Anybody out there have a manual transmission Honda Civic hybrid?



I’m thinking about getting a hybrid, but can’t bear to give up shifting - Honda stopped making 5-speeds in 2005 - so now I’m thinking maybe a used one? Anybody have thoughts?



Honda stopped making ALL 5 speeds? Or just with the Hybrid? I find it hard to believe that Honda woun’t offer a stick shift in any car.


As far as I know, the hybrids use CVTs, which means there’s no way for there to be a manual.


According to Honda’s web site, the Civic Hybrid only comes with a CVT and the Accord only with an automatic. Manual transmissions are available with conventional drive trains.

You can compare fuel consumption of the various Civic and Accord models on the web site,

Be aware of the substantial differences in performance from one drive train to anonther. Among the Civics, the order from fastest to slowest is Civic Si, other conventional Civics, Civic Hybrid. Among the Accords, it is Accord Hybrid, 6-cylinder Accord, 4-cylinder Accord. (The Accord Hybrid is fast because it has a 6-cylinder engine.)


no - just for hybrids - all other models come w/ manual option.


maybe the technology changed - because manual was available until 2005.


thanks - those are good points - appreciated!


Electric motors can “change gears” just by electronically “rewiring” them (changing the number of poles and operating frequency), so the transmission only needs a few gear ratios, or even one fixed gear ratio. (The Tesla Roadster has only two gear ratios, IIRC.)
Thus, it is inherently an automatic transmission. You could use a manual switch to command the power electronics but what’s the point? Motor control electronics are already extremely efficient (95% or higher easy to achieve for larger motors), so even an experienced driver will not be able to save much with manual control. And it would be a lot of work to implement.


Star882, what are you talking about? Do you even understand how the Hybrids work? By your post, I think not.

Please disregard Star882’s post. It is full of bad information.


Two electric motor/generators, MG1 and MG2 are in the transaxle. The MG2 provides 50 kW (67 hp) @ 1,200 to 1,540 rpm and 400 N?m (295 ft?lbf) torque from 0 to 1,200 rpm, which significantly contributes to performance and economy. The MG1, with rpm from -10,000 to +10,000 rpm, provides the engine starter and counter torque for the electronic Continuously Variable Transmission;
50 kW IGBT inverter controlled by a 32-bit microprocessor, which efficiently converts power between the batteries and the motor/generators.

Continuously variable transmission ? the Prius uses a computer-managed (rather than a mechanical) CVT; Toyota calls it the Power Split Device[2]. The electric motors and gasoline engine are connected to a planetary gear set which is always engaged, and there is no shifting.


The transmissions on Toyota hybrids (PSD creates an eCVT) are different than on the Honda hybrids (CVT is a more conventional belt system, and the manual versions when offered were fairly traditional manual transmissions…)

Honda has been the only manufacturer to offer a manual transmission hybrid. Following model years are for the US:
2000-2006 Insight manual (CVT was first available in the 2001 model year, 2001-2006)
2003-2005 Civic Hybrid manual (CVT 2003-current model year, CVT only (no more manual transmission versions) beginning in the 2006 model year with the introduction of the redesigned HCH-II)

The hybrid system in the HCH is near identical to that of the Insight, so you can get more info at

You can get some real-world mileage figures for the manual transmission HCH at:

For HCH-specific questions, you may wish to seek out advice from owners groups online.


Oh, wow. You can use a search engine and cut-and-paste. But do you understand what you read? Do you understand that you just made my point?

In your first post, you stated “Electric motors can “change gears” just by electronically “rewiring” them (changing the number of poles and operating frequency), so the transmission only needs a few gear ratios, or even one fixed gear ratio.” This holds true if the electric motor is the only motor in the drivetrain.

But, to counter me, you copy-pasted “The electric motors and gasoline engine are connected to a planetary gear set which is always engaged”. The gasoline engine still requires a transmission to manage it’s power, as it has a limited RPM range compared the the electric motor. Since the two are always engaged, and working together, the gasoline engines RPM range dictates the overall output that requires a transmission.

Honda and Toyota both feel that CVTs and automatic transmissions work better and are more fuel efficient in hybrids than manual transmissions. Probably, due to the nature of the computer controls between the gasoline and electric systems, they feel the computer controlled transmissions provide a more reliable systems, as well.

CVTs are a new breed of transmission. There are different types that are being made, but simply put, they don’t ‘shift’ gears to work, but use a patented system to constantly orient an ‘infinite gear ratio over a finite range’ between the input and output shafts. So, the computer controlled CVT can keep an engine running at the optimal RPMs for whatever speed or acceleration rate the car is running at. For example, if your accelerating from a stop to 50 MPH, the CVT will pick an engine speed, like 3000 RPM, and constantly adjust the final drive ratio from like 4:1 to 1:1 while keeping the engine at a constant 3000 RPM. This is a rough example, because in the real world, the RPMs would slide from 3000 RPM down as the power requirements drop off as you approach your cruising speed.


The Prius “transmission” is actually very complicated. The motors can also work as generators. One of the motors is attached to a relatively simple gearbox that effectively adds or subtracts shaft speeds. At low speed, the extra shaft speed is taken by one motor and then operates the second motor to add torque. At high speed, shaft speed is added by one motor while removing torque using the other motor to power the first motor.
Here’s a much more detailed description:

The Synergy Drive is a drive-by-wire system with no direct mechanical connection between the engine and the engine controls: both the gas pedal and the gearshift lever in an HSD car merely send electrical signals to a control computer.

HSD replaces a normal geared transmission with an electronic system. All car powertrains drive a driveshaft that turns the drive wheels of the car. Because an internal combustion engine delivers energy best only over a small range of torque and speed, the crankshaft of the engine is usually attached to a switchable gear train that matches the needed torque at the wheels to the torque that can be delivered by the engine.

HSD replaces the gear box, alternator and starter motor with a pair of electrical motor-generators, a computerized shunt system to control them, a mechanical power splitter that acts as a second differential, and a battery pack that serves as an energy reservoir. A motor-generator is a transducer that converts electricity to motion or vice-versa. The mechanical connections of the system allow the computer to convert mechanical power from the engine between three forms: extra torque at the wheels (under constant rotation speed), extra rotation speed at the wheels (under constant torque), and electricity. This achieves the benefits of a continuously variable transmission, except that the torque/speed conversion uses electricity rather than direct mechanical connection. An HSD car cannot operate without the computer, power electronics, and MG2, though in principle it could operate while missing the gasoline engine. In practice, HSD cars can be driven a mile or two without gasoline, as an emergency measure to reach a gas station.

One of the motor-generators (MG2 in Toyota manuals; sometimes called “MG-T” for “Torque”) is mounted on the driveshaft, and thus couples torque into or out of the driveshaft: feeding electricity into MG2 adds torque at the wheels. The engine end of the driveshaft has a second differential; one leg of this differential is attached to the gasoline engine and the other leg is attached to a second motor generator (MG1 in Toyota manuals; sometimes “MG-S” for “Speed”). The differential relates the rotation speed of the wheels to the rotation speeds of the engine and MG1, with MG1 used to absorb the difference between wheel and engine speed. The differential is an epicyclic gearset (also called a “power split device”); that and the two motor-generators are all contained in a single housing that is bolted to the engine. Special couplings and sensors monitor rotation speed of each shaft and the total torque on the driveshaft, for feedback to the control computer.

The drive works by shunting electrical power between the two motor generators and the battery pack to even out load on the gasoline engine. Because a power boost is available for periods of acceleration, the gasoline engine can be sized to match only the average load on the car, rather than the peak load on the car: this saves fuel because smaller engines are more power efficient. Furthermore, during normal operation the gasoline engine can be operated at its ideal speed and torque level for power, economy, or emissions, with the battery pack absorbing or supplying power as appropriate to balance the demand placed by the driver.

The HSD operates in distinct phases depending on speed and demanded torque. Here are a few of them:

* Engine start: To start the engine, MG1 is fed negative voltage, so that it acts as a starter motor. The engine is forced into forward motion. Because both motor generators are sized to drive the entire car, turning the engine does not stress the motors and the conventional starter motor sound is not heard: engine start is silent. Engine start can occur when the car is stopped or moving.
* Low gear (equivalent): When accelerating at low speeds in normal operation, the engine turns much more rapidly than the wheels, but does not develop as much torque as is needed. MG1 is forced rapidly backwards, and the computer pulls electricity from MG1. The electricity is shunted to MG2, adding torque at the driveshaft, so that the drive train develops power at low speed and high torque.
* High gear (equivalent): When cruising at high speed, the engine turns more slowly than the wheels, but develops more torque than is needed. The computer pulls electricity from MG2, reducing the torque available at the wheels. The electricity is shunted to MG1, which boosts the speed of the driveshaft. Because the engine supplies mechanical energy to the whole system, conservation of energy is not violated: the power that is shunted from MG2 to MG1 is less than the total power developed by the engine, and so power is delivered to the wheels.
* Reverse gear: There is no reverse gear as in a conventional gearbox: the computer feeds negative voltage to MG2, applying negative torque to the wheels. Early models did not supply enough torque for some situations: there have been reports of early Prius owners not being able to back the car up steep hills in San Francisco. The problem has been fixed in recent models. If the battery is low, the system can simultaneously run the engine and draw power from MG1, although this will reduce available reverse torque at the wheels.
* Silent operation: At slow speeds and moderate torques the HSD can drive without running the gasoline engine at all: electricity is supplied only to MG2, allowing MG1 to rotate freely (and thus decoupling the engine from the wheels). This is popularly known as "Stealth Mode." Provided that there is enough battery power, the car can be driven in this silent mode for some miles even without gasoline.
* Neutral gear: Most jurisdictions require automotive transmissions to have a neutral gear that decouples the engine and transmission. The HSD "neutral gear" is achieved by breaking the electrical connection to both MG1 and MG2. Under this condition, MG1 is free running and no torque can be delivered to the wheels (MG1 rotates backwards when the engine rotates forward).
* Regenerative braking: by drawing power from MG2 and depositing it into the battery pack, the HSD can simulate normal compression braking while saving the power for future boost. The HSD system has a special transmission setting labelled 'B' (for Brake), that takes the place of a conventional automatic transmission's 'L' setting for engine braking on hills. If the battery is full, the system switches to conventional compression braking, drawing power from MG2 and shunting it to MG1, speeding the engine with throttle closed and so slowing the vehicle. The regenerative brakes in an HSD system absorb a significant amount of the normal braking load, so the conventional brakes on HSD vehicles are undersized compared to brakes on a conventional car of similar mass.
* Electric boost: The battery pack provides a reservoir of energy that allows the computer to match the demand on the engine to a predetermined optimal load curve, rather than operating at the torque and speed demanded by the driver and road. The computer manages the energy level stored in the battery, so as to have capacity to absorb extra energy where needed or supply extra energy to boost engine power.
* Battery charging: The HSD can charge its battery without moving the car, by running the engine and extracting electrical power from MG1. The power gets shunted into the battery, and no torque is supplied to the wheels.


You know, at least Star is using correct information now, even if he isn’t thinking for himself… beats giving irrelevant rants about auto A/C…


So Star882 is expanding his horizons even more now?
OP, you’re better off looking for info here.


If you would like read stars information firsthand here is the link.

~Michael (Dartman69)


My 2003 HCH had a manual transmission, and when I got a 2006 only the CVT was available. With the '03 I was easily getting 45 - 50 mpg, where the '06 seldom gets better than 40 mpg. A lot of my driving is on highways, and I’ve noticed the CVT gets about the same mileage around town as on the highway. Is it possible the CVT is programmed to give better in-city mileage, at the expense of highway mileage? This link to real-user results confirms my observations, manual versions always got about 10 mpg better than the automatics. Whatever the reason, Honda should Bring Back Manual Transmissions ! (for hybrids.)