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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I’ve been really interested in the Integra since details were announced earlier this year. It ticks a lot of boxes for me in terms of features, and I love the design and the hatch. I still need to check it out in person, but it’s the leading candidate to replace my 2008 Honda Element.

Since I started driving about 20 years ago, I’ve only ever had an automatic vehicle. I tried learning stick shift when I first was learning to drive, but my mom wasn’t the most patient teacher, and I remember the VW clutch being pretty tricky at the time. But after all the positives I’ve heard about the manual transmission on the Integra, I’ve been thinking about going for the six speed and learning to drive it.

So how dumb is that idea? I’d like to think I’m a pretty good driver now in general, and I understand the principles behind using the clutch much better now than I did when I was learning. I figure it’ll just be a matter of practice, patience, and getting the muscle memory down. Plus with features like rev matching and hill start assist, I’m thinking that will make learning a bit easier. But I’m curious what you all think.
 

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This is NOT a dumb idea. Slightly intimidating at first? Sure... but I strongly believe this is a good candidate for a first manual. By way of backstory, I am also a "late bloomer" when it comes to manual transmissions; in my first 20 years of driving, I could count the number of times I drove a stick on both hands. (Probably fair to say the number of times I stalled was higher.) But yeah, I've only owned automatic transmission vehicles since I was 17, and I didn't actually get own a manual until I bought a second car for cheap at 40 years old -- a first-gen Honda Fit. I had it for six glorious months and I still miss it!

Having said that, I just test drove an Integra, and despite it being the first time I've rowed my own in a while, it was VERY forgiving and I managed to drive it pretty smoothly! In my personal opinion, this seems like not only a solid option for someone to learn on, but also something you can continue to grow into and enjoy as you get more proficient. The hill assist alone will be a big help while learning, and the rev matching feature was actually quite nice. I certainly didn't master heel-and-toe techniques with the Fit, but I practiced a little bit, and it sounds like you can shut off the rev matching in the Integra if you get to a point where you want to learn how to do it yourself.

My .02: if you have a patient pal who owns a manual who would be willing to have you try it out and toddle around an empty parking lot or some back roads for a bit, that might help give you some prep time and the confidence to try out the Integra 6MT on a test drive. You got this!
 

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I had that conversation yesterday with my sales rep. She said she was 1 of 2 at the dealership that knew how to drive a manual and her manager asked her to teach a few of her colleagues. I told her it would be much easier to learn with this Integra than the Geo Metro without power steering that I learned on. If this was your daily driver I don't think it would take long at all to feel comfortable with it.
 

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Agree with the previous posters. Go for it. This is a very easy MT to drive; with a patient trainer, you'll have it down in a few days. Hill start assist removes all the drama/panic for a beginner. You'll have no problems.
 

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Consider what type of driving you do the majority of the time. I've driven stick for over 30 yrs but I have always avoided stop and go traffic because as you would guess it can get very annoying starting in first gear repeatedly.
While I suspect it won't be nearly as taxing in the Integra it probably won't be ideal either.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Consider what type of driving you do the majority of the time. I've driven stick for over 30 yrs but I have always avoided stop and go traffic because as you would guess it can get very annoying starting in first gear repeatedly.
While I suspect it won't be nearly as taxing in the Integra it probably won't be ideal either.
For sure, I’m not in a city or anything like that, stop and go is rare thankfully.
 

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I bought my first manual with zero experience, was too cheap to pay for lessons, and didn't have anyone to teach me. First day i drove to my grandma's suburb and for the next 4 hours, basically drove in circle around the same 2 or 3 blocks, gentley stalling every 5-10 minutes at stop signs and looking like a complete dumb*ss to anyone who saw me. But I figured it out. It's ok to suck in the beginning, just practice at low speeds and in a parking lot / low traffic area and you'll get it eventually.
 

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I bought my first manual with zero experience, was too cheap to pay for lessons, and didn't have anyone to teach me. First day i drove to my grandma's suburb and for the next 4 hours, basically drove in circle around the same 2 or 3 blocks, gentley stalling every 5-10 minutes at stop signs and looking like a complete dumb*ss to anyone who saw me. But I figured it out. It's ok to suck in the beginning, just practice at low speeds and in a parking lot / low traffic area and you'll get it eventually.
Great story! My wife bought her first car -- a Toyota Celica GT -- as a 5MT and did not know how to drive a stick. I had to drive it home for her (we weren't married then) and give her lessons over the weekend so she could drive it to work on Monday. It all worked out -- perhaps the clutch got a little extra wear those first few weeks!
 

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I think this is an excellent car for a first manual. Honda makes some of the easiest to drive stick shifts, and most enjoyable once you’ve learned.
If you are committed, it should not take long to learn. When I was 16, my dad sold his automatic car I was using, so my choice was drive stick or take the bus. It felt second nature after two weeks.

Edit: My buddy had an even faster way to learn - when he got in trouble, his dad sent him with a stick shift on an errand to San Francisco Chinatown.
 

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I test drove it last week, have been driving manuals for more years than I care to own up to (all my life) and agree
— it is super forgiving.
Great car for a new manual driver.
I taught all my kids (4 of them) to drive manual; the oldest bought his first car as a manual with only a tiny bit of time with me and did fine- learning moments for sure but totally do-able, as long as you aren't trying to do jackrabbit starts right away. And the integra is way easier than his first car was, manual-wise.
(If you are anywhere near NJ I will be happy to teach you too 😂 )
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I test drove it last week, have been driving manuals for more years than I care to own up to (all my life) and agree
— it is super forgiving.
Great car for a new manual driver.
I taught all my kids (4 of them) to drive manual; the oldest bought his first car as a manual with only a tiny bit of time with me and did fine- learning moments for sure but totally do-able, as long as you aren't trying to do jackrabbit starts right away. And the integra is way easier than his first car was, manual-wise.
(If you are anywhere near NJ I will be happy to teach you too 😂 )
Lol, I am in central PA, I might take you up on that!
 

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I greatly appreciate the replies, and I think I’m going to go for it if I like the car as much as I think I will after I get a chance to see a demo unit. Thanks everyone!
You can do this! As another poster has responded, Honda builds some of the best MT's extant. You'll be comfortable driving the 6MT within a day. And if it weren't for the advent of EV's, this Integra would probably be the gateway to many years of MT ownership.
 
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