If you're like me — endlessly searching vehicle advertisements — and are a fan of the third pedal, then you check the manual box in the transmission category.
But what about the members of the enthusiast community who aren't able to shift themselves due to a disability or personal preference?
Whatever the reason for your pedal arrangement, below is a list of modern and near-classic sports cars that will get the job done under $50k.
1. 2005-2008 (997.1) Porsche 911 Carrera S
The 997.1 911 is one of the best buys on the market right now, period. Introduced in 2005 after the questionable engineering and styling era of the 996, the 997 was hailed as a return to glory.
The highlights include: much improved interior fit and finish and the S trim is once again available to turn the rear-wheels exclusively. Oh yeah, and 10% of the motors don't blow-up (See Porsche 996 911 Settlement).
A 5-speed Tiptronic was available as a standard torque-converter automatic (Porsche introduced the PDK dual-clutch transmission in '09).
2. 2001-2005 Porsche 911 (996) Turbo
The value in these cars has been common knowledge for some time now, as they have been living in the $45k range for years.
Here is the question: Where else can you get 450hp from Stuttgart at this price?
Luckily, turbo motors don't suffer the same fate as their naturally aspirated brethren and inventory for lightly used examples sporting Tiptronics is high, as many served their first life in hospital parking lots.
3. 2008-2013 BMW M3 Coupe (E92)
The E92 M3 marks the end of the Bangle-era design for BMW. More importantly, it marks the first ever V8 offering in the M3 — a fact that will prove to be short lived as the automotive superpowers become more environmentally cautious.
This is the newest vehicle on the list and offers a true dual-clutch automated manual transmission. The DCT and 400hp combination makes this the perfect daily-driver and weekend warrior — a hallmark of BMW's M division.
4. 1990-2005 Acura NSX
In the early 90's Japanese automakers began their attack on the premium and performance brands of Europe. The US proved to be the largest battle ground as the growing middle-class developed a taste for heated seats and Bose stereos.
The mid-engine NSX established Acura as a real player in the premium segment, offering a conservatively rated 297hp and chassis development lead by the famed Ayrton Senna.
Although not common, vehicles equipped with 4 speed w/OD automatic transmissions can be found. My advice: the newer the better—15in wheels and pop-up headlights died with the Y2K virus.
5. 1999-2004 Aston Martin DB7 (V12)
Although the DB7 has rather humble beginnings as the illegitimate child of the Jaguar XJS (the first generation XK8/R Jag too), its striking shape and V12 power can't be argued with.
The DB7 was introduced in 1994 and was originally powered by a supercharged six. In '99, Aston shoehorned a V12 under the bonnet and dubbed it the Vantage—this put a few more layers of separation between it and the more mainstream Jaguar XK. The beauty of these cars is that the majority were equipped with 5 speed automatics, the fact that you and Bond can have something in common is just a plus.