Some economy cars lost their manual transmission option — but a few automakers are hanging on to the third pedal.
If it hasn’t been completely clear over the past few years, I may as well get this out of the way up top: I strongly prefer a manual transmission. Even “bad” manuals are still more engaging to drive — and I’d rather deal with one over a bad automatic, by and large — but the options continue to diminish as we roll into the 2023 model year.
The “bad” news, depending on your perspective, is that there are fewer affordable options for those who want to row their own gears. Entry-level cars are ditching the manual transmission thanks to low take rates, as well as a relative lack of efficiency gains (or even a penalty) against going for an automatic/CVT instead. There are a few exceptions, though, like the refreshed Nissan Versa and base Toyota Corolla.
In addition to painfully few SUVs and trucks, sportier cars are where you’ll find a manual, if you’re seeking one out. These days, that arena is becoming even more of an oasis for the #savethemanuals crowd, as mainstream cars eschew that choice altogether.
2023 Cars with a Manual Transmission
|Make/Model (Body style)||Gears||Trim levels (all unless specified)|
|Acura Integra||6||A-Spec model only|
|Cadillac CT4-V||6||Blackwing model only|
|Cadillac CT5-V||6||Blackwing model only|
|Dodge Challenger||6||All V8 models except the Hellcat Redeye|
|Ford Bronco||7||w/ 2.3L EcoBoost only|
|Ford Mustang||6||All trims except the Shelby GT500|
|Honda Civic||6||Sport Hatch, Sport Touring Hatch, Si, Type R|
|Hyundai Elantra||6||N Line, Elantra N|
|Jeep Wrangler||6||V6 models only|
|Kia Forte||6||GT only|
|Mazda3||6||Hatchback (FWD) w/ Premium Package|
|MX-5 Miata||6||Soft-top and RF|
|Mini Hardtop/Convertible||6||Cooper/Cooper S, JCW|
|Mini Clubman||6||Cooper S (FWD) only|
|Mini Countryman||6||Cooper (FWD) only|
|Nissan Versa||5||S only|
|Porsche 718 Boxster/Cayman||6|
|Porsche 911||6 (GT3), 7|
|Subaru Crosstrek||6||Base, Premium only|
|Subaru Impreza||5||Hatchback, 2023 is your last change (going all CVT for ’24)|
|Toyota GR 86||6|
|Toyota GR Supra||6||Six-cylinder only|
|Toyota GR Corolla||6||GR model only; no longer available in the standard sedan/hatch|
|Volkswagen Golf||6||GTI, Golf R (no standard Golf is available in the U.S.)|
|Volkswagen Jetta||6||S, Sport, GLI|
No longer an option – gone from the 2022 list
Compared to the olden days, there’s not really much fat to trim here. Once a relatively few players are out of the manual transmission game, we’ll have to look back with fondness on the old days — or buy a used example, of course.
Moving on from last year, we saw a few notable omissions as we head into a new year. The Hyundai Veloster is now gone from existence entirely, including the performance-focused N model that carried the nameplate for 2022. On the flip side, you can get the Elantra N instead, so it’s more of a lateral move unless you seriously love hot hatchbacks.
Mini brought the stick-shift back in November after a brief hiatus, though the larger Countryman has left the party. From this point, you can only get a manual with any of the two-door, hardtop Mini models (so the Cooper, Cooper S, JCW or the Clubman).
With the launch of the GR Corolla, Toyota saw fit to strip the 6-speed “iMT” manual option from both the sedan and the standard hatchback. That’s probably a smart move, as enthusiasts will probably walk right past the pedestrian Corollas and get into the GR anyway. That said, you’ll have to set aside at least $36,995 for a Core model. If you can get one at all, of course.
Speaking again of affordable cars losing the stick, the Chevrolet Spark: Not only is it no longer available with a manual, but it won’t be available period for the 2023 model year. Not exactly something to shed crocodile tears over, perhaps, but at least the Spark was an honest-to-goodness cheap option we no longer have. Same goes for the Mitsubishi Mirage, which goes CVT only for the 2023 model year.