Five Manual Transmission New Cars You Can Buy for Under $30,000 in 2022

Many car enthusiasts prefer to drive a car with a manual transmission. Though vehicles with a stick shift are becoming less common, there are still some modern vehicles to keep an eye on when shopping. Here are five affordable car options that still come with a manual transmission option in 2022!

2022 Nissan Versa – $16,205

Passenger side of red 2022 Nissan Versa parked on mountain road
2022 Nissan Versa | Nissan

Truecar ranks the 2022 Versa as the tenth best car available with a manual transmission overall. Additionally, it’s the cheapest one on the list!

It’s certainly not the fastest thing out there, but it’s an excellent value for money. It uses a 122 horsepower 1.6-liter inline four-cylinder engine and is good for up to 35 miles per gallon on the highway. So, it’s an excellent choice for someone looking for an affordable new car with a manual transmission.

2022 Ford Mustang Fastback – $28,400

Passenger's side front angle view of white 2022 Ford Mustang, highlighting release date and price of 2023 Ford Mustang
2022 Ford Mustang | Ford

Obviously, the budget limit of $30,000 rules out a V8 Mustang. However, shoppers can still get a taste of the pony car life within this budget.

The base model Ecoboost Mustang Fastback starts at just $28,400. With that, you get a 310 horsepower 2.3-liter four-cylinder. Additionally, it makes a plentiful 350 pound-feet of torque. Best of all, it’s rear-wheel drive and puts the power down with a six-speed manual transmission. It gets decent fuel economy for a sports car, too. An Ecoboost Mustang sees up to 29 mpg highway!

2022 Toyota GR86 – $28,725

Red 2022 Toyota GR86 sports car driving along a track, toward the camera
2022 Toyota GR86 | Toyota

It would be genuinely pitiful for the GR86 not to make this list. After all, the GR86 ranks high on lists of performance coupes that aren’t considering the price at all. It’s a wonderfully balanced and capable chassis that absolutely dominates in corners. Furthermore, it has just enough power to get a little wild with.

Under the hood is has a 2.4-liter boxer four-cylinder engine that makes 228 horsepower. Applying that power to the rear wheels is a six-speed manual transmission. With the praise of Formula Drift drivers even in stock format, it’s hard not to recommend the GR86.

2022 Toyota Corolla Hatchback – $21,940

Blue 2022 Toyota Corolla Hatchback XSE Driving down the road shot from front
2022 Toyota Corolla Hatchback | Toyota

The Corolla Hatchback has iconic looks that satisfy even the most nitpicky hatchback enthusiasts. Furthermore, it gets great fuel economy, has great interior quality, and a fantastic infotainment system.

Under the hood is a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that makes 169 horsepower. It uses a six-speed manual transmission. Additionally, it’s an “intelligent manual transmission” that automatically rev-matches for downshifting. All of this, combined with its fun driving characteristics, make the Corolla Hatchback an extraordinary driving experience.

2022 Honda Civic Si – $28,315

An orange 2022 Honda Civic Si drives down a country road
2022 Honda Civic Si | Honda

Last but certainly not least is the 2022 Honda Civic Si. The Si maintains the long lineage of sporty Civic models built for spirited driving on windy roads and racetracks. Though it pushes pretty close to the $30,000 budget, it packs quite a punch for the price.

The 2022 Civic Si uses a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine that’s part of Honda’s legendary K-series family. It has a plentiful power output of 200 horsepower and 192 pound-feet of torque. Furthermore, it uses both a turbocharger and Honda’s legendary VTEC variable valve timing system.

Save the manuals!

If you enjoy driving a car with a manual transmission, the best way to keep them alive is to show manufacturers that they’re desirable. So, if you’re shopping for a new car, spring for the manual option! Even if you don’t get the most sporty thing out there, having a manual transmission adds an extra layer of engagement and can make driving anything more fun!

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