Matt, in a continuing post on the Sonata automatic transmission vs. the
manual, said: "True, but the difference is now much smaller with the lockup
TCs. Although you still have some pumping loss in the tranny, it is minor
when you aren't shifting."......
Quite true. In fact, people with manuals, who do a lot of open road,
country or interstate driving will probably get as good or better gas
mileage with an automatic. The close numbers of EPA ratings of the Sonata 4
(maunal vs. automatic) bear this out.
In real life, it may be even more stark. Consumer Reports just released its
February guide, where it tested the new Honda Civic - same trim line, same
engine, one with a manual, one with an automatic.
Overall, the manual whipped the automatic, 31 mpg to 28. And city mileage
had a distinct advantage to the manual. But in highway driving, the manual
got 40 mpg, the automatic got 43.
Indeed, with me personally doing much more open road driving than city
driving, that is more than enough to convince me, if I ever bought one, to
get the Civic automatic, even if I like driving a manual.
By the way, Consumer Reports, no matter what you may think of them, will be
releasing a full report in the March issue (due on newsstands in about a
month) on the new 2006 Sonata, and from what I hear, they will release a
full test on both the GLS 4 and the LX V6, though my hunch is both will have
an automatic. CU will also release tests of the new Ford Fusion (probably
also the 4 & 6), and the Dodge Charger. It will be an issue to buy, if only
for one perspective.
Although some of CU's slants on cars are occasionally goofy, I do commend
them for running cars for over 15,000 miles in every possible test to get
the best sense of what they are really like.
Green Valley Giant