With so many cars not even available with a manual transmission anymore, including performance cars, it should come as no surprise that stick shifts accounted for less than two percent of sales in the U.S. last year. What about the vehicles that actually do offer a manual, though? How do those figures break down?
Recently, our friends over at Motor1 decided to email every automaker with a manual in its lineup to see. Unfortunately, some major brands decided they’d rather not share that information, so if you were hoping to see how well the manual Ford Mustang is doing, you’re going to be disappointed. Still, let’s take a look at the brands that did respond.
The only manual that Acura sells is the Integra, with 22 percent of all buyers electing to shift their own gears. That figure is probably slightly juiced by the fact that the Integra Type S is only offered with a six-speed manual, but clearly plenty of regular Integra buyers get the stick, as well.
If you want a manual BMW, your choices are the M2, M3 and M4. On the M2 it’s an incredibly popular option, relatively speaking, with about half of all buyers choosing the stick. With the M3 and M4, that figure drops to a still-impressive 20 percent.
Considering the brand’s history, it’s a little surprising that one of the last manual sport sedans being sold here in the U.S. is a Cadillac. If you spring for the Blackwing versions of the V-Series models, you can get both the CT4 and CT5 with a stick. Apparently about half of all Blackwing buyers do exactly that.
Honda is one of the few brands left that makes a manual transmission for a non-performance car. With the help of the manual-only Si and Type R, the Civic convinced about 7 percent of buyers to shift their own gears.
The Elantra N is so much better than it has any right to be and also happens to be the only manual Hyundai you can get in the U.S. now that the Veloster is dead. About 25 percent of all buyers go for it, according to Hyundai.
Believe it or not, Kia makes a decent (and less expensive) alternative to the Civic Si, and you can even get it with a manual transmission. The vast majority of Forte buyers aren’t going with the manual Forte GT, but we salute the 2 percent who do.
We’re not sure why, but Mazda decided not to share the percentage of manual Mazda 3s it sold last year, but it was willing to say that the Miata’s manual take rate was about 60 percent. That’s one of the highest manual take rates in the country, but believe it or not, it’s not the highest.
When it comes to manual Minis, the take rate depends pretty significantly on what model you’re talking about. The two-door John Cooper Works Hardtop has the highest percentage, coming in at 51 percent. Meanwhile the two-door Cooper S is 22 percent, and the rest of the lineup only comes out to 11 percent.
As Motor1 points out, Porsche deserves a lot of credit for its role in saving the manuals after introducing the manual-only 911 R and then adding it back as an option on the GT3 when 911 R values shot through the roof. While the figures Porsche had on hand were slightly out of date, they said about 40 percent of all 911s and 718s are sold with a stick shift.
Almost no one buys the Impreza or Crosstrek with a manual transmission. We’re talking a mere 1.6 percent. As for the other Subarus that come with manuals, almost all of them are sold that way. 74 percent of all WRX buyers get the manual, and 79 percent of all BRZs sold have a stick. That’s seriously impressive.
Considering that only 1.4 percent of buyers tick the box, we’re a little surprised Toyota still sells the Tacoma with a manual transmission. The Supra and GR86 thankfully do far better, with their manual take rate being 43 and 48 percent, respectively. And, of course, the manual take rate on the GR Corolla is 100 percent.
For non-performance cars, the take rate on manual Jetta S and Sport models is surprisingly high at about 5 percent, although the fact that 5 percent is considered impressive is depressing. The GLI and Golf R’s numbers are significantly higher, with both coming in around 40 percent. Still, it’s the humble GTI that takes the VW manual crown with 50 percent of the ones sold in 2023 being manual.
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