Honda Civic 2021 promises to add a bit of excitement to a stuttering sedan segment in the United States and the initial response to its unveiling has been largely positive. For purists who have craved control in the sedan, however, there is some bad news as the upcoming version of the sedan will ditch the manual gearbox for an all automatic lineup.
The decline of the conventional gearbox has been evident and quite stark in several international markets, especially the US. And while the Civic 2021 hatchback will continue to make use of the six-speed manual unit in certain variants, the on-board computers will take over all transmission duties in all variants of the Civic sedan.
(Also read: Manual transmission dying a quick death in US, will an exit follow in India?)
The decision to have even the base Civic 2021 sedan offer auto transmission units is almost certainly driven by the demand for such vehicles. In all of 2020, car maker in the US sold more electric vehicles than conventional vehicles with manual gearbox. The convenience of such a vehicle is regarded as the primary reason why the stick is largely been relegated to the sidelines.
With technology constantly on the update, vehicles with auto transmission units are offering the same level of driving engagement and mileage, if not more. As such, buyers are preferring this over manual units and car makers seem only too happy to oblige. According to data gathered by Edmunds and presented by CNBC, just 41 of 327 new vehicles in the United States now offer manual transmission as an option.
As such, the likes of Jeep, Toyota and Ford - and now Honda - are focusing on automatic in an unprecedented manner.
Civic 2021, in particular, is also carrying the weight of a whole lot of expectations because while it has enjoyed a place of prominence on US roads, its segment is facing a fierce challenge from SUVs of all shapes and sizes. Therefore, Honda may be looking at diving deep into customer sentiments to ensure that its next offering doesn't lose out to rivals in its segment, or any other segment, in any possible manner.