Does the 2022 Honda Civic Represent the Last of a Kind?


2022 Honda Civic hatchback. Image: Honda

We reported yesterday that the 2022 Honda Civic hatchback will offer customers a manual transmission.

Could it be the last Civic that does so? Or, at least, the last non-performance Civic (Si, Type-R) that offers a stick?

After all, the Honda dropped the manual from the Accord sedan this year after much talk about keeping the three-pedal flame alive when the car was first redesigned. I don’t have numbers in front of me, but I can’t imagine manual-transmission take rates are high.

Not to mention that electrification is likely on the horizon for compact, mainstream cars like Civic and while it’s not impossible to offer manuals with electrified vehicles — Honda itself offered a manual CR-Z — it is unusual. It is likely easier, from an engineering standpoint, and perhaps less costly, to use automatic transmissions with electrified vehicles. Not to mention that some electrified vehicles don’t even really use a transmission — some vehicles use electric motors to more or less directly drive the wheels.

I’m generalizing there, obviously, but the point is that there’s a chance that this Civic is the last one to offer three pedals. With the possible exception of the performance models, of course.

Or maybe it won’t be. The electrification shift is moving in fits and starts, and the manual may still have a place even after the market moves. Maybe there are enough Civic buyers who will tick the option box for a manual to convince Honda product planners that there will be enough takers to make it worth the cost.

Personally, I am optimistic that the Civic will hold out as a last bastion of manual transmissions for as long it can, but I’ve been wrong before. Many times. And wishful thinking — “I hope the manual remains available in the Civic” — can easily run afoul of reality, and lose.

Then again, sometimes we do get pleasantly surprised.

[Image: Honda]





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