AFAIK it's purely an standard hydraulic automatic.
When did the current gen Civic come out? 08? I may be remembering
Honda's advertising from before the EPA tweaked the formula for
estimating gas mileage.
Anyway, Honda currently specifies the highway mileage on the auto as
2mpg more than the stick, leading to an overall average auto mpg that's
identical to the stick.
In the U.S., many automakers' automatic transmissions have been getting
equal to or better EPA fuel economy than manual transmissions for a while,
even before implementation of dual clutch transmissions and electronic
throttles. Even a "conventional" automatic transmission shifts more quickly
than most people do with manual transmissions; the torque converter allows
an automatic to stay in a higher gear longer than a manual without laboring
the engine; torque multiplication from the TC helps acceleration while the
lockup feature eliminates the inefficiency while cruising; and different
gear and differential ratios all combine to level the fuel economy playing
field between automatics and manual transmissions.
There are several reasons that automatics are now more common than manuals
in the U.S. It is easier to control emissions and fuel economy with an
automatic, which makes the vehicle easier to certify with the EPA; dismal
traffic conditions in large cities have made use of a manual transmission
more work; and it seems as if driver education programs no longer teach use
of a manual transmission.
I would add that there are other types of transmission out there,
especially the CVT and semiautomatic, like those in some Ferraris (like
I am going to ever see one other than at the auto show), where the
computer actuates the clutch and matches the engine speed to road speed
and gear for seemless shifts. The CVT is present in a few cars without
hybrid drives (like the Ford Five Hundred) and in almost all cars with a
hybrid drive, like Toyota Prius (the only exception that I know of is
early models of the Honda Civic Hybrid; some trucks and buses also have
hybrid drives and I presume that some of these are manual transmissions).
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