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If you know how to drive a car with a manual transmission, then you know how fun it can be with the right car. However, the ability to shift the gears yourself will soon be coming to an end as only 15% of new cars today are offered with a stick. Fortunately, you can still find plenty of cars on the used market that will provide you with the driving excitement that you want every day without breaking the bank. Here are five of the best cars with a manual transmission that you can buy for less than $10,000.

1. Acura TSX

2009 Acura TSX in silver
2009 Acura TSX | Acura

The Acura TSX was the brand’s entry-level sedan that featured a high-revving engine and a slick-shifting manual transmission. An automatic version was also available, but to really take advantage of what the car had to offer, the manual transmission was the best way to go. According to Autolist, the TSX was produced from 2003 to 2014, so it should be easy to find a clean example for under $10,000 in your local area. However, just keep in mind that it could have a good amount of miles on the odometer, but that’s ok, it’s a Honda.

2. Honda Accord

2008 Honda Accord in red
2008 Honda Accord | Honda

The Honda Accord has been in the automotive market for over 40 years and it’s easy to see why. In addition to stout reliability, the Accord has provided consumers with a practical and fun-to-drive nature that has only evolved over time. Part of that evolution included many iterations that featured a five or six-speed manual transmission, which you can now find for less than $10,000.

We recommend the 2008 to 2012 vintage with the V6 and manual transmission. It’s like driving a front-drive muscle car, but with all of the reliability, you could want.

3. Mazda Miata

A white 2014 Mazda MX5 Roadster Coupe
2014 Mazda MX-5 Miata | National Motor Museum/Heritage Images/Getty Images

This list definitely wouldn’t be complete without the inclusion of the Mazda Miata. After all, the answer is supposedly always “Miata.” And we can’t blame anyone for buying one. The Miata has been in the market since 1990 and has provided buyers with a thrilling ride for the past 30 years. We can thank the car’s nimble handling characteristics and rev-happy engine for that.

4. Scion FR-S

2013 Scion FR-S in orange
2013 Scion FR-S | Scion

The Scion brand might have died a while ago, but it lives on the used-car classifieds. Search for an FR-S and you’ll be happy that you can find one for less than $10,000. What’s even better is that you’ll get the same balanced ride, rev-happy engine, and engaging six-speed manual transmission as the newer Subaru BR-Z and Toyota 86. Now that’s a bargain!

5. Ford Mustang

2013 Ford Mustang in green
2013 Ford Mustang | Ford

If you would rather have an American-made car, then it’s hard to beat a muscle car like the Ford Mustang. For less than $10,000, you can find Mustang in the 2005 to 2014 range, which isn’t a bad deal considering they all came standard with a V6 engine. If you would rather feel the roar of the V8 engine, then you might have to look at older ones to stay under $10,000.

The thrill of the stick still exists

Just because manual transmission cars are being phased out, it doesn’t mean that you can’t enjoy one. There are plenty of bargains to take advantage of on the used market and as we can see, there are many good cars with manual transmission to choose from. Act now, before they all go away!


Is a Manual Transmission More Reliable?