Reliable, Recommended Cars With a Manual Transmission

CR's survey results point to dependable hatchbacks, sedans, sports cars, and SUVs with a stick shift

2020 Toyota 86 shifter Toyota

Manual transmissions were once commonplace, not just the choice for low-cost cars and driving enthusiasts. Stick shifts are now a rarity due to advancements in technology and increasing road congestion. But there are still some hatchbacks, sedans, sports cars, and SUVs that offer do-it-yourself transmissions and average or better reliability.

These manuals no longer have better fuel economy than automatic and continuously variable transmissions. And while mastering a clutch and stick shift can be a source of pride, a manual doesn’t have a performance advantage over today’s automatics, either.

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Many sporty cars compensate for the fondly remembered visceral thrill of commanding gear selection with paddle shifters that allow you to shift up or down with a tap. And it's common to have a “sport” mode to further heighten the automatic’s ability, hastening shifts and often making them a bit more crisp.

Even still, some driving enthusiasts insist on a manual transmission, seeing it as the ultimate means of connecting with their ride. For them, we combed through our data to identify the new models that are available with a stick shift, are rated average in predicted reliability based on member responses to our surveys, and meet the stringent criteria to be recommended by Consumer Reports (factoring road test, reliability, owner satisfaction, and safety).

We feature 14 recommended models that can be had with a manual transmission. They are presented in alphabetical order by car type, with their Overall Scores, reliability and owner satisfaction ratings, fuel economy, and price range.

If you’re a Consumer Reports member, you'll find those ratings for each model below. Click through to the model pages for detailed reports.

If you're not a member, click below to join and get access to the full review and all of our exclusive ratings and reviews for each vehicle we buy and test. Membership also gives you full access to exclusive ratings for the other products our experts evaluate in several categories, including electronics and home appliances.

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