Honda Celebrates the Thrill of Driving Manual with Millennial-Focused ‘Shifting Gears’ Experience in Los Angeles

  • Honda is the automotive industry’s only full-line brand to offer manual transmissions in all of its gasoline-powered passenger cars 
  • Shifting Gears program designed to give young people confidence in driving manual, and experience the excitement of being in full control of a car 
  • Event located on Angeles Crest Highway – one of America’s greatest driving roads – with a variety of Honda manual vehicles, past and present 

LOS ANGELES – Yesterday Honda hosted more than 53 media and social influencers at its “Shifting Gears” celebration of the manual transmission in the San Gabriel mountains. The program was designed to showcase Honda’s 16 vehicles offered with manual transmissions as well as to teach drivers how to operate a manual transmission for the first time. Participants had the chance to experience everything from the cheerful Honda Fit Sport to the high-performance Civic Type R from the modern lineup, as well as a variety of vintage Honda models, including the Honda Civic CVCC, Prelude SH, S2000 CR and more, sharing their experiences on social media using the hashtag #DriveManual.

“There’s something special, something intimate and pure about being in complete control of your car,” said Sage Marie, Assistant Vice President of Honda communications. “In a fast-coming world of autonomy, we mustn’t forget some of the simple joys that have been part of driving since the very beginning.”

Honda continues to offer manual transmissions in multiple trims of its entire gasoline-powered passenger car lineup, including the Honda Fit LX, Sport and EX, the Civic Sedan LX and EX-T, Civic Coupe LX and EX-T, the Civic Hatch LX and Sport, and Accord Sport 1.5T and 2.0T sedans. The Civic Type R and Civic Si Coupe and Sedan are offered exclusively with manual transmissions. The HR-V crossover is also offered with a six-speed manual in LX and EX trims.

Experienced drivers were able to sample a variety of new cars on some of the most dynamic roads in southern California, while beginner and novice manual drivers were given the chance to learn in a four-activity Driving Confidence program, before graduating to the open road.

“The Shifting Gears event was a great opportunity for manual transmission drivers of all experience levels to enjoy the increased control of driving stick,” said Kristen Lanzavecchia, a participant in the program. “As a newer MT driver, the Honda team’s behind the wheel training boosted my confidence to make driving manuals fun instead of daunting!”

As Honda continues to push forward with some of the industry’s most advanced safety features through deployment of its Honda Sensing® suite of advanced safety and driver-assistive technologies, the personality of its affordable, fun-to-drive cars remains intact. It’s a part of the DNA and original promise from the founder of the company, Soichiro Honda, who said, “The value of life can be measured by the number of times your soul has been deeply stirred.” For the engineers at Honda, continuing to develop vehicles that enthusiasts can be proud to own is part of the brand mission.