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These Are the Remaining SUVs With Manual Transmissions

As of this writing, in September 2018, there are precisely five SUVs or crossovers still offered with a manual transmission option. I say “as of this writing,” because they’re dwindling fast: The Mazda CX-5 offered it up until recently, and the Honda HR-V has just lost its manual option as we head into the 2019 model year. Same deal with the Subaru Forester: it’s now CVT only for 2019. That means we’re down to just this handful.

Fiat 500X

The Fiat 500X still offers a manual transmission, but barely. It’s a “price leader,” and it’s only offered on the 2-wheel drive base model, which is called the 500X Pop. Get that version and the manual is mandatory, and it’s mated to a 160-horsepower 1.4-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder. Upgrade to any other 500X aside from the very base model — or even just add all-wheel drive to the base model — and you get a 9-speed automatic, along with a 180-hp 2.4-liter 4-cylinder.

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Jeep Renegade

Given that the 500X is offered with a manual, it’s no surprise you can also still get a manual in the Jeep Renegade, as they share powertrains and a platform. In the Renegade, the manual has wider availability: it’s still mated solely to the 160-hp 1.4-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder, but you can get the manual on base-level Sport or mid-level Latitude or Altitude models. Once again, it’s offered only with front-wheel drive; if you want four drive wheels (or a top-end Limited or Trailhawk model), you have to get an automatic and the 180-hp 2.4-liter 4-cylinder.

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Jeep Wrangler

Even when all the other manual SUVs die, the Jeep Wrangler will probably be the lone holdout. The Wrangler is, of course, an off-road-focused SUV, and some off-roaders say they prefer to tackle the trails with three pedals, insisting it provides better control. The result is that a manual is offered on the Wrangler with the standard 285-hp 3.6-liter V6, making it the only Chrysler product that has an available manual transmission mated to the “Pentastar” V6.

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Mini Countryman

The Mini Countryman (technically the “Mini Cooper Countryman”) now offers a plug-in hybrid powertrain, and that’s not available with a manual. But the car’s other two powertrains — a 134-horsepower turbocharged 3-cylinder in the base model, and a 189- or 228-hp turbocharged 4-cylinder in “S” and “John Cooper Works” models, respectively — are still offered with a 6-speed manual. I imagine the transmission isn’t especially popular, but it’s still available due to the Countryman’s sporty image and driving experience.

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Mitsubishi Outlander Sport

Like the Fiat 500X, the Mitsubishi Outlander Sport still offers a manual transmission solely in its most basic, entry-level model: the Outlander Sport ES with front-wheel drive. That model uses the manual mated to a 148-hp 2.0-liter 4-cylinder — but if you step up to any other version (SE, SEL) or add all-wheel drive, you get an automatic. SE and SEL models also mate their automatic to a slightly more powerful engine: a 170-hp 2.4-liter 4-cylinder, which hooks up to a CVT.

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  1. I happen to believe that manual transmissions are 1/2 the fun, i.e. “the soul” of driving. It is what integrates the driver with the machine! Who cares if automatics are faster? There is a mere 3 second difference, 0-60, between my pedestrian BMW, with a manual, and the fastest automatic transmission car on the planet! Who cares? What matters is being one with the machine…

    That’s where the fun is, and automatic transmissions take that away. I think that is why young people have lost interest in driving today.
  2. So, what is the difference between the US and Europe then? What is it? Why are manual transmissions THE RULE in Europe, but so unpopular in the US that few are even available? Are we too rich, too lazy or too stupid?

  3. Oh my stars! My 06 CRV (last year of manual trannies for that model), is very ill. I don’t even know how to drive an automatic anymore!! I live for down-shifting, controlling when I wanna’ shift, cruising to the sound of the Eagles on I-95! Woe is me after decades shifting to my hearts content!! Saving on maintenance and loving the real driving experience and control of the manual transmission!! So, I’ll be the old woman robbing a bank to keep her car going another 100k miles…I can’t let her go. I just can’t!! 🙁

    • You CAN keep her going, if you want to enough. I’d recommend looking for a new, old car. I like buying older cars with very low mileage, preferably from salt-free areas. They are almost as good as recent low-mileage cars, and you can get THEM with MTs…

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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

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