We're often told manual cars don't sell in meaningful numbers Down Under, but certain models buck the trend. Models like the Mazda MX-5.
A recent report from the USA revealed 76% of MX-5 soft-top buyers are opting for three-pedal cars, and 52% of RF buyers are choosing to row their own.
Which got us wondering if the story is the same in Australia. Thankfully, Mazda was happy to indulge our curiosity.
According to Mazda Australia, around 65% of all MX-5 sales have been manual year-to-date in 2019. Around 70% of all soft-tops have three pedals, along with about 60% of all folding hardtop RF models.
The MX-5 is obviously an enthusiast vehicle, but even enthusiast interest is no guarantee of support for the manual.That's a direct contrast to what we've heard from other carmakers in Australia.
Volkswagen no longer offers the Golf GTI in Australia thanks to WLTP-related supply issues, but the company doubled down on the fact there's big demand for the DSG.
"We make cars our customers want, and our customers are telling us this is what they want," a company spokesperson said.
"Second-time buyers for these cars, for GTIs and Rs, have had a manual are coming back to get DSG because it's quicker, it's more efficient and on the move we as humans just can't change gears as quickly as that – whatever tactile enjoyment... we might derive from it."
At the top end of the market, supercar makers are abandoning three-pedal cars in droves.
Let us know your thoughts in the comments!