Actually, automatics are becoming more and more accepted in Europe.
Their cars are smaller and lighter than ours, in general, and get a lot
I would personally still buy a manual in Europe, because the cost of
repair, should it be necessary, is much less.
It may have changed somewhat, but in the past, small engines and automatics
meant sluggish performance. Not having driven one in a long time, I can't
say how the new ones are. Last car I had in Europe was a Smart Forfour with
an automatic clutch. Performance was what I'd expect from a stick, but the
shift times ere much longer than if I was doing it myself.
The Smart gave me 42 mpg but I was paying $6.45 a gallon. The dollar is not
worth much against the Euro right now. I'm not going next year if it does
not get a little better.
I took my company ordered drivers certification there last year in a car
with an automatic transmission. The car belonged to the driving school, and
it was surprisingly responsive,
not at all like the underpowered slushboxes you and I remember. The
at that time were US$6.75-$7.00 per gallon (changing daily, or even hourly).
I borrowed a company owned Volvo for a couple of weeks, and it was a diesel
unit with a six speed manual tranny. The mileage indicator in the
showed as much as 70 miles per gallon when were were not accerelating and
running at 50 mph or so (national maximum limit is 90 km/h). I basically
car, though, because it was hard to find the right gear consistently and was
unforgiving. I would not have bought one of them.
I dont think you will see an improvement in the dollar rate soon.
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