Even though we love a crisp stick shift, we are fully aware that the manual transmission will go the way of the dodo. Which is inevitable, given the take rate of three-pedal cars against their automatic versions.
Toyota shared some interesting sales stats with Carbuzz, showing just how few manual models it sells in the USA. Some of them are less surprising than others, but the numbers show just how increasingly difficult it becomes for automakers to justify a manual option in their models.
The lowest take rate for manual transmissions in Toyota’s lineup belongs to the Corolla, at less than 1 percent. This means that out of the 280,000 Corollas sold in the US during 2018, less than 2,800 of them were ordered with a manual gearbox.
“It’s not very high for the Corolla as a whole, but it is better if you just count the hatchback,” spokesperson Nancy Hubbell commented. Toyota offers the hatchback with a new six-speed unit and the take rate for that sits at 15 percent, but the sedan is by far the biggest seller between the two body styles.
Other Toyotas offered with a manual include the Tacoma and the Yaris, with just 5 percent of buyers dishing the auto. This is one of the reasons the company decided not to offer the 2020, Mazda-built Yaris hatchback with a manual option at all, and it makes perfect sense.
What doesn’t is the 86. The lightweight rear-wheel drive coupe has been praised by everyone for its fun-to-drive and genuinely involving character and comes with a sleek, and character-appropriate, six-speed manual. According to Toyota, though, only 33 percent of 86s sold last year were manuals. And that’s not a supermini of family saloon, but a sports car that’s aimed squarely at those who put driving thrills at the top of their list. Sure, Americans don’t really fancy a third pedal, but this is totally disappointing.
The manual transmission will be a thing of the past in the future, but when even in cars like this it is shunned by two thirds of its buyers, then that future could be much closer than we thought…