3 Reasons Why Subaru Will Drop The Manual Shifter In The New Crosstrek And Impreza Soon
Subaru Corporation is an automaker with five models in its lineup, tying Toyota with the most cars still offering a manual transmission. Subaru still offers the manual shifter in the 2021 Crosstrek, Impreza, WRX, WRX STI, and 2020 BRZ. They dropped it in the Forester, Outback, and Legacy in the last five years. But the manual shifter will be dead soon in the next-generation Crosstrek and Impreza.
Why is Subaru dropping manual transmissions in its cars?
Subaru, like all automakers, is moving away from manual transmissions because not many customers want one. Torque News reached out to Subaru of America and said they only sell six percent of its Crosstrek models with a 6-speed manual transmission. The other 94 percent get the Lineartronic CVT automatic transmission or the upgraded Lineartronic with 8-speed manual mode with steering wheel paddle shifters on the new 2021 Crosstrek Sport.
It’s a trend many automakers are making, and the end of the manual transmission is coming. For Subaru, it’s about sales, but it’s also about safety. Subaru will soon drop all manual shifters in their cars to bring EyeSight driver assist technology as standard equipment to their entire SUV lineup. Subaru cannot fit EyeSight on a manual transmission car, so those models will all be gone soon.
Dropping the manual is also about improved fuel mileage. The Lineartronic Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT) automatic gets improved fuel efficiency compared with the manual gearbox. It’s why Subaru uses the CVT in all its models except for the performance-tuned STI.
The 2021 Crosstrek with a 6-speed manual gets an EPA estimated 22/29/25 city/highway/combined mpg. The automatic gets considerably better fuel mileage at 28/33/30 city/highway/combined mpg.
Will Subaru keep the manual in its sports cars?
Subaru will keep the manual shifter in three of its vehicles, the next-generation 2022 Subaru BRZ, WRX, and WRX STI sports cars. But the Japanese automaker will likely drop it in the next-generation 2022 Impreza sedan and hatchback and 2023 Crosstrek subcompact SUV.
As Subaru Corporation makes its EyeSight technology standard in all new models and looks to improve its fuel mileage in its lineup, look for the automaker to phase out the manual shifter in the 2022 Subaru Impreza and 2023 Subaru Crosstrek.
Denis Flierl has invested over 30 years in the automotive industry in a consulting role working with every major car brand. He is an accredited member of the Rocky Mountain Automotive Press. Check out Subaru Report where he covers all of the Japanese automaker's models. More stories can be found on the Torque News Subaru page. Follow Denis on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
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Photo credit: Subaru