I want it all

I currently have a manual Subaru Legacy. It’s a 2002 model that I bought used several years ago. I have been very happy with it, and thought I would be a Subaru girl for life. I’m about to have my second child and we need a car that fits two car seats and four adults. Here’s where I get demanding. I want the car to have ac in the rear, because I feel like I’m torturing my daughter in the back seat here in Louisiana. I (and especially my husband) also want the car to be manual. Does such a car exist?

You may hate me for saying this (most people do), but your seating capacity requirements make you a perfect candidate for a minivan. With needing to transport two children in car seats and four adults, the humble and utilitarian minivan is the ultimate tool (unless you want to feed a Suburban). The last minivan made with a manual transmission was the square body Dodge Caravan of the mid 1990s.

Good suggestion mark9207. And, most minivans have separate rear temperature controls at least as an option. They ALL have enough venting regardless to keep everyone comfy. No problem there with any newer intermediate to large van or car. You have kids…kiss the manual good buy. Some one has to mind the kids and their toys while driving.

You might be able to find a volvo wagon with rear AC vents and enough room to carry your brood. You might also be able to find it in manual. That’s my only idea though.

Probably a Mazda5. 6 seats, 6 spd MT, and probably rear AC

A mini van certainly seems to jump to the top of the list if being a strictly practical solution. And I can’t imagine why anyone would want a manual when hauling a young family. Do some men feel emasculated when they find themselves chauffeuring their progeny in a soccer mom van?

Rod Knox "Do some men feel emasculated when they find themselves chauffeuring their progeny in a soccer mom van? "

I see an opening here for Chrysler. Just take a version of the Voyager, put either a Jeep grill or Ram big mouth on the front and plaster “hemi” powered on the side. Offer it in basic camouflage and red neck dads (and moms) are good to go.

The surest sign that someone is emasculated is that they’re so insecure in & obsessed by their masculinity that they have to define it my what they drive. The truly “masculine” man is secure in his masculinity no matter what he drives.

But you won’t find a minivan with a manual transmission. Too bad too, because I’d get one if I could.

GM transformed the Montana van into the Buick Enclave to put some hair on its chest it seems. Too bad they didn’t get your memo dagosa. A camo paint job, dual exhaust, an awesome looking grill and maybe a cattle pusher front bumper might have saved GM from bankruptcy. And as for Chrysler, they might actually jump on your suggestion. HEMI would look good on the side of a Caravan with 18’ rimz and a hood scoop. Let us know if they pay you for your suggestion.

Funny you should mention a Hemi emblem on the side of a Caravan. I worked on a bright red Caravan a few years ago that had a “5.7L Hemi Magnum” emblem from a Ram pickup on the front fenders. It looked pretty cool, almost OEM. Driving it revealed absolutely pathetic performance. Opening the hood revealed a 2.4L four cylinder.

Leila, why do you want a manual transmission? If it is to save gas, that is no longer an issue. Many cars with auto transmissions get better mileage than ones with manual transmissions. Minivans offer the base in passenger comfort and cargo room. We have a minivan and recently traveled 5 hours with 7 adults in comfort. The 3 adult children were a little cramped in the way-back, but no one complained. A used Kia Rondo offers seating for 6, but there is almost no cargo room when the 3rd row seats are used. There are crossovers like the Ford Flex or the Buick Enclave/Chevy Traverse, but they will be more difficult to get into the 3rd row than any minivan.

I don’t know why Leila or her husband want a manual, but I want a manual because I’m tired of the weak and wimpy and unpredictable quality of auto transmissions in minivans. I just want a regular old nuts & bolts gear box with a regular old external clutch and no slush box (torque converter) in between. They’re simpler and much less prone to problems.

"Opening the hood revealed a 2.4L four cylinder."
One of the “funniest” things I’ve seen done to a car was similarly done by “tastefully” plastering every performance sticker imaginable to the front sides and rear of a Civic. DOHC, V8, Turbo, 4wd etc. Civic was a head turner.

Yeah I’m with the mini van. Insisting on manual highly limits your options for no good reason.

Like many others here you need a mini van. And as a guy, I LIKE mini vans, I like comfort and ease of entry and the sitting position of a mini van.

You and I are on the same page, rwee2000. 1400 or 1500 miles in two days is many times easier when I set up high. Minivans were made for what Leila needs. I do not ever want to drive anything else. I love my 2002 Sienna.

If you are not squemish about putting your foot up a minivans posterior and keeping the RPMs up in the power band there is little difference in the automatics and the manual. A ,manual just allows the driver to somewhat discreetly hold out the shift points. Personally, I enjoy a good manual myself. But with kids in the car and traffic to deal with a slushbox can be a blessing.

How do those Europeans drive around, with kids, small hatches, and stickshifts? They tune the out and focus on the task at hand.

Until Alan Mullaly has the good sense to bring over a properly equipped Ford C-Max, I’d look at the Mazda5.

For what she wants, a minivan, a crossover, or even a small SUV with manual transmission is rare. Good luck finding one.