The manual transmission phase-out continues.
Hyundai has just announced its changes across the lineup for the 2020 model year. Most of it is the usual shuffle around with some additional standard features and changes. But a couple of things jumped out at us that were snuck away in the press release. Hyundai is continuing to phase out manual transmissions and Elantra and Veloster Turbo models have suffered even more. Now, the stick is disappearing from all the Elantra sedans, and the only way to get one will be through the 2020 Hyundai Elantra GT five-door hatchback in the N-Line trim. We suspect that will only last until the hatchback gets a redesign along the same lines as the sedan though.
That's not going to be the end of the world for most people, but the sadder news comes for the Veloster.
It appears manual transmission enthusiasts are only buying the Veloster Turbo in its base configuration as Hyundai is dropping the option from the Turbo Ultimate trim level. That means if you've been eyeing the leather seats, HD Radio compatibility, embedded navigation, and the head-up display to go with a stick then you had better settle for the 2019 model. Or, simply bite the bullet and step up to the Hyundai Veloster N for some back road kicks at a better price than its competitors.
Sadly, it looks like the end of the road is coming for the manual transmission. They're getting both more expensive and rarer at the same time. We've recently lost some key players as companies like Audi has killed the manual in its cars entirely and Mazda is quietly sending the third peddle packing. Soon, even the Chevrolet Corvette won't have a third peddle. Thankfully, a few companies such as Honda and Porsche are still keeping the dream alive. Still, we can take comfort in the fact that Bluetooth is pretty much standard now and we're forced to buy our cars with backup cameras.