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20 Best Cars That Still Offer Manual Transmission

Popular Mechanics Logo By Ben Stewart of Popular Mechanics | Slide 2 of 21: Base Price: $26,185Since the summer of 1989, the reasonably priced Mazda MX-5 Miata has been thrilling sports car fans with its featherweight rear-drive chassis (just over 2,000 pounds) and drop top fun-in-the-sun persona. The Miata’s organically responsive handling mixed with a large dollop of 1960s British roadster drew buyers by the tens-of thousands to Mazda stores. But it’s no stretch to say; it was Mazda’s brilliant five-speed manual transmission that seriously added to the thrill ride. The stubby little shifter was so effortless, it moved with just a modest flick of the wrist. The second-generation Miata of 1999 got one more gear in 10th anniversary models - a six speed - that remained optional (the five-speed was standard) well into the third generation was equally great to use. The Miata was all-new for 2016, and a couple years later the Mazda not only retains the easy-shifting and precise 6-speed manual transmission in the Roadster model but also the even better-driving retractable fastback (RF) model. So now we have two manual Miatas. And regardless of whether your Miata has a hard roof or a soft one, it’s one of the best manual transmissions available on any car at any price.

1) 2018 Mazda Miata

Base Price: $26,185

Since the summer of 1989, the reasonably priced Mazda MX-5 Miata has been thrilling sports car fans with its featherweight rear-drive chassis (just over 2,000 pounds) and drop top fun-in-the-sun persona.

The Miata’s organically responsive handling mixed with a large dollop of 1960s British roadster drew buyers by the tens-of thousands to Mazda stores. But it’s no stretch to say; it was Mazda’s brilliant five-speed manual transmission that seriously added to the thrill ride. The stubby little shifter was so effortless, it moved with just a modest flick of the wrist. The second-generation Miata of 1999 got one more gear in 10th anniversary models - a six speed - that remained optional (the five-speed was standard) well into the third generation was equally great to use.

The Miata was all-new for 2016, and a couple years later the Mazda not only retains the easy-shifting and precise 6-speed manual transmission in the Roadster model but also the even better-driving retractable fastback (RF) model. So now we have two manual Miatas. And regardless of whether your Miata has a hard roof or a soft one, it’s one of the best manual transmissions available on any car at any price.

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