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Parks McCants's picture

‘Old School’ Honda Civic fan calls for manual transmission

Historically, a manual transmission was the answer to maximizing horsepower and torque from a small engine. ‘Old School’ Honda Civic fans still want one.
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In reading the Torque News inbox Tuesday morning, a frequent commentator, we’ll call him Doug, expressed a bit of concern as to the absence of a manual transmission option throughout most of the 2016 Honda Civic lineup. “Please don’t say that the only Civic that gets a manual transmission is the LX model,” said Doug.

Being an ‘Old School’ stick-shift import driver for more decades than I care to mention, a tear dropped to the keyboard as I quickly pounded out the following response to Doug’s query.

“ How ya doing Doug? Undoubtedly the Coupe and Si variants will be available with a manual transmission. We have no reason to believe that Honda will expand M.T. option availability past the current Civic trim lineup. For 2015, we find a 5 speed manual option available in: LX and SE trim variants. look for our first drive impression review October 19. In it I will share all trim variants and pricing.”

Doug may be a control freak as to red-line gained acceleration and torque. Or, he may simply be one of the 2% of drivers in the U.S. that still prefer to manually shift, we can appreciate that. As reported Monday, 2016 Civic Si will be edgy, but will it be what Doug wants?

What we can tell you about 2016 Honda Civic

Yes Doug, 2016 Honda Civic will be available with a manual transmission option. We’ve driven it, and it’s a much improved close-shift-throw manual, with reduced pedal pressure. That’s as far as we’re allowed to go with driving impressions.

We predict that a manual transmission option will be available for the 2016 Civic sedan and coupe in LX and SE trim variants, the Civic Si in both sedan and coupe variants and the near future Civic 5 door hatchback.

For the 98% of new-age Civic buyers that prefer that their shifting be done for them, Civic will once again return to the showroom floor with the hardest working CVT transmission in the industry.

CVT has you beat when it comes to MPG

The bottom line: While old school sports drivers may prefer to shift for themselves, new-age enthusiasts, professional racers and most commuters, prefer conventional automatic transmissions or CVT (continuously variable transmissions) over often tedious manual transmission shifting.

Try as you will, you’d be hard pressed to out perform a computerized CVT transmission as to optimizing power output while maximizing fuel economy.

For auto manufacturers, greater MPG is achieved through a combination of engine fuel management and computerized shift points. It may be time for Doug and the rest of us manual shifters to grab a thumb full of paddle shifting, invented for the ‘new age’ gear shifter in all of us.


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