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Stick shift

Is there a hybrid stick shift??

The newly redesigned Honda Insight is available with a 5-speed manual transmission.

To the best of my recollection, the Toyota Prius is not available with a manual transmission.

However, the Insight does not achieve gas mileage as good as the Prius with its automatic (or is it a CVT?) transmission. Also, the seats in the Insight have been widely criticized as being incredibly uncomfortable for more than a short drive. Everything is a trade-off, you might say.

thanks. I was afraid of this… It’s just more fun to drive a stick, and the mileage is usually good. My daughter’s (stick shift) Matrix gets 30 mpg, much better than the new version.

I don’t think it is more fun to drive a “stick shift”

why not?

VDC, I think the Insight now only comes with a CVT. The original Insight (2 door 2 seater) did have an available manual, but no more.

The early Honda hybrids did come with either manual or auto transmissions. Relatively few manuals were sold compared to auto’s but they did sell them. I’m not sure if any of the hybrids available as new cars still come with manual transmissions. Definately a no for Prius, still possible with Honda.

The first and second generation Prius had a CVT transmission, which gets better fuel economy than a manual transmission. I don’t think the newest Prius has a transmission at all. I think the wheels are driven directly by electric motors.

In any case, the fuel economy benefit of a manual transmission is a thing of the past. The point of a hybrid is to maximize fuel economy, and a manual transmission would prevent it from getting the best fuel economy. A hybrid can get better fuel economy with a CVT transmission or no transmission at all.

I agree that driving with a manual transmission is more fun. I think putting an automatic transmission on a motorcycle or in a sports car is blasphemous.

I know the Ford Fusion hybrid comes only with a CVT transmission.

As much as I agree manuals are more fun, I think they now lose the MPG race to a well-designed auto tranny…

I remember reading that the upcoming Honda CRZ may come with a manual transmission.

WHAT is CVT? Constant Velocity _ ?

How can anything automatic get better gas mileage than a skilled driver using a lighter weight, no power required, manual transmission?

Being able to see ahead and adjust for it, and able to coast in Neutral, I got phenomenal gas mileage.

Yes, the fuel economy advantage of a stick shift is a thing of the past.
As an example, the new Subaru Outback 4 cylinder models are advertised as having the following mpg figures:

6-speed manual trans=19 city/27 highway
CVT=22 city/29 highway

CVT=Continuously Variable Transmission

While these are automatic transmissions, they do not have a fixed number of gear ratios, as conventional automatics and manual transmissions do.

Instead, through a system that varies the diameter of the drive sprocket and the driven sprocket in the transmission, an infinite number of drive ratios are possible, depending upon how hard one presses the accelerator, the grade of the road, and possibly some other inputs. Most of these transmissions utilize belts to link the variable diameter sprockets, but the Audi CVT, the Ford CVT, and the new Subaru CVT utilize a heavy chain, similar to what was used to transfer power in the first-generation Oldsmobile Toronado.

Anyway–because of the infinitely variable drive ratios, a CVT can produce better gas mileage than a manual transmission. If you want to read more details about this type of transmission, take a look at the Wikipedia article on that topic:

While Wikipedia articles are not noted for total accuracy, this will give you a better idea of how that technology works.

While the epa frequently but not always seems to get better fuel economy with an automatic, I find it much easier to beat the epa’s gas mileage with a manual transmission than I do with an automatic.

The EPA claims 29/36 for the Toyota Yaris manual. I almost never get less than 40 and usually get 43 to 45.

A lot of manuals are also undergeared for fuel economy because they are targeted towards sporty drivers who seem to want a car that’s permanently in a passing gear.

With a lot of manuals, I find myself wishing there was yet another gear to shift into when cruising down the highway so the engine wouldn’t be needlessly reving 3200 rpm while going 60 mph.

With automatics, I find it frustrating to have to give the engine gas just so it will allow the car to coast the rest of the way to a red light whereas with a manual I can just disengage the clutch and coast toward that same red light with the engine idling.

Most gas mileage records have been set with manual transmissions.

According to the EPA (, all 2009 and 2010 hybrids come only with automatic transmissions.

On the Prius, the two motor/generators MG1 and MG2 along with the planetary torque splitter pretty much is the transmission.

Here is a link to the “How Stuff Works” web site’s explanation of CVTs.

I just dislike using the clutch. Holding it down at a stoplight, trying to keep the vehicle from rolling back on a hill, shifting gears at the right time ETC. I use my right foot to GO and my left foot to STOP. much easier and safer, in my opinion. An automatic might be harder on brakes however. Have fun!!

"With a lot of manuals, I find myself wishing there was yet another gear to shift into when cruising down the highway so the engine wouldn’t be needlessly reving 3200 rpm while going 60 mph."
Don’t you know that there are guys on her that think the more the engine revs the better it is ? One even suggests that you downshift on the freeway to keep the RPMs up. I don’t know what he hit his head on.


If your flavor of hybrid comes with a stick, start a cult and bang on Honda’s door. They can give you what you want if there’s a market demand for it. Manual with the right gearing is theoretically more efficient than an automatic. That’s why cars, buses, and trucks now have automated manuals.

If I’m to buy a hybrid, it would be this.

A senior engineer says, “It must be fun to drive, must remind you of the original CRX.” And a manual gearbox will be offered. “CVT is fine for the market, mostly. But we are Honda! We must have a manual!”