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2021 Corolla Hatchback XSE 6 spd
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Discussion Starter #1
Hi All,

For all those on the Forum because they are looking to buy a Corolla (that was me a week ago), please consider a manual transmission. Even if you don't know how to drive stick.. ESPECIALLY if you don't know how. So many people don't believe me, but you have no idea what you're missing by avoiding the 6 speed and going for the CVT.

The CVT is the easy choice by far, just from an availability standpoint. I got really lucky to find one with a stick in my color on a dealer website in a state next to mine (about an hour drive). Before i found it, i knew i was going to wait awhile for my dealer to get one in, just for me to drive. Then another wait to get exactly what i wanted. So going for the stick is going to be some additional work and wait time. But oh man is it worth it.

I'm coming from a 2002 RAV4 with 240K on the clock. It still runs strong but has some problems i'm working on. It got to the point where i needed to start looking for a car and i discovered the Corolla hatchback. I didn't even know they existed. I was hooked the first time i looked at one in a dealer's lot.

The RAV is pretty raw. I thought that even before i got the Corolla. Now it feels like i'm driving the Flintstones car when i'm in the RAV. It's as funny as it sounds. The Corolla is so refined, so smooth, so darn easy to drive. I knew it would be night and day but the difference still surprises me.

Ok now i'm pleading with all you Corolla shoppers out there.. consider the manual. If you don't even know how to drive stick, i'm not sure how you would go about test driving. Maybe test the CVT just to discover everything about the car, and then get a friend who drives stick to test one with you? Pull over out of sight of the dealer and switch places in a parking lot? I can almost guarantee that you will be able to drive it in no time. Not well of course, but good enough to get by.

At this point you will be saying to yourself 'i'd be crazy to want to put myself through this driving pain'. Yes, you'll need to take a leap of faith (another bit of hard work for the manual), that this will all be worth it. If you do accept the challenge, it will be weeks, months, even a year or longer, before your eyes are fully opened. But the car will take on a new dimension. The engine will feel peppier. You'll feel much more connected to the car. Some drives will be for the sake of the drive - not to get from point A to B. I drive most times with the info screen dark, and no music. The music is the engine.

Maybe i'm crazy.. no, i'm sure i'm crazy. But not about this. Toyota THANK YOU for saving the manual !
 

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I won’t call you crazy. Far from it. I get where you’re coming from. I will say, maybe a little short sighted, but not crazy.

So so so many people just don’t care about how much better the driving experience is. The majority of people buying this car think of the car as a vehicle that can get them places, for a long time, that is very safe, and plays their music. Past that, they don’t care. A manual will just always be a burden. A burden they can avoid, but getting the CVT that drives smoother, and that they need to only worry about being in reverse, drive, and park.

I agree that for someone who cares about the connection and the driving experience, who doesn’t mind the extra work in heavy traffic or hilly scenarios, and who can find one, should definitely do it. All day. Better driving experience? Always a manual. I test drove a manual , and I agree it is very good, especially for someone who is just starting on a stick. But most people just don’t care about it for themselves. I went with the CVT for that exact reason. I like the manual. And I think the cars feels and handles very well. But I have the project car for when I want an amazing experience. This is my commuter, my sitting in traffic moving fifty feet every few minutes car, my never-worry-about a clutch car. I totally get the hype and publicity around it, but I also know that for so many people, the CVT is going to be their only choice. Not to mention that many people are stubborn and don’t like learning new things, but that’s a whole nother discussion.
 

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2019 Corolla Hatchback XSE
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I been driving manual since 16 and I do agree but I had no choice to get an automatic or pending epic divorce because argument was that the kids need it for their driving test. So I told her, they can drive your mb but nope on that.

So as much as I work like to save the manual, better half of me got better of me.
 

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And I just wanna add, my biggest issue with the manual, are the people who bought a manual, and shame everyone who bought the CVT.
 

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2006 Corolla XRS
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10,144 Posts
Hi All,

For all those on the Forum because they are looking to buy a Corolla (that was me a week ago), please consider a manual transmission. Even if you don't know how to drive stick.. ESPECIALLY if you don't know how. So many people don't believe me, but you have no idea what you're missing by avoiding the 6 speed and going for the CVT.

The CVT is the easy choice by far, just from an availability standpoint. I got really lucky to find one with a stick in my color on a dealer website in a state next to mine (about an hour drive). Before i found it, i knew i was going to wait awhile for my dealer to get one in, just for me to drive. Then another wait to get exactly what i wanted. So going for the stick is going to be some additional work and wait time. But oh man is it worth it.

I'm coming from a 2002 RAV4 with 240K on the clock. It still runs strong but has some problems i'm working on. It got to the point where i needed to start looking for a car and i discovered the Corolla hatchback. I didn't even know they existed. I was hooked the first time i looked at one in a dealer's lot.

The RAV is pretty raw. I thought that even before i got the Corolla. Now it feels like i'm driving the Flintstones car when i'm in the RAV. It's as funny as it sounds. The Corolla is so refined, so smooth, so darn easy to drive. I knew it would be night and day but the difference still surprises me.

Ok now i'm pleading with all you Corolla shoppers out there.. consider the manual. If you don't even know how to drive stick, i'm not sure how you would go about test driving. Maybe test the CVT just to discover everything about the car, and then get a friend who drives stick to test one with you? Pull over out of sight of the dealer and switch places in a parking lot? I can almost guarantee that you will be able to drive it in no time. Not well of course, but good enough to get by.

At this point you will be saying to yourself 'i'd be crazy to want to put myself through this driving pain'. Yes, you'll need to take a leap of faith (another bit of hard work for the manual), that this will all be worth it. If you do accept the challenge, it will be weeks, months, even a year or longer, before your eyes are fully opened. But the car will take on a new dimension. The engine will feel peppier. You'll feel much more connected to the car. Some drives will be for the sake of the drive - not to get from point A to B. I drive most times with the info screen dark, and no music. The music is the engine.

Maybe i'm crazy.. no, i'm sure i'm crazy. But not about this. Toyota THANK YOU for saving the manual !
It would be awesome if the auto industry would just wake up. Sad that the MT is hanging by a thread these days. Recently saw an article on a possible revival of the Mazdaspeed 3. Only catch to get an MT is to spend WRX money. Many buyers don't want or need the unnecessary packaging just to get an MT.

I hope Toyota doesn't kill it off and pull a stunt like that. I drive an older model and don't want to give it up especially if all the new cars come with auto.
 

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It would be awesome if the auto industry would just wake up. Sad that the MT is hanging by a thread these days. Recently saw an article on a possible revival of the Mazdaspeed 3. Only catch to get an MT is to spend WRX money. Many buyers don't want or need the unnecessary packaging just to get an MT.

I hope Toyota doesn't kill it off and pull a stunt like that. I drive an older model and don't want to give it up especially if all the new cars come with auto.
I hope for a new Speed 3, but I don’t know how much hope I’m putting in it. That rumor has been around for a hot minute. I know the estimated dates have gotten closer and closer.

I don’t think Toyota will. At least not anytime soon. This generation has brought many more car enthusiasts back to the brand and they’ve really been working on improving their Motorsport and performance image lately.
 

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2006 Corolla XRS
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I hope for a new Speed 3, but I don’t know how much hope I’m putting in it. That rumor has been around for a hot minute. I know the estimated dates have gotten closer and closer.

I don’t think Toyota will. At least not anytime soon. This generation has brought many more car enthusiasts back to the brand and they’ve really been working on improving their Motorsport and performance image lately.
I hope you're right about Toyota fueling the comeback of the MT. Though, I don't completely believe it. It's difficult enough to find one. Maybe in all of Phoenix I think I saw 3.
 

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I hope you're right about Toyota fueling the comeback of the MT. Though, I don't completely believe it. It's difficult enough to find one. Maybe in all of Phoenix I think I saw 3.
There aren’t many. But that’s likely just reflecting the market. It’s good that’s it’s available, and that dealers can order it if requested. But there still isn’t ultimately a huge demand. But I think with Toyota working on the GR brand and getting back into Motorsports(like winning a LE Mans for the last two years) oh and the GR Yaris is coming.
 

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I completely forgot about that. I know it was confirmed, but I don’t know if it was confirmed for the US. The Yaris has been confirmed for the US.

My bad, just re-read that and it exclusively says it’s not coming to the US.... yet.
 

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2020 Toyota Corolla Sedan SE (6-MT)
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I was actually looking to buy my first automatic vehicle (been driving since 1982) when I bought my latest car (2020 SE Corolla Sedan 6-MT), but had decided against anything with a push-belt CVT design of any kind after researching it heavily. So, I bought another manual, since my only real automatic-transmission options these days in the size/type vehicles that interest me would be a Mazda (which I have nothing against) or an (ugly-looking) hybrid of some type with an eCVT design. I don't really see driving a manual as being more work, outside of serious stop & go congested traffic. Perhaps that is just because it is like second nature to me after driving them exclusively for almost 4 decades.
 
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19 Corolla HB SE 6-spd
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6,006 Posts
6-speed manual transmission in 12th gen Corolla is by far the best I've ever had... It's also my first 6-speed.

1980 Toyota Celica 5-speed
1979 Mazda RX-7 4-speed
1985 Pontiac Fiero GT 4-speed
1980 Ford Mustang 4-speed replaced with BorgWarner 5-speed
1995 Dodge Neon 5-speed
2004 Corolla CE 5-speed
2019 Corolla Hatchback SE 6-speed
 

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2021 Corolla Hatchback XSE 6 spd
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Discussion Starter #15
I really appreciate that Toyota offers the stick on a low end model car that is not supposed to be high performance or particularly sporty. You don't have to spend extra money, which would be counter productive. You don't sacrifice reliability by having to get a turbo or something like that. It's one of the last few basic commuter cars where you can say that. Basic commuter car is a relative term.. not that many years ago, a car like this would have shamed most anything else in terms of luxury. It's amazing how things have changed since my 2002 RAV.

I read an article that said the Yaris was offering a stick on the sedans only. I just checked the Toyota site and that is not true. So you can even go lower than Corolla and get the most base car with a stick in either sedan or hatchback. I found that the highest Yaris trims do not offer stick, so that's a bummer. But bottom line, Toyota is making cars they really don't have to, to satisfy a very small population. There must be some real enthusiasts high up in the food chain. Probably the owners.

I agree with invader.. best manual i've ever had by far. I drive about 45 mins to work in the morning and the same trip home may take me 1 hour. I feel lucky to be that far away from work!
 

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19 Corolla HB SE 6-spd
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6,006 Posts
I have to say, what made the new state-of-the-art 6-speed manual tranny really shine is by replacing the original 1.5 liter of gear lube with RedLine MT-LV, stiffening up the sole rear motor mount by filling its cavities with Permatex Ultra-Black, and with audible exhaust, and with stiffened suspensions.


 

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2021 Corolla Hatchback XSE 6 spd
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Discussion Starter #18
I have to say, what made the new state-of-the-art 6-speed manual tranny really shine is by replacing the original 1.5 liter of gear lube with RedLine MT-LV, stiffening up the sole rear motor mount by filling its cavities with Permatex Ultra-Black, and with audible exhaust, and with stiffened suspensions.
Sounds like we need a how-to! (Motor mount and trans oil)
 

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2021 Corolla Hatchback XSE
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111 Posts
I certainly won’t shame anyone for buying a CVT instead of the manual. To each his/her own I say.

I particularly picked out this car due to it having a manual. I had to order it so that I could get it in the color I wanted. This will be my daughter’s first car in a few years and it being a manual is a big perk. My wife was totally on board with me getting it knowing this is the plan.
 
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