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I apologize if this has been said, but they should really do a 6 speed manual. Ditch the eyesight if needed (read somewhere that’s why the ascent is only available in auto) would be beyond awesome.
 

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I don't think EyeSight requires the CVT -- I'm pretty sure other Subarus are available with both EyeSight and manual transmissions. I imagine the take rate for a manual-equipped Ascent (or any family-focused 3-row SUV) would be vanishingly low, but agree that it'd be entertaining.
 

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I think most 3- ( and 2-) row SUV buyers just want to schlep their kids, pets, and stuff from point A to point B as comfortably as possible. The take rate would be very low. It's low in general across all car models and types.

I think that's why you see manuals mostly in either entry level, or sport/performance vehicles only nowadays ( even BMW and Porsche have severely reduced the availability of manuals). In addition, newer automatics can often outperform a three pedal setup, while achieving similar or better fuel economy in some instances.
My Vette had a manual, it was a blast. In a family SUV, it might not be so fun.
 

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The chance of getting a manual transmission in a vehicle like this is probably less than zero. The vast majority of folks in the intended market don't care, don't want something like that and/or don't know how to drive one. There are very few vehicles of any make/model available at this point in North America with a manual transmission and that set is shrinking every year.
 
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I did read Subaru considering doing away with the manuals because they wanted all their cars with iSight.

When sports cars that are typically manuals are starting to only be offered in automatics, that doesn’t bode well for us manual faithfuls. I still drive a manual daily. Our early family car (Xterra) was a manual until we outgrew it. We couldn’t find another family sized vehicle in a manual.
 

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I think I was wrong above about EyeSight and a manual transmission being available together. A few models (like Legacy and Crosstrek) appear to offer both, but it doesn't explicitly show both available at the same time on the same trim. And WRX appears to package EyeSight together with the CVT. I guess it makes sense -- many of the standard EyeSight features (like adaptive cruise control, collision mitigation braking, and even resume from a stop) would be severely hampered by a manual transmission.
 

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I think I was wrong above about EyeSight and a manual transmission being available together. A few models (like Legacy and Crosstrek) appear to offer both, but it doesn't explicitly show both available at the same time on the same trim. And WRX appears to package EyeSight together with the CVT. I guess it makes sense -- many of the standard EyeSight features (like adaptive cruise control, collision mitigation braking, and even resume from a stop) would be severely hampered by a manual transmission.
So the manual for the Crosstrek helps me out with how underpowered the car is. The next Crosstrek that comes out has been reported to have a little more horsepower but no manual.
 

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So the manual for the Crosstrek helps me out with how underpowered the car is. The next Crosstrek that comes out has been reported to have a little more horsepower but no manual.
Yes; I've heard that the Crosstrek will soon be offered with the FB25 engine (same 2.5L as in the base Legacy and Outback) and it appears, at least from that link above, that the FB25 would be available with the CVT only.

Three pedals can really make a car more entertaining to drive. The last one I had was a 2007 Corolla. That little 1ZZ-FE engine (1.8L) was pretty fun with a 5-speed. I had fairly nice Yokohama tires on 15" alloy wheels, and a strut tower brace, and that car would really stick well to corners. And it wasn't that hard to get a li'l scratch going into 2nd gear, too. Totally unexpected from what otherwise looked like grandma's little Corolla LE. (y)
 

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Yes, unfortunately this car and a lot of other Subaru’s only come in an automatic CVT now. I’m a manual trans driver and I was really loathed to give up my 6 speed manual Forester for my Ascent limited. Foresters and Outbacks are only automatics now as well. My dealer said that since Subaru want to have the safest car on the road, they cant have the eyesight with a manual. Subaru wanted eyesight to be standard on most of their cars (I think) so they had to phase out the manual transmission. This is only what I was told so take it with a grain of salt. I do know the Ascent is automatic only otherwise I’d be driving an entry level 6 speed manual Ascent right now.
 

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I know so many people these days who have no idea how to drive a standard. It's incredulous really. No wonder the manufacturers are dropping them.
What came first, the decline in offering or people not buying it? I have to wonder how manufacturing costs and ease factors in. Standardization is a mantra for manufacturers.
 

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What came first, the decline in offering or people not buying it?
That's certainly part of what started out the trend for sure...limited and falling demand most likely is the answer to the question you pose. When you add to that the strong beat of safety goals and features, it's pretty much an expected outcome that manual transmissions are not going to be offered on most mainstream vehicles. Even many of the top-end super cars don't use them anymore, if I'm not mistaken. I don't mind driving a manual transmission...it can even be fun...but I'd never buy one. In fact, the last one I did buy was a "baby blue" 1979 VW four door Rabbit with a 5-speed, purchased new in the summer of 1979.
 

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That's certainly part of what started out the trend for sure...limited and falling demand most likely is the answer to the question you pose. When you add to that the strong beat of safety goals and features, it's pretty much an expected outcome that manual transmissions are not going to be offered on most mainstream vehicles. Even many of the top-end super cars don't use them anymore, if I'm not mistaken. I don't mind driving a manual transmission...it can even be fun...but I'd never buy one. In fact, the last one I did buy was a "baby blue" 1979 VW four door Rabbit with a 5-speed, purchased new in the summer of 1979.
For me it would depend on the car. I had a Jetta with a 5 speed and I could wring out every last ounce out of it with the stick. The autos were slugs with that engine. With the Ascent, probably not, no. With a perfomance car, it depends on what's offered. Some autos aren't so reliable down the road and I would choose stick, on the other hand, the 8 speed auto in a challenger scatpack/RT shifts very quickly for a planetary auto and would be hard to beat. It all depends on the application. Now on a motorcycle, I don't think I'd want a DCT, like on a gold wing. IDK. The manual box is just part of that experience and really keeps one more connected.
 

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The part I like best about manual transmissions is the control they give the driver over the engine speed. If I don't want to upshift, I don't upshift. Or if I want to downshift early before a hill, I downshift early. Or if I see that I'll want to stay in this gear due to a long hill, I just won't upshift early, like an automatic often will.

Subaru's CVT gives me all of this in a package that's also easy for my wife to drive. She doesn't drive manual transmissions, and prefers to put the car in "drive" and just go. The Ascent does that. I usually just put it in "drive" and just go. The Ascent does that. Sometimes I want to drive it myself, and keep the engine spinning at a speed I prefer. It has the torque to drive pretty much anywhere at any speed, but sometimes I just want to keep it "on the cam". The Ascent does that (paddle shifters). We have a lot of rolling hills around here, and two-lane roads, and maybe I just want the engine to stay at a nice consistent hum. The Ascent does that (paddle shifters). Many people couldn't understand why a company would put a manual mode on a CVT (crazy, right?). I absolutely love it (the paddle shifters...not the fake shifts in CVT mode).

There are other reasons why folks prefer manual transmissions, and I don't say this to minimize any of those. But I am grateful that Subaru gave us the option to control the engine and transmission the way we want to, if we want to. Great work, Subaru!
 
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