The numbers are in.
We were rather upset when Toyota revealed how many of its customers opted for a manual transmission in 2018 - or should we say, how few. A 1% take rate for the Corolla didn't surprise us too much, but we were shocked by the 86's low 33% take rate. It means that two-thirds of 86 customers who walked into a Toyota dealership last year walked out with an automatic transmission on a car that is begging to be driven with a manual.
Keen to see if the 86's twin, the Subaru BRZ, also had a low manual take rate, Autoblog reached out to Subaru to get some numbers. For some unknown reason, the BRZ's manual take rate is drastically different than the 86's, even though the two are essentially the same car.
Subaru says 78% of BRZ owners opted for the six-speed manual, which far exceeds the take rate for the Toyota 86. We aren't sure why there is such a disparity between the two cars. The BRZ's take rate was even higher than the Mazda MX-5 Miata's, which had an impressive 76% rate for the soft top model.
Subaru also had another car with a staggeringly high take rate. The take rate for the WRX is a whopping 90%, which means only 10% of customers opt for the CVT. These numbers are slightly bolstered, however, because the WRX STI is manual only.
On the more mainstream end of Subaru's lineup, things aren't as rosy. The Impreza's take rate is 8%, the Crosstrek's is just 6%, and only 3% of Forrester buyers opted for a manual in 2018. For 2019, the Forrester has dropped the manual option entirely because so few people wanted it. All told, Subaru sold over 47,000 manual cars in 2018, which is actually more than Honda sold in the same year. Given that Subaru sells fewer cars than Honda, its total manual take rate was 7% compared to Honda's 2.6%.