One sad fact that every gearhead has to accept is that the beloved stick shift is slowly becoming extinct. Today, the automatic transmission has completely taken over the auto industry as it’s found in all types of vehicles, from small subcompact hatchbacks to some of the fastest supercars. This isn’t surprising, as cars with automatic transmissions are more fuel-efficient and easier to drive.
However, despite the advantages of an automatic transmission, most purists still prefer a manual transmission as it offers a more engaging driving experience. This is why many automakers still offer manual transmission options in their lineups. With that said, let’s explore ten of the best cars that still have manual transmissions in 2022.
10 Cadillac CT5-V Blackwing
In 2019, Cadillac introduced the CT5 compact luxury sedan in an attempt to compete with European options from Mercedes-Benz, BMW, and Audi. While the CT5 looked the part, it wasn’t quite as powerful as its competitors, which is why Cadillac introduced the high-performance CT5-V Blackwing.
The CT5-V was equipped with a 6.2-liter supercharged V8 belting out 668 hp, paired with a six-speed manual transmission. With a 0-60 of just over 3 seconds and a top speed of over 200 mph, the CT5-V is one of the fastest American cars you can buy.
9 Aston Martin Vantage
The ‘Vantage’ name has been used on several Aston models since the ’70s. For this article, we’ll focus on the latest Vantage, which is a gorgeous two-seater sports car that debuted in 2018.
Like many modern Astons, the Vantage uses a Mercedes-Benz-sourced powertrain — a 4.0-liter M177 twin-turbo V8 pushing out 503 horses. This is paired with a seven-speed Graziano manual transmission, making the Vantage a joy to drive.
8 BMW M3
In the mid-80s, the BMW M Division worked its magic on the 3-Series and created what’s now considered to be one of BMW’s greatest models — the M3. The M3 offers multiple upgrades over the 3-Series, including the engine, handling, brakes, and aerodynamics.
The latest M3 generation debuted in 2020 with an updated design and a 3.0-liter twin-turbo inline-six engine with 473 hp on tap. Transmission options include a six-speed manual and an eight-speed automatic.
7 Nissan 400Z
The Nissan Z-car range is as iconic as it gets when it comes to Japanese sports cars. Introduced in the ’60s, the Z-car range has produced some of the most iconic Japanese sports cars ever, including the 240Z, 300ZX, and 350Z.
Rumors started spreading across the auto industry that Nissan was developing a new Z-car in 2018 and were confirmed in 2021 when Nissan unveiled the production version. Dubbed the 400Z, this incredible car will be powered by a 400-hp twin-turbo V6 paired with either a six-speed manual or a nine-speed automatic.
6 Ford Mustang
When asked to name a muscle car, most gearheads immediately think of one car — the legendary Ford Mustang. The Mustang wasn’t the first muscle car, but it’s one of the main reasons why the muscle car segment is loved all over the globe, as it has been in continuous production since the mid-60s.
Now in its sixth generation, the Mustang still has the same formula that earned it millions of buyers over the years, an aggressive, muscular design, a loud V8 sending power to the rear wheels, and a manual transmission.
5 Mazda MX-5 Miata
When it comes to affordable roadsters, it doesn’t get better than the Mazda MX-5 Miata. Since its introduction in 1989, the Miata has been the sports car of choice for gearheads who want tons of fun without digging too deep into their pockets.
The Miata is based on a Japanese principle known as Jinba Ittai, which aims to make drivers feel like they’re one with the car. To achieve this, the Miata is an ultralight rear-wheel-drive sports car with the option of a manual transmission.
4 Porsche 911
The Porsche 911 is undoubtedly one of the greatest Japanese sports cars. Everyone loves its unmistakable design, advanced Porsche engineering, longevity, and the fact that it has always been one of the best driver’s cars since its introduction in 1964.
The latest 911 generation is just as awesome as its predecessors. It comes with three powerful engine options, paired with either a manual or a dual-clutch transmission.
3 Subaru BRZ
About a decade ago, Toyota and Subaru decided to collaborate on a new sports car project, resulting in the Subaru BRZ and its identical twin – the Toyota GT86. Gearheads had high expectations for such a high-profile collaboration, but many were left disappointed as the cars were underpowered.
However, we believe the BRZ was harshly treated. Although it’s not as powerful as many would have wanted, it’s still one of the cheapest sports cars you can buy new and is available with a manual transmission.
2 Volkswagen Golf R
To most gearheads, the GTI is as good as it gets if you want a Volkswagen Golf. However, there’s another underrated Golf version that’s arguably better than the GTI; the Golf R.
The Golf R was first introduced in 2009 as a replacement for the R32. The latest version comes with a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder, sending 315 ponies to all wheels via a six-speed manual. Other upgrades include unique badging, quad exhaust tips, a lowered height, and a stiffer suspension.
1 Ford Bronco
The Bronco holds a special place in Ford’s history, as it was the automaker’s first-ever SUV. The Bronco was first introduced in the ’60s, but was discontinued in 1996 after poor sales. 25 years later, Ford decided to revive the Bronco after a huge demand from enthusiasts.
The new Bronco generation looks just as cool and rugged as its predecessor and is still as capable. It has several engine options and can be equipped with either a seven-speed manual or a ten-speed automatic.
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