2015 Buick Verano Turbo to Keep Manual Transmission

Officials from Buick confirm the 2015 Buick Verano Turbo will in fact retain its available six-speed manual transmission, after internal confusion late last week led to a report that it would be discontinued. Buick initially said that the 2015 Buick Verano Turbo, the only Verano model that offers a manual transmission, would soldier on with only a six-speed automatic.

“It was the result of some internal confusion,” a Buick spokesperson told Automobile. “Different information went to our product information representative.”

The original report, consistent with our predictions back in 2012, contended that the decision to drop the six-speed manual from the 2015 Buick Verano was the result of extremely low popularity. In 2013, 45,527 Buick Verano models were sold in the United States. Of these vehicles, barely one percent were equipped with a stick shift — fewer than 455 vehicles for the whole year.

With either transmission, the Buick Verano Turbo employs a turbocharged 2.0-liter inline-four making 250 hp and 260 lb-ft of torque. The standard Buick Verano uses a 180-hp 2.4-liter inline-four.

Buick would not say directly why it decided to continue offering the six-speed manual gearbox for the 2015 Buick Verano, but given the slim take rate we assume it’s because it doesn’t cost them much to build it when a customer puts in an order. The same six-speed manual transmission and 2.0-liter turbo-four are also offered on the Buick Regal, meaning the Verano Turbo can use parts off the shelf to minimize costs. Interestingly, the manual take rate for the Buick Regal is higher than that of the compact Verano.

Manual transmissions in the U.S. have become options largely catered to enthusiasts who want the feel and control of a sportier driving experience. It’s no surprise that few opted for the Buick Verano’s manual gearbox, especially considering that Buick is the first to admit that the car “was never intended to be a high-performing sport compact. Like all Verano models, it’s really designed more for comfort.”

Pricing for the 2015 Buick Verano is still unavailable, but the outgoing Turbo variant starts at $29,990 including destination. The base Buick Verano costs $24,625.