Summer is basically over, and the cold and dark months will be here sooner than you’d think. That means snow, slush, crappy weather, and devastating road salt, all big no-nos for my rehabbed Fiat 500 Abarth. I need something with two more drive wheels for the midwestern winter, and I need it to have a manual transmission because I insist on changing gears. Oh, and no Subarus.
I just don’t like Subarus, sorry. I think most of them are ugly, I think the brand’s reputation for longevity and reliability is overblown, and I have yet to drive a non-sporty Subaru that I was impressed with. I respect the boxer-four, and the WRX’s performance capability, especially the STI. Hell, I know that a Subaru Forester of any generation could end this entire search immediately. But I don’t care, I don’t want a Subaru, you can’t make me buy one.
With the obvious answer out of the way, I ask: What manual all-wheel-drive car, truck, or SUV should I buy?
There aren’t a lot of choices out there, and they’re fastly dwindling as the stick-shift fades off on its way to extinction. Still, a few automakers have thrown this illustrious combination our way a few times in the past couple of decades. What is your favorite all-wheel-drive car, truck, or SUV with a manual transmission that isn’t a Subaru?