Sayonara Stick Shift: 2021 Honda Accord is Two-Pedal Only

sayonara stick shift 2021 honda accord is two pedal only

The most interesting thing about the press release for the 2021 Honda Accord is what is NOT in it.

There’s no mention of a manual transmission.

Sad, for three-pedal fans, but not unexpected. The take rate of Accords with manuals had to be minuscule, and few mid-size sedan buyers care about rowing their own. Manuals, in this author’s opinion, are soon to be fully relegated to only sports cars and certain off-roaders.

What else is new with the 2021 Accord? Not as much as with the refresh of the Ridgeline. The grille is widened and has a fresh look, upper trims get new LED headlights (low and high beam), the radar unit for Honda Sensing is better integrated into the grille, the fog-light openings are smaller, and new colors and new wheel designs are available based on trim.

The infotainment touchscreen system that was previously available on upper trims is now standard, as is Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Those systems are now wireless on upper-trim Accords.

Honda moves all the front-seat USB ports to the front of the center console and adds two 2.5-volt USB ports to the rear seat on upper-trim cars, and all trims now have a rear-seat reminder system. Upper trims get a low-speed braking-control system.

The Accord Hybrid, meanwhile, gets tweaks that are meant to improve throttle response, making it more immediate. The two gas engines also get smoother throttle response via software updates, and the 1.5-liter turbo will start more quickly when the brake is released with the automatic start/stop system.

Finally, a Sport SE (Special Edition) trim replaces the EX 1.5T trim. Based on the Sport trim, the Sport SE car adds leather seats, heated front seats, 4-way power passenger seat, heated sideview mirrors, keyless entry, and remote start. You can spot Sports and the Sport SE by their different 19-inch wheels, decklid spoiler, LED fog lamps, dark-chrome grille, and chrome exhaust finishers.

We’re sad, but not surprised, to see the manual go. Other than that, these changes are minor and only the most dedicated Honda heads will note the difference, we think.

[Images: Honda]

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  • JimC2 JimC2 on Nov 15, 2020


  • Oasisman2001 Oasisman2001 on Jan 21, 2021

    Well I did my part by buying a 2017 Honda Accord Manual Transmission. Great, great car. I actually like driving it more than my previous car, Acura RSX-S. It was a matter of time before manual came to an end. Honda's last a long time and enthusiasts at any given year aren't out buying a new stick shift car. The general public has "moved-on" from stick shifts unfortunately. Plus as you know, Honda doesn't really listen to "enthusiasts".

  • MaintenanceCosts The sweet spot of this generation isn't made anymore: the SRT 392. The Scat Pack is more or less filling the same space but it lacks a lot of the goodies, including SRT suspension, brakes, and seats. The Hellcat is too much and isn't available with a manual anymore.
  • Arthur Dailey I am normally a fan of Exner's designs but by this time the front end on the Stutz like most of the rest of the vehicle is a laughable monstrosity of gauche. The interior finishes suit the rest of the vehicle. Corey please put this series out of its misery. This is one vehicle manufacturer best left on the scrap heap of history.
  • Art Vandelay I always thought what my Challenger really needed was a convertible top to make it heavier and make visability worse.
  • Dlc65688410 Please stop, we can't take anymore of this. Think about doing something on the Spanish Pegaso.
  • MaintenanceCosts A few bits of context largely missing from this article:(1) For complicated historical reasons, the feds already end up paying much of the cost of buying new transit buses of all types. It is easier legally and politically to put capital funds than operating funds into the federal budget, so the model that has developed in most US agencies is that operational costs are raised from a combination of local taxes and fares while the feds pick up much of the agencies' capital needs. So this is not really new spending but a new direction for spending that's been going on for a long time.(2) Current electric buses are range-challenged. Depending on type of service they can realistically do 100-150 miles on a charge. That's just fine for commuter service where the buses typically do one or two trips in the morning, park through the midday, and do one or two trips in the evening. It doesn't work well for all-day service. Instead of having one bus that can stay out from early in the morning until late at night (with a driver change or two) you need to bring the bus back to the garage once or twice during the day. That means you need quite a few more buses and also increases operating costs. Many agencies are saying for political reasons that they are going to go electric in this replacement cycle but the more realistic outcome is that half the buses can go electric while the other half need one more replacement cycle for battery density to improve. Once the buses can go 300 miles in all weather they will be fine for the vast majority of service.(3) With all that said, the transition to electric will be very good. Moving from straight diesel to hybrid already cut down substantially on emissions, but even reduced diesel emissions cause real public health damage in city settings. Transitioning both these buses and much of the urban truck fleet to electric will have measurable and meaningful impacts on public health.