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Where you can still get a 6-speed manual in the 2016 Subaru Outback

The 2016 Subaru Outback gets a feature that U.S. buyers won’t ever see. Where can you still get a 6-speed manual Outback?

Like the new-generation 2016 Legacy sedan, 2016 Outback Canadian buyers get the six-speed manual transmission option and U.S. buyers only get the Outback with a CVT automatic transmission. The Canadian Outback still comes standard with a 6-speed manual transmission and a Lineartronic continuously variable transmission (CVT) is optional.

Why did Subaru drop the 6-speed manual on the U.S. models? It’s because of tighter fuel mileage regulations here in the U.S. So Subaru needed to drop the 6-speed standard gearbox to meet the more stringent fuel-mileage regulations here in the U.S. market. Subaru equips Outbacks with the new Lineartronic continuously variable transmission because its more fuel efficient in the U.S.

Canadian consumers can get the 6-speed manual gearbox in two models, the base 2.5i for $27,995 and the 2.5i Touring package $31,195. All other 2016 Outback models come with the Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT).

The SUV-alternative Outback still uses their excellent Symmetrical all-wheel-drive system and it has a “go-anywhere” attitude that Canadian buyers like. Models equipped with a 6-speed manual transmission are connected to a viscous-coupling limited-slip center differential that provides “near neutral handling and maximum control for the driver.”

The 2016 Outback gets a number of new enhancements over the previous model you can read about here. The 2016 Subaru Outback with the 6-speed manual gearbox is available now in Canadian showrooms. U.S. buyers can only look and not touch. See why the 2016 Outback is named a “Best Buy” 7 years running.


Laurie (not verified)    November 15, 2015 - 1:04PM

So, does this mean that we can't even import a 6-speed from Canada? I can't stand driving automatics. I would gladly go to Canada to get a 6-speed.

Philip L. Beck… (not verified)    November 26, 2015 - 12:35PM

You either drive a car or just ride in it. The dumbing down of Americans and laziness has killed manuals in America. I guess I will never own another Subaru.

Laurie (not verified)    November 27, 2015 - 10:26AM

In reply to by Philip L. Beck… (not verified)

Exactly! With a manual transmission, I feel like I'm driving the car. I'm working all of my limbs, I'm engaged and I'm alert. With an automatic transmission, I feel like the car is driving me and all I can do is steer and stop it to keep it from careening into anything. When you're dealing with multiple 1-2 ton vehicles on the road, I'd rather everyone actually be in control of their car and paying attention and alert. I was really planning on buying a Subaru Outback in the new year. No longer. I guess I'll get stuck with a Mazda CX-5 or something. Ugh.

Tony Ferreira (not verified)    December 28, 2015 - 3:26PM

I already sent an email to Subaru of America. I have leased Subaru for a little over 10 years and have been very happy with them but I already told Subaru of America, If the 2016 Legacy with manual transmission is not available in the US market a departure from the brand will have to take place. I will not drive an fake manual (Automatic w/ Paddles) nor will I drive anything other than fully manual. I enjoy driving my cars not getting driven by them. If manual is unavailable then Audi will get my business.

Vivian (not verified)    September 15, 2016 - 3:11PM

In reply to by Tony Ferreira (not verified)

I feel normal finding people like me, manual is all I know. Now, I need advice. I have been a Toyota fan for 20 + years but when they got rid off the manual transmission for their Suv so I moved to the Subaru manual Forester 2 years ago. I like the car but manuals come with almost nothing. It does not even lock the doors automatically when I am in gear. In addition it has serious oil consumption problem and a weird engine noise. Short of fighting to get it replace, I just want another car. I found that the manual Outback is available in Canada. Do you know how I could do a trade of my 2014 Forester for a manual outback in Canada? I am almos considering a Jeep because I can't get a decent manual transmission SUV. Not even the BMW has it.

Len weingarth (not verified)    January 11, 2016 - 10:16PM

07 Legacy Outback 40k miles I was planning to trade for a manual tranny version. So I guess I buy used or move on to Audi or something like that. I rented a Ford Festiva with auto/manual transmission with ??? fluid coupling and I guess an electric clutch. In gear put the brakes on hard and full throttle and sit there while it shudders and shakes. Drive it nice and it's OK. Gets 10,000 mpgs or so. Definitely NOT CVT. But manual shifting came with a bowl of oatmeal. The Sub. was my 1st auto in 20 yes. Never again. Maybe in my hearse.

George Oatmeal (not verified)    December 1, 2016 - 2:02PM

In reply to by Len weingarth (not verified)

Hahaha, what?

Is this what happens when a foreign language gets translated to English?

But manual shifting came with a bowl of oatmeal. The Sub. was my 1st auto in 20 yes. Never again. Maybe in my hearse.

I've never been given a bowl of oatmeal with a new car....? Sounds tasty though.

Mike smith (not verified)    January 26, 2016 - 8:26PM

I have an automatic 08 outback and would like a new one. But I like many others want a manual. I will not buy a new outback with a cvt

Robert Rydberg (not verified)    February 5, 2016 - 2:04AM

Manual transmission is a must at 7300 ft (Colorado). Snow and ice are par for the course here in Winter and the capability of downshifting instead of braking is vital, as in life-saving vital.
Automatic (with paddles or not) just won't cut it, not enough control on the shifting times.

Importing one from Canada or buying a real old one (lots of miles on it) seem to be the only choices....or switch brand.

Curt (not verified)    July 27, 2016 - 7:50PM

Talking with my Subaru dealership in the U.S., you can buy a stick shift Outback in Canada and bring it back to the United States, but you won't be covered by the car warranty.

Jennifer (not verified)    December 1, 2016 - 3:58PM

In reply to by Curt (not verified)

I spoke with dealer in Winnipeg and was told that Subaru would need to change the location of the shift box (something like that) to meet US emissions and it wasn't worth the cost. I was told I can not buy it and bring it here. I am getting divorced and my lovely hubby sold my 2014 Outback Premium with a manual trans last February. I finally found another one and paid over $5,000.00 more for the used car than I paid for the out the door tax title tag everything when we bought it new in 2013. Somewhat satisfying is that he will have to pay me back for the car I bought and it is 12,000 more than he got when he sold it to Carmax! I love that car and Subaru should bring it back for the 10,000 of us that only want manual transmissions.

Mik (not verified)    October 31, 2016 - 5:14PM

I have a 2010 6 speed Outback with 133,000 miles and want another but not buying a CVT. If you know someone in Canada, can they buy a new manual one and then sell to you privately? Of course, the speedo may be all in kilometers, but no big deal.

Kristina Evere… (not verified)    October 8, 2018 - 9:26PM

In reply to by Mik (not verified)

I've actually thought about finishing my degree at Ashford University which would allow dual citizenship. I could use that to get healthcare coverage issues resolved, and now I could buy the car I need to drive in the snow @UP of Michigan.

I'm wondering who do I have to bug the sh*t out of to make US govt to back off fuel emissions crap? We have giant planes, trains and trucks honking up and down the highways.

This country is going to Hell in a Hand Basket!

Jeremy (not verified)    April 20, 2017 - 12:42PM

I have a Manual 5 speed 1999 Legacy Wagon with 296,000 miles, all original, bought it new in 11/1998 and it is running great. Though I am starting to look for a new Subaru. Sad to find that the Outbacks are SVT only, no manual options, and the rear cargo space is smaller than my 99'. REALLY bumed out!! Been driving Subaru's since 1980.

I'd love a 6 speed manual Outback...looking for a loop hole in buying one from Canada if this is true.

Dean (not verified)    May 3, 2017 - 5:26PM

In reply to by Jeremy (not verified)

I'm currently waiting for my 2017 outback with a 6 speed that had to be built for me because there was 3 in all of Canada and none in the color we wanted so we got a white one made but got a hitch and trailer brake installed for free because of the wait and the wrong color, anyway I got the base model 6 speed because I hate all the electronics and the manual has the old 50/50 viscus cupling drive system witch isn't electronically controlled like all the others and proven for 30 years now I think. But what if you got a post office box # or a GOOD friend to buy and you rent to own at the same rate the payments are. With our dollar as low as it is you'd get a really good deal but you'd both have to really trust each other because you'd have to insure it in Canada probably under there name. Contracts would be needed for reasons need not be said if you've ever been ripped off before. Good luck

Hank (not verified)    September 3, 2017 - 1:48AM

Test drove a used '16 OB 3.6 today and was disappointed to learn only available transmission now is cvt. Salesman told me the cvt on the 3.6 is a"heavy duty" version, different from the cvt on the smaller 2.4 L engines. I cannot find any references from Subaru or other sites that make a distinction on transmissions or mentions "heavy duty". I don't want to charge the person with lying, but I'm suspicious. Can any readers comment? Thanks!