Manual transmissions are getting harder and harder to find these days, but that doesn't mean they're not worth seeking out for maximum driver engagement.
There's still a surprising amount of cars and trucks on the market that promise do-it-yourself control.
In observance of July 16, National Stick Shift Day, our editors have gathered some of their favorites. Want to know which ones? Keep clicking or scrolling to find out.
When your budget is undefined, there are still many lovely vehicles to choose from that feature manual transmissions. In my eye, though, few are genuinely more desirable than Porsche's 911 GT3 in its Touring spec.
The 911 is of course a remarkable platform and the GT3 takes it to another level. In Touring form, Porsche deletes the giant wing and makes this 911 just comfortable enough for a daily driver.
But it will cost you. The starting price on a GT3 Touring is $146,350, and given it's a Porsche you're only a few ticked boxes away from adding a Miata or two onto the price.
But the first time you let that 4.0-liter flat-six scream up to 9,000 RPM before reaching down to grab a higher gear, you'll realize it was a small price to pay.
You didn't really expect to get through a "best manuals" list without seeing Mazda's evergreen roadster, did you? Of course not.
Perhaps more than any other model on this list, the 2019 Mazda MX-5 Miata defines the joy of stick-shift motoring.
Frankly, even after a recent update, there's not a ton of power to be had out of the 2.0-liter engine -- 181 horsepower and 151 pound-feet of torque.
Thankfully, that's also kind of the point: The Miata exists for you to serially extract the most from its meager performance and to experience the joy of driving at the limit far more frequently than you can safely manage in other cars.
Mazda's short-throw, six-speed manual and the well-weighted, progressive clutch are the best tools for that mission.
Priced from $25,730 (plus $920 freight) for a base Sport trim with manual gearbox, you can't really go wrong with any Miata, including the fancier folding hardtop RF model.
While there's a conventional automatic gearbox available as an option, the Miata's standard six-speed manual is the most entertaining solution, and it's the one most in-line with this car's minimalist, man-and-machine ethos.
Buy one and don't look back.
OK, so the 2019 Honda Accord isn't the most exciting car on this list. But it's deserving of praise for two reasons:
First, for the fact that the Accord is arguably the most well-rounded, best-executed vehicle in the midsize sedan class.
Second, because Honda is still committed to offering a manual transmission in its midsize Accord -- and not just on the base model, either.
The Accord Sport comes with either a 1.5-liter or 2.0-liter turbocharged engine -- the latter a version of the motor used in the Civic Type R.
In either case, you get a slick-shifting, six-speed manual transmission. The gearbox itself is lovely to use, and the clutch is nicely weighted.
The Accord has one of the better manual transmissions available today -- midsize sedan or otherwise.
With 252 horsepower, 273 pound-feet of torque and 19-inch wheels on low(ish)-profile tires, the Accord Sport 2.0T is a really engaging driver, and the six-speed manual transmission makes it even more so.
Even if three-pedal Accords only sell in small volumes compared to other models, I'm glad Honda still offers a stick-shift in one of its most popular vehicles.
There aren't a lot of new trucks you can get with a manual transmission, let alone trucks with the 2020 Jeep Gladiator's off-road chops.
By choosing the six-speed manual transmission drivers get a super-low crawl ratio of 84:1.
This Jeep's manual transmission isn't trying to be sporty. Throws are a bit long and the gearbox doesn't produce what I would call crisp shifts.
Fortunately, the clutch is nicely weighted, and with that low crawl ratio, all drivers need to do is put the gearshift lever in first gear and pretty much stay off the gas. This pickup can climb over a lot of obstacles on its own.
The Gladiator is powered by a 3.6-liter V6 engine with 285 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque.
A 3.0-liter diesel is on the way for 2020, but will only be available with the eight-speed automatic.
A Gladiator currently starts at $33,545 but a top-shelf Rubicon model starts around $43,000 and can easily get into the mid-$50,000 range.
I'm a stickler for a good manual gearbox. Among the many reasons I have a Honda S2000 in my garage is because of the super-slick-shifting trans.
Compared to the standard 718 Cayman, the GT4's shifter is 0.78-inches shorter and crisply slots into gates. Clutch pedal tuning is exactly how I like it, with a grab point in the middle of the pedal stroke.
When I had the GT4 out on track recently in Scotland, I never got hung up between gears. That's thanks in large part to the dynamic transmission mounts Porsche uses to help cut down on movement in demanding high-load situations.
Also standard on the $99,200 (not including $1,350 for destination) GT4 is auto rev-matching that blips the throttle for always-perfect downshifts when diving into corners.
On challenging tracks, it's a great feature to have, because it lets you focus on hitting all your points.
However, whenever you want to perform some heel-and-toe action, all you have to do is deactivate the system at the press of a button on the center console.
Not only is the transmission itself responsible for some of the best feel of any MT-equipped car on the road today, the car itself is phenomenal, boasting adaptive dampers that provide for a surprisingly pliant ride when potholes demand it. Yet, when you chuck the thing into a corner, it's ready to have a good time.
Even though it's some $2,500 more expensive than when it launched, the Civic Type R remains a performance bargain at $37,230.
Whether it's the quick-shifting manual with rev matching or the car's general character, the 2020 Honda Civic Type R is one of the best cars with a stick shift you can buy today.
It's hard to argue against the hot hatch formula and one of the best hot hatches we've seen in the US since the segment began is the Ford Fiesta ST.
A big part of why its so good is the slick, cable actuated six-speed manual transmission that Ford decided to pair with its 1.6-liter turbocharged engine.
The Fiesta ST, especially now, at the end of its run is one of the best performance buys on the market. It's hilariously agile and darty, with plenty of silly lift-off oversteer and three-wheel motion available at real-world speeds.
It's also super quick off the line and willing to accelerate in any gear thanks to its tiny turbo.
If you're not smiling while driving a Fiesta ST, you're doing it wrong.
Ford lists the MSRP for the 2019 Fiesta ST at over $21,000, but we'd be shocked if you actually ended up paying that much for one. It's a niche vehicle at the end of its life in the US, so there are deals to be had.
If you're getting one, don't skimp on the Recaro seat package. It's a lot of money in a cheap car, but you'll be glad of the support when railing down a canyon road.
Type R? Eh. Golf R? Meh. My pick is the 2019 Veloster N, Hyundai's hottest hatchback yet.
Honed at the legendary Nürburgring Nordschleife, the apex Veloster boasts a laundry list of go-faster goodies, track-tuned handling, a powerful, turbocharged engine and, of course, a six-speed manual transmission with automatically rev-matched shifts.
The quirky, asymmetrically styled Veloster N is more than happy to rev its turbocharged, 2.0-liter engine to the tune of 275 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque. The engine's scream is punctuated by a pa-pop from the performance exhaust that makes each shift all the more satisfying.
The automatic rev-matching makes perfectly blipped downshifts possible even for novices, but drivers who prefer to heel-toe themselves can easily disable the aid.
The Veloster N can be a bit of a handful in full "N Performance" mode, but a flick of the blue N Drive Mode selector on the steering wheel toggles more comfortable settings tunes for the adaptive suspension, engine and throttle, a premium trick for an affordable hot hatch starting at $27,500.
I'd recommend stepping up to the Performance Package for upgraded brakes and a handling enhancing limited-slip differential for around $30,000.