I'm repeating this from an earlier reply I posted:
'You can still get an Outback with a 6-speed manual transmission in either base or premium trim. Lots more power, same raised ride-height as the Crosstrek, good fuel economy, 2,700 lbs. TOWING CAPACITY, great interior and very comfy and quiet.'
I was surprised by how well this car/cuv drove. Great steering feel and not a lot of roll unless you pushed it like a sports car.
The prices of the two Outback trims you can get the manual tranny with are surprisingly close to the Crosstrek's. As an added bonus, if it matters to you, the Outbacks are built in the U.S. whereas the Crosstreks are built in Japan.
In any case, I still feel the Outback is a viable alternative to the Crosstrek. Doesn't look nearly as cool for sure, but it's a Subaru, they've never really been style leaders -- although I've always like their utilitarian designs.
2014 Yamaha XT1200Z Super Tenere
2013 Honda CB1100
2008 Yamaha WR250R
1988 Honda Hawk GT