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Mastering the stick shift can prove challenging for some drivers. However, modern technology helps cut the learning curve associated with manual transmissions. Now, many late-model Honda and Acura cars have Rev Match Control with their manual gearboxes. Here’s a look at Honda’s rev-matching system and how it helps even the most inexperienced driver easily learn to drive a stick shift

How does Rev Match Control work in Honda and Acura cars? 

The interior in the 2023 Honda Civic Type R from the driver's side.
2023 Honda Civic Type R | Honda

Traditional rev matching is a manual gear-changing technique. This skill requires using the gear stick, clutch, and accelerator pedal in a vehicle with a manual transmission. When applied in synchrony, a beautifully smooth transition between gear shifts is achieved. However, rev matching isn’t just for fun. It also helps prevent shock loads through the transmission. While rev-matching and similar heel-to-toe downshifting methods might seem like second nature to experienced drivers, it can be challenging for beginners. 

However, Honda’s rev-matching system can make learning easier. Honda says Rev Match Control provides a superior stick-shift experience for drivers of all skill levels by automatically optimizing engine revs to match the intended gear. This technology helps ensure smooth gear shift changes by using data from the clutch pedal’s stroke sensor, the neutral position sensor on the transmission, and the transmission rev sensor. 

Which Honda and Acura cars have Rev Match Control?

The 2024 Acura Integra Type S is much better than the 2023 model
2024 Acura Integra Type S | Acura

Newer Honda Civic and Acura Integra models with manual transmissions have Rev Match Control.

For instance, the 2023 Honda Civic Si packs a 200-hp, 1.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine and a six-speed manual with Rev Match Control. Starting at $28,800, this compact sport sedan gets 27 mpg in the city and 37 mpg on the highway. 

Also, the 2023 Honda Civic Type R has Rev Match Control. Starting at $43,795, this high-performance hatchback boasts a 2.0-liter turbocharged inline-four. It harnesses 315 hp and gets 22/28 mpg city/highway.

In addition, two 2024 Acura Integra trims — the A-Spec w/Technology 6MT and the Type S — have a six-speed manual with Honda’s rev-matching system. Starting at $36,500, the A-Spec has the same 200-hp, 1.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder as the Civic Si but gets slightly lower gas mileage of 26/36 mpg. And the Type S, priced at $50,800, boasts a more potent 320-hp 2.0-liter turbo-four returning 21/28 mpg.

These sporty compacts boast other high-performance perks

Honda pairs the Rev Match Control System with other high-performance features. For example, the 2023 Civic Si has a helical limited-slip differential that gives drivers enhanced control on winding roads. The Civic Si also has a three-mode drive system (Normal/Sport/Individual), a MacPherson strut front suspension, and a multi-link rear suspension.

The 2023 Civic Type R one-ups the Si with a four-mode drive system (Comfort/Sport/+R/Individual). It also has adaptive dampers, a dual-axis MacPherson strut front suspension, Brembo front brake calipers, and a center-mounted, triple-outlet exhaust with an active exhaust valve.

Similarly, the 2024 Acura Integra provides other high-performance features and upgrades. The range-topping Type S trim adds a Sport+ drive mode that provides unmatched performance and handling. It also touts a dual-axis strut front suspension, an active exhaust valve, an adaptive damper system with a sensor, and Brembo four-piston aluminum front brake calipers.