Of all the manual transmissions vehicles I’ve driven, I’m thinking the Honda Civic Type-R probably has the best shifting feel. That’s a bit bizarre, because it’s a FWD vehicle with a transverse engine, meaning unlike RWD vehicles with longitudinally mounted engines, the transmission is not directly below the shifter, allow for better feel. Of course, shifting feel is a subjective art, but here are some reasons why I think Honda nailed this one:
- Precise, mechanical feel. There’s no mushiness that you’ll find in other shifters.
- Click-Click! You get two, very distinct, light clunks as the shifter goes from gear to neutral, and then from neutral into the selected gear.
- No sloppiness in shifting, there’s a direct path for each gear, with little play outside of that path.
- No vibration (helps that it’s a transverse engine in this case). Absolutely no movement in the shifter when your hand isn’t on it.
- Shifter doesn’t lean right or left under acceleration (again because of transverse engine). Many RWD cars you can watch the shifter torque to the right when you get on the throttle.
- Good throw length. Short throws are all the rage these days, but I’m not a huge fan of throws that are too short. Still some satisfying movement without traveling too far. 🏁
That about sums it up. I think Honda has always done a nice job with shifters, but this one is a level above. Love it!
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