This week, reports came out about dealer order guides for the 2019 Mazda 6 missing a feature that’s long been optional on the car: a manual transmission. But no matter how much you wanted to ignore the reports and wait until its debut to accept the truth, Mazda confirmed the news to Jalopnik overnight.
CarsDirect reported the news Wednesday, citing dealer order guides for the 2019 car that showed every trim—both the 187-horsepower models and the ones with 227- to 250-HP turbos—getting six-speed automatics only. The six-speed manual, offered only for the lowest, 187-HP “Sport” trim on the 2018 Mazda 6, looked to be no more—upping the car’s entry price and lowering its number of pedals.
The move, CarsDirect reported, would take the 2018 Mazda 6 from its current U.S. starting MSRP of $21,950 before destination fees to a new base MSRP of $24,720 for 2019. (CarsDirect didn’t report whether that 2019 figure included destination fees, but it’s likely that it did. The 2018 Mazda 6 with an automatic starts at $23,000 before $895 destination, meaning the reported jump from the 2018 base automatic to the 2019 base automatic isn’t that huge.)
Jalopnik reached out to Mazda about it, and a spokesperson cited the decreasing demand for the manual Mazda 6 in confirming that the stick is, indeed, on its way out for 2019.
“At Mazda we are always listening to our fans, especially when it comes to what they are looking for from our vehicles,” the spokesperson told Jalopnik via email. “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.
“We continue to support enthusiasts who enjoy driving with a manual transmission in the all-new 2019 Mazda3 Premium Hatchback model, and of course the ever iconic MX-5 Miata.”
The spokesperson said Mazda will continue to listen to customers, and that if “their desires should change in future,” the company will respond accordingly. Jalopnik asked Mazda for confirmation on whether this only affects the U.S. or North American markets for 2019, and will update this story if we hear back.
It’s a sad but logical move to axe the manual transmission on the car, given that both sedans and manuals aren’t doing too well in terms of new-car sales in the U.S.—crossovers, SUVs and transmissions that do the shifting themselves are what people want. The outgoing base Mazda 6 with a manual was a good car at a steal of an MSRP off of the lot, though, even compared to one of its highest-priced, turbocharged superiors.
But good cars don’t always equal good sales numbers, no matter how much they should, which is why we’re often left to search for them on the used market.
See you there, manual Mazda 6.
Update: Thursday, March 28, 2019 at 2:58 p.m. ET: In response to Jalopnik’s question about where all the manual Mazda 6 is dead, a Mazda spokesperson said it’ll stick around elsewhere. This decision was made “solely for the U.S. market,” they said.