2015 Honda CR Z Manual Shifter
There might be hope yet for the manual transmission. Many enthusiasts who drive performance-minded cars insist on using a clutch pedal, but we think there are also some casual drivers out there who still enjoy shifting for themselves. Though the number of new, manual-gearbox cars on the market seems to decrease more and more each year, there are still some forgotten gems that haven’t yet fallen victim to the trend. Check out these seven cars in which you can row your own gears.
2014 Volkswagen CC Drivers Side
Base Price with Manual: $33,860 Powertrain: 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder, 200 hp, 207 lb-ft
Base Price with Manual: $33,860
Powertrain: 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder, 200 hp, 207 lb-ftYou might have forgotten about the Volkswagen CC altogether, let alone the fact that it offers a manual transmission. VW’s more stylish Passat alternative is getting a bit long in the tooth, but still looks sharp and can be had with a six-speed manual to go with the familiar VW 2.0T four-cylinder that’s standard in this model. Put it all together and you’ve got a similar recipe as the GTI hot hatch, albeit in a larger, classier package.
Buick Regal GS
2015 Buick Regal GS Front Left View
Base Price with Manual: $38,310 Powertrain: 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder, 259 hp, 295 lb-ft
Base Price with Manual: $38,310
Powertrain: 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder, 259 hp, 295 lb-ftThe Regal has been pushing against Buick’s stodgy and geriatric reputation for a few years now, and the performance-oriented Regal GS bucks the trend more than any other car in the lineup. This midsize sedan is based on the European-market Opel Insignia and offers a six-speed manual gearbox to go with its 2.0-liter turbocharged engine. Unfortunately, the stick shift can’t be combined with the optional all-wheel-drive system.
2014 Mercedes Benz SLK 250 Front Above View
Base Price with Manual: $44,875 Powertrain: 1.8-liter turbocharged four-cylinder, 201 hp, 229 lb-ft
Base Price with Manual: $44,875
Powertrain: 1.8-liter turbocharged four-cylinder, 201 hp, 229 lb-ftMercedes-Benz’s brand ethos has nudged the manual gearbox aside over the years, but hope is not yet lost for three-pointed-star enthusiasts who prefer shifting for themselves. The lone remaining manual in the Mercedes-Benz lineup is found in the SLK roadster, where it pairs with a 1.8-liter four-cylinder in the base SLK250. But this option might not be available for long—the next SLK will likely be automatic-only.
2015 Nissan Xterra Front Angle
Base Price with Manual: $27,555 Powertrain: 4.0-liter V-6, 261 hp, 281 lb-ft
Base Price with Manual: $27,555
Powertrain: 4.0-liter V-6, 261 hp, 281 lb-ftThe Jeep Wrangler isn’t the be-all and end-all of cheap off-road performance. Nissan’s rugged Xterra is still around for 2015, though rumors of its demise are running rampant. In its four-wheel-drive S and Pro4X trims, the Xterra can be had with a six-speed manual transmission for ultimate control when climbing across rocks or traversing sand dunes.
2015 Infiniti Q60S Convertible Front Three Quarter
Base Price with Manual: $46,955 Powertrain: 3.7-liter V-6, 330 hp, 270 lb-ft (343 hp, 273 lb-ft, Q60 IPL)
Base Price with Manual: $46,955
Powertrain: 3.7-liter V-6, 330 hp, 270 lb-ft (343 hp, 273 lb-ft, Q60 IPL)We’re eagerly awaiting the next-generation Q60 that was previewed by an exciting-looking concept earlier this year, but the old car (formerly the G37) is still around for now. That’s not a bad thing, as this luxury coupe still offers sporty driving dynamics and an no-cost six-speed manual transmission to pair with its powerful 3.7-liter V-6. You can also get the stick shift on the retractable-hardtop Q60 convertible, which Infiniti even still sells in performance-oriented IPL trim.
2015 Honda CR Z Front Three Quarter View 2
Base Price with Manual: $20,965 Powertrain: 1.5-liter four-cylinder and electric motor, 130 hp, 140 lb-ft
Base Price with Manual: $20,965
Powertrain: 1.5-liter four-cylinder and electric motor, 130 hp, 140 lb-ftHonda‘s mild-hybrid IMA system is on its way out, but the Honda CR-Z isn’t six feet under yet. This small hatch was meant to evoke fond memories of the CRX, but ended up being a bit too slow and not sporty enough to catch on. Still, it’s the only hybrid on the market with a real manual transmission, even if its EPA-combined 34-mpg fuel economy isn’t so competitive anymore. If this compact two-seater strikes your fancy, get your hands on one stat, as we expect it to disappear from the Honda lineup in the near future.
2014 Subaru Forester Front Three Quarter 04
Base Price with Manual: $23,045 Powertrain: 2.5-liter four-cylinder, 170 hp, 174 lb-ft
Base Price with Manual: $23,045
Powertrain: 2.5-liter four-cylinder, 170 hp, 174 lb-ftThe Subaru Forester may have grown into a bloated, more generic version of the funky little SUV that made this nameplate popular in the first place, but it still stays true to its roots by offering a six-speed manual in the base 2.5i and 2.5i Premium trim levels. It can’t be paired with the more powerful 2.0-liter turbo four-cylinder, sadly, but the Forester remains one of the few mainstream crossovers that combines a manual transmission with all-wheel drive (the slightly smaller and cheaper Subaru XV Crosstrek is another).