Which Mercurys Have a Manual Transmission?

Although Mercury hasn’t produced manual cars since 2011, the Cougar and Milan remain popular models to buy used.
Written by Sara Brody
Reviewed by Jessica Barrett
While Mercury hasn’t produced new cars with manual transmissions since 2011, two of its models remain popular used cars. Whether you’re pulled to the classic 1960s Mercury Cougar convertible or the more practical and modern Mercury Milan, it’s still possible—yet challenging—to find a Mercury stick shift on the market.
While many car enthusiasts love the fun and challenge of driving with a manual gearbox, the stick shift seems at risk of going extinct these days. In 2019, nearly 99% of all new cars sold in the United States were automatics.
But if you live for the clutch and will settle for nothing less,
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can help you find the stick shift of your dreams and save money on insurance at the same time. Read on to learn more about the Mercury Cougar and Milan and how to reduce your
Mercury car insurance costs
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Does Mercury still make a manual? 

No—Mercury ceased production in January 2011, and since then, it’s become increasingly difficult to find used Mercury models with manual transmissions. However, stick shift enthusiasts might find it worthwhile to track down the Cougar or Milan to buy secondhand.
MORE: How to drive stick or manual cars


Starting price: $44,500
Upon its release in 1966 by Lincoln-Mercury, the
Mercury Cougar
convertible far exceeded sales expectations. Now, stick shift enthusiasts still hunt down the rare, first-generation 428 CJ Ram Air Super Drag Pak for its classic design, reliable mechanics, and, of course, its manual transmission.
Even as a rear-wheel drive vintage convertible from the 1960s, the Mercury Cougar can still keep up with the sports cars of today. It features a naturally aspirated V8 engine that reaches 335 horsepower with a four-speed manual gearbox.
One reason why car lovers are drawn to stick shifts is that they are simply fun to drive. So why not double the fun by changing those gears in a classy vintage convertible to boot?


Starting price: $28,000
While it lacks the glamour of the classic Cougar, the
Mercury Milan
might be a good fit for prospective buyers seeking a more affordable and less flashy stick shift. Models built before 2010 feature a 2.3-liter Duratec 23 l4 engine and five-speed manual transmission, while models built in 2010 and 2011 have a 2.5-liter Duratec 25 l4 engine and six-speed manual transmission.
With strong safety ratings from the New Car Assessment Program, the Mercury Milan is a comfortable, reliable car that might suit families well.

Benefits and drawbacks of a manual transmission

Car enthusiasts love to discuss the pros and cons of a manual versus automatic transmission. If you don’t yet know where you stand in the debate, consider these advantages of a manual transmission.
  • Pro: Manual transmissions are usually cheaper. 
  • Pro: A manual transmission can deter theft since between
    of U.S. drivers don’t know how to drive stick. 
  • Pro: When it comes to transmission issues, you’ll have lower repair costs for a manual than for an automatic. 
  • Pro: They’re fun to drive! 
Of course, there are disadvantages too. A manual gearbox can also lead to the following issues: 
  • Con: Three-pedal driving can get exhausting in stop-and-go traffic. 
  • Con: It’s harder to learn to drive a manual—and with fewer and fewer on the market, best of luck finding a teacher. 
  • Con: In the past, manual transmissions got better fuel economy, but
    that’s just not true
    these days. 
Lastly, manual transmissions are simply hard to find. In 2021, only
27 new cars with a manual transmission
were available in the U.S. 
Key Takeaway While manual transmissions have the perks of lower repair costs and greater fun on the road, they’re also harder to drive and find.
MORE: Should I buy a sports car? 

How to find affordable Mercury insurance

Whether you’re a stick shift loyalist or prefer the ease of an automatic transmission,
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While many car enthusiasts will gladly weigh in with heated perspectives on both sides of the debate, in the end, it’s a matter of personal preference. If you enjoy driving a stick and want lower upfront and repair costs, a manual might suit you well.
Manual transmissions may be more reliable in that they have simpler mechanics and can be less likely to break. However, if reliability is a top priority, you might cross the Mercury Cougar off your list, since a car from the 1960s is almost invariably less reliable than a newer car even if it’s well-maintained.
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