Yup, you read that right. For 2020, more trim levels of the Honda Civic will be available with a manual transmission. In a day and age where the third pedal is disappearing even from cars like the Shelby GT500, it’s an unusual move for a company to expand its stick shift options. So for enthusiasts? This is great news.
Of course, the red-hot Type R is excursively available in a manual, and it was available on the Sport trim as well. Unfortunately, until now the Sport Touring was only available with an automatic. But now you can get a fully loaded Civic, complete with creature comforts like leather, heated rear seats, a 10-speaker audio system, and navigation, with Honda’s excellent six-speed manual.
Too often, if you’re looking to row your own, that means opting for a lower trim level, or even a smaller engine. But that’s clearly not the case here, and it will likely prompt enthusiast shoppers to look at bells and whistles they wouldn’t have considered before. Overall, it’s a great move from Honda.
It’s also kind of a no-brainer, as the Civic remains a favorite for folks who need a practical car that’s also engaging to drive. Here’s what we had to say last time we got to test the a manual Hatchback Sport:
Power comes from a turbocharged, 180-horsepower 1.5-liter four cylinder, and while much has been made about the lack of Honda’s legendary VTEC, variable valve timing is still on the menu.
Now, Honda has always made a great gearbox, and the six-speed unit in the Civic Hatchback Sport is no exception. The clutch action is light without feeling flimsy, throws are snappy, and fans of a manual transmissions will find running through the gears a joy. The steering is a sharp too, and flinging the lithe little hatchback into corners makes for fantastic fun. So, does the fact that it takes north of seven seconds to hit 60 mph matter? Not in our book.
You can check out the full review here, where we also note that a CVT automatic is available, but emphatically recommend the stick. What can we say? We’re purists.
To check out all the trim levels of the Honda Civic, head over to your local AutoNation Honda dealer. After a quick spin behind the wheel, we’d be surprised if you didn’t find it as fun and engaging as we do. Just do yourself a favor and ask for the stick!