Toyota RAV4 manual lives on despite death of three-pedal Corolla

Toyota Australia isn't abandoning the manual transmission entirely. The Corolla manual might be gone, but the RAV4 manual lives on for now.

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Scott Collie
News Editor

Toyota Australia has axed the entry-level Corolla manual, but it hasn’t given up on three-pedal cars entirely.

Along with its sports cars and the city-focused Yaris, the brand will continue to offer a manual version of its mid-sized RAV4 SUV.

Currently, only the entry-level RAV4 GX is available with a manual transmission. The rest of the range is available only with a continuously-variable transmission, regardless of whether you opt for the petrol or hybrid.

Sales of the GX account for around a quarter of Toyota RAV4 sales, but only 1.4 per cent of those GX sales are manual.

In other words, less than 1.0 per cent of Toyota RAV4 buyers want to change gears themselves.

Why keep the GX manual when it sells in such small numbers? For starters, it’s a price leader to help get people through the door.

It’s also possible a Toyota fleet partner demands a three-pedal RAV4 alongside a huge order of HiLux or LandCruiser 70 Series utes.

The RAV4 SUV isn’t the only mainstream manual in the Toyota stable.

Along with enthusiast cars like the GR Yaris and Toyota 86, Toyota Australia still offers the base Yaris city hatchback and LandCruiser 70 Series with three pedals.

A number of Toyota RAV4 rivals also still offer manuals. The cheapest Nissan X-Trail and Mazda CX-5 both have three pedals, as does the entry version of the soon-to-be-replaced Kia Sportage.

The safest space for manual transmissions is in affordable sports cars, though.

Manufacturers are turning away from three-pedal options in their mainstream cars, but plenty of hot hatches still feature a manual, including the Toyota GR Yaris, Hyundai i20 and i30 N, Renault Megane RS, Honda Civic Type R, and the Ford Fiesta and Focus ST.

MORE: Toyota RAV4 news and reviews


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