There is something about driving a manual transmission sports car that somehow makes the experience that much better. While many people have slowly moved away from driving a stick shift, and some manufacturers have turned their classically manual sports cars into automatic-only models, like the new mid-engine Corvette C8, there are still some modern-day sports cars in production that offer a manual transmission option.
Mazda MX-5 Miata
The Mazda MX-5 Miata is well-loved among its many generations, and the 2020 model year is no exception. These small, lightweight cars offer a driving and handling experience that you don’t get from larger sportscars, and that works to their advantage.
The Mazda MX-5 Miata received good predictability ratings from Consumer Reports and is relatively affordable brand new, with a starting MSRP of $26,580.
The Subaru BRZ and its sister car the Scion FRS share a lot of things in common year after year, but somehow consumers manage to pick between the two. For the 2020 model year, both versions of this car are offered with a manual transmission, giving them a sporty driving experience to match their aggressively styled exterior.
Porsche 718 Boxster
The Porsche 718 Boxster is one of the higher-end sports cars on this list, and after all, it is a brand new Porsche. It’s good to know that unlike some other manufacturers, Porsche is holding strong to the stick shift and continues to produce its most popular cars with the option for a manual transmission.
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Porsche 718 Cayman
More expensive yet is the 2020 Porsche 718 Cayman, but for the price, many consumers are happy that they are given the option to pick a manual transmission. As another popular car by Porsche it is clear that the manual transmission isn’t just the least expensive option – like you see in the Ford Focus where it is used to cut costs – but instead an added luxury.
BMW 4 Series
The BMW 4 Series is a mixture of luxury and performance, but it doesn’t sacrifice the manual transmission experience. It doesn’t have as high of a reliability score as some of the other cars on this list according to Consumer Reports, but that is mostly due to one small recall with the lower airbags.
The BMW 4 Series is a great daily driver, and adding the option for a manual transmission turns your every day driving into a true ‘car enthusiast’ experience.
One of the most underrated driving experiences is provided by a manual transmission. The art of driving a stick shift seems to be lost to many as automatic transmissions become more and more popular, but not for these new sports cars.