Search Cars for Sale

The Manual Mazda CX-5 Is Rare, but It Exists

If you’ve searched for a compact crossover, as an unbelievable number of Americans have, you’re probably aware that the Mazda CX-5 is considered the “sporty” one with crisp handling and more thrilling driving characteristics than its rivals. Well, if sport is important to you, Mazda also took things a step further: they once offered the CX-5 with a manual transmission.

They’re rare, to be clear. Of the thousands of CX-5 models currently listed for sale on Autotrader, just 36 have a manual transmission. And they were less desirable than most other CX-5 models, because they were only available on the base-level “Sport” trim. That means you can’t get the manual with all-wheel drive, or with many desirable options — and you can’t get it with the crossover’s larger engine, a 184-horsepower 4-cylinder. Instead, you’re “stuck” with a 155-hp 4-cylinder if you want to row your own gears.

But there are benefits, of course. One is gas mileage: the manual CX-5 returned 26 miles per gallon in the city and 35 mpg on the highway, which was higher than any automatic version. It was also more fun to drive — at least according to car enthusiasts. But maybe the best part is that it’s likely a lot cheaper than a similar automatic, just because the pool of people who want a 3-pedal crossover isn’t a substantial one — and that means prices are lower, and deals are more common.

Assuming, of course, that you can find one. But they’re out there: 3-pedal Mazda CX-5 models, just waiting for the rare enthusiast who still wants to drive a manual, even in a compact crossover.

Here’s Why the Koenigsegg Agera RS Is Worth $10 Million
I Bought the Most Unreliable BMW Ever Made
Autotrader Find: 1990 Subaru Legacy With a Landau Roof

Sign up for Autotrader newsletters

The best cars and best deals delivered to your inbox

Email Address 

By subscribing, you agree to our privacy policy

Where You Can Buy

Loading dealers...


  1. Subaru Crosstrek, Mitsubishi Outlander Sport, and Jeep’s Compass and Latitude can come with a manual. You can get them nicely optioned as well. My favorite manual practical car was the Chevrolet SS before it was discontinued (Pontiac G8 resurgence car).

Leave a Comment

Doug Demuro
Doug Demuro
Doug DeMuro writes articles and makes videos, mainly about cars. Doug was born in Denver, Colorado, and received an economics degree from Emory University in Atlanta. After graduation, Doug spent three years working for Porsche Cars North America. Eventually, he quit his job to become a writer, largely because it meant that he no longer had to wear pants. Doug’s work has been featured in a... Read More about Doug Demuro

Most Popular Articles

Best New Cars for 2022

Here is our list of the best new cars for 2022 (presented in alphabetical order by manufacturer).

2020 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid: First Look

The 2020 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid jumps to the head of the hybrid class.

Best Car Deals: November 2022

This month's best new car deals include several attractive offers for qualified shoppers.

Search By Style

More Articles Like This