Can I get a manual SUV?


I’ve finally decided that I need to replace my Jeep Wrangler with a more practical car that can fit people and stuff at the same time. I like SUVs and would prefer to keep the 4WD because of where I live. However, I hate driving automatics. Are there any options besides just upgrading to the Wrangler Unlimited? Also, what are you thoughts on buying 2011 model versus 2012 if there aren’t really any changes?

— Colleen,
Mystic, CT


You’re in luck Colleen! All of these SUVs/CUVs offer 4WD or AWD in combination with a manual transmission:
Nissan XTerra (S and Pro-4X)
Jeep Compass (Sport)
Jeep Patriot (Latitude; 2011, not sure about 2012)
Subaru Outback (2.5i and 2.5i Limited)
Porsche Cayenne (3.6)
Toyota FJ Cruiser
And, of course, the Jeep Wrangler.
In response to your second question about whether to go with the 2011 or 2012 model, if there aren’t really any major changes the decision will come down to what you prefer in terms of looks — i.e. not all colors are available on newer/older models; what trims are available; and let’s not forget price — you may be able to get a better deal on the outgoing year’s version as dealers need to make room to take delivery of next year’s model.

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