If you enjoy the connection you have with your vehicle when driving a manual, you’re probably concerned about the current state of the automotive industry (at least when it comes to your future transmission options). Manual SUVs and crossovers are even rarer than manual cars. If you’re looking for a vehicle equipped with both a liftgate and a manual transmission, you have six options to choose from. If one of them speaks to you, make sure you move fast. We can't guarantee they'll have the manual option for much longer.
1. 2020 Kia Soul
The 2020 Kia Soul gets a redesign for 2020 but maintains a manual option in the base LX trim for the stick shift loyalists. Thanks to this latest redesign, the crossover/wagon/hatchback combo is more mature and sporty than ever. The Kia Soul offers more roominess inside than the exterior lets on, and that boxy exterior remains unmistakably unique. In addition to the styling updates, the Soul gets a smoother and more refined ride in the redesign. The standard engine in every 2020 Soul is a 2.0-liter 4-cylinder for 147 horsepower. If AWD is something you look for in a crossover, you'll have to look elsewhere since the Soul is FWD only.
2020 Kia Soul Base MSRP: $17,490
2. 2019 Subaru Crosstrek
If the lack of AWD in the Kia Soul is a deal-breaker, the 2019 Subaru Crosstrek might be a better fit for you. Along with standard AWD in every trim, the Crosstrek also offers a manual transmission in the two most affordable trims. All the gas models come with a 2.0-liter engine for 152 horsepower, and the 2.0i and the 2.0i Premium models get a 6-speed manual transmission. Although the engine is underpowered, the steering is quick and responsive which turns the Crosstrek into a fun to drive vehicle. A comfortable interior and top safety ratings make the Crosstrek a good choice for those that enjoy the art of driving along with some adventure.
2019 Subaru Crosstrek Base MSRP: $21,895
3. 2019 Jeep Wrangler
The Jeep Wrangler aficionado has many options to choose from if they're looking for a manual transmission. No matter which model you choose (whether the 2-door Sport trim or the 4-door Sahara), the standard transmission is a 6-speed manual. After a recent redesign, the 2019 Wrangler gets larger inside and out. It also becomes better to drive on-road while keeping the off-road capability that Wranglers are known for. The standard engine for the Wrangler lineup is a 3.6L V6 for 285 horsepower, and a part-time 4x4 system comes standard for off-roading adventures.
2019 Jeep Wrangler Base MSRP: $28,045
4. 2019 Jeep Compass
If the Jeep Wrangler is too off-road-focused for your tastes, there is one other Jeep that offers the driving enthusiast a manual transmission - the 2019 Jeep Compass. The Compass Sport FWD, Sport 4x4, and the Latitude 4x4 trims come standard with a 6-speed manual transmission. The rest of the trim levels only offer an automatic transmission. Though still boasting great off-road chops, the Compass also has a comfortable and stylish interior and it delivers as a daily driver. The base engine comes in the form of a 2.4-liter 4-cylinder, good for 180 horsepower. Although the engine is slightly underpowered, Jeep Compass drivers will enjoy the good fuel economy.
2019 Jeep Compass Base MSRP: $23,595
5. MINI Cooper Countryman
The MINI Cooper Countryman is MINI's largest vehicle, and several trims of this subcompact SAV (Sports Activity Vehicle) come standard with a 6-speed manual transmission. You'll find a standard stick shift in the base Cooper, Cooper ALL4, Cooper S ALL4, and the JCW ALL4 trims. Despite it being the largest MINI, don't expect to get a lot of cargo space out of the Countryman. What you do get are features like excellent handling, an upscale interior, and good reliability ratings. The standard engine in the Countryman is a TwinPower Turbo, 1.5-liter, 134 horsepower 3-cylinder for the Cooper and the Cooper ALL4 trims. The Cooper S ALL4 and the JCW ALL4 get a TwinPower Turbo, 2.0-liter, 4-cylinder engine that brings horsepower up to 189.
2019 MINI Cooper Countryman Base MSRP: $26,900
6. 2019 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport
The 2019 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport is an affordable subcompact crossover that, unlike many of its competitors, still offers a manual transmission. Available on the base ES and ES AWC trims is a manual 5-speed transmission for drivers that want more control in addition to easily accessible cargo. The Outlander has some attractive qualities such as ample cargo space and a good warranty, but you should be aware of its loud, underpowered engine and its bumpy ride. The base engine across every trim, excluding the top GT, is a 2.0-liter 4-cylinder good for 148 horsepower.
2019 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport Base MSRP: $20,945