The car industry hasn't given up on manual transmissions yet. Having a more engaging--and affordable--shifting option will put a smile on the faces of car-crazy drivers.
Here are snippets on our Big Test contenders this month:
Chevrolet Cruze 1.8 LS MT. The freshest compact sedan on the market also has an enviable spec list. This 1.8-liter LS variant doesn't have the same muscle as the other two contenders, but it makes up for this shortcoming in a number of surprising and practical ways.
Mitsubishi Lancer EX GLX. Do not underestimate the regular Lancer's link to the Evolution X, which by itself is enough to get people seriously interested in driving this car. And let's not forget the enticing combo of a 2.0-liter and manual transmission.
Nissan Sentra 200 6MT. The six-speed manual shifter is a boon when attempting to get the best mileage possible. However, the fuel savings might not be enough to offset the Sentra 200's price tag. When shopping in this price range, buyers will expect more than entry-level fare.
|Basic technical specifications||Chevrolet Cruze 1.8 LS MT||Mitsubishi Lancer EX GLX||Nissan Sentra 200 6MT|
|Engine||1.8-liter DOHC 16V I4||2.0-liter DOHC 16V I4||2.0-liter DOHC 16V I4|
|Type||gasoline, naturally aspirated||gasoline, naturally aspirated||gasoline, naturally aspirated|
|Maximum output (hp @ rpm)||139 @ 6,200||153 @ 6,000||143 @ 5,100|
|Maximum torque (Nm @ rpm)||176 @ 3,800||199 @ 4,250||199 @ 4,800|
|Transmission||5-speed manual||5-speed manual||6-speed manual|
|Brakes (front / rear)||vented disc/solid disc||vented disc/drum-in-disc||vented disc/drum|
|Front suspension||independent MacPherson||independent MacPherson||independent MacPherson|
|Rear suspension||torsion beam||multilink||torsion beam|
|Wheels||16in alloy||16in alloy||15in steel|
|Tires||205/60 R16||205/60 R16||205/60 R15|
|Dimensions L/W/H (mm)||4,597/1,788/1,477||4,570/1,760/1,490||4,567/1,790/1,512|
|Curb weight (kg)||1,290||1,290||1,298|
|Power-to-weight ratio (hp/ton)||107.75||118.6||107.86|
|Fuel tank capacity (liters)||60||59||55|