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10 Best Manual Transmission Cars for 2021: Ranked


PUBLISHED WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 20, 2021

Ultimate control for an engaging drive.

Best Manual Transmission Cars | CarMax

A manual transmission is designed to provide the ultimate control over how your car drives. Whether you have a practical reason such as handling tricky weather conditions or you just like an engaging drive, stick shift cars could be for you. You'll find some fantastic off-road vehicles and sports cars that offer a manual transmission option, as well as a few practical daily drivers, too.

If you're shopping for a manual transmission vehicle, you're in the right place. Use this list of the 10 best manual transmission cars for 2021 shoppers (based on CarMax sales data from May 1, 2020, through October 31, 2020) to jump start your search.

  1. Ford Mustang

    Best Manual Transmission Cars: Ford Mustang | CarMax
  2. Honda Civic

    Best Manual Transmission Cars: Honda Civic | CarMax
  3. Subaru WRX

    Best Manual Transmission Cars: Subaru WRX | CarMax
  4. Ford Focus

    Best Manual Transmission Cars: Ford Focus | CarMax
  5. Chevrolet Camaro

    Best Manual Transmission Cars: Chevrolet Camaro | CarMax
  6. Jeep Wrangler

    Best Manual Transmission Cars:Jeep Wrangler | CarMax
  7. Volkswagen Jetta

    Best Manual Transmission Cars: Volkswagen Jetta | CarMax
  8. Fiat 500

    Best Manual Transmission Cars: Fiat 500 | CarMax
  9. Nissan Versa

    Best Manual Transmission Cars for 2021: Nissan Versa | CarMax
  10. Ford Fiesta

    Best Manual Transmission Cars: Ford Fiesta | CarMax

If it's off-road prowess you're looking for, the Jeep Wrangler is a great choice, so it's not surprising to find it on a list of best manual cars. 2018 models include a standard 3.6L V6 engine with 285 horsepower, paired with a six-speed manual transmission. Look for four-wheel drive models if you intend to take your Wrangler off-road. Another excellent AWD machine on this list is the Subaru WRX. The WRX's rally pedigree means AWD is standard across all model years and trims, so you can have fun on your drive.

If you're after something compact yet practical, consider the Ford Fiesta or Fiat 500. If you need a good amount of space but still want a hatchback, take a look at the Ford Focus. Manual cars make for an engaging commute, which can be especially fun if you get the chance to take on country roads or mountain lanes. The Volkswagen Jetta and Nissan Versa are two great options if you want dynamic handling alongside commuter car comfort.

One of the best reasons to go for a manual transmission is the control it can give over the responsiveness of the car. This is especially important if you're driving something sporty. The Ford Mustang and Chevrolet Camaro are two muscle cars with available manual transmissions (2017 onward) and they're a whole lot of fun, no matter where you intend to drive.

Looking to explore more options? Check out these related articles:

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