2014 2.5i Limited CVT
It's simple - market.Hello, please tell me why the Subaru stopped putting turbines on the Subaru Forester, stopped installing mechanics? it's terrible, now you can’t get the emotions of driving a Subaru CVT terrible gearbox. It is unfortunate that the Subaru is losing its element and road qualities. my favourite manual transmission.
There are dozens of threads on this throughout the site - or just hundreds of comments.
But it all comes down to the all-mighty dollar (or yen or mark or buck or pound).
The XT Forester (last to have a turbo) was a low-volume model. It was marketed as a different "special" model. As such, it had limited sales... Same can be said of the manual transmission models. As the Gen Z'ers and millennials go away from driving - AND - don't know how to drive a manual transmission, there are less and less sales. As the Baby Boomers and Gen X folks age and don't want the "hassle" of driving a manual (due to health issues, commutes, whatever) the market place for manual transmissions has dwindled.
Another aspect is technology. A manual transmission is not controlled by the engine control module and other systems that control so many aspects of our vehicles... A manual transmission can not be controlled by the computers that may use them for vehicle stability control and other safety features that need to be able to drop engine output to better provide control of a vehicle.
The MPG requirements and claims are also important. Again, with the controlling of the engines and transmissions by the ECM and other systems can help boost the MPG the cars get.
The CVT is not a "terrible gearbox"... The Subaru CVT is far superior to pretty much any other CVT on the market and even a few "regular" automatic transmissions. And - to be technical - it's not a gearbox as there are no gears.
Finally - the real reason for the demise of the turbo and the manual transmission? Probably the dealers and sales guys on the floor. If the sales guys push the higher trim levels (Limited, Touring) and not the lower models (base and Premium), there is less sales volume in the manual transmissions as they're not available in those trim levels. Mostly because the majority of shoppers going for luxury models (that the Limited and Touring qualify as) don't wan't to shift for themselves.
So if sales guys (and gals) are pushing higher $$ vehicles, the dealer management will order more of those higher $$ vehicles - meaning less manual transmissions on the lot to sell. Meaning even less of a reason for Subaru to offer this "option". It's all about sales. There are very few ACTUAL BUYERS (not just those of us on this site) that buy the manual transmission models - probably less than 10%
Same can be said of the XT model and the turbo. The way the XT was marketed (here in the US) was with a dark charcoal (aka black) interior. I live in the deserts in Southern California and a dark interior is a near death sentence in the summer months. Others may just not want a dark interior because it can seem cave-like.
It also becomes a discussion about making manufacturing easier. If there is only 1 transmission available, then that cuts costs by NOT having to have a 2nd transmission available. It makes production easier and cheaper. As more and more models and systems are combined so that you have fewer and fewer chances for putting the wrong parts in the wrong cars. Think about wiring harnesses - nearly all manufacturers have a single wiring harness for a model that has the wiring and connections for all options, even if the actual item(s) may not be on your particular vehicle.
Also, there is the newer Ascent with the NEW 2.4 turbo motor. So why offer two different turbo engines across the line up. Mind you - the WRX uses a different turbo motor but is not in the same type of marketplace as a Forester or an Ascent or even the Outback.
Finally - part 2 - now with the 2020 Outback XT with the 2.4 Turbo from the Ascent, it makes some sense that MAYBE for the mid-cycle (2021) Foz, the 2.4 turbo could make an entry. But don't expect it to have a manual transmissions. Manual transmissions are probably going to become even more scarce across all makes and models in the years to come.