I believe the only way out is through the bottom. By removing the subframe/engine cradle. While mine is an automatic, I’m going to have to remove the tranny to access the engine’s rear main seal. Not quite as easy as the old Hondas I used to drive back in the day.
Dropping the engine and transmission out the bottom is fairly easy, given you are able to raise the car up high enough. It can be done from the top as well, but again you have to pull the engine up because of the lack of space. So after dropping the engine and trans from the bottom, I don’t think I’ll every pull one out the top again on one of these car. It’s a lot easier from the bottom.
I think the main issue is there’s not enough room between the frame to be able to pull the tranny away from the engine. Im not even sure I’d ever want to do it without a lift either. I will not go back to doing this shit on the floor or in a driveway. Ive though about buying a compact lift for my house. The ones at my shop are definitely way too big for a home garage.