There are More Cool New Manual Cars Then You Realize, Here Are the Top 10

It’s been a while since “standard” shift cars meant a manual transmission in the US. It was once that an automatic transmission was seen as a luxurious option and three-pedal cars were the base version. These days, manual transmissions, especially in high-performance cars, are not only a rarity but a feature that can add tremendous value. As manual transmissions continue to become more scarce, we who love them must keep a close eye on the few left. Here are the 10 best manual cars you can still get in 2023. 

What is a manual transmission? 

In most cars today, the transmission will automatically shift gears for you, if they even still have gears, that is, looking at you, CVTs and EVs. 

Manual transmissions require the driver to use a third pedal, called the clutch, to disengage and re-engage the gears because the driver has to shift them manually, hence the name. Ok. Now that that’s settled, let’s see which cars still get that fun third pedal. 

2023 Honda Civic Type R

2023 Civic Type R in white
2023 Civic Type R | Honda
  • Engine: 2.0-liter inline-four
  • Transmission: 6-speed manual
  • Horsepower: 315
  • Torque: 310 lb-ft
  • Base Price: $42,895

Honda has been holding down the manual transmission like a real OG. Not only does Honda offer manuals in their normal lineup, but the Honda Civic Type R – Honda’s hottest offering – still gets the fun pedal for the 2023 model year. This is a real blessing for automotive enthusiasts. 

2023 BMW M3 / M4

2023 BMW M4 Coupe
2023 BMW M4 Coupe | BMW USA
  • Engine: Turbocharged 3.0-liter inline-six
  • Transmission: 6-speed manual
  • Horsepower: 473
  • Torque: 406 lb-ft
  • Base Price: $74,300

BMW, like Honda, has been holding down the stick shift with true dedication. BMW continues to fill the gap for performance cars that offer fine-tuned sports cars without all the filler. As Gear Patrol mentions, the hottest M cars only come with automatic transmissions, but if you go for the base models (still plenty hot), BMW still gives you the option to pick your own gears. 

2023 Volkswagen Golf R

  • Engine: Turbocharged 2.0-liter inline-four
  • Transmission: 6-speed manual
  • Horsepower: 315
  • Torque: 280 lb-ft
  • Base Price: $44,740

The 2023 Volkswagen Golf R is one of the few top-trim models that offer a manual transmission. Not only are the entire line of Golfs inherently cool, but having the hottest trim still come with a stick is a real treat. Did we mention that it also has an AWD version? Oh, yeah, baby!

2023 Porsche 718 Cayman / Boxster GTS 4.0

2023 Porsche 718 GTS 4 in red
2023 Porsche 718 GTS 4 | Porsche
  • Engine: 4.0-liter boxer six
  • Transmission: 6-speed manual
  • Horsepower: 394
  • Torque: 309 lb-ft
  • Base Price: $90,300

Porsche, of all brands, needs to have a manual. These are the original go-karty sports cars. The early 911s set the tone for so much of what makes sports cars exciting. They were simple, stripped-down, non-luxurious street eaters. Thankfully the German marque hasn’t completely lost sight of that. The 2023 Porsche 718 Cayman and Boxer GTS 4.0 still get the stick, and we are awfully grateful for that. 

2023 Cadillac CT4-V Blackwing

  • Engine: Turbocharged 3.6-liter V6
  • Transmission: 6-speed manual
  • Horsepower: 472
  • Torque: 445 lb-ft
  • Base Price: $60,485

At first glance, you might be surprised to know that the epitome of American luxury cars still makes a “standard” shift car. But if you have been paying attention to GM’s luxury arm over the past few years, you’ll know that Cadillac isn’t always the stuffy brand many know. The Blackwing line is wild as hell. Thankfully, GM has given them a transmission to match. 

2023 Nissan Z

  • Engine: Twin-turbo 3.0-liter V6
  • Transmission: 6-speed manual
  • Horsepower: 400
  • Torque: 350 lb-ft
  • Base Price: $39,990

The Nissan Z. I still feel like this car is far more exciting than the motoring world has given it credit for. While Nissan hasn’t offered anything truly fresh and exciting for some time, the Z changes that. This beautiful little ripper upholds the Japanese love of sports cars and the three-pedal setup. I can’t wait to see these sleek little monsters tearing the road up. 

2023 Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro

A 2023 Toyota Tacoma Toyota truck parked outdoors.
2023 Toyota Tacoma | Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc.
  • Engine: 3.5-liter V6
  • Transmission: 6-speed manual
  • Horsepower: 278
  • Torque: 265 lb-ft
  • Base Price: $46,685

The lack of manual pickup trucks is nearly as upsetting as the lack of manual sports cars. Although the stick shift sports cars vastly outnumber manual pickup trucks, at least here in the states. 

Thankfully the Toyota Tacoma still has a heart for motoring. The Tacoma TRD Pro, the brand’s off-road trim, still offers the enthusiast’s transmission. 

2023 Porsche 911 GT3

2023 Porsche 911 GT3 in blue
2023 Porsche 911 GT3 | Porsche
  • Engine: 4.0-liter boxer six
  • Transmission: 6-speed manual
  • Horsepower: 502
  • Torque: 346 lb-ft
  • Base Price: $169,700

The 2023 Porsche 911 GT3 is the only proper manual supercar on this list. And, yes, it is a supercar. The GT3 is about as close as you can get to driving a race car on the road. There is a touring car version that doesn’t have the cartoonish wing, but why buy a rocketship just to make it look like an airplane? 

2023 Ford Bronco

  • Engine: Turbocharged 2.3-liter inline-four
  • Transmission: 7-speed manual
  • Horsepower: 300
  • Torque: 325 lb-ft
  • Base Price: $31,300

I’m convinced the Bronco’s insane popularity – you could even call it a fever – is due to the fact that you could order it with a manual box. Granted, I’m not sure that many people ordered them this way, but the point remains that you could. 

Thanks to the manual, the 2023 Ford Bronco remains the only truly comparable option for an off-road-focused SUV to the Jeep Wrangler. 

2023 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon

Alternatives to the 2023 Jeep Grand Cherokee include this 2023 Wrangler
2023 Jeep Wrangler | Jeep
  • Engine: 3.6-liter V6
  • Transmission: 6-speed manual
  • Horsepower: 285
  • Torque: 260 lb-ft
  • Base Price: $48,190

Speak of the devil, and he shall appear. The Jeep Wrangler is one of the very few new vehicles that we can safely assume the manual transmission will remain. It is such a huge part of the Wrangler’s ethos that even though you can now spend damn near $100k on a Wrangler, the manual option is still around. We pray to the gasoline gods that this never changes.