MINI Is Keeping The Manual Transmission Alive, Now Offering It In 7 Models

Between all the auto manufacturers moving to electric platforms — MINI and parent company BMW included — and the decades-long domination of automatic transmissions in the U.S. market, it can often feel like nobody is making manual transmissions anymore, which is a shame. If you've been into cars for any length of time, you'll likely appreciate manual transmissions for the amount of control they give you and for how much more connected to the vehicle they make you feel. These days, manual transmissions are becoming scarcer, even in sports cars and supercars.

Part of the reason automakers are moving away from manual transmissions is almost certainly due to demand, as we saw when Lamborghini stopped producing manual transmissions. Less than 5% of American drivers owned a vehicle with a manual transmission in 2020, and with electrification taking over rapidly, that number is bound to shrink further. Fortunately, MINI, a company with a rich history of fun-focused cars, is keeping the manual transmission alive with the updates to its 2024 vehicle lineup. 

MINI returns the manual transmission to four more models in 2024

MINI reintroduced the manual transmission to its vehicle lineup starting with the Cooper, Cooper S, and John Cooper Works versions of the two-door MINI Hardtop. On February 16, 2023, the British automaker announced via a press release that four more Cooper models will join the U.S. lineup to bring the total number of MINI vehicles on offer with a manual transmission in the U.S. to seven. 

The four new MINI models on offer with six-speed manual transmissions are the Cooper Convertible, Cooper S Convertible, Cooper 4-Door Hardtop, and Cooper S 4-Door Hardtop. If the already-available manual options are any indication, buyers of the manual variants will not incur any additional costs or discounts, bringing the distinguishing factor down to just personal preference rather than a budget decision. 

The 2024 MINIs have been available to order since February 3, 2023, and production will begin on March 1, 2023. The 2024 lineup is available in the Classic, Signature, or Iconic trims, with the exception of the Convertible, which lacks the Classic trim. The cheapest model with a manual transmission is the Classic trim of the MINI Hardtop 2 Door, which comes in at a friendly $25,800, and tops out at $33,200 for the Iconic trim. The most expensive stick-shift MINI for 2024 is the John Cooper Works Convertible, which starts at $44,900 and tops out at $48,500 sans optional extras.