We’ve got data on every car, truck, and SUV available in 2018 with a manual transmission, including the cost or fuel mileage penalty or reward for choosing it, and trim levels that allow a manual transmission.
Americans don’t buy manual transmissions anymore.
Since 2012, only about 4% of the cars sold in the United States have manual transmissions, and those numbers are dropping.
Broad segments of the car market don’t even offer a manual, and on some that do, the process to order one requires either buying a bottom-feeder, or paying more than you would for an automatic.
A few surprising facts:
- Out of 226 new vehicle models for sale in the US, only 34% (79 models) even offer a manual transmission
- Several manual models went away for the 2018 model year.
- 54.5% of the subcompact and compact cars with manual transmissions get poorer fuel economy than the same cars with automatic or continuously variable transmissions
- 30% of the SUVs available with manual transmissions only offer them on the lowest trim levels, and only in front-wheel drive models
- 30% of the vehicles with manual transmissions are American
- Only three vehicles in the entire list offer a manual transmission in all trims
- Only one full-size pickup truck offers a manual transmission, on the 3/4- and 1-ton models, not the half-ton
Along with the listing, we’ve provided information on each car that shows if there’s a cost penalty or reward for choosing the manual, and we’ll also mention whether there’s a fuel economy difference from the automatic. We’ve also identified the trim levels that allow a manual transmission.
We’ve broken the list into segments so that you can either read the entire list, or just skip to the segment you want.
Even in the early 2000s, you could save a few bucks buying the cheapest car with a manual, but those days are gone. In one case, choosing a manual transmission — and selecting the higher trim that’s required to get it — will cost you more than $8,000 over the base car. Now that the CVT is the transmission of choice in the budget car segment, you also almost never get better fuel economy with the manual.
BMW 2 Series
Despite the comments from BMW Financial Chief Nicolas Peter, the compact BMW 2 Series Coupe and Convertible are both still available with a six-speed manual transmission. Don’t hold your breath for one in the next generation of the 2 Series, but for now, it’s still there, even if it’s hard to find. It’s available on the 230i and M230i coupe trims and the M230i convertible trim. Fuel economy in the manual drops across the board, from 24 to 21 MPG city, from 33 to 32 MPG highway, and from 27 to 25 MPG combined.
BMW 3 Series
Similar story with the BMW 3 Series. The six-speed manual is available on the 320i, 320i xDrive, 330i, 340i, 340i xDrive sedans (xDrive signifying all-wheel drive). The manual is not available in the wagon, or the Gran Turismo in any trim. Whether you choose the four- or the six-cylinder 3-Series, you suffer a fuel mileage penalty like that of the 2-Series.
BMW 4 Series
The BMW 4 Series is available with a manual transmission in the Coupe and Gran Coupe trims, but not the Convertible. Also, selecting xDrive all-wheel drive deletes the availability of a six-speed manual. Fuel mileage drops about 2 MPG in city, highway and combined fuel economy by selecting the manual.
Good news: the sporty Buick Verano offers a six-speed manual transmission. Bad news: If you want it, you’ll have to purchase the Premium Turbo Group, which adds $8,240 to the sticker and reduces your fuel mileage by one mpg on the highway.
The Chevrolet Spark was redesigned for 2016, and at $13,535, it’s one of the cheapest cars available. The Spark comes standard with a five-speed manual transmission, but if you expect to get the 41 mpg that’s splashed all over the Spark page on the Chevy website, you have to buy the Continuously Variable Transmission, and it adds $1,100 — an eight percent increase — to the price tag. In the 2015 model, the automatic transmission was only $500.
The Sonic is all new for 2017 and doesn’t go on sale until the fall of 2016. For the 2016 model year, though, Sonic Sedan or Hatchback have a standard five-speed manual transmission. 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, saving $2,500 off the price of the the cheapest automatic in the Cruze LS. Fuel economy in the manual is better, at 25 city/36 highway, versus 22 city/35 highway. The Cruze is also available in a hatchback for the 2017 model year.
All Dart trims, including the lowest-priced Dodge Dart SE, have standard manual transmissions. 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. The Dart and its stablemate, the Chrysler 200, will be cancelled some time after 2017.
If you’re a manual fan on a budget, the Fiat 500 could be your car. 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 with the stick, at 31 city/40 highway.
The benefit of the 500L over the smaller 500 is that its standard-across-the-board manual transmission gets a sixth speed. Every 500L trim charts its fuel mileage at 25 city/33 highway.
The Ford Fiesta comes standard with a five-speed stick in the cheapest S trim. To get the best fuel economy of 31 city/43 highway, you’ll need the 1.0-liter EcoBoost engine, which is available only on the SE trim, at $1,230 more.
The Ford Focus starts with a manual in the S and SE trims. The pricier Titanium trim gets an automatic as standard equipment.
The Honda Fit comes with an easy-shifting, six-speed manual transmission as standard equipment, but again, if it’s fuel mileage you’re after, you’ll have to opt for the Continuously Variable Transmission that delivers 32 city/41 highway. That adds $800 to the bottom line.
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 $18,640, 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.
Honda doesn’t sell many CR-Zs every year, but you can buy one with a manual in every trim, which makes it the only hybrid vehicle available with a stick. The manual transmission is available at no additional cost. However, you will pay a significant fuel mileage penalty for not buying the $650 continuously variable transmission, which delivers 36 mpg in the city versus the manual’s 31 mpg. Highway mileage drops one mile per gallon as well.
In a lot of ways, the Hyundai Accent is an old-school economy car, specifically by offering its best fuel economy (27 city/ 38 highway) with the manual transmission. It’s standard on the cheapest Accent trim, the $14,745 GLS.
Hyundai Elantra/Elantra GT
The Hyundai Elantra and Elantra GT provide a six-speed manual transmission on its cheapest trim (the SE), but selecting it instead of the automatic results in a one-mpg penalty in both city and highway mileage. To get the automatic, you’ll pay a $1,100 price increase.
The Veloster is on hiatus so far for 2018. The 2019 arrives in the spring. The 2017 Hyundai Veloster is equipped with a six-speed manual transmission at the cheapest price ($18,000). You do suffer a one-mpg penalty, but the automatic rings in at $1,250 more.
Both the LX and EX trims get a six-speed manual transmission as standard, and it offers the best fuel economy (27 city/ 38 highway) the Rio can muster.
The Kia Forte features a six-speed manual as standard equipment, but it suffers a fuel mileage penalty of one mpg city and two mpg highway versus the automatic (26 city/ 39 highway). To get that mileage, the automatic adds $1,710 to the bottom line.
In all trims, the Kia Soul features a six-speed manual transmission as standard. The base trim doesn’t suffer a fuel mileage penalty, though the higher trims do provide about a mile per gallon better mileage than the base model’s 24 city/ 30 highway.
The Mazda3 is the sportiest sedan in the compact class, and as such is equipped with a six-speed manual transmission in all trims except for the top-line S Touring and S Grand Touring. Both the automatic and the manual provide 41 mpg highway, but the manual gives 29 mpg city, a one-mpg penalty versus the optional automatic.
Mini takes pride in offering manual transmissions 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 a Greyhound 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 spend another $1,100 for the CVT.
The Mitsubishi Lancer is entering its final year, but for 2016, it still provides the Lancer ES with a five-speed manual transmission. Selecting the CVT does increase city fuel mileage one mpg to 26, but the highway mileage stays the same at 34. Like the Mirage, the Lancer CVT costs $1,100.
Undercutting the Mitsubishi Mirage 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 for the CVT.
Nissan Versa Note
The Versa Note is the more stylish, five-door hatch version of the Versa, and it also offers a five-speed manual transmission, but only on the bottom-feeder S trim level. Every other trim comes with the Xtronic CVT, with a $1,250 boost in the price tag.
The Sentra S starts at $16,480 with a six-speed manual, and it’s rated for 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.
For the moment, Scion still exists. The Scion xB provides a five-speed manual 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, 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 SE and iM trim, but it’s not the way to get the best fuel mileage. It’s also now more expensive now that it’s in the sportier trim. In order to get the LE Eco’s 30 city/ 42 highway fuel economy, you’re at $19,425 with a CVT, versus the Corolla SE’s stick at $21,765. It is fun to drive, though.
It’s good to know that the Volkswagen Beetle still offers a manual transmission as standard equipment, as we haven’t seen one in the test fleet for some time. 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 mileage ratings are nowhere near the Golf’s best offering, though. You’ll have to select the TDI Clean Diesel model, which provides 30 city/ 45 highway, but that model will starts out at $22,345. (As of this writing, Volkswagen TDIs have been pulled from the market as its diesel scandal is being sorted out.)
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 currently not-for-sale TDI diesel, starting at $21,640.
Hardly a handful of midsize sedans come with manual transmissions, and they’re getting harder to find all the time.
The Accord is another Honda with a bewildering array of trim levels, and it’s one of a few cars that offers a manual transmission in both a bottom-feeder, and the pretty sweet Sport trim. The new turbocharged four-cylinder engine in the Sport 2.0T is great fun with 252hp on tap, and it delivers up to 22 in the city and 32 on the highway. The manual is a no-cost option versus the automatic.
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’d select the $30,195 Grand Touring trim, and then 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 three-mpg increase in city and highway mileage.
EDIT: Volkswagen quit producing manual transmission Passats in the 2015 model year, but we found a bunch still sold as new in our inventory, at least for the time being. 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, when it becomes available for sale again.
The Volkswagen CC is one of those cars you may have forgotten existed. It’s easy to do, since Volkswagen sells only about 550 a month, and only a tiny handful of those come through with manual transmissions. 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 International Harvester 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 door-buster models with front-wheel drive, which have an increasingly limited audience. Yet there are some legit SUVs that offer a manual in the higher trims.
Jeep Renegade/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 three miles per gallon better mileage than the automatics in both city and highway estimates (24/27, respectively).
The Compass is ostensibly available with a six-speed manual transmission, but you’ll have a hard time finding one, and when you do, you won’t like it. It’s really only offered to say that the Compass is “under $21,000.” It’s only available on one trim — the lowest Sport — and only in front-wheel drive, which we’re sure you’re surprised to learn Jeep even offers.
The all-new Jeep Wrangler and Wrangler Unlimited are the only relatively affordable vehicles in this entire list that have a manual transmission as the base offering in every single trim level. Fuel mileage is the same in manual vs. automatic at 16/21 city/highway.
Mitsubishi Outlander Sport
A five-speed manual transmission helps Mitsubishi field its compact-crossover doorbuster, the $19,595 Outlander Sport ES with the 2.0-liter four. It gets the best fuel economy of any Outlander Sport trim at 25 city/32 highway.
Nissan Juke NISMO and NISMO RS
You can get a manual transmission on a Nissan Juke, but only in one particular way. 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.
The Crosstrek has a six-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. Unfortunately, in 2018, the Crosstrek’s manual is a truly unsatisfying driving experience, and it seriously degrades fuel economy. You’ll improve your economy by 4 MPG combined by selecting the excellent CVT.
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. Manual transmissions once thrived in this formerly utilitarian segment, but now that pickups many times are thought of as emblems of a lifestyle, the interest in manuals has cratered.
The Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon are offered only on the 2WD versions of the pickup, and only with the four-cylinder engine. It seems counterintuitive, but that four-plugger with a stick gets worse fuel mileage than the V-6 with an automatic.
In 2016, if you want a stick in a full-sized truck, you can still get a six-speed manual in the Ram 2500 and 3500 (3/4-ton and one-ton) trucks, in six possible configurations. Incredibly, you can’t buy a manual transmission from any other full-size truck builder, in any trim. To get one as cheaply as possible, you’re looking at the Ram 2500 Tradesman, with the 6.7-liter Cummins diesel in 4×2 form. It costs $39,890.
Nissan builds the Frontier with a manual transmission in both 4×2 and 4×4 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 to get one is the 4×2 King Cab S, which comes in at $17,990, coming in at 19 city/23 highway. The five-speed’s city mileage is two mpg better than in the automatic version.
Toyota builds the 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 of those configurations is $6,800 more than the cheapest manual transmission that Nissan offers, but in fairness, it is offered only on the 4×4, rather than the 4×2 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
“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, Automobile 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 275-hp-four-cylinder, 31-mpg-highway Coupe, all the way up to the 455-hp-V8, 25-mpg SS. Prices for the 2016 Camaro start at $25,700.
Same deal with the Corvette. The Stingray Coupe gets a seven-speed manual with Active Rev Matching as standard, and it 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, less than 400 per month. 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 budget SXT model, which gets an automatic as standard equipment. Selecting the manual means you get a V8 engine in the R/T, and fuel mileage drops to 15 city/23 highway.
Fiat 124 Spider
Think of the Fiat 124 Spider as a more luxurious, turbocharged Miata, because that’s exactly what it is. It’s a partnership between Mazda and Fiat, where the Japanese manufacturer provides the basic platform, and FCA Automobiles provides the sheetmetal, interior and running gear.
It’s available with a six-speed manual, starting at $24,995 for the Classica trim.
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.
There are a handful of Lotus dealers in the United States, and they sell an Evora with a six-speed manual.
The updated Miata 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.
The Nissan 370Z 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 718 Boxster/Porsche 718 Cayman
The 718 Boxster (and its roofed twin, the 718 Cayman) is one of the few sports cars left that starts out with a manual transmission. It has a six-speed manual gearbox and starts at $56,000.
Porsche updated the Boxster and the Cayman to new models called the 718 Boxster and 718 Cayman for 2017, with an all-new 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder in place of the old flat six.
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 one-mpg penalty (to 19/27 city/highway), and the manual up to 0.4 second slower to 60 miles per hour. The 911 Carrera starts at $89,400.
Toyota 86/Subaru BRZ
Aside from the Honda CR-Z hybrid and Porsche 718 Cayman, the Toyota 86/Subaru BRZ is one of three two-seat hardtops in the US market. It’s standard with the manual transmission but unfortunately, fuel mileage drops significantly to 22 city/30 highway from the automatic’s 25 city/34 highway.
NOTE: Before the 2017 model year, the Toyota 86 was known as the Scion FR-S.
Like the pickup truck, the sports sedan used to be the manual transmission’s home turf, but sticks are getting pretty thin on the ground even here. There is a new manual sport sedan for the 2017 model year, though.
Alfa Romeo Giulia
The 2017 Alfa Romeo Giulia arrives in the fall of 2016, and thankfully, at least one trim — the Quadrifoglio — is equipped with a short-throw, six-speed manual transmission. It’s coupled to a 2.9-liter, twin-turbo V6 with 505 horsepower and 443 pound-feet of torque. We’ll update our list with a link to available inventory when it arrives.
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 manual is offered on Premium, Premium Plus and Prestige trim levels. The six-speed drops 2 mpg in city mileage from the CVT to 22 city/32 highway. It starts at $36,000.
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. Same as the A4/S4, the manual is only offered on Premium, Premium Plus and Prestige trims. The A5 starts at $42,600.
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.
BMW M3 and M4
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 manuals. The ATS starts at $37,900, and the manual transmission is available only 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 economy 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 had only the dual clutch automatic. As per current trends, the six-speed ZF manual that followed is half a second slower than the eight-speed automatic. The manual does save you $1,300, which cuts the entry price to an even $65,000. It’s only available in the V-6 models.
Subaru WRX and WRX STi
Both the Subaru WRX and WRX STi are available with manual transmissions, which are a whole lot more fun to drive than these sporty sedans with — in the case of the WRX anyway — a CVT. The STi is available with the manual transmission only.