15 Best Cars With Manual Transmissions

A few decades ago, manual transmission was the only choice when buying a car. Nowadays the situation is different. Most cars come with automatic transmissions. Manual gearboxes offer a much driver-friendly ride and they allow you to ‘’play’’ with a car. It is known that all individuals who like driving cars prefer manual gearboxes. Below is the list of the best manual cars, for those who still want the thrill.

1. 2017 Chevrolet Camaro ($67,000)

best manual cars

This car used to be known for obsolete suspension. However, 2017 model doesn’t have this problem. In a matter of fact, it is one of the best sports cars on the market today. The power will vary between 265 and 650 HP. The ZL1 comes with V8, 6.2L engine. Transmission is a masterpiece and it made this car one of the best manual cars ever. The secret is in the system that automatically increases throttle when shifting gears, so the speed of the engine matches the speed of the gearbox. Even beginners can shift gears as professionals.

2. 2017 Porsche 911 ($100,000)

The price of 911 will vary between $80,,000 and $200,000, depending on a version. It mostly depends on the engine, and you have at your disposal versions with 370HP or up to 580HP. All-wheel drive or rear-wheel drive are optional as well. For 2017, 911 comes with all-new engines (3.0L) and a gearbox. It has 7 speeds and shifting is precise. All combined, this car is incredibly easy and fun to drive, which is the main purpose of manual cars. Additional reason why this car is special is rear-wheel steering. It is designed purely for faster lap times.

3. 2017 Ford Mustang ($54,000)

Mustang for 2017 is an interesting model due to the fact it combines old and new. The engine is V8, with 435HP. Rear-wheel drive, manual transmission and launch control are the reasons why we rated it so high. Launch control allows you to start perfectly every single time. Because it is much better with manual transmission, we must recommend this version to all of you who want power and a car with racing potential. Old Mustangs were known for hard steering, but new model is surprisingly agile.

4. 2017 Subaru WRX STI ($35,200)

Subaru WRX is a car born in the world of rallying. It has one of the best four wheel drives ever developed and it is tough vehicle. Subaru offers CVT (continuously variable automatic transmission), but luckily they still offer 6-speed manual alternative, best implemented into STI version. Although, CVT transmission is great, we still prefer manual one. With AWD, this car is capable of anything.

5. 2017 Cadillac ATS-V ($69,900)

Two available engines are 2.0L with 202HP and 642HP, twin-turbo. Both versions come with rear wheel drive and 6-speed manual transmission. Even the most powerful version isn’t very expensive, but you swill get comfort, plenty of gadgets and great safety ratings. An interesting technology is Teen Driver, which lets parents track the car, lock it, disable it and etc.

6. 2017 Dodge Challenger ($34,000)

Dodge Challenger for 2017 comes with a variety of engines, delivering between 320HP and 485HP. The recommended version is 5.7L, V8 with 375HP. We chose it because it can be purchased with manual transmission. Keep in mind that it is an option. Manual gearbox is also available in more expensive Scat Pack car, with 485HP. Rear and optional all-wheel drive are offered. Despite the fact automatic transmission is more than just good, Challenger is a car which deserves manual transmission only!

7. 2017 Mazda MX-5 Miata ($34,900)

Mazda MX-5 Miata for 2017 is simply an outstanding little car. The design is sporty, ride is fun and manual transmission made it one of the best manual cars ever. Engine delivers 155HP and it is 2.0L unit, but the fuel consumption is 27/36 mpg. All drivers like this car, simply due to superb chassis and revy engine. Safety features and agility must be mentioned as well. They are better than in competitive models. Addition: 2017 model comes with hard top.

8. 2017 Ford Focus RS ($36,500)

Another well-known and appreciated small car with a powerful engine and great gearbox is Focus RS. It is powered by a 2.3L, 350HP engine, all-wheel drive and 6-speed manual transmission. There is 3-cylinder version, which is more economical, but isn’t suitable for this car. In essence, RS provides fun, agility and can withstand rough drives on any terrain, which made it one of the best hot hatchbacks in the world. We can say that with the gearbox in question, it is even better.

9. 2017 Subaru BRZ ($25,500)

Subaru BRZ shares the same passion as Mazda Miata. It is lightweight, compact and comes with a reasonably powerful engine. 2.0L with 205HP and rear wheel drive made this car epic for riding on a track. Narrow tires allow you to drift or to spin the car at any moment you like. Affordable price is just useful addition. The bottom line is driving experience similar to the one you can get from cars 2-3 times more powerful. Interesting: BRZ is made on the same platform as Toyota 86.

10. 2017 Volkswagen GTI ($35,000)

GTI has been a synonym for best hot hatchbacks since the 80s. New Golf GTI follows the same path. It is small, powerful and fun to drive. Engine of 2.0L is turbocharged, so it offers 220HP. Manual transmission is new and developed precisely for this car. With sporty suspension, riding experience is one of the best you can get in this class. Low weight made acceleration better than most rival models can offer. Comfort is surprisingly good. As an everyday car, GTI is useful, thanks to large cargo space.

11. 2017 Mini Cooper ($35,000)

With lightweight construction and engines which reach 228HP, Mini Cooper is an amazing car. It is actually one of the best among small hatchbacks. Even the 2017 model shares the same virtues as the original mini. It is small, nimble and fast. Fuel consumption is 28/38 mpg, and it is actually better than with automatic version! Gearbox has 6 speeds and shifting them is a real pleasure. New version also comes with an infotainment system as standard.

12. 2017 Honda Accord ($32,000)

It is almost impossible to find a decent manual car in the middle segment. Luckily, Honda still makes some of them. The car in question is Honda Accord which comes with either 4-cylinder engine, or with V6. Power varies between 178 and 278HP. Front wheel is standard, which in a large car isn’t so great, therefore this position! What we must add is the reliability of Accord.

13. 2017 Jaguar XE ($36,000)

The gearbox in XE is a decent one, with great shifting capabilities. Sadly, it is available only with 2.0L, turbocharged version. It still produces more than 220HP, but being able to get the same gearbox in V6, with 340HP would be much better. This drawback is the only reason why Jaguar XE is rated here. Other than that, it is a fast and comfortable sedan. Most buyers will choose 8-gears automatic transmission. We cannot say that it is the best, but it doesn’t provide driving experience as good as manual one!

14. 2017 Honda Civic Si ($24,700)

Sporty car from Japan is much different than all other cars on the list. First, it has 1.5L engine, which doesn’t have any sense. However, the engine is equipped with VTEC technology, so it produces 205HP. There is no need to mention that this car is very fast. Incredibly, Honda provides manual transmission only with this car. 6-gears without plenty of torque means that you will shift them all the time. In reality, this is a good thing, simply because gearbox is exceptional. Standard features include adaptive dampers, large brakes and improved interior. Red lighting and sporty seats with a heating option are desirable. Support for Apple and Android device is standard as well.

15. 2017 Chevrolet SS ($47,600)

With the engine from Corvette and Camaro from the previous year, Chevrolet SS is a fast and powerful car. It produces 412HP which are transferred to the rear wheels. Automatic transmission is standard, but a buyer can choose the manual one without paying extra! Fuel consumption of 14/22 mpg and the top speed of 160 mph are more than just decent. We liked the most the engine. It is traditional (old-school) V8 with superb sound and torque. Sadly, the interior is old-school as well.


Best manual cars may be hard to find, but they still exist, which you can see from the list. Manual transmission, with latest technologies and impressive engines, really makes these cars much better that their automatic versions. Drivers have the freedom they deserve and fun while driving is epic. None of this can be obtained from automatic transmissions. They are developed to be economical and simple, not fun. If you are a driver in your heart, you will get a manual car. All people know that.