We acknowledge carmakers are killing off manual transmissions, but we didn't see this one coming so soon. It turns out Mazda will no longer build the Mazda6 with a manual transmission. That's it. We said it. Can we go mourn now? It's easily one of the best driving passenger cars out there, and now it's getting rid of the one most prominent advantage in the model in terms of satisfying driving enthusiasts.

mazda6 grand touring red
The Mazda6 full loaded in Grand Touring Reserve trim. The potent turbo four is great, but no stick shift was ever available in the higher trim levels. 

There's no question that sales of the manual transmission model (available only on the lowest Sport trim) weren't great. After all, as excellent as the Mazda6 is, its sales lag well behind the Toyota Camry and the Honda Accord, both of which were recently redesigned.

The Mazda6 actually happens to be the best out of the three cars in terms of styling, driving dynamics (especially with the new upgraded engine), and interior quality. But there's no point in Mazda continuing to build the 6 with a stick if it's not selling. We get it, but we lament the demise of the three-pedal setup because it maximizes the Mazda6's strengths.

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With the 227-hp turbo engine, the car is now near perfect. We loved the new 6.

Granted, you couldn't get the Sport manual with the new engine, only the original 187-horsepower naturally aspirated four-cylinder, which was pretty good but not quite powerful enough. That's why the stick made it great. It took the modicum of power and exploited it by providing perfect driver control.

The 2019 Mazda6 Sport will have a starting price of $24,720, which will be $1,875 more than the 2018 model. That will account for the price of the 6-speed automatic transmission, which will be the only one available across the Mazda6 trim line. But Mazda will also give the Sport trim additional features such as automatic emergency braking, lane departure warning, lane-keep assist, automatic headlights, adaptive cruise control, and rain-sensing wipers. 

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We used the Mazda6 configurator for the Sport trim for 2019. It's actually pretty well outfitted with standard equipment. No word on how much longer you can order one.

The good news is that the 2019 Mazda6 will get more driving improvements, including the now standard G-Vectoring Control Plus system. The system aids in the turns even better now thanks to the addition of braking response when turning instead of just altering engine torque. The result is sharper and more controlled handling. Even before the G-Vectoring system was introduced, the 6 was already quite adept at managing twisty roads and sharp turns. 

honda accord
If you want a fun family sedan with a stick, you have to opt for the Honda Accord Sport.

It seems manual transmission family sedans will soon become a thing of the past. Only the Honda Accord is left in terms of $20-$30K family sedans available with a stick shift. Eventually, that will go away, as well. If you can get your hands on a current Mazda6 with a stick, get it now. You might even be able to get a sweet deal on it, and you'll have one of the best driving, best looking, and most comfortable sedans for the money. 

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