Skip to Content

Do Minivans Have A Stick Shift? (Is A Stick Shift Better?)

Most of the American roads these days are dominated by vehicles that have an automatic transition. There were days when only luxurious vehicles supported automatic transmission but these days it is available in every single vehicle and a stick shift is rarely seen outside of a few sports cars. 

Seeing a new vehicle with a stick shift these days is uncommon. Many older vehicles might still provide a stick shift transmission but those are quickly being replaced with automatics. 

If you are wondering about whether you can get a minivan with a stick shift option or if that is impossible then you are in the right place.

All brand new minivans only offer an automatic transmission. The latest minivan that offered a stick shift was the 2015 Mazda 5 and there are quite a few debates over whether that actually qualifies as a minivan or not! 

Surprisingly enough, the Mazda 5, a 6-seater family minivan, still provided a stick shift up until it was discontinued in 2015. It was labeled as the coolest minivan but this vehicle was also the smallest in comparison to any other minivan in the US and wasn’t even considered a minivan by many people. 

Though the Mazda 5 was underrated for its efforts to stand out, it is also notably the most fun minivan to drive that was ever sold in the US market.

Most vehicles in the earlier years were offered as a stick shift or automatic but as technology kept on expanding, we started seeing a new range of vehicles with only automatic transmissions. That is where we are at right now as new minivans simply aren’t offered with manual transmissions anymore because there isn’t enough demand for them. 

Are stick shift cars cheaper?

Many people think that buying a stick shift car will save them some money but are they right? 

Stick shift minivans are cheaper than automatic minivans simply because many people don’t want to have to deal with shifting while they are driving. There are also way less people who even can drive a stick shift as according to US News and World Reports only 18% of the US population can drive a manual vehicle as of 2016. 

Since manual transmission vehicles tend to be older and a small number of people can even drive them then purchasing a vehicle that is a stick shift is pretty likely to save you a good chunk of money. 

Manual vehicles are capable of running smoothly with little maintenance and the only repair most stick shift minivans will need is of the clutch, unlike an automatic minivan which isn’t cheap to repair. 

Stick shift minivans are also more likely to use less fuel since you are much less likely to “floor it” with a manual than with an automatic. You can also coast to a stop in neutral vs always being in gear on an automatic as well. 

Will the stick shift make a comeback?

According to a recent survey, stick shift vehicles have been seeing a drop in their manufacturing as well as sales since the younger generation hardly knows how to drive a manual let alone want one on their minivans. Based on the fact that only 18% of people in the US even know how to drive a stick shift it’s unlikely that they will make a comeback in my opinion. 

They will likely remain as an option on sports cars as racing enthusiasts generally prefer stick shifts but it’s unlikely that they will be on many other vehicles besides those in the future. 

Are stick shift minivans faster than automatic minivans?

If both the stick shift and the automatic minivans had been built simultaneously, probably a stick shift version would have been faster. But in this modernized generation where everything gets replaced within days and there is a better and advanced version of everything, automatic minivans have also outdone themselves in regards to the speed department.

Automatic minivans are typically faster than stick shifts simply because there are no new stick shift minivans being made. 

Is driving a stick shift minivan more fun?

Any person with great experience in driving will 100% agree to the fact that stick shift minivans are more fun than driving an automatic. Any person who owns a stick shift as well as an automatic automobile will say that stick shifts are much more fun because they allow you to connect to your vehicle more and give you a better experience of driving. 

Stick shift minivans give you a better sense of your driving and they are also more engaging and simple. They do not have any complicated rules and methods of driving as compared to automatic minivans.

If you can drive a stick shift minivan, you can drive anything! Manual driving is a skill that isn’t possessed by everyone anymore so once you have learned it then it is now something unique that you can do that many people cannot. 

However, despite it making the drive a bit more fun it also makes it a bit more complicated. We are constantly bombarded with distractions no matter which vehicle we are driving but in a minivan it is often more so since you have extra passengers and often children inside. 

Having to concentrate on shifting gears can cause your road trip to be more stressful than it already is which is why many people prefer the automatic versions. 

Do stick shifts last longer than automatics?

Yes, stick shifts typically last quite a bit longer than automatics because they have a simpler mechanism compared to an automatic transmission minivan. Since manual transmissions are simple and less complex, they do not need a lot of maintenance. 

Though they do need to repair or replace the clutch ever so often even then, any average minivan is capable of running on the same clutch for a minimum 100,000 miles or more.

Are manual drivers better?

Those who are well-experienced stick shift drivers are often better drivers than automatic drivers are. They are much more alert than automatic drivers simply because they have to be. If you have never driven a stick shift then you may not think that this is true, however someone who is driving a vehicle with a manual transmission has to pay a lot of attention to cars behind them (especially on hills) and even how fast they are going so they can make sure to stay in the correct gear. 

Since stick shift drivers have one hand on the gear and the other on the steering, it is a lot more difficult to juggle between the both of them and to maintain your speed and keep the vehicle moving. Therefore, they will often HAVE to have better focus and concentration than automatic drivers and certainly can’t be on the phone while driving either! 


Stick shift minivans have not been made for multiple years now and that is likely to continue into the future. Less and less people even know how to drive a stick shift so virtually all vehicles are not even offering that as an option anymore. 

The newest minivan that you can find that is a stick shift is the Mazda 5 but it was more of a cross between a car and minivan than being a true minivan. 

In the never-ending debate of whether stick shift drivers are better or automatic drivers are better, my vote will always be for the stick shift drivers as they typically have a better handle on their vehicle, better understanding, and much more focus and concentration as driving a car that is a manual is not something everybody can pull off. 

Great expertise and passion for driving is required for this type of driving.

Though the trend is dying, it is never too late to appreciate what great opportunity it was to be able to live in an era where cars were driven using a manual transmission.