Report: Mazda 6 Drops Its Manual Transmission for 2019

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
report mazda 6 drops its manual transmission for 2019

Changes come to Mazda’s midsize 6 sedan slowly, with mild — some might say imperceptible — styling refreshes and content changes usually occurring halfway through the model year. Last year saw a big and long-awaited addition to the slinky sedan: an available turbocharged 2.5-liter inline-four aimed at silencing, once and for all, enthusiasts’ cries of moar powah.

That mill brought 277 horsepower and 310 lb-ft of torque to a model often regarded as the most engaging midsize on the market, though buyers couldn’t pair it with the base model’s six-speed manual transmission. For 2019, however, it looks like no one will get their hands on a stick.

According to order guides seen by CarsDirect, the manual transmission disappears from the Mazda 6 altogether for 2019, leaving a six-speed automatic as the car’s sole gearbox. Yes, that means the Honda Accord will become the sole mainstream midsizer still available with a stick.

The equipment change also hikes the 6’s entry price. Rising $1,875 from the 2018 model, the base Sport’s after-destination MSRP comes out to $24,720.

For that sum, buyers get a 2.5-liter four-cylinder with 187 hp and 186 lb-ft, the aforementioned automatic, and a higher level of standard content. The addition of i-Activsense (Smart Brake Support, lane-departure warning with lane-keeping assist, automatic headlights, adaptive cruise control with stop & go) to the base model, combined with the automatic, means the entry-level 6 widens the price gap between it and the newly upscale Mazda 3. Factoring in those former options, the Mazda 6 only increases by $200.

Elsewhere in the 6 lineup, changes are meager for 2019. CarsDirect reports that loftier trims see a price climb of $325 to $725, with the Grand Touring Reserve gaining power folding mirrors. The top-flight Signature model will start at $36,020 after destination.

Production of 2019 models began in February, with delivery to dealers expected next month.

(Update: Drew Cary, senior manager of brand communications for Mazda North American Operations, confirmed the report in an email to TTAC, saying, “As we have moved the Mazda6 upscale with the launch of the Grand Touring Reserve and Signature models, we have seen less demand for a manual transmission option.”

Cary pointed to the continued existence of the manual transmission in the Mazda 3 and MX-5 lines, adding, “We will continue to listen to our fans and if their desires should change in future we will respond accordingly.”)

[Images: © 2018 Chris Tonn/TTAC]

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  • IBx1 IBx1 on Mar 28, 2019

    Mazda: hey we're the new BMW now People: neat Mazda: no really, look *eliminates manuals from their lineup*

    • See 1 previous
    • La834 La834 on Mar 29, 2019

      Just like the real BMW in other words...

  • ABC-2000 ABC-2000 on Mar 29, 2019

    Manual AT make sense only on your second car, I find myself using “brake hold” when I’m in heavy traffic since I am tired of holding the brake pedal, now, imagine holding the clutch pedal too? I drove a manual car for a week in Iceland and I enjoyed every mile, but in city traffic it is no fun at all!

    • Slavuta Slavuta on Mar 29, 2019

      No, you don't hold the clutch down - you will weaken the pressure plate. Whenever you can, put into first and crawl.

  • Conundrum Three cylinder Ford Escapes, Chevy whatever it is that competes, and now the Rogue. Great, ain't it? Toyota'll be next with a de-tuned GR Corolla/Yaris powerplant. It's your life getting better and better, yes indeed. A piston costs money, you know.The Rogue and Altima used to have the zero graviy foam front seats. Comfy, but the new Rogue dumps that advance. Costs money. And that color-co-ordinated gray interior, my, ain't it luvverly? Ten years after they perfected it in the first Versa to appeal to the terminally depressed, it graduates to the Rogue.There's nothing decent to buy on the market for normal money. Not a damn thing interests me at all.
  • Inside Looking Out It looks good and is popular in SF Bay Area.
  • Inside Looking Out Ford F150 IMHO. It is a true sports car on our freeways.
  • Inside Looking Out Articles like that are nirvana for characters like EBFlex.
  • ToolGuy "Ford expects to see Pro have a $6 billion pre-tax profit this year and Blue a $7 billion pre-tax profit."• That's some serious money from commercial vehicles (the 'Pro' part)