Most Reliable Cars and SUVs With a Manual Transmission

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

Interior photo of the Toyota 86, which is among the most reliable cars with a manual transmission.

Manual transmissions were once commonplace, not just the choice for low-cost cars and driving enthusiasts. But stick shifts are now a rarity, due to advancements in technology and increasing road congestion. However, there are still some hatchbacks, sedans, sports cars, and SUVs that offer do-it-yourself transmissions and good 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 is 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, there remains a small enthusiast group of people who 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 car models that are available with a stick shift and are rated better-than-average in predicted reliability based on member responses to our Annual Auto Surveys. Reliability is shown using Consumer Report's five-point ratings. 

We selected 15 models that can be had with a manual transmission. And every one earns an above-average predicted reliability rating. They are presented in rank order based on the predicted reliability score, starting with the most reliable within each body type.

If you’re a Consumer Reports member, you will find ratings for each model below. There are Overall Scores for all, except two models that we have not tested. CR tests do not impact reliability ratings, which are entirely based on survey data from owners.

If you're not a member, click below to join and access 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.

Hatchbacks & Sedans