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Can You Still Get a Luxury Car With a Manual Transmission?


Years ago, it was easy to find a wide range of luxury cars with manual transmissions, as they were offered by virtually every manufacturer — from BMW and Audi to Lexus and Mercedes-Benz. But that’s no longer the case. Your options are running low if a luxury car with a stick shift interests you. You don’t have to be an automotive junky to figure this out. In fact, you might be wondering if there are any at all. We did a little research, and here’s what we discovered.

No More Manuals

A few high-end car brands are out of the manual transmission game entirely. Such brands include Jaguar, Land Rover, Lexus, Lincoln, and Volvo. If you want three pedals in your next luxury car, you’ll want to forego visiting one of those brands’ dealerships.

Stick Shift: Who’s Left?

A few luxury automakers are down to just one stick-shift model in their entire product lineup. For instance, in the world of Acura, you can only get a stick shift in upgraded versions of the new Integra. To get a Cadillac with a manual transmission, you have to opt for one of two models — the CT4-V Blackwing or the CT5-V Blackwing. Remember that the Blackwing trim level is the highest in the hierarchy. You will have to fork over a hefty amount to row your own boat. The Jeep Wrangler has reached luxury-car price levels, so it seems necessary to mention that the off-roader can be bought with a stick.

Manual Transmission Money

For drivers who like to toss the stick, a few luxury brands still offer a wider array of options. Most brands solely offer a manual in high-performance versions.

Despite Porsche’s lightning-quick dual-clutch PDK automatic, for instance, the famed German sports car manufacturer still offers three pedals in each of its sports cars: the Boxster, the Cayman, and the 911. Manual transmissions are also still available in the BMW lineup, as the sporty luxury brand offers the feature in the high-performance M3 and M4. Note that the Competition models are the only versions that come with the manual. It’s the same story at their counterpart MINI, where you can get a stick shift with nearly all the automaker’s premium hatchbacks. MINI has also taken a page from BMW’s book regarding their high-quality interior fit and finish. Note that MINI’s low starting prices will heavily increase when adding options.

Our Take

These days, “luxury car” seems synonymous with “automatic transmission.” Given the level of refinement (and quick-shifting capabilities) of today’s automatic gearboxes, it’s easy to see why.

Still, if you’re one of the few drivers out there looking for three pedals in your next luxury car, don’t fret. There are still a few available options to choose from. However, luxury cars with automatic transmissions are in higher demand than stick-shift models, so slightly lower resale values abound with manual vehicles.

Read Related Manual Transmission Articles:

Editor’s Note: This article has been updated for accuracy since it was originally published.

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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