There’s no doubt it’s getting harder and harder to find a car with a manual transmission. But if you want your next car to have a stick shift, there are a few places to look. For those of you who enjoy rowing the gears by yourself, we’ve rounded up a few segments — and cars — where you can still find three pedals.
One of the easiest places to find a manual transmission is in a compact or subcompact car. While many automatics have started to outshine manuals in acceleration and gas mileage, no one denies that stick shifts are still the least-expensive transmissions to build and maintain. So it makes sense that "price leader" models such as the Nissan Versa and Kia Rio offer a stick shift to drivers interested in shifting their own gears.
Many modern sports cars have bid the stick shift goodbye. That’s a shame, since a manual transmission is an exciting way to enjoy an exciting car. Still, drivers who want a sporty car with a manual transmission have several options. The Chevrolet Corvette, for instance, still offers three pedals. So do other purist favorites such as the Porsche Boxster, Mazda Miata and Audi TT.
Unfortunately, many top-end sports cars — such as the Nissan GT-R and various Ferrari and Lamborghini models — have moved away from the manual. But for drivers looking for an all-out, 3-pedal experience in a pricey new sports car, several models are still available with a manual. These include the BMW M3, Porsche 911 and SRT Viper.
The manual has largely disappeared from nearly all other new car segments, save for a few trucks and the occasional midsize sedan. But many used cars are still available with the stick shift. Best of all, a lot of modern used cars with manual transmissions are still new enough that they may come with a factory warranty — or at least an extended warranty from an aftermarket company. That means even shoppers used to buying new cars can buy a used stick shift and have peace of mind.
Yes, finding a manual is hard, but they’re out there if you look around enough. For those who really prefer three pedals, take the time to find one, as the enjoyment of driving a stick shift is hard to find in even the best automatics.