Car News

2017 Honda Civic Type R to be manual only… No CVT

The internet struck again with news the 2017 Honda Civic Type R would get a CVT, but it was WRONG. New Civic Type R will be manual only.

IF YOU HAD WORKED yourself into a frenzy believing the hype that Honda had made a performance car faux pas by fitting a CVT to the upcoming Civic Type R, you can now take a sigh of relief.

Honda Australia Public Relations Manager, Neil McDonald, has confirmed to Practical Motoring the upcoming Honda Civic Type R will not be available with a CVT transmission, and there’s no reason it shouldn’t arrive, as already reported, with a six-speed manual transmission.

“A CVT will not be coming. I don’t how they got that idea”, McDonald told us. “Someone has crossed their wires and put two and two together to equal five”.

As we understand, British magazine Car quoted Honda engineer Mitsuru Kariya late last year as saying that a CVT may be an option in the upcoming new Civic, however, he was referring to the Civic model range, not the Civic Type R. In fact, in the same article, Kariya was strongly against the idea that a CVT would make an appearance in the cult car at all, leading one to question why the assumption was made in the first place.

The quote was misinterpreted by various media outlets who looked to, and did, cause outrage from devoted purists who see the implementation of CVT transmissions in performance cars as sacrilegious. Needless to say, don’t believe everything you read on the Internet.

What we do know about the Civic Type R which will arrive here this year, we have reported on after an end of year discussion with Honda Australia staff.

The idea of a CVT to us doesn’t seem so unreal, given the implementation of CVTs in performance cars recently. If one were to arrive in the Civic Type R, we don’t see what all the fuss is really about. At most it would be the nostalgia of having a manual that might sting, but as our Subaru WRX CVT review points out, the introduction of its CVT was a genius move. And in a car that with a track performance focus such as the Type R, it would only prove to shift it quicker than a traditional stick shifter around the loop, if perhaps a little less involving to drive.


  • McF1

    In my opinion it is great that the new Civic Type R is coming as a six speed manual, but for those that enjoy their performance cars with an auto, which there are many, it will be a disappointment. It gives another reason to purchase a Golf R. The same goes for the Focus RS, which is also sold as manual only.
    In regards to CVTs, they have evolved over the years. The bias against CVTs is properly based on the earlier development of the CVTs, and some manufacturers do not seem to be as good as others with their CVTs. Subaru does a great job with their CVTs. The CVT in the WRX was a surprise move by Subaru considering that the default choice is usually a DCT. The reviews, as stated in this article, have been very positive.

    • Thanks McF1, you’re probably right. Given around 9 out of 10 cars purchased in Australia are autos, then a manual only might not be super smart. We’ll have to wait and see… that said, Honda reckons it already has huge interest in the new car before pricing has been announced. – Isaac

      • Mr Majestyk

        Can’t believe you guys are pushing a CVT. If they want to offer an auto offer a DCT/DSG or actual automatic. CVT are utterly soulless, boring and uninspiring, only fit for rubbish cars.

  • Aaron Stein

    i got excited for about 2 minutes until i realized that a civic is still too small for me AND that this car will probably be hard to get unless you pay something over list price which i won’t do.

    • Louis Petrocelli

      Hey A-Ron. If you really want one it will only take a little persistence and patients. These cars only appeal to select buyers that can afford it. You will find one at a dealership after the hype dies and they will not only sell the car at sticker if you are crafty you will explain to them how lucky they are that you came along and get the car deeply discounted!

      • Aaron Stein

        It would be a long shot for me anyway. i prefer a compact SUV but a hatchback would be ok too. however no AWD and less safety equipment available would probably be deal breakers. now if Buick comes out with the Regal TourX, that would be a different story

        • Aaron Stein

          p.s. my daily driver is a 2015 acura rdx but i also have a 1994 BMW 840, so it’s not like i don’t have something quick, rare, and black that is pretty nice to drive around it.

Alex Rae

Alex Rae

Alex Rae grew up among some of the great stages of Targa Tasmania, an event that sparked his passion for all things mechanical. Currently living across Bass Strait in Melbourne, Alex has worked for the last decade in the automotive world as both a photographer and journalist, and is now a freelancer for various publications. When not driving for work Alex can be found tinkering in the shed on of one his project Zeds or planning his next gravel rally car.