If you have been thinking about visiting your local Honda dealer, then you may want to get over there soon because some things are about to change. Honda is retiring three cars from the American market at the end of the year. Yes, you read that right. By 2021, a trio of vehicles that have been pretty popular over the years will be no more.
The Honda Legacy
As a foreign automaker, Honda has sprouted deep roots throughout the United States due to its lineup of sporty cars based on the S2000, NSX, and Civic Type R sports cars. With plenty of playful, streamlined sedans to choose from, the Honda lineup is hard to beat. Affordable, reliable, and easy to maintain, Honda vehicles gained a stellar reputation fairly quickly. So, it comes as quite a shock to learn that any of the Honda vehicles are going to retire soon.
At this point, you’re probably ready to learn the news. This year will be the last production run for the Honda Civic Si, the Fit, and the manual Accord models. Out of these three eliminations, Honda fans are most upset about losing the Honda Accord sedans with manual transmissions. The reason being that Honda is one of the few automakers that still offers any of its family-friendly vehicles with a manual gearbox. Alas, the time has finally come to put these popular vehicles to rest. For old time’s sake, we are going to explore the final production run of each model.
The Manual Transmission Accord
The Honda Accord will be dropping its manual transmission for the 2021 model year. This playful sedan offered precise handling for a smooth ride and a large interior to accommodate small families. This particular trim took up the Goldilocks spot between the base LX model and the mid-level EX trim. You could get it with one of two powertrains. The first was a turbocharged 1.5-liter 4-cylinder engine that produced up to 192 hp, and the second was a turbocharged 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine that generated 252 hp.
By now, you’re probably wondering when production will cease on the manual transmission Accord models. The answer is a doozy, so prepare yourself. Honda already stopped making these vehicles at the end of 2019 for the 2020 model year vehicles. Why? Apparently, the manual transmission Accords only account for 1 – 2 percent of the company’s total sales. With numbers like that, the car was deemed unsustainable and was cut from the production line. There just aren’t very many people who want manual sedans anymore.
However, there are a few new manual Accords still up for sale across the United States. So, if you want one, you’d better move on it fast!
The Honda Civic Si
While not necessarily a retiree, but a temporary one, Honda is pausing production of the Honda Civic Si. It’s no secret that the Honda Civic is one of the most popular compact sedans on the market. There is a silver lining in this news, though. 2020 will be the last production run for the Civic the way it is now, but it will make a comeback as an 11th-generation model for the 2022 model year. That means that the Civic Si will be returning with a brand new look
There is one more thing you should know about the upcoming Civic lineup. Honda is retiring all of the coupes. That’s right. The two-door Civic and Civic Si models will not be returning when the 11th-generation of vehicles tools out onto dealership lots.
Powered by a turbocharged 1.5-liter four-cylinder engine paired with a continuously variable transmission (CVT), the 2020 Honda Civic Si generates 205 hp and 192 lb-ft of torque. It is also the only Civic model that is available with a manual transmission. Honda really has it out for the manual gearbox this year!
Since the 2020 Si is technically a trim that builds off of the EX-L trim, it comes with some incredible features. These include leather upholstery, a restyle cluster gauge, a 10-speaker sound system, a limited slip-differential, and a sport-tuned suspension with adaptive dampers. Rolling on 17-inch wheels, it also comes with Honda’s LaneWatch safety suite. This includes dual-zone climate control, heated front seats, a power-adjustable driver’s seat, and blindspot monitoring. Also, keep in mind that all Honda Civic trims come with the Honda Sensing safety suite that includes emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, forward collision warning, lane-departure warning, and lane-keeping assist.
The reason why the Civic Si is leaving isn’t because of poor sales. It is simply because Honda will release a new line of Civic models (including the Si) shortly.
The Honda Fit
Now that we have covered the coupes and sedans, it’s time to move on to the retiring hatchback––the Honda Fit. This popular model will still be produced for other countries around the world, but the United States won’t be getting any more new Fit models anytime soon. It’s a shame too, because this was one of the best affordable vehicles on the market. Buyers could get a well-equipped Fit for under $20,000, which is extremely rare these days.
Powered by a 1.5-liter 4-cylinder engine, you could get the 2020 Fit with either a continuously variable transmission (CVT) or with a 6-speed manual transmission. The manual transmission was standard on the LX and Sport trims. Using FWD, this petite hatchback could produce 130 hp and 114 lb-ft of torque with the manual gearbox. With the CVT, it generated 128 hp and 113 lb-ft of torque.
The sad thing about losing the Honda Fit is that we aren’t just losing a single trim; we are losing the entire vehicle. Offered in four trims for 2020 (LX, Sport, EX, and EX-L), the Fit was a well-rounded vehicle that a lot of people enjoyed. The incredibly affordable base LX model featured a tilt-and-telescoping steering column, an adjustable driver’s seat, Magic Seats that are fully reclining/60-40 split-folding, a 4-speaker stereo, and an infotainment interface displayed on a 5-inch monitor.
So, why is Honda retiring the Fit completely? The decision has a lot to do with the fact that Americans are now obsessed with compact crossovers. In an attempt to promote their larger (and more expensive) HR-V compact SUV, Honda is scrapping the Fit. This will help push potential Fit buyers to purchase an HR-V instead.
Did Honda Retire All Manual Transmission Vehicles?
No. It may look like the folks over at Honda have it out for manual transmissions, but the automaker is still producing two vehicles with one, the Civic Hatchback Sport and the Civic Type R. Since these two models are more inclined towards performance, they are getting to keep their manual transmissions. However, this could change as Honda continues to adapt and technology changes.