Honda Civic has been a long-awaited car for India because the first Generation that we had back in 2006 was loved by many for its exploitable performance and futuristic looks, and to top it all up with the assured reliability of a Honda.
It was a perfect car and had the muscle to prove its worth with an involving driving experience. One main reason for this was the impressive drivetrain combinations on offer and of course, its low “slung sports” car seating! The current generation, however, disappointed us on that matter as it was missing the most important part of the puzzle.
Well, the Civic is offered in a 6-Speed manual gearbox but with the wrong engine! The Civic was launched in 2019 with 1.8L petrol engine and a 1.6L diesel engine, of which the diesel engine got a manual gearbox but the more powerful petrol engine is coupled with a CVT. Honda serious jumbled up this one and a simple reversal will do wonders for the car.
But another reason for Honda not offering a manual gearbox with the petrol motor is because of mileage. Honda cars are notorious in terms of fuel efficiency and a manual gearbox makes it worse. So, they planned on eradicating the root cause but with it also lost a lot of prospective buyers who would die to get a manual gearbox equipped petrol engine in the Civic.
Customer demand and the market trend is another main reason for this bold decision as the automobile trend of last ten years has seen a linear yet evident shift of buyers opting for an automatic transmission instead of a manual gearbox.
It's tough to shed light on this matter because it depends on the market scenario as well as real-time situations. For reference, the current line-up was supposed to sell like hotcakes but the onslaught of BS6 norms and rapid demand for crossovers has gravely affected the sales of Honda Civic.
Concerning it, we believe that the Civic could have enjoyed a better time if offered with the right combination because, in that scenario, a lot of enthusiasts would go for the Civic as there is no other car in this segment with such emotional attachment and performance to fuel that emotion.
Yes, Skoda Octavia stands as a good alternative but when it comes to the enthusiast, they would go for the limited-run Octavia RS 245 which was not a “slow-selling” car. So, getting your hands on one was a task. This would have given Honda a longer and fruitful year in terms of sales. The diesel engines have, however, been discontinued for the time being as they don’t comply with the newly imposed BS6 norms. So, the Civic is now available in only the petrol and CVT offering which will give it a very tough time. We will have to wait and see if Honda has any surprises at hand because it gravely needs one!