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Why Automatics Are Catching Up In Fuel Economy And Performance

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It used to be that if a car offered a choice between a manual and automatic, you would pay two different premiums for choosing the automatic variant. The first was on the sticker, with the self-shifting tranny adding three or four digits to the purchase price, in part because the extra complexity of an automatic made it more costly to manufacture. The second you paid every time you went for a fill-up because automatics had appreciably worse fuel economy, a product of their extra weight, fewer gears, and inherent torque converter inefficiencies. To add insult to injury, automatics also cost you in acceleration: No “slushbox” could out-accelerate a manual transmission from 0-to-60 miles-per-hour.

These three facts were laws of the car buying land for years, as impossible to escape as Kepler's three laws of planetary motion. That is, until recently. Today, automatics have become standard equipment on most cars, as manual transmissions have fallen so out of favor that they’re mostly found on budget-class vehicles or cars with sporting pretentions. Automatics have also become so efficient that most of the time their fuel economy is on par with manuals -- and in some cases even better. There are even several cars with automatics on the market that are faster than the same cars equipped with manuals

Read More: http://autos.aol.com/article/automatic-transmission-better-fuel-economy/


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