Which Mazdas Have a Manual Transmission?

While even most sports-car manufacturers are phasing out manual transmissions, Mazda still offers them on the 3 and the MX-5 Miata.
Written by Sarah Gray
Reviewed by Jessica Barrett
Mazda has joined the dwindling ranks of those car manufacturers still offering manual transmissions with the Mazda 3 and the MX-5 Miata.
Most car enthusiasts would argue there’s nothing better than grabbing the gears of a manual transmission while navigating your favorite set of twisty corners. But the joy may be coming to an end—in 2019, nearly 99% of all new cars sold in the U.S. were equipped with automatic transmissions.
Luckily, a few diehard manufacturers are still churning out manuals, and
car insurance
comparison and broker app
is here to help you find them. Read on as we take a closer look at the Mazda 3 and the MX-5 Miata. We'll even show you how to lower your
Mazda 3
MX-5 Miata car insurance costs
while we're at it! 
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Does Mazda still make a manual? 

Yes—in fact, Mazda makes two models available with manual transmissions. 
MORE: How to drive stick or manual cars

Mazda 3

Starting price: $21,815
With its handsome looks and playful personality, the Mazda 3 is a great option for drivers with gold taste on a gilt income. Buyers have a choice of three different four-cylinder engines, all of which are available with six-speed manual transmissions. 
Choosing a manual transmission, however, means drivers are restricted to front-wheel drive. And selecting the all-wheel-drive option mandates a six-speed automatic transmission.
The base model sedan is powered by a 155-horsepower 2.0-liter engine while mid-level trims sport the 186-horsepower 2.5-liter. Top-tier trims feature the new turbocharged 150-horsepower 2.5-liter. 

MX-5 Miata

Mazda will not be misunderstood—it is on the enthusiasts’ side when it comes to manual transmissions (#SavetheManuals).
To prove its commitment to manuals, Mazda has dropped the automatic transmission option from all but one of its three MX-5 Miata trims. Not a bad move since we agree with Car and Driver that
ordering a Miata with an automatic is sacrilege
Mazda outfits the Miata with a 181-horsepower 2.0-liter inline-four engine that loves nothing more than curvy backroads. 

Benefits and drawbacks of a manual transmission

It’s clear where Mazda stands in the
automatic versus manual transmission
discussion. But if you’re on the fence, here are some advantages you should know about when it comes to stick shifts:
  • Pro: They’re typically cheaper than automatics.
  • Pro: A lot of people don’t know how to drive them, which can be a theft deterrent.
  • Pro: Transmission repair costs are lower.
  • Pro: They’re FUN!
But there’s always a downside, so let’s look at some of the disadvantages of manuals:
  • Con: You have two feet. Manual transmissions have three pedals. Things can get complicated—and tiring.
  • Con: They can be difficult to learn to drive, especially with the ever-dwindling number of them on the road.
  • Con: Automatics get better gas mileage nowadays.
But the worst part about manual transmissions is that they’re getting so hard to find. As of 2021, only
27 new cars are available in the U.S. with manual transmissions
Key Takeaway Repair costs may be cheaper and they’re lots of fun, but manual transmissions can be hard to drive and even harder to find.

How to find affordable Mazda insurance

You don’t need help deciding if you’ll get a manual on your Mazda (because we know you will) but let
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If there was a definitive answer to this question, car enthusiasts would have a lot less to talk about! If you find driving stick more enjoyable and want to lower upfront and repair costs, a manual might be the better option.
Repair costs on a manual will typically be lower than with automatic transmissions, and the simpler gearbox of a manual transmission can mean increased reliability.
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