Can we please put a stop to the myth that modern automatics get better fuel economy than properly driven manuals?

Sure, modern automatics are nicely tuned to do well in government fuel economy tests.

But in the real world, while modern automatics are better, they still usually don’t beat manuals.

The reason for this is manuals in the EPA test have a fixed rpm shift point. That in turn gives automatics an advantage.

Case in point... the Honda Fit:

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As you can see, the modern Fit with the CVT is quite a bit better than the older one with the conventional 5 speed auto.

But look at those real world numbers... better than older automatics, but still not better than the manual.

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And this jibes with my direct first hand experience.

With manual cars, I can almost always beat the EPA numbers easily.

With modern automatics, I find it’s difficult to match the EPA numbers, let alone beat them.

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So we need to put an end to the myth that modern automatics get better fuel economy than manuals.