The Honda Civic Is Keeping The Manual Transmission Alive

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Bravo Honda for offering a manual across the lineup.

Manual transmissions are a dying breed, especially in the United States. In fact, manual cars were outsold by EVs in 2019. Many automakers have completely eliminated the humble stick shift from their lineups but Honda is not one of them. In fact, the 2020 Honda Civic Si (both the coupe and sedan) and 2020 Honda Civic Type R are only available with a six-speed manual transmission. Plus, Honda also offers a manual on the standard Civic with its base 2.0-liter four-cylinder or optional turbocharged 1.5-liter engine.

Back in 2018, Honda said the Civic's manual transmission take rate was an impressive 13.6 percent. The take rate has declined a bit to around nine percent in 2019 (according to rough sales estimates provided by Honda) but these numbers are still pretty impressive.

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Honda says the Si (coupe and sedan) make up around five percent of all Civic sales while the Type R, which is produced in limited numbers, accounts for around two percent. This means out of the nine percent of Civics sold with three pedals, around two percent comes from the standard model. Honda sold 325,650 Civics in 2019, so around 6,500 of these are manual, non-Si, or non-Type R models. Around 16,000 Si models were sold in 2019, all of which were manual.

The Si produces 205 horsepower from a 1.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder, which is a substantial increase over the standard Civic's 158-hp non-turbo or 180-hp turbo engines, either of which can be mated to a CVT. The Type R is the flagship of the range, with a 2.0-liter turbocharged engine producing 306 hp.

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While the Si is available as either a coupe or a sedan, the Type R is only available as a hatchback. Along with the manual take-rate figures, Honda provided CarBuzz with some rough estimates on the bodystyle sales-split. Around 72 percent of Civic sales (approximately 234,400 units) are accounted for by the four-door sedan. The hatchback fairs admirably with around 21 percent of sales (around 68,300 units) while the coupe comes in at a distant third with just seven percent of sales (around 22,800 units).

These are just rough estimates but like the Type R, it is clear that the Civic Coupe has become an extremely rare car. The Civic Coupe has the distinction of offering the largest back seat of any two-door car on sale today. We hope Honda will continue to offer it, even as sales decline.

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