There’s a new MPV in town, and it’s aiming to give the likes of the Mitsubishi Xpander and Toyota Veloz a run for their money. It’s the all-new Stargazer, and Hyundai Motor Philippines Inc (HMPH) has just launched it in the country.

With a starting price of PHP 998,000, a generous amount of features and amenities, as well as intelligent driver aids called the Hyundai Smartsense, the Stargazer is set to make a name for itself in the country.

But unlike most compact MPVs in the country that continue to be available with a 5-speed (or 6-speed) manual transmission, all variants of the 2023 Stargazer will have Hyundai’s Intelligent Variable Transmission (IVT). Unlike traditional CVTs, the IVT makes use of a chain-driven system that the automaker says eliminates slippage and improves fuel efficiency.

So why did Hyundai opt to just offer the all-new Stargazer with the IVT across all variants? According to Mark Parulan, Deputy General Manager for Marketing at Hyundai Motor Philippines, it all comes down to several factors.

Should Hyundai PH offer 2023 Stargazer with manual gearbox? image

The first of which is that they want to provide convenience to motorists at any price. Originally, Hyundai planned on offering a manual variant of the MPV to the Philippines. But after calculating that the base model GL with the IVT is already affordable as it is, they decided not to bring a manual transmission version.

Another reason they decided to not have a manual variant of the Stargazer is to attract more customers that are looking for a budget-friendly 7-seater. Combined with the convenience of an IVT and with most buyers nowadays preferring automatics, it’s no surprise Hyundai decided to only offer IVT models of the MPV.

Last but not least is the shrinking market of the manual gearbox. With buyers now preferring to have a self-shifting transmission to avoid having to change gears manually while in traffic, the manual gearbox is starting to become a niche offering.

At less than PHP 1 million, it’s true that the Stargazer was able to undercut some of its closest rivals while still offering an automatic. But do you think Hyundai should offer a manual version of the MPV in the future? Let us know in the comments.