2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata
For cheap thrills and a sublime six-speed manual transmission, you really can’t do better than to choose the Mazda MX-5 Miata ($24,915). The convertible that has been delighting performance enthusiasts for decades is even better in its fourth, 155-hp iteration. Any day driving a Miata feels like summer, top up or down.
Also consider: Until the MX-5 Miata Retractable Fastback (a.k.a. a coupe with a folding hardtop) debuts next year, your best option for fixed-roof fun with a six-speed manual is the Subaru BRZ ($25,395) — or its sibling, the newly renamed Toyota 86.