Skip to comments.Looking for help from Freeper auto mechanics (VANITY)
Posted on 08/26/2012 5:59:49 PM PDT by Alberta's Child
I'm in the market for a small car (new or late model "pre-owned"), and I've come across a peculiar bit of information for one of the vehicles I'm considering. Why would a small car with a 2.5-liter engine and a 6-speed automatic transmission have a slightly higher EPA fuel rating than the same car with the same engine and a 6-speed manual transmission?
I typically prefer a manual transmission for small cars, but I'm not sure that this would be the case for this type of vehicle (a Mazda3 with Mazda's SkyActiv technology). This one has me stumped, folks.
P.S. I would use this primarily for local and short-distance driving. My 2007 F-150 is in fantastic shape and serves as my business/long-haul driving vehicle.
Looks like we’re going automotive tonight.
Honda or Toyota
Since automatics outsell manuals by a huge margin (in America) the manufacturer will often devote more engineering resources to optimizing that engine/trans package.
When every tenth of a mpg counts (for CAFE) you put your effort where the sales are.
That would be a strong option if I were buying the car. However, there’s a good chance I’m going to lease it instead ... which means reliability and long-term value aren’t as important in the long run.
Yes, it’s possible. You can look up stats for the particular model either on the manufacturer’s web-site, or something like edmunds.com.
For example, have a Toyota Tacoma with a 6-speed manual. The automatic has a slightly higher EPA MPG rating because the final-drive ratio is lower on the automatic (lower engine speed required to maintain the same speed).
“Modern” automatics are electronically controlled and typically programmed for maximum fuel efficiency. Since almost no one drives the way they want you to your mileage will vary from the advertised specs.
First: Having several Mazdas sitting in my driveway and having owned them for many miles (Including a Mazda3) I will tell you that NOTHING is as fun to drive as a Mazda for the money. Nothing even comes close.
Second: To answer your question -
Think of today’s automatic transmission as a manual that is shifted very quickly by a computer. That idea is why they can get better mileage than you or I can by doing it ourselves.
That being said, I prefer a manual to an automatic. But that’s just me.
(If Mazda would wipe that stupid grin off the Mazda3’s face I would replace my 2007 Mazda3 with a new one)
Thanks! That might explain a lot. I’m trying to track down some data about the gear ratios, but I’m having a hard time finding an online resource that lists the manual and automatic transmissions separately.
The vehicle this one would replace is sort of a Mazda, and I would agree with you except it's not exactly a "real" Mazda. It's a Mazda Navajo -- built by Ford up until the mid-1990s as a clone of the Ford Explorer -- and it's got 355,000+ miles on it. Original engine and transmission, and no major repairs except for an overhaul of the front suspension at around 200,000 miles.
You'd be hard-pressed to find a better value in a vehicle, eh?
Interesting about the "stupid grin" comment. One of the customer reviews I read about it said something like: "What's with the Mazda3 and the "Froggie Went A-Courtin'" look? LOL.
Interesting. Thank you!
Different tires sizes. Larger tires make for better mileage.
You must understand the government is smart enough to nibble away a small freedoms to make us comfortable with the shackles they are putting on us.
Take a look at the Mazdaspeed 3. Quite a bang for the buck.
It use to be that manual transmissions got better fuel mileage than automatics. This was mostly due to an approximately 20% slip rate in the torque convertor on the automatic. Modern automatic transmissions have a lock up torque convertor that eliminates that advantage. Combine that with shifting that is computer controlled and learns your driving habits to maximize efficiency and there it is.
So, you are admitting on FR that you are not a patriot and are considering buying a foreign automobile?
Get a Ford. The only American automobile mfr. left that didn’t need a bailout.
That stupid Mazda grin will be gone in 2013.
I bought a Mazda6 last year. It was built in Detroit by American workers. But alas ... their relationship with Ford is over and the next generation will be built in Japan.
higher rear end ratio!!
Modern autos are far superior to their older cousins. Not only do they often give higher fuel economy, they sometimes are quicker to accelerate than a manual.
There is no torque converter like traditional autos...just an electronic gearbox and two clutches that are predicted to last 150,000 miles.
“Get a Ford. The only American automobile mfr...”
...that supported the Nazi’s in the 30’s & 40’s.
Several FReepers have it. The manual has a 4.11 final drive ratio while the auto has a 3.46.
The Car and Driver web site, and probably many others, list the gear ratios and many other tech details in their Buyer’s Guide section.
Just FYI on automatic transmissions:
Formula One racing, which uses state-of-the-art technology, hasn’t seen a manual transmission entry for about 15 years.
AC, if you are going to lease, I would recommend a Hyundai Elantra which gets about 40+ mpg.
YOu can none for about $ 200/mo. with $ 2,000 down. Some delers run specials where you don’t even have to pay any money down. Includes 12,000 mi.
It is a very well equipped car for the money.Stylish too.
Daughter has one.
We have a 2011 Sonata that we leased. One of the best cars we have ever had.
Don't blame Ford, blame FDR for allowing American companies to do business with the Nazis and Imperial Japanese.
“Don’t blame Ford, blame FDR...”
Henry et al did it with ‘eyes wide open’.
And we could stretch that to a number of others, including Prescott Bush.
Different gear ratios would be my guess. (just a guess)
Hate to break it to you. Ford and Mazda share a lot in common. Including many of the 4 cylinder powertrains..
A ranger pickup and a Mazda pickup look an awful lot alike.
“...that supported the Nazis in the 30s & 40s.”
Wake up! It’s 2012.
Many people and companies supported the Nazis either outright or left-handedly by being against the war, like Charles Lindbergh.
“Hate to break it to you. Ford and Mazda share a lot in common. Including many of the 4 cylinder powertrains..”
The last I heard, Ford is still a good, ol’ ‘Murican company, owned by good, ol’ ‘Muricans. :-)
In the U.S. today many "foreign" cars are built in U.S. plants ... while a "domestic" car is just as likely to be built in Canada or Mexico.
The Ford Focus would be the small car I'd consider. It's OK and seems like a good car, but the Mazda has superior fuel efficiency even with better performance, and the Focus has too much "road noise" for my liking. Interestingly, about 60% of the components are identical in the Ford Focus and Mazda3 (and one or two Volvo models, too).
I buy trucks. I prefer to lease small cars. I'll buy or lease whatever gets me the best value. There's nothing patriotic about hiding behind an "American" corporate logo that has little or no meaning in the global world of auto manufacturing.
“However, theres a good chance Im going to lease it instead”
A lease is a hole to throw money in. You pay up front to rent a car for X years and then pay a large sum to return it.
This is why I usually prefer to buy trucks, and consider leasing small cars. I keep trucks for a long time and drive them 15,000+ miles per year. Residual value is not an issue to me because I drive them into the ground. My circumstances are likely to change after three years when it comes to this car, and I'll probably drive it 8,000-10,000 miles per year.
But ugly as sin. What the heck were the designers thinking when they put that big, stupid grin on the front?
yes. But Ford and Mazda have been sharing power trains for years.
Remember the B2000 and Courier? The B2300 and Ranger? Look the same? hmmmmmm wonder why.
I had a Mazda 5. Had a Ford engine in it..
Both rolled out of a plant in Saint Paul.
“There’s nothing patriotic about hiding behind an “American” corporate logo...”
Everyone is entitled to an opinion, be it right or wrong.
I’ve owned only one Ford in my life and that was an F-150. I didn’t like it and sold it years ago, although it was “tough” as advertised.
Otherwise, I had always owned GMC products. However, after Obemba and the unions took over GMC, I vowed to never again own a GMC product, period...and to buy only Ford products because they are the only American owned and operated car mfr. Whether or not they have some kind of agreement with Mazda or the devil is immaterial. They are American owned and operated.
You are another one who is not patriotic, eh? Don’t get all offended. I’m joking! :-)
I drive what works for me.
I have had Fords (econoline) and did not like the 1960’s suspension systems they where still using in the early 2000’s (I think they are STILL using them) I also did not like the fact that they extended them behind the rear axle.
Hence, I drive GM extended vans because they extend them in the middle and because when loaded the front tires don’t camber in like a upside down V.
Also, I am *not* a fan of the 5.4 V8. The early ones the spark plugs (with threads) would come out while your driving, the later 3 valve ones the plugs would seize in and break when you tried to remove um.
I don’t like GM’s politics but I do think they have figured a few things out Ford does not care to.
I need a truck that starts and does what I need it to. GM offers this to me.
I still won’t by a post bail out GM. So I hope Ford figures it out or my next van will be a Benz.
I don't take orders from anyone here on FR. LOL. ;-)