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Subaru Ties For Most New Models You Can Still Get With A Manual Shift But Not For Long

Do you want a 2020 Subaru Crosstrek or Impreza with a manual transmission? Better get one quick. But there’s another good option for driving enthusiasts.

There are still some people who want to shift their new Subaru Crosstrek or Impreza instead of having an automatic transmission. Subaru still offers a 6-speed manual gearbox in 5 models in its lineup tying Toyota as the automakers with the most cars still offering three pedals. Subaru still offers the manual shifter in the 2020 Crosstrek, Impreza, WRX, WRX STI, and BRZ. They dropped it in all other models.

For driving enthusiasts who want to be more engaged with their car, a manual transmission allows you to be in complete control of driver inputs. It’s the best way to stay connected to the vehicle. But Subaru will be dropping the manual in Crosstrek and Impreza soon because of its safety technology called EyeSight. The driver-assist system is not compatible with the manual transmission, so it could be going away soon as the automaker makes EyeSight standard on all its SUVs and cars.

2020 Subaru Crosstrek, best compact SUV, features, specifications, fuel mileage

But it’s not all bad news for those who still like to shift. Subaru offers a Lineartronic Continuously Variable CVT automatic transmission on 2020 Crosstrek and Impreza models with an 8-speed mode function on Crosstrek and a 7-speed manual mode on Impreza along with steering wheel paddle shifters.

Once owners find out how to use the paddles it can be just as fun for driving enthusiasts. Most drivers never use them at all and are missing a feature that can also be used to help avoid wear and tear on your car, and they can also help you maintain better control when you're driving in adverse conditions.

2020 Subaru Crosstrek, best compact SUV, features, specifications, fuel mileage

You get the benefits of a CVT automatic transmission which is improved fuel economy, but also the advantages of having control of the shift points. Check out the report here on how to get the optimum benefit from the new Crosstrek's useful feature.

Unfortunately, the fully synchronized 6-speed manual gearbox with incline start assist still offered in the 2020 Subaru Crosstrek subcompact SUV and Impreza sedan and 5-Door hatchback models is going away very soon. With the Lineartronic CVT paddles, you can still have as much fun as with a manual gearbox.

You Might Also Like: It’s The New Subaru Crosstrek's Best Feature But You Aren’t Using Them

Denis Flierl has invested over 30 years in the automotive industry in a variety of roles. All of his reports are archived on our Subaru page. Follow Denis on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Subaru Report. Check back tomorrow for more Subaru news and updates at Torque News!

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Photo credit: Subaru


Sam (not verified)    May 31, 2020 - 10:22AM

What was the author of this article smoking?
Comparing a CVT with paddle shifters to a manual transmission is like comparing a children’s power wheels to a real car.
This is quite honestly insulting to the manual enthusiast community.

Buffalobob (not verified)    January 13, 2022 - 8:53PM

In reply to by Sam (not verified)

Agreed. Have been driving only stick shift cars for many, many years. We will not buy a car with a CVT. We hunt out a make and model car that does offer a stick shift.

Jose Caba (not verified)    May 31, 2020 - 3:51PM

I'm glad that I got my 2018 crosstrek with a manual. I don't trust cvts. They have proven to be unrialble and not engaging at all. No thanks subaru. Keep that cvt garbage.

Mike (not verified)    December 24, 2020 - 9:38AM

In reply to by Jose Caba (not verified)

I’m in the market for a new car. My price range is $25K to $30k. So a manual 2litre hatch is my preference. I’m a Honda fan but was shocked that the civic hatch doesn’t with in a manual option. I was looking at the Subaru Impreza hatch today but again it only comes in a cvt transmission. Very disappointed ! I’m not letting the manufacturer decide which transmission I can have. It’s MY $26k FFS. Looks like I’ll have to spend $30k on the Mazda 2 hatch which does have a manual option. No wonder there’s so many semi competent drivers on the road with their phone to their ears.

Angie (not verified)    May 22, 2021 - 7:04AM

In reply to by Mike (not verified)

YAAAAAS! This has always been my thoughts on the loss of manual transmissions as well. It's far too easy for people to do ANYTHING ELSE in their cars while on the road, than actual DRIVE them. I'm a bit sickened that my "stick" options are nearly non-existent now. Srsly makes me sad.

Bender Rodriguez (not verified)    May 31, 2020 - 7:11PM

I own a 02 WRX manual and a 2014 outback with the CVT. Any one who thinks the unpredictable, unresponsive CVT with paddles is anywhere near fun to drive like a real manual, has never driven a car worth a damn. Try to downshift to fast with the paddles, and it either starts beeping at you because it doesn't like it or it can keep up with the taps and only goes down to 3rd instead of 2nd. The only thing the paddles do, is make the CVT tolerable to drive and cruise at useable engine speeds.

NCB (not verified)    May 31, 2020 - 8:07PM

CVT isn’t even in the same universe as a manual transmission. Fake shift points and paddles do not offer the same experience. I hope Subaru keeps some manual options.

Charlie Blevins (not verified)    June 29, 2020 - 6:11AM

Paddlers? CVT’s lack power. Whoever said paddle shifting was fun never drove a manual. I’ll stick with my manual.

Charles Blevins (not verified)    June 29, 2020 - 6:21AM

Paddlers? Paddle shifting? Paddle shifting is as fun as manual shifting? Are you serious? CVT’s lack power. Try selling this to someone else because I’m not buying it. I’ll stick to my manual.

Sean Walsh (not verified)    September 4, 2020 - 8:00AM

Picked up my Impreza Sport hatch a month ago with three pedals and five gears. I never even considered purchasing with the CVT with it's fake "shifting" paddles. The two transmissions should not be considered equal or as "fun" for someone who really wants that connection to the car every moment of driving.
Just wish it came with the 6 speed like the Crosstrek. Subaru, that didn't really make any sense.

Marc b (not verified)    March 4, 2021 - 9:18AM

Give me a break...Please stop trying to convince people that SHIT paddle shifters are as fun as an old school manual...If Subaru ditches the 6 speed on the Wrx and Sti, they can kiss their asses goodbye

Brandon Remillard (not verified)    October 13, 2021 - 4:00PM

How in the world is this person an author for an automotive publication. Are you kidding with this cvt stuff? Anyone that's driven a cvt knows that it's not a quarter as engaging or fun as a manual car, especially when the car in question is a Subaru. It's a shame that Subaru is pulling away from having manuals, but it's also a shame that this sort of quack can say cvts are even a third as fun with a straight face