Honda HR-V Forum banner
1 - 5 of 5 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
632 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Ok folks, I finally got to drive a manual transmission HR-V this evening and wanted to let everyone know my experience with it. If you've been following my posts, you'll know that I'm a long time manual transmission driver and really want my next car to be a manual (one of the reasons I've been interested in the HR-V in the first place).

Here are my thoughts on the EX manual that I drove. Note: this is my 3rd test drive, my previous 2 were LX CVT FWDs.

- First off I'll say the clutch is very similar to the Fit. If you don't have a HR-V in your area, take a Fit out and you'll know what the clutch feels like. It is SUPER ULTRA light, especially compared to my Toyota. This makes driving in traffic and around town nice, but it also meant that finding the catch point was a little hard. I was flaring the engine a bit trying to find the grab point, but I got better as I drove. I guess you would say that the clutch is a bit vague.

- The accelerator at the same time is VERY sensitive. This contributed to the flaring engine as the tiniest bit of throttle would send the the engine going while trying to let the clutch out. This takes some getting used to, but again, I got better as the drive went on.

- Rowing the gears again were a bit vague. I think the Fit has better engagement where you can feel the gear sort of click in. With the HR-V I found it a little hard to tell if I was shifting from 5th to 4th or 6th.

- The gear shift knob is TINY. It's in a good high comfortable position though. However, I don't have huge hands and if just felt really small and not very comfortable. If I buy a manual HR-V, putting a bigger shift knob on would be my top priority. Also, the shape just isn't very comfortable for me overall. It may sound like a small thing, but in a manual your hand is going to be there alot, so this is actually really important.

- Driving around town was really great. Shifts were smooth (if a bit vague) and again I got the hang of the various catch points fairly quickly. The engine has a nice sound to it with the hint of almost a burble giving a sporty impression.

- Speaking of sporty, the manual was much better feeling in terms of get-up and go for me around town, at very least more engaging even if a CVT might have accelerated a bit faster. I didn't get highway time in this time, but did do an acceleration from 55 to 65. A downshift from 5th to 4th was needed (something my current car doesn't need a downshift for).

- With head room it is much less than in the LX. I had a baseball hat on and I'm 5'10" or so, and I could feel the very top button of my hat brushing the ceiling every once in awhile. So LX is better than EX on that front for sure both front and back.

-On touchscreen climate controls, they were better than when I first played with them, but still not great. I tried to change the settings without looking away from the road, and that was impossible. Noted that the big vent really does diffuse the air, I almost thought it wasn't working. So if you don't like having a concentrated blast of cool air, you'll probably like the big wide vent.

- Oh and another thing I noticed this time was that the little plastic flaps that hang down in front of the front wheels. I saw these before and worried that they would snap on curbs or on rocks. Well it turns out that they aren't super ridged and have a little bit of give to them (almost rubbery), which I think is nice.

- Also, the door fabric where my left elbow rested up high was a bit scratchy (this has been reported by others and I found it to be true).

All in all I walked away impressed with the manual transmission (minus the tiny gear shift knob). Again, I fully disclose that I'm biased toward a manual anyway, so it's not surprising that liked it over the CVT. I still think the seats are just a tad bit too narrow, and I'm not liking a few other things about the car. For me the LX is more of a contender now than the EX for several reasons after driving both.

I'll be happy to answer any other questions :D
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
18 Posts
awesome thanks for the info! I've been driving Honda Manuals all my life, so I wasn't too worried. My dealership just has to find mine now! I've had a Modern Steel EX 6MT on deposit for a couple months now. But there aren't even any CVT FWD's in the PNW let alone a 6MT FWD!! Arrgh!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,248 Posts
Ok folks, I finally got to drive a manual transmission HR-V this evening and wanted to let everyone know my experience with it. If you've been following my posts, you'll know that I'm a long time manual transmission driver and really want my next car to be a manual (one of the reasons I've been interested in the HR-V in the first place).

Here are my thoughts on the EX manual that I drove. Note: this is my 3rd test drive, my previous 2 were LX CVT FWDs.

- First off I'll say the clutch is very similar to the Fit. If you don't have a HR-V in your area, take a Fit out and you'll know what the clutch feels like. It is SUPER ULTRA light, especially compared to my Toyota. This makes driving in traffic and around town nice, but it also meant that finding the catch point was a little hard. I was flaring the engine a bit trying to find the grab point, but I got better as I drove. I guess you would say that the clutch is a bit vague.

- The accelerator at the same time is VERY sensitive. This contributed to the flaring engine as the tiniest bit of throttle would send the the engine going while trying to let the clutch out. This takes some getting used to, but again, I got better as the drive went on.

- Rowing the gears again were a bit vague. I think the Fit has better engagement where you can feel the gear sort of click in. With the HR-V I found it a little hard to tell if I was shifting from 5th to 4th or 6th.

- The gear shift knob is TINY. It's in a good high comfortable position though. However, I don't have huge hands and if just felt really small and not very comfortable. If I buy a manual HR-V, putting a bigger shift knob on would be my top priority. Also, the shape just isn't very comfortable for me overall. It may sound like a small thing, but in a manual your hand is going to be there alot, so this is actually really important.

- Driving around town was really great. Shifts were smooth (if a bit vague) and again I got the hang of the various catch points fairly quickly. The engine has a nice sound to it with the hint of almost a burble giving a sporty impression.

- Speaking of sporty, the manual was much better feeling in terms of get-up and go for me around town, at very least more engaging even if a CVT might have accelerated a bit faster. I didn't get highway time in this time, but did do an acceleration from 55 to 65. A downshift from 5th to 4th was needed (something my current car doesn't need a downshift for).

- With head room it is much less than in the LX. I had a baseball hat on and I'm 5'10" or so, and I could feel the very top button of my hat brushing the ceiling every once in awhile. So LX is better than EX on that front for sure both front and back.

-On touchscreen climate controls, they were better than when I first played with them, but still not great. I tried to change the settings without looking away from the road, and that was impossible. Noted that the big vent really does diffuse the air, I almost thought it wasn't working. So if you don't like having a concentrated blast of cool air, you'll probably like the big wide vent.

- Oh and another thing I noticed this time was that the little plastic flaps that hang down in front of the front wheels. I saw these before and worried that they would snap on curbs or on rocks. Well it turns out that they aren't super ridged and have a little bit of give to them (almost rubbery), which I think is nice.

- Also, the door fabric where my left elbow rested up high was a bit scratchy (this has been reported by others and I found it to be true).

All in all I walked away impressed with the manual transmission (minus the tiny gear shift knob). Again, I fully disclose that I'm biased toward a manual anyway, so it's not surprising that liked it over the CVT. I still think the seats are just a tad bit too narrow, and I'm not liking a few other things about the car. For me the LX is more of a contender now than the EX for several reasons after driving both.

I'll be happy to answer any other questions :D
Glad you posted a review of the manual. I was anxious to hear your thoughts. It was one of my favorite things about the HR-V and kept me hanging on a bit longer considering a purchase.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
751 Posts
Great review Derm, thanks!

Sounds like, as many reviewers have stated, it doesn't have the usual Honda crisp and tight feel. From your description, I'm guesing it's not going to inspire immediate love, but wll hopefully grow on one with time and familiarity... much like many people, initially somewhat vague and lacking personality, but lovable once you get to know them.

I fully expect spirited driving to take a bit of work, but that's half the fun. Endless power on tap can be enjoyable, but the challenge of getting the most out of a smaller engine is really what moves me... so to speak. How much skill does it take to keep up with traffic in a 500hp Maserati?

At least you and Bice both found it fun to drive, which is key for me. And I think I'll take your advice and go drive a Fit too, while I'm waiting.

Cheers!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2 Posts
I have owned a CR-X, Civic hatchback, Fit Sport, and now my 2016 HR-V LX 6MT. All of these Hondas had a manual transmission. My experience is that the transmission and clutch are very slick and easy to change when driving my HR-V. Drivability of the manual is a pleasure. In comparison, my NA Miata doesn’t drive as well as the Hondas I have owned. The transmission on my NA is not as smooth.
 
1 - 5 of 5 Posts
Top