Mazda, the brand most associated with telling its customers that "driving matters," has pulled the manual transmission from the 2019 model year 6 mid-size sedan.
The move leaves the new Mazda 3 hatchback (in Premium trim) and the MX-5 Miata as the only two models that the Japanese brand offers with a manual transmission. CarsDirect reported Wednesday that Mazda had axed the manual for the 2019 model year. The move also pushes the Mazda 6's starting price to $24,720, an increase of $1,875. Previously, the base Sport trim could be had with a manual transmission, which kept the price down $22,845. New standard safety equipment does, however, inject some value into the higher starting price.
2018 Mazda MAZDA6
Tallying the prices of previously optional equipment brings the actual price increase to a more reasonable $200. The automatic transmission was a $1,025 option on 2018 models and Mazda's suite of active safety equipment cost another $625. Buyers also get rain-sensing wipers and the brand's G-Vectoring Control Plus handling system standard.
For those who absolutely need three pedals in their mid-size sedan, the choice falls to just a single car now: the Honda Accord. Honda still offers a 6-speed manual transmission alongside a 10-speed automatic or a CVT on certain trims. Yet, the manual transmission may not be gone for good in Mazda's mid-size car.
2018 Mazda MAZDA6
Mazda spokesperson Tim Olson told Motor Authority that the manual transmission could return, but buyers will need to voice their preference loud and clear. "We will continue to listen to our fans and if their desires should change in the future we will respond accordingly," he said. Translation: speak up if you want a manual.
The decision to remove the manual transmission from the Mazda 6 comes as the brand continues to push some of its models upmarket. Olson added that demand for the manual transmission has fallen as Mazda introduced more luxurious trim levels such as the Grand Touring Reserve and Signature to the mid-size sedan's trim range.