Here's How Many Manual Transmission-equipped Vehicles Toyota Sold Last Year

Matt Posky
by Matt Posky

As much as it pains us to say it, manual transmissions are on their way out. While car enthusiasts bemoan the matter incessantly, as we just did, the reality is that most drivers aren’t interested in owning something with a stick. It’s gotten to a point where many automakers no longer offer vehicles with a manual transmission, or just keep one high-performance model around with an optional clutch pedal just to appease a subset of their customer base.

Toyota, which sells more manual models than most, recently spilled its guts to CarBuzz after the outlet requested the company reveal the percentage of its new cars still sold with a manual while attending the Supra launch event.

The resulting figures are about what you’d expect.

At the time of this writing, Toyota still sells manual variants of the Yaris, Corolla, 86 coupe, and Tacoma pickup — albeit not in every trim. However, the world’s most prolific automobile (the Corolla) saw less than 1 percent of U.S. buyers opt for a manual transmission in 2018. Toyota spokesperson Nancy Hubbell said that breaks down to roughly 2,800 vehicles. “It’s not very high for the Corolla as a whole, but it is better if you just count the hatchback,” Hubbell said, adding that roughly 15 percent were sold with a stick.

Once again, hatchback owners prove themselves to be the real automotive enthusiast — or perhaps this author’s disgusting bias is showing. Still, it should be said that Toyota intentionally positioned the new-for-2019 hatch as the more performance-oriented choice, even if we were to go by looks alone. It’s possible the company could boost those manual numbers a bit if it found a way to run with the hatch’s diet-performance image while adding some power, but without breaking the bank.

The 86, which you might expect to have a more even split, as it is quite literally an enthusiast car, only saw a third of its brethren shipped with a stick in 2018. Considering that a six-speed manual was supposed to be part of its overall appeal, and that stick-shift models actually boast five additional horsepower, this was quite the surprise.

Meanwhile, the Yaris and Tacoma saw around 5 percent of U.S. customers choosing to row their own gears in 2018. That breaks down to about 12,280 pickups and just 97 examples of the itty-bitty hatchback.

With that in mind, it should be no surprise as to why Toyota decided against providing the Yaris with a manual option for the 2020 model year and has already relegated clutch pedals to well-equipped Tacoma TRDs with the beefier V6.

Yeah, yeah. We know you hate it. But the manual is living on borrowed time, continuing to lose prominence as fewer and fewer adults bother to learn how to drive stick. We’re just glad some manufacturers still bothering providing them, as there’s not much of a financial case to be made anymore.

[Images: Toyota Motor Corp.]

Matt Posky
Matt Posky

A staunch consumer advocate tracking industry trends and regulation. Before joining TTAC, Matt spent a decade working for marketing and research firms based in NYC. Clients included several of the world’s largest automakers, global tire brands, and aftermarket part suppliers. Dissatisfied with the corporate world and resentful of having to wear suits everyday, he pivoted to writing about cars. Since then, that man has become an ardent supporter of the right-to-repair movement, been interviewed on the auto industry by national radio broadcasts, driven more rental cars than anyone ever should, participated in amateur rallying events, and received the requisite minimum training as sanctioned by the SCCA. Handy with a wrench, Matt grew up surrounded by Detroit auto workers and managed to get a pizza delivery job before he was legally eligible. He later found himself driving box trucks through Manhattan, guaranteeing future sympathy for actual truckers. He continues to conduct research pertaining to the automotive sector as an independent contractor and has since moved back to his native Michigan, closer to where the cars are born. A contrarian, Matt claims to prefer understeer — stating that front and all-wheel drive vehicles cater best to his driving style.

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  • Jeff S Jeff S on May 16, 2019

    It is probably cheaper to make a CVT than a manual. My problem is not so much with how the CVT equipped vehicle drives as with the long term reliability and the cost to replace a CVT. I prefer manuals and understand that their days are limited but my concern is most vehicles are going to CVTs and how will these hold up in the long run. Hopefully the CVTs will become more reliable. Nissan has the worst of the CVTs.

    • Arthur Dailey Arthur Dailey on May 16, 2019

      'Had' the worst. They were also the first to implement them throughout their line-up. Being the first generally results in headaches/a learning curve. As they now have the most experience with CVT's perhaps they are now 'ahead' of the other manufacturers?

  • Everyonesgrudge63 Everyonesgrudge63 on May 17, 2019

    I love my manual Tacoma! I also love that its so rare.

  • Charlie 78 for my ‘09 Mercury mariner. It has 850k miles on it and leaks oil. It has 9 scratches, deformed bodywork, and severely rusted frame and suspension. When you stand on the duct taped rear bumper, the suspension creaks loudly. Also it has a loud vibration and rod knock, and the driver rear window is falling out. Ps. Don’t they normally have a roof rack and display screen? Cause mine doesn’t.
  • Honda1 More disposable junk from Hyundai.
  • Analoggrotto The ORDER BOOKS in Australia have netted 300% above projection. Australia is so awesome and they are embracing the Telluride DIesel to overtake the Prado. Pentagon data, and eATPs rule the discussion, bar none. Toyota fans can go home with their sorry little turbo 4 cylinder.
  • Analoggrotto Such a loving artful tribute to TTAC's greatest godfather is much welcomed. There's a new and better PORSCHE and they are from SOUTH KOREA baby! After years of Japanese oppression, SOUTH KOREA is the TIGER of the Far EAST. We just need a modern day James Dean and that would be Rhys Millen!
  • Groza George Our roads and bridges are crumbling and increasing vehicle weight will only make bridges crumble faster. We need more infrastructure work.
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