The manual transmission is dying, but a few cars still offer them.
The manual transmission is on the verge of dying out. Today, only 3 percent of new cars in the US are even sold with one. There are a few enthusiast models like the Ford Focus RS and Subaru WRX STI that are only available with a manual, but most cars don't even offer it as an option anymore. There have always been a few oddball cars that most people never knew came with a manual, and that trend continues today. We have compiled our list of the five new cars that almost no one knows are still available with a third pedal.
Audi broke our hearts when it announced that the newest S4 would no longer be offered with a manual transmission, deciding instead to replace the car's dual-clutch with a conventional automatic. Luckily, the standard A4 still comes with a seven-speed dual-clutch and an optional six-speed manual transmission. The A4's 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder produces 252 hp and 272 lb-ft of torque going out to Quattro AWD. The A4 with a manual transmission is an incredibly fun car, and we wish that more sport sedans still offered a third pedal. We are talking to you Alfa Romeo.
One of the problems with modern manual transmissions is that some automakers only offer them on the base engine or the top of the line engine. The Jeep Renegade is an example of the former. We thought that the Jeep Renegade was a pretty competent off-roader, but that was with the optional 180 hp 2.4-liter engine, nine-speed automatic and AWD. You can get the Renegade with a six-speed manual, but only with the smaller, 160-hp 1.4-liter turbocharged engine with front-wheel-drive. Sadly, this kind of ruins any off-roading ability that the Renegade possesses and makes it incredibly slow.
Honda has long been a company that has offered otherwise pedestrian cars with fun manual transmissions. Even if your wife or parents wouldn't let you have a sports car, you could always get a nice Honda with a slick manual transmission. Honda continues to offer a six-speed manual on its small HR-V crossover. This definitely makes the HR-V more interesting, but is still powered by a lackluster 1.8-liter four-cylinder that produces only 141 hp. We'd love to see Honda drop in the 1.5-liter turbocharged engine from the Civic, keep the manual and create a sporty HR-V Si.
We have always loved the Subaru Crosstrek. For the 2018 model year, Subaru decided to pull back a bit on the Crosstrek's wacky styling in favor of a more conventional design. Luckily, Subaru now offers the Crosstrek with a six-speed manual transmission, which replaces the older five-speed unit. Unfortunately, the car is only available with one engine, a 2.0-liter flat-four with 152 hp. Like the HR-V, the Crosstrek could really benefit form a turbocharged engine with more power.
The last spot on our list is actually taken up by an entire car company. Mini is actually the last automaker in the world that offers a manual transmission on every model in its lineup. That's right, Mini is the only automaker that lets you pick any engine, any drivetrain, and trim and still get a manual transmission. We absolutely love Mini for this, but we wish that its parent company BMW still offered more manuals on its models.