The stick shift ain’t dead yet, people.
1. BMW 4-series coupe / M4
BMW discontinued the manual option for the all-new 2019 3-series, but the 4-series coupe, which is the two-door version of the outgoing 3-series sedan, still offers a few shift-for-yourself options with the rear-wheel-drive 430i and 440i and the all-wheel-drive 440i xDrive. These cars are attractive and comfortable cruisers, and the automatic-only convertibles and Gran Coupes are even more so. The M4 is the only version of the 4-series convertible available with a manual, and as with the M4 coupe, this option saves $2900 versus the rougher-shifting dual-clutch automatic.
2. BMW M6 Gran Coupe
The last big sedan with a manual transmission you can buy, the BMW M6 Gran Coupe is a gorgeous, fast, delectable concession to the U.S. market. Americans demanded the stick-shift option, forcing BMW to keep it around (elsewhere in the world, declining interest nearly drove BMW to kill the option entirely). When the last-gen M5 sedan on which this M6 is based debuted, BMW begrudgingly reengineered the car’s engine controller to protect the manual transmission from the 560-hp twin-turbocharged V-8 during shifts. The M5 has since been redesigned, gaining all-wheel drive but losing its available manual transmission. That leaves the Gran Coupe to ring the old-school bell among large BMW M cars.
3. Cadillac ATS-V Coupe
Cadillac might have killed off its stick-shift station wagon powered by a Corvette engine before rolling out the current-generation CTS-V, but it has kept the manual-gearbox flame alive in the smaller ATS-V coupe (the sedan is dead for 2019). The V’s 464-hp twin-turbocharged V-6 has wallop, even if the soundtrack is wanting, and there’s something satisfying about a Cadillac with a clutch pedal. The $2000 you save by opting for the manual transmission doesn’t hurt, either.
4. Chevrolet Camaro
If the appeal of having as many gears as a racing bicycle sounds enticing, by all means pay $1595 extra for the 650-hp Chevrolet Camaro ZL1’s 10-speed automatic. Skipping that expenditure and sacrificing four forward speeds nets you a manual transmission. The six-speed stick is likewise available on every Camaro iteration, from the base turbocharged four-cylinder 2.0T model to the V-6 to the V-8 SS trim. The manual is a joy to work, and the clutch never labors in traffic, and the transmission’s auto rev-matching feature can be disabled via—of all things—paddles on the steering wheel that aren’t for shifting an automatic transmission.
5. Chevrolet Corvette
The Chevrolet Corvette’s seven-speed manual puts it into a club of two: The Porsche 911 is the only other 2019 model with a seven-speed manual transmission. That’s a lot of gears, but hustling through them is rewarding work in every Corvette variant, and we’ll happily volunteer the same effort for the privilege of shifting the new 2019 755-hp Corvette ZR1 pictured here.