While the number of cars offered with a manual transmission may seem to dwindle with every passing year, there’s still a range of stick-shift equipped vehicles available, if you know exactly where to look. Manual transmission-equipped cars can be tough to find on dealership lots with many models, yet there are some that are exclusively offered with a manual. Props to Ford for marketing the Fiesta ST, Focus ST, and Focus RS without an automatic option. Truth be told, it was tough to whittle this list down to just 10 cars, as it leans towards the more affordable end of the spectrum. Other notable manuals include the Fiat 124 and 500 Abarth, Hyundai Elantra Sport, Jaguar F-TYPE, and Cadillac ATS-V, along with the VW Golf and the entire MINI lineup.
10 Top Cars with Manual Transmissions for 2017
Photo Credit: Mazda
Mazda MX-5 Miata
The Mazda MX-5 roadster was fully redesigned for the 2016 model year with nearly universal acclaim for its superior handling and design. 2017 brings the gorgeous new Miata RF retractable hardtop. In just 13 seconds, the RF’s rigid hardtop magically disappears beneath the rear deck, making it the most exquisite yet affordable manual-equipped 2-seat sports car for all seasons. The naturally-aspirated 2.0-liter Skyactiv inline four produces 155 horsepower and 148 pound-feet of torque. The EPA rates the 2017 Mazda MX-5 Miata manual soft top at 26 city/33 highway mpg. The Miata RF is rated slightly higher, at 35 mpg highway. Mazda offers a manual transmission in the Mazda3 and Mazda6, in addition to the Miata.
Photo Credit: Subaru
Subaru Impreza Sedan
The 2017 Subaru Impreza is the most affordable car offered with all-wheel drive and a manual transmission, and is nearly the most fuel efficient. The Impreza’s 2.0-liter horizontally opposed naturally-aspirated Boxer engine produces 152 horsepower and is mated to a 5-speed manual. The EPA rates the 2017 Subaru Impreza manual sedan at 24 city/32 highway mpg and the manual 5-door hatchback at 24/31. (The Audi A4 quattro edges out the Impreza with a 33 mpg highway rating but requires premium fuel.) For an Impreza with more oomph, step up to the 6-speed manual 268-HP turbocharged 2.0-liter WRX or the 305-HP turbo 2.5-liter STi. Subaru offers a manual transmission in the Crosstrek, Forester, BRZ, and WRX, in addition to the Impreza.
Photo Credit: Toyota
The 2017 Toyota 86 860 Edition might be the most exclusive, yet affordable entry on our list of 2017 cars with manual transmissions, thanks to a unique scarcity play. The 860 Special Edition will be offered in two colors: Supernova Orange and Halo White. Only 860 units will be built in each color. Features include a black leather upholstery with orange stitching, an aerodynamic underbody panel, LED fog lamps, and distinctive exterior striping. While enthusiasts clamor for more power under the hood, the 860 Edition’s 2.0-liter naturally-aspirated boxer engine retains the base 6-speed manual’s 205 horsepower and 156 pound-feet torque rating. The EPA rates the 6-speed manual 2017 Toyota 86 at 21 city/28 highway mpg.
Photo Credit: Toyota
Toyota Corolla SE
Although the Toyota Corolla isn’t an enthusiast's car, the manual-equipped version presents an excellent overall value. All 2017 Corolla trim levels are equipped with a 1.8-liter 4-cylinder engine producing a modest 132 HP and 128 pound-feet of torque. The SE Manual is the only one offered with a 6-speed stick (everything else is fitted with a CVT). The standard Toyota Safety Sense technology sets the Corolla apart from the crowd, with dynamic radar cruise control, lane departure alert with steering assist, a pre-collision system with pedestrian detection, and automatic high beams. The EPA rates the 2017 Corolla SE manual at 27 city/35 highway MPG. Toyota also offers a manual transmission in the 86, Tacoma, and Yaris (base, iM, and iA), in addition to the Corolla.
Photo Credit: Mazda
While you’ll find a healthy number of affordable 5-door hatchbacks with manual transmissions on the market, the 2017 Mazda3 is our pick of the pack offered with a naturally aspirated engine. Tight handling, crisp exterior lines, solid fuel economy, and a stunning interior add up to a winning combination. The Sport and Touring trim levels are equipped with a 155-horsepower 2.0-liter Skyactiv-G 4-cylinder engine. The Grand Touring model gains a bit more zoom-zoom with an 184-HP 2.5-liter four. The EPA rates the 2017 Mazda3 manual hatchback at 30 city/39 highway mpg with the 2.0-liter engine and 25/33 with the 2.5-liter. A 4-door sedan is offered, as well.
Photo Credit: Honda
Honda Civic Hatchback Sport
Honda has found its mojo again with the 6-speed manual turbocharged 1.5-liter 2017 Civic Hatchback Sport. With 180 horsepower and 177 pound-feet of torque on tap, Honda’s affordable 5-door hot hatch is easy on the wallet and a blast to drive. The 1.5-turbo/6-speed manual combination is also offered in the base Civic LX hatch (slightly detuned), but only a CVT automatic is available in the higher-end EX, EX-L Navi and Sport Touring trim levels. The EPA rates the 2017 Honda Civic Hatchback Sport at 30 city/39 highway mpg. Honda offers a manual transmission in the Fit, Accord, and HR-V, in addition to the Civic.
Photo Credit: Ford
No list of manual-transmission equipped cars would be complete without the magnificent Ford Mustang. Ford offers a 6-speed manual with a host of engines in the Mustang for the 2017 model year, starting with the 2.3-liter EcoBoost inline-4, which produces 310 horsepower and is EPA rated at 21 city/30 highway. The 300-HP 3.7-liter V6 continues for 2017 (18 city/27 highway), although its days may be numbered. The 435-HP 5.0-liter V8 (15 city/25 highway) is the engine of choice for the majority of traditional Mustang enthusiasts. The Shelby GT350’s 5.2-liter flat-plane crank V8 tops the charts with 526 HP and an EPA rating of 14 city/21 highway.
Photo Credit: Fiat Chrysler Automobiles
Dodge Challenger Hellcat
The Dodge Challenger is the most traditional muscle car available today, blessing the faithful by mating a 6-speed manual Tremec transmission to a trio of mighty HEMI V8 engines: the 375-horsepower turbocharged 5.7-liter, the 485-HP 6.4-liter, and the monstrous 707-HP supercharged 6.4-liter in the Hellcat. (Unfortunately, a stick shift is not offered with V6 Pentastar-equipped Challengers.) The EPA rates the 2017 5.7-liter manual Challenger at 15 city/23 highway mpg, the 6.4-liter at 14/23, and the supercharged 6.4-liter Hellcat at 14/23. The Viper is the only other Dodge vehicle to be equipped with a manual transmission in 2017 (an automatic is not available).
Photo Credit: General Motors
The Camaro celebrates its 50th anniversary in 2017 with an unparalleled lineup. Chevrolet offers a 6-speed manual transmission in the Camaro mated to four engine choices: 275-horsepower turbocharged 2.0-liter inline-4, a 335-HP 3.6-liter V6, a 455-HP naturally-aspirated 6.2-liter V8, and a 650-HP supercharged 6.2-liter in the ZL1. The EPA rates the 2017 turbocharged 2.0-liter manual Camaro at 20 city/30 highway mpg, the 3.6-liter V6 at 16/28, the naturally aspirated 6.2-liter V8 at 16/25, and the supercharged 6.2-liter at 14/20. Chevrolet also offers manual transmissions in the Spark, Sonic, Corvette, SS, Colorado, and Cruze (including the new highly fuel-efficient turbodiesel).
Photo Credit: Ford
Ford Focus RS
While the tire-shredding Ford Focus RS is exclusively offered with a stick shift and dynamic torque vectoring all-wheel drive, manual transmissions are plentiful throughout the entire Focus lineup. A full range of engines are offered, from the tiny but mighty 1.0-liter 3-cylinder EcoBoost, through the naturally-aspirated 2.0-liter (which is available as a FlexFuel engine), and EcoBoost 2.0-liter, all the way up to the 350-horsepower 2.3-liter EcoBoost in the remarkable AWD Focus RS. The Focus RS is EPA rated at 19 highway/25 city mpg. Manual transmissions are offered across the board in the Fiesta and Mustang, in addition to the Focus.