The Best Used Manual Transmission Cars

From the hot hatch Hyundai Veloster to the sporty Porsche Boxster, these are the best cars with manual transmissions to buy used.
Written by Jason Tushinski
Reviewed by Jessica Barrett
While the market is heading full throttle towards an electric and autonomous future, we have put together a list of the best used manual transmission cars—from an 80’s-era Honda CR-X to rugged SUVs and even a Porsche—to satisfy the hearts of even the most staunch true driving enthusiasts.
  • Some of the best used stick shift cars you can buy include the Honda CR-X and the Toyota MR2.
  • If a crossover or SUV is more your speed, consider a used Isuzu Trooper and Jeep Wrangler TJ with a manual gearbox.

Honda CR-X 

Model years: 1984-1991
Price used: $2,500
Edmunds rating: 4.8/5
A popular little roadster that’s a hit with gearheads and street racers alike, not to mention those fond of whipping around quiet suburban cul-de-sacs at the crack of dawn.
What you should know:
  • Perfect for performance driving
  • Well-known for being infinitely tunable, so make sure you take a look under the hood to see what’s been tinkered with before you buy
  • Boasts a short-throw manual transmission and weighs less than 2,000 pounds, which more than makes up for its slight 150-horsepower output
  • Features a 1.6 L four-cylinder engine, with 118 lb-ft of torque, going 0-60 in 7.6 seconds
MORE: How to drive stick or manual cars

Toyota MR2 

Model years: 1984-1989
Price used: $4,500
Edmunds rating: N/A
Another throwback to the Brat Pack days, the MR2 was Toyota’s early (and successful) attempt at a sports car.
What you should know:
  • Bested both Pontiac’s Fiero and the Fiat by 0.5 and 2.5 seconds, respectively
  • The supercharged MR2 boasted 145 horsepower and 137 lb-ft of torque and offered as much power as the same era’s Ferraris
  • Featured a 1.5 L 4-cylinder and 1.6 L 4-cylinder engine
  • Went 0-60 in 6.5 seconds
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Acura Integra 

Model years: 1994-2001
Price used: $1,450 to $3,300
Edmunds rating: 4.9/5
A zippy, agile coupe from the early ’90s can still be found on the open market, in the form of the third-generation
Acura Integra
—keep an eye out for the DB-6, DB-9, DC-2, or DC-4 for the best value.
What you should know:
  • The Type R trim offers plenty of speed and power, going 0 to 60 in a hair over 6 seconds
  • Even used Integras can be pricey on the open market, so try to find a lower-end trim, such as the RS, LS, or GS
  • Sports a 1.8 L 4-cylinder engine with 195 horsepower and 130 lb-ft of torque

Isuzu Trooper 

Model years: 1981-1991
Price used: $1,700 to $3,400
Edmunds rating: 4.2/5
Isuzu Trooper
is an off-roading classic balancing 4x4 chops, great fuel economy, and superb durability.
What you should know:
  • Features auto-locking hubs, independent front wheel suspension, and a ton of cargo space (118 cubic feet to be exact)
  • Can be a bit harder to find
  • Was offered with a 2.2 L turbo diesel, a 2.6 L 4-cylinder gas engine, and a 2.8 L turbo diesel engine
  • Featured 120 horsepower and 131 lb-ft of torque
  • Went 0-60 in 13.1 seconds

Jeep Wrangler TJ 

Model years: 1997-2006
Price used: $2,100 to $9,600
Edmunds rating: 4.4/5
A simple yet capable sport ute ideal for sloshing through snow and mud and crushing any obstacle in its path, the TJ was offered in multiple trims to suit any budget.
What you should know:
  • Outfitted with a 5-speed manual transmission complemented with front and rear locking Dana 44 axles, Rock Trac 4:1 transfer case, and diamond plate rocker panels
  • Boasts either a 2.4 L 4-cylinder, 2.5 L 4-cylinder, or 4.0 L 6-cylinder engine
  • Sports 190 horsepower and 235 lb-ft of torque
  • Goes 0-60 in 8.5 seconds

Porsche Boxster 

Model years: 1996-2004
Price used: $2,200 to $12,000
Edmunds rating: 4.7/5
That’s right—you can own a manual
Porsche Boxster
for a song and be the king/queen of your local Autobahn.
What you should know:
  • Features a flat 6-cylinder engine with rear-wheel drive and 250 horsepower
  • Not the fastest Porsche, but features exceptional handling and impeccable balance
  • Look for first- or early second-generation Boxsters to get the best bang for your Deutschmark
  • Get your mechanic to take a look at it before you buy—these early Boxsters were known to suffer rear main seal leaks, and IMS bearing issues
  • Offered with a 2.5 L 6-cylinder or 2.7 L 6-cylinder engine
  • Goes 0-60 in 6.1 seconds

Ford Mustang 

Model years: 2005-2014
Price used: $2,050 to $34,000
Edmunds rating: 4.5/5
Flex those stick-shift muscles in a muscle car: the S-197
Ford Mustang
and its throwback-yet-futuristic style, enhanced cornering chops, and a plethora of trim options.
What you should know:
  • The 4.8 L DOHC V8 or the 5.0 L V8 Coyote engine offer the most thrills and power—both are equipped with a standard six-speed manual
  • This Mustang was originally released with a 4.0 L V6 engine as well
  • Sports 420 horsepower and 390 lb-ft of torque
  • Goes 0-60 in a mind-crushing 3.5 seconds

Mini Cooper early 

Model years: 2000s
Price used: $1,100 to $2,500
Edmunds rating: 4.8/5
Get your British on with a fun and funky manual transmission
Mini Cooper
What you should know:
  • The base models typically yield a relatively low amount of horsepower, but the spunky handling and sub-compact size make it a ball to drive
  • The Cooper S model comes with 200 horsepower and a turbocharged engine
  • You can find both 2-door hatchbacks and convertibles on the used market

Hyundai Veloster 

Model years: 2011-2017 
Price used: $14,000 to $22,000
Edmunds rating: 4.5/5
Hyundai Veloster
is a fun-to-drive hot hatch, but try to look for the Turbo—the base model merely makes commutes ‘fun’.
What you should know:
  • Veloster Turbo boasts extra power for a super-spritely ride, featuring 201 hp and 195 lb-ft of torque
  • Another one to get a mechanic to look at before you buy, as early Velosters were plagued by issues relating to its direct injection, turbocharged setup, combined with its small displacement

B8 Audi S4 

Model years: 2009-2013
Price used: $6,300 to $30,000
Edmunds rating: 4.7/5
Stick-shift away in style with the
Audi S4’s
supercharged V6 engine, and get it relatively cheaply, too!
What you should know:
  • You get gorgeous design and a decent amount of tech considering its relatively young age
  • You’ll find a quick yet graceful ride
  • The S4 hasn’t suffered as many issues as some other older Audis, but get your mechanic to give it a once-over before you buy
  • Features a 3.0 L V6 engine with a robust 333 horsepower and 6-speed manual transmission
  • Goes 0-60 in a slight 5.1 seconds
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