Two Hyundai models going automatic-only for 2020

The list of stick-shifted new cars continues to shrink

The list of new cars available with a manual transmission in the United States continues to shrink. Hyundai has announced the Elantra and some variants of the Veloster Turbo will go automatic-only during the 2020 model year.

Both nameplates were available with a six-speed manual transmission through 2019. The Car Connection reported that the Elantra is losing the stick altogether, while some variants of the Veloster Turbo (pictured) will still be offered with a six-speed manual. However, the upmarket Ultimate trim will no longer be available with a manual transmission. Enthusiasts who want to give a shift will need to select a base model, or go for the full-fat Veloster N.

Those seeking a six-speed stick in an Elantra are not entirely out luck. While the sedan is clutch-free, the European-flavored Elantra GT hatchback comes standard with a manual transmission when buyers select the N Line trim. Hyundai charges $1,100 for a dual-clutch automatic transmission, while the base GT comes standard with a six-speed automatic.

Hyundai's move reflects an on-going trend in the automotive industry. As demand for manual transmissions continues to drop, automakers are gradually making even their cheapest and most basic models automatic-only. This allows them to save money by standardizing their production process. It's also much easier to integrate electronic driving aids (including some that will soon be mandatory, like collision warning) into a car with an automatic transmission.

At the other end of the spectrum, sports car manufacturers remain open to offering a manual transmission. Demand may not be as high as it used to be, but giving buyers the option of selecting a stick boosts their credibility while keeping purists happy. Cadillac is notably committed to offering future high-performance models with a manual transmission; Aston Martin is, too.

Photo by Byron Hurd.

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