2021 Subaru Crosstrek, 2021 Subaru Impreza
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3 Reasons Why Subaru Will Drop The Manual Shifter In The New Crosstrek And Impreza Soon

If you want a manual transmission in a 2021 Subaru Crosstrek or Impreza, you can still get one, but not for long. There are three reasons why the manual will be dead soon.
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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.

2021 Subaru Crosstrek, 2021 Subaru Impreza

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.

2021 Subaru Crosstrek, 2021 Subaru Impreza

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.

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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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Comments

I would say do’nt be stupid.... So why then is the manual still the world’s dominant platform? Did you also know the fuel economy is done on machines & that Subaru gives the linear a somewhat different AWD than the manual that why the rating is higher but real world results conclude otherwise ohh I see.... My Jetta S with manual 53.5 on a summer trip w/o A/C w/A/C on 48 mpg! That’s a 6 speed by the way not an 8 speed w/start stop I drove one for 4 days in an R-line, I seen 6 miles less to gallon by the way, VW rates them the same. Did you also tell them a Subaru linear costs 8200.00 to replace vs les than 1300.00 for a clutch! The manual gets better & better w/dual clutches only require an oil change w/the same synthetic oil the turbo engines uses now at 100k at 1/2 the cost on an engine change! Did you explain all this to the ‘ American dummies ‘ whom like automatics ‘??
My wife was looking for a small all wheel drive sedan. We recently test drove an Impreza and a Mazda 3. The CVT in the Impreza felt disconnected and gutless with the 2.0. The Mazda with a 2.5 and 6-speed automatic (which we ended up buying) was responsive and handled very well. I was disappointed with Subaru, especially since I drive a Forester XT with a manual gearbox, and love it. I understand that manuals are selling less, but that becomes a self fulfilling prophecy when less models are offered. I recognize that I will be forced into an automatic when I have to replace my XT, but I guarantee that it won't be a Subaru with a crap CVT. Oh, and how can Mazda offer its version of eyesight with a manual, while Subaru can't?
So glad I got my manual Crosstrek before they stopped making them! I recall being overseas and majority of the rental cars only have manual transmissions...it was a sad day for many Americans who were clueless on how to operate them. (I was kind enough to teach a few.) They’re so much fun to drive!!!
Lame. No stick shift, no peace. #savethemanuals
Subaru BS,tried for 2 years to find an orange manual transmission crosstrek,they were sold as soon as they hit the lot,plenty of orange cvt Crosstreks sitting around. They will only sell 6% manual transmissions cars if they only make 6% manual cars.
As a lifelong manual shift driver - this is sad. I think car makers should dedicate some of their research to improving the manual shift transmission rather than just abandoning it as a dinosaur. I traded in a brand new 2019 Forester with all those crazy bells and whistles for a 2017 6 speed Forester. I am a much happier driver actually driving the car and not sitting back and responding to beeps and bells. It is sad to learn that Subaru is abandoning the manual shift drivers. WE may not be big in numbers but we are passionate about the car we prefer to drive.
I bought my manual crosstrek new in 2018. It delivered with a paint chip in the door, so the shop gave me a CVT crosstrek loaner car for a few days while they had it painted. What a piece of crap - day and night difference. The manual crosstrek is a fun car, the CVT crosstrek was a turd. The only reason I bought the crosstrek was because it was the only crossover SUV with a manual - now they're taking away the only reason I'd have to buy another Subaru. Also, those quoted mileage differences between stick and CVT? Bullshit, I can get 36 mpg hwy out of my manual. One last thing - I went to Spain a year ago, and rented a car for a week while there. The stick shift car I rented was about half the cost of renting an automatic. Even though Americans have gotten fat and lazy, the rest of the world knows what's going on.
Some years ago I bought a 2013 Forester thinking that would be my last manual transmission car (the only type of transmission I've ever owned). I initially thought it was terrible when a deer totaled that car last year but then I lucked out and found a 2018 Forester with a MT and only 10k miles on it. Maybe when I'm ready for my next vehicle Toyota will still be putting a MT in the Tacoma? I just love the control and engagement a MT gives me driving - especially in the mountains. But alas, life is always changing and I'll eventually have to accept that fewer and fewer people understand what they are missing and the demand is no longer there.
Will pays still be available for manual transmissions on the Forester, Outback and Crosstrek? Looming at buying one soon.
I live for manual vehicles. I drive a 96' Impreza 2.2L. Almost 300,000. I will never go to a automatic.
Just bought a '21 Crosstrek with a 6-speed manual. The advertised EPA MPG ratings caught my eye. My (admittedly brief) experience makes me doubt those figures. Have had no "long" highway drives but several short ones, plus fair amounts of mountain driving and stops for red lights in town. For the past thousand miles, my combined MPG figure is close to 32. In town, I'm sure the stop-start feature of a CVT makes a difference. While I'm no conspiracy theorist, I wonder if Subaru isn't deliberately fudging to downplay the manual's performance while exaggerating the CVT's in order to gain a certain customer support for their impending plan to offer only the CVT.
Well, I won't drive/buy an automatic, so my options are shrinking. Thanks