in both city and highway estimates (20/30), you also get to your destination a tenth of a second quicker (5.4 vs. 5.5) with the PDK dual clutch automatic.
Like the Boxster, you can still get a 911 with a manual transmission, a seven speed in the case of the 911. But you also suffer a 1 mpg penalty (to 19/27 city/highway), and its up to 0.4 second slower to 60 miles per hour. The 911 Carrera starts at $84,300.
Aside from the weird hybrid CR-Z and the Porsche Cayman, the Scion FR-S / Subaru BRZ is one of three two-seat hardtops in the US market. It's standard with the manual transmission at $26,100, but unfortunately, fuel mileage drops significantly to 22 city/30 highway from the automatic's 25 city/34 highway.
The standard A4 and the performance-oriented S4 both feature the option of a six-speed manual transmission. There are actually three transmissions available (a CVT, the six-speed manual and a Tiptronic automatic). The six-speed drops 2 mpg in city mileage from the CVT to 22 city/32 highway. It starts at $35,900.
It's a similar story with the A5 and S5, which are essentially coupe versions of the A4, except that a CVT isn't offered at all. The manual gets slightly better fuel mileage than the Tiptronic transmission, with 22 city/31 highway. The A5 starts at $40,500.
Only one trim of the BMW 2 Series has a six-speed manual transmission. The M235i six-speed manual is a "$0 option." Doesn't it seem like you should be getting a credit for taking it? Anyway, the M235i starts at $44,150. Unfortunately, performance drops by 0.2 seconds, zero to 60, and fuel economy is significantly lower at 19 city/28 highway.
The M3 and M4 are separate models, but the drivetrains are exactly the same. It's just the number of doors in question. Both are standard with a six-speed manual transmission Both the M3 and M4 hit 60 mph in 4.1 seconds with the manual transmission. That's 0.2 seconds slower than the automatic at 3.9 seconds. The M3 starts at $62,000 and the M4 starts at $65,400.
Since the CTS-V went exclusively with an automatic transmission, the ATS and the ATS-V are the only vehicles in Cadillac's line with a manual. The ATS starts at $37,900, and the manual transmission is only avialable on the 2.0-liter turbocharged model. It also forces you to select rear-wheel drive, rather than all-wheel drive. That means you get slightly better fuel ecomomy at 21 city/30 highway.
Chances are pretty good that you've never heard of the Infiniti Q60 Coupe, or that it's available with a manual transmission. You can buy it in two trims with a six-speed manual, starting at $46,050, with the worst fuel economy in the Q60 line at 16 city/27 highway.
When the Jaguar F-Type launched, it was only avialable with the dual clutch automatic. The six-speed manual ZF manual is unfortunately almost half a second slower than the eight-speed automatic. Jaguar hasn't released fuel economy numbers on the manual just yet, but if every other car is an indication, it won't be as good as the auto, either. The manual does save you $1,300, getting the entry price down to $65,000. A BARGAIN!!