The Manual Is BACK, Baby! At Least In The 2021 Mini Lineup

2020 Minis sold in the U.S. don't get a manual option due to certification issues

[Photos: Mini]

After an emissions certification issue held up 2020 Mini models with manual transmissions from reaching the U.S., the 2021 Mini Cooper will offer a three-pedal option again. In most cars, the manual doesn’t actually make a comeback once it finally leaves the range. Even enthusiasts like most of us in the TFL office fully acknowledge the take rate across the whole industry is horrible for people wanting to row their own gears. Mini has been a rallying point for manual lovers, though, as the hardtop model enjoys one of the highest take rates in the industry.

Now, once again the 2021 Mini Cooper comes standard with a six-speed manual mated to its 134 horsepower, 1.5-liter turbocharged three-cylinder engine. Above that, the Mini Cooper S gets a more powerful 189 horsepower 2.0-liter engine. Then there’s the John Cooper Works hardtop, which gets its three-pedal option, rather than just the seven-speed dual-clutch transmission. The JCW manages 228 horsepower and 236 lb-ft of torque. If you’re looking to get the convertible however, you will still get the DCT, without a manual option.

2018 Mini Cooper S hardtop and convertible
The 2021 Mini Cooper and Cooper S hardtop and convertible will once again have six-speed manual options.

Sadly, the John Cooper Works GP hardtop will still only come with an eight-speed automatic transmission mated to its 301 horsepower engine.

If you’re looking into buying a 2021 Mini Clubman or Countryman, there’s tough news there as well. According to Mini’s statement on its 2021 lineup, you’ll still get standard automatic transmissions there as well. Still, the upcoming lineup well at least offer a manual for its hatchback models, which gives more choice if you’re looking into a new car with the option to row your own gears.

If you buy on the used market, you can get a wider range of Minis with a manual transmission. Take Nathan, for example, who recently bought a Mini Countryman with a six-speed gearbox. Check out the car and his buying experience below: