One of our favorite aspects of the excellent Honda Accord sedan is no more. Honda confirmed to MotorTrend that the Accord’s available six-speed manual transmission has been discontinued, a decision highlighted at the end of Honda’s press materials for its 2021 lineup (which also includes major news for the Civic). In fact, the stick-shift Honda quietly went out of production in December of 2019, but the move went unnoticed because those already-built models are still circulating among dealers.
The Accord has long been associated with the manual transmission, and folks on our side of the business might even go so far as to claim credit for its continued availability—the midsize Honda sedan’s penchant for winning awards is due in no small part to its seeming commitment to driving enthusiasts and an available three-pedal setup. Why? Blend the Accord’s award-worthy-on-its-own renowned reliability, quality, and dynamic excellence with a Honda manual transmission, and you get a low-key sporty four-door that rewards its driver on every commute.
Honda notes the stick’s greatness was enjoyed by an ever-shrinking subset of Accord buyers. Over the past few years, only 1 to 2 percent of all Accords were equipped with manuals, which translates to a few thousand per year. The stick-shift option was never a huge seller, but Honda was able to make the business case for years thanks largely to the Accord’s overall huge sales numbers. Consider: Even if some 5 to 10 percent of the mix were manuals, then that represented five figures’ worth of annual sales. That’s more than enough transactions to justify the costs for a stick-shift Accord’s crash-testing, EPA certification, etc. It seems the business case has at long last evaporated—something Honda seems genuinely sad about. As the automaker put it in a statement:
“Manual transmissions will remain an important part of the Honda lineup, currently available in Civic sedan, hatchback, Si, and Type R. Enthusiast consumers have long reaped the rewards of this commitment and those buyers helped make Honda the retail No. 1 manual-transmission brand in America in 2019.”
We’re sad, too, even if the Accord sedan’s six-speed manual transmission is survived by the surprisingly competent continuously variable automatic for the base turbocharged 1.5-liter four-cylinder engine and the snappier 10-speed automatic used with the more powerful 252-hp turbo 2.0-liter. Those interested in one of the last current-generation Honda Accords with a manual, which is a no-cost option on the Accord Sport, should hurry. Supplies quite literally are running out, and the stick won’t return when the Accord is updated for 2021. Beyond that, you can always hunt for a used Accord with a stick.
The post Oh, No! Honda Accord Drops Manual Transmission for 2021 appeared first on MotorTrend.