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.