With most of every automaker standardizing the use of an automatic gearbox in their vehicles, why even bother hunting for a manual hatchback? Well, for the driving enthusiast on a budget, there is no better means of affordable driving enjoyment. Thanks to their peppy but small engines, nimble, compact dimensions, and, in this case, an engaging stick shift, they’re simply some of the most enjoyable, practical, and easy-to-live-with low-cost cars around. The range is also an expansive one, with options spanning from hot-hatches such as the Honda Civic Type R to more casual, livable commuters such as the Toyota Corolla hatch.
Specifications of Manual Transmission Hatchbacks
Powertrain: Most automobiles in the segment come equipped with a low-displacement naturally-aspirated engine, although a turbocharged mill is available in some cases. A six-speed manual gearbox is the more common constituent, with a five-speed manual featured occasionally and a CVT widely available. A front-wheel-drivetrain is pretty much standard across the board.
Performance: Speed isn’t the primary focus for most of these automobiles, with handling taking priority in those that are purposed for performance. Most are otherwise designed for casual and easy drivability for routine, daily use. That means decent fuel economy and a drive focused more on composure than capability. With that being said, however, most inherently feel enjoyably peppy and nimble because of their construction.
Features: Lineups within this segment are relatively diverse comprising everything from low-cost, rudimentary options to pricier, fully-outfitted packages. Features like standard air conditioning, limited seat adjustment, and cloth seating upholstery are common. Infotainment systems are pretty comprehensive in most contemporary motors, so buyers can expect plenty of device connectivity and functionality even at base level.
What to Consider Before Buying
Offers a fun and engaging driving experience
Gives the driver more control over power outputs
Tends to be more affordable than automatic cars
It takes time to learn to drive a stick shift
May take practice to navigate inclines from a halt
Fewer and fewer vehicles ship with manual gearboxes
MPG ratings could be better
What’s the best manual-equipped hatchback for sale in the USA?
The 2020 Honda Fit is the top-ranking hatchback equipped with a manual gearbox according to CarBuzz’s Buzz Score rating system.
What’s the price of the most affordable manual transmission hatchback?
The Chevrolet Spark, with its starting MSRP of only $13,400, is the cheapest car available from the class.
What’s the best looking hatch on offer?
The Mazda 3 Hatchback, according to CarBuzz’s reviews, carries the sexiest, sleekest, and most stylish aesthetic out there.