As car enthusiasts, we talk a lot about manual transmissions. We buy manual transmissions. We mourn the slow, painful death of manual transmissions. But the latest manual transmission to die is the one in the Mitsubishi Outlander Sport, which approximately zero of us knew had a manual transmission.
Don’t fake it. Don’t even try. The real news here is not that the Outlander Sport is losing the manual, it’s that the little crossover had one at all.
It’s news to most people, at least—Autoblog reports that Mitsubishi’s dropping the manual in the 2020 Outlander Sport, which debuted with somewhat-new-to-it looks earlier this year. Mitsubishi said the five-speed manual, which was only on the base 2019 car and was paired with a 2.0-liter, four-cylinder engine, made up just two percent of sales on the model, meaning there wasn’t a business case to keep it around.
Here’s what is staying around for 2020, via Autoblog:
We confirmed that the powertrains from the 2019 model year car will carry over to the 2020 Outlander Sport, which means you’ll have the choice between the 148 horsepower 2.0-liter or the 168 horsepower 2.4-liter four-cylinder. Both engines are paired to a CVT. Of course, all-wheel drive will also continue to be available optionally.
Autoblog wrote that pricing for the 2020 model still hasn’t been announced, but the entry-level price on the model will almost certainly go up—the manual 2019 Outlander Sport has a base price of $20,945 in the configurator, and the next cheapest is a $22,145 trim with a continuously variable transmission.
Mitsubishi confirmed to Jalopnik that the two-percent take rate for the manual Outlander Sport is for the U.S. market only, and it shows in that the option isn’t going away everywhere—the company’s announcement of the 2020 model said European buyers will get an option between the manual and the CVT. Given that Mitsubishi Motors North America reported selling 39,153 Outlander Sports from any model year in 2018, though, and two percent of that would be about 800.
Mitsubishi can be an easy brand to pick on, and rightfully so—it’s abandoned our small, fun cars and made the nameplates we loved into crossovers. But here, Mitsubishi offered a manual transmission in the $20,000 crossover guise that budget buyers flock to these days, and we didn’t even know it.
Shame on us.