Which Smarts Have a Manual Transmission?

Although most manufacturers are phasing out manual transmissions, you can still find some manual Smarts in the used market.
Written by John Pickhaver
Reviewed by Jessica Barrett
Smart left the American auto scene in 2019 after poor sales and shifted its focus to the European market. With some luck in the used market, you can still squeeze your way into these ultra-compact cars. 
If you care about automobiles, odds are the manual gearbox holds a special place in your car-loving heart. With 99% of all new cars sold in the United States in 2019 being automatics, you may be feeling alone in that sentiment. 
That doesn’t mean you can’t stick it out with the stick (shift)! The
car insurance
comparison and broker app
Jerry
can help you score a manual ride while lowering your
Smart insurance costs
at the same time. 
In this article, we’ll reintroduce you to the Smart brand—whose 15 minutes of fame in the States left behind a manual option that’s sure to fit into any garage.
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Does Smart still make manuals? 

While Smart still makes manuals abroad, they no longer make manuals—or any model for that matter—here in the States. General Motors halted production of Smart in 2009 and completely shut down the brand a year later. 
Despite pulling out of the U.S. market, Smart made an impact on American culture way larger than any of its pint-sized vehicles.
If you’re in the market for a manual Smart model, the good news is you can still find a quality stick-shift Smart in the used car market

Smart Fortwo 

Edmunds List Price Estimate: $10,748 - $13,340
Sometimes big things come in small packages! That could not be more true when it comes to the
Smart Fortwo
. This tiny vehicle is the only Smart model in the U.S. equipped with a 5 speed Manual gearbox. 
You’ll be able to accelerate quickly and immediately even at low speeds. Plus, the Smart Fortwo boasts stellar fuel economy boasting up to a staggering 55mpg.
Not only that—but the Smart’s extremely narrow design and short wheelbase make it easier to park than your bike
Once you get outside of densely-populated urban areas, the Smart’s cons begin to overshadow this tiny car. Because of its size, the Smart has virtually no cargo room, let alone adequate space for a second person. 
Its petite size contributes to uncomfortable ride quality and is responsible for several blind spots that may make you reconsider whether it’s the smartest choice for you. 
But hey, if you do well in tight spaces or need to parallel park every single day, this little car could make a big difference in your life.

Benefits and drawbacks of a manual transmission

If you’re manual or bust, that’s understandable. However, if you’re still unsure about the clutch, check out the pros and cons to help you reach a sound decision. First, let’s look at the advantages of manual transmission: 
  • Pro: Manual transmissions are more affordable.
  • Pro: Between
    44%
    and
    84%
    of US drivers don’t know how to drive stick, which means your odds of auto theft will decrease.
  • Pro: A more simplistic transmission means the cost of repairs is cheaper.
  • Pro: You’ll have a blast driving them!
You may not want to read this stick-shifters, but there are some downsides associated with the manual gearbox:
  • Con: Bumper-to-bumper traffic is extra tiring with three-pedal driving.
  • Con: Fewer people know how to drive stick, which makes it harder to find someone who can teach you.
  • Con: While manual transmissions used to be known for their
    fuel economy
    , the same can’t be said for them today.
Beyond logistical snags, an immediate drawback of manual transmissions is how rare they are to find. Only
27 new cars with a manual transmission
were available in the US in 2021.
Key Takeaway While manual transmissions are fun to drive, they’re hard to find, and it’s difficult to learn how to drive them.

How to find affordable Smart insurance

Smarts are fun and tiny cars with a lot of pros and cons no matter what you have in your gearbox.  Speaking of smart, have you tried using the licensed broker and super app
Jerry
to save big on
car insurance
?
Using Jerry is easy. All you need to do is download the app, answer just a few questions, and let Jerry’s speedy team search for rates from 50+ top insurance providers. Once you’ve got your quotes, choose which works best for you, and Jerry will take care of the rest. No waiting on hold, no dealing with your old insurance company—no hassle!
That’s not even the best part—Jerry users save an average of $887 a year on car insurance! 
“I can’t thank the
Jerry
app enough! They saved me $160 a month, and I didn’t even have to talk over the phone. They took care of everything through text.” —Travis Y.
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FAQs

If you resent repair costs and want a fun ride to drive around, you might prefer a manual. Ultimately, your budget and driving habits will determine which is best for you.
With fewer repairs needed for a more simplistic transmission, your manual may just seem like it’s more reliable over time.
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