You Can Relax, a Manual 2017 Subaru Impreza Was Just Confirmed


Subaru faithful can relax, as the 2017 Subaru Impreza will be available with a manual transmission. You just might need to live in the land of maple syrup and free health care to buy one.

When the wraps came off of the 2017 Subaru Impreza last week at the New York Auto Show, details were scarce as to what exactly was going to be included with the all-new compact sedan and hatchback. We learned about the new Sport trim and the bump in power to the four-cylinder engine thanks in part to direct injection.

Much fuss was made about the updates to the continuously variable transmission that includes seven “gears controlled through the paddle shifters. Mention of a salt-of-the-earth, row-your-own-gears manual transmission was mysteriously absent.

SEE ALSO: 2017 Subaru Impreza is Roomier, Slightly More Powerful

Could Subaru, a company that prides itself on fun-to-drive vehicles, be omitting the manual transmission from its compact cars? Good news for Canadians: Subaru Canada has confirmed that a manual transmission will be included in the 2017 Impreza, but specific details as to which trims it will be available in have yet to be released.

For American consumers, however, the answer is not quite as clear. We reached out to Subaru USA and have been informed that a manual transmission option for the 2017 Impreza is still to be determined.

Even if Subaru USA decides to not offer a manual transmission at launch, the 2017 Impreza, which will now be built in Indiana, will indeed have some manual transmissions installed, at least for the Canadian market. That means it could always be offered in America down the road if interest is great enough. But really, we can’t see Subaru offering the Impreza as CVT-only. We hope we’re right.

  • baja03

    This is exactly what they did with the Legacy and Outback. They are still available north of the border with a 6-speed manual– they just don’t bother to make them available in the US.

    In a way, this is good news because it means there are no technical or logistical reasons why the manual Impreza can’t be built in the US plant. People just need to yell at Subaru enough to crank up the quantity.

  • BernardP

    Good news about the manual, but please, don’t make it available only on the base trim level. When manufacturer make the manual only available on base models, it implies that it’s lack of money that makes buyers get a manual. Not so : There are manual tansmissions aficionados who prefer a manual with higher trim levels and more powerful engine options.

  • Inexplicable_1

    I’m sure it has a lot to do with certifying a manual model for US emissions, along with the fact that US sales people in every car company always complain that manual models sit too long on the dealer lot, so they stop ordering them from the factory. To my mind, this is dealer driven lack of demand, not customer driven. I’d buy another V6 manual transmission Mazda 6 hatchback (which is my current car) in a heartbeat if they still sold them here. Many companies like Mazda, who still proudly offer manuals in all of their sedans, started a sad trend this past decade of only offering manuals in lesser contented cars. For example, my Mazda 6S V6 is a 2004, and I got it loaded with heated leather, Bose, moonroof, etc. Nowadays, if you want a manual Mazda 6 in the US, it’s 4 cyl. only, and mid-level trim only, with no package upgrades like LED lighting or technology package. In Canada, you can get a top of the line Mazda 6 Grand Touring with a 6 speed manual, but again, not available with the Tech package. I find this all odd, but that Tech package has the iEloop regenerative capacitor, and I wonder it that only works with an automatic.

  • Mark S

    Ah, so we may need to smuggles manual Impreza’s from Canada to the USA! Joking aside, great they are going to do a hatchback and I hope that includes the WRX this time round.

  • J_in_TX

    One good thing about the manual, since youngsters have no clue when it comes to driving them, is they don’t often get stolen. I’ll take a manual transmission any day except for driving in city traffic. My bad left knee doesn’t like the clutch so much anymore under those circumstances.

  • Jan

    it’s not so much a manual Impreza I want. I want a rowing non-cvt automatic, instead of paddles, and a better engine than 2.slow

  • Jimi

    Same issue here. I currently drive a 6 spd V6 Acura TL. Guess what? Acura no longer makes *any* of their cars with a manual. Looks like I won’t be buying an Acura as my next car. But that’s ok, they (Honda Corp) will still get my money as the new Civic Type-R is at the top of my list haa haa

  • Inexplicable_1

    Ya know, I’ve thought that a 6 speed manual Acura TL with SH-AWD would be nice, but I’ve never really loved that car’s proportions or drab interior. I had high hopes that a new model would be my next car but then they did what you said about all automatics, and they morphed the TSX with the TL and it just looks like a compact car to me. Meh. The Accord V6 6-speed manual would be nice if it wasn’t solely available as a coupe. WTH?

  • AlamoJoe

    The CVT is getting better and better every year. My girl friend had a 14 impreza basic and got into a 16 premium with a better loan, all i can say is the CVT is night and day, all just by tuning… The CVT on the 16 vs the 14 has a real nice pull in between “gear” band ratio’s. and is much more responsive also gets 37mpg on backroads and highway and city 24mpg, I test drove a 15 XT and the CVT paired with a Turbo was Awesome! smooth and fast off its toes. the S# mode automatically puts you up to 4rpms to red line. but i found that the the SI mode was much more practical and fun to drive. If you haven’t driving the new CVT do so and by all means Test drive a turbo CVT and you will see its full potential.

  • AlamoJoe

    I think the issue is that with Subaru’s manuals, they aren’t the best.. Lots of complaints from Basic NA’s to the WRX straight off the lot. Slow, long and notchy. Their technology with CVTs has far more interest both from consumers and their engineers. They know that their CVTs are superior to other car companies and are investing all their efforts and tweaking them every year. The WRX MT over time will get reworked but the NA models will be stuck with their old tech and even less people will buy.

  • Mark S

    Agree that the NA Impreza will go more towards CVT, but like the manual shifter in the BRZ.

  • BernardP

    I have owned a 2005 Legacy 2.5i with the 5-speed manual, and it was OK. Not as crisp as the one on my previous 2001 Accord, but quite acceptable. In addition, the 5-speed on my Legacy had closer and shorter ratios than on my Accord, which had a huge hole between 2nd and 3rd. Because of this, and the much better low-end torque on the Subaru 2.5i engine, the Legacy felt stronger than the Accord in normal driving.

  • Peter Schmidt

    Well when you look at the current generation of the Impreza, the highest trim (Sport Limited) only has 5 noteworthy features over the best manual trim (Sport Premium). To my recollection, those features are:
    * Leather seats
    * Directional lights on the mirrors
    * Bigger wheels (same tire diameter)
    * Navigation for the infotainment system
    * EyeSight
    Personally, I don’t like leather seats in a car – they can get real uncomfortable and don’t age well. The directionals on the mirrors is a totally unnecessary expense. For AWD cars, smaller wheels are cheaper and more practical. The navigation system is relatively crappy; I’d rather use my phone. EyeSight isn’t operable via a manual transmission – you HAVE to have an automatic for it to work.

    So all that being said, sometimes the highest trim isn’t always the best option, depending on your priorities. Even if I didn’t get a manual, I’d still prefer the “worse” trims and save myself a few thousand dollars.

  • Bryan Ischo

    Just got a call from the dealer today. The 2016 manual Impreza I ordered is ready for pick up tomorrow. I ordered one without having even test driven it. The options for Japanese hatchbacks with manual transmissions (the only cars I was in the market for) is so small, it’s not like I would really have any other choice. Better to just assume it’s going to be good, buy it, and live with it either way!

    The world is moving on. When I was in my teens/early 20’s, I only drove manual Japanese hatchbacks (first car: 1979 Toyota Celica Supra). Then I met my wife who didn’t want to deal with manuals and so I gave them up. 20 years later my wife has her own Prius and I can finally get what I want again. However, I expect that the next time I go to buy a car in 5 or 10 years, there will be *no* manual Japanese hatchbacks to choose from. If I can’t drive a manual, I’ll just get an electric car, and mourn the passing of an era.

  • Bing

    we have something like that. it’s called WRX.