Manual transmissions have been essential in driving culture since the first automobiles. These vehicles allow riders to change gears independently, making it easier to manage speed and optimize power. Nowadays, more and more drivers are gravitating towards cars with automatic gearboxes instead of those with manual transmissions. This decline in interest in stick shift cars has not only led to plummeting sales for manual cars but also begged the question: is it worth considering a car with a manual transmission?
Why are these stick-shift vehicles losing popularity?
Vehicles with automatic transmissions tend to be more fuel efficient than manuals, which helps car owners save on gas. There is also a perceived perception that cars with automatic gearboxes drive smoother than those with manual transmissions. Additionally, many modern highway systems are designed specifically for automated vehicles, making it difficult for manual gearboxes to navigate efficiently in some locations.
Benefits of owning a car with a stick shift
Despite the drawbacks mentioned above, there are still many benefits to owning a car with a stick shift. For example, these vehicles perform better when driving on winding roads or hillsides. They also tend to be cheaper than automatics at some price points, meaning they can be more cost-effective in the long run. Ultimately, it comes down to individual preferences when deciding whether or not to invest in a vehicle with a manual transmission.
Cars with a manual transmission are becoming increasingly rare, but there are still some new models to consider. The following are some of the most dependable vehicles with a stick shift powered by a clutch:
2022 Ford Bronco
The Ford Bronco series was developed to resurrect the legacy of the original Bronco. As a result, the vehicle features some unusual and classic elements, such as a manual gearbox. The seven-speed manual transmission is a fun and exciting addition to Bronco, and it offers significant driver involvement and feedback compared with the standard 10-speed automatic.
It’s available exclusively on the 2.3-liter Eco Boost four-cylinder turbo engine. The model can generate 300 horsepower and 325 pound-feet of torque, which is a big step from the previous model. Adding off-road wheels, like Method rims, can immediately upgrade your Bronco’s performance.
2023 Acura Integra
The 2023 Acura Integra is an excellent choice for drivers looking for a vehicle with a sportier design. It is not only fun to drive but also gives off an aura of luxury compared to the Civic. It comes with a turbocharged 1.5-liter four-cylinder engine and a six-speed manual. It is also equipped with 18-inch rims, which you can replace with high-quality aftermarket options from brands like Enkai and KMC wheels. These features are only available on the A-Spec model – they can’t be found on the base model.
2023 Subaru BRZ
The Subaru BRZ is one of the most affordable sports cars on the market, with prices beginning at $29,615. A manual gearbox is necessary for an intense experience, and the 2022 BRZ offers customers a choice of six-speed manual transmissions. The manual gearbox has an excellent feel, precise shifts, and a well-weighted clutch. This gearbox takes full advantage of the new 2.4L flat-four engine that powers the BRZs, producing 228 horsepower and 184 pound-feet of torque. The responsive handling and firm cornering grip of the BRZ practically demand that you participate in an autocross event.
2022 Subaru Crosstrek
The 2022 Subaru Crosstrek is the perfect SUV for anyone who wants a rugged and stylish vehicle that can handle different types of terrain. Depending on your configuration preference, it can come with a six-speed manual transmission and standard all-wheel drive. The Subaru Crosstrek comes with several amenities that make it a versatile vehicle. These include the ability to change gears on your own.
2023 Toyota GR86
One of the most improved sports cars in 2022 is the Toyota GR86. It features a 228-hp flat-four engine with plenty of mid-range power and a six-speed manual gearbox. If you’re looking for a vehicle with faster acceleration, choose one with a manual transmission. It’ll get up to 60 mph seven-tenths of a second quicker than the six-speed automatic transmission model. Considering the perks you receive from this vehicle, the marginal increase is unquestionably worth it.
2022 Toyota Tacoma
The Toyota Tacoma continues to offer a manual gearbox as standard, even though all-electric and hybrid trucks are becoming more popular nowadays. The TRD Sport, TRD Off-Road, and TRD Pro are three models of the Tacoma with a manual transmission. It’s outfitted with a 3.5-liter V-6 engine that can create up to 278 horsepower, making it one of the most potent options currently available.
The Tacoma is a truck that is built for both work and play. However, to live up to its potential, it is crucial to keep all its components in good working condition, especially its truck tires. They are what keep the rig moving, and they are also what protects it from damage when it is driving off-road.
2023 Mazda Mazda3
Despite its price tag, the 2023 Mazda 3 competes with more premium cars. It is available as a sedan or a hatchback; both are equally attractive and quick. If buyers want a six-speed manual, they have to stick with the front-wheel drive since it’s not an option for the AWD system. All base models come standard with a 191-hp 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine, but you can upgrade to a more powerful 250-hp turbocharged 2.5-liter on pricier trims.
2022 Hyundai Elantra
The 2022 Hyundai Elantra is a great car for city driving. It’s small, practical, and has a sharp crease that gives it a distinctive style. To match its dramatic exterior and spacious interior, the cabin of the Elantra looks appropriately futuristic. A six-speed manual gearbox or a seven-speed automatic transmission is available. The turbocharged 1.6-liter four has been projected to achieve as much as 28 mpg city and 36 mpg on the highway.
2023 Volkswagen Jetta
The 2023 Volkswagen Jetta is a front-wheel drive car that excels in performance due to its light handling and fun driving features. The six-speed manual is the standard transmission, but you can upgrade to an eight-speed automatic for a few bucks. The interior of the Jetta is designed elegantly and provides plenty of space for passengers. Those with three pedals get an EPA-rated 29 mpg and 42 mpg highway.
Is it still worth it to drive a manual transmission vehicle?
The answer to this question is less clear-cut than you might think. It varies depending on your personal preferences and driving habits. With that said, more people are switching to automatics, so manuals are becoming less common. In the end, it comes down to what matters most to you.
If you’re the type who enjoys feeling anticipation and challenge while driving, then the manual transmission is likely for you. An automatic option probably makes more sense if you want smoother sailing without as much effort. No matter what route you choose in the end, do your research by taking both types out for test drives before committing.