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Why so few economy cars with manual tranny?

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Comments

  • bottgersbottgers Posts: 2,028
    Yeah, but the Corolla has done it for literally decades. The Echo was only made for a few short years. The new Camrys are having a lot of problems.
  • bearcrkrdbearcrkrd Posts: 167
    Echo was only made for a few years, so is not in Consumer Reports anymore. It was the only vehicle to have a perfect score for every year it was made. Also, at the time, the only one to have a perfect score for more than 2 years. Solid red dots, I guess you'd call it. The other data I heard, I didn't think I would have to verify it so don't remember exactly where. A study was done, not just JD Powers 3 month stuff, but an 18-24 month. I think it was on TV or maybe radio. Do not think it included 07, for sure not '08. Number one was Infiniti G35 4 door, number 2 was the Toyota Sienna. Don't remember anything else. If they said anything else I missed it because I was so happy I was riding in the #2 vehicle. Which at that time I was not sure was the right purchase. Drives like a Camry, but every now and then like a too-big Camry, is the best way to put it.
    My sister was car shopping a few years ago and stopped at the Echo. That looks good, she said. I wouldn't let her even sit in it. True story. Fire away, boys. :surprise:
    Sold her my 2001 Camry CE 5 spd manual w/60,000 miles. Trouble free at 109,000. Does use a bit of oil, quart every 1,000 miles. Runs like a top.
  • lilengineerboylilengineerboy Posts: 4,116
    Our Legacy 2.5i Wagon stick gets low 30s on the drive down 75 from Detroit to Cincinnati. If you want it to go quickly, it has to be driven eh, in anger perhaps, but on a day to day it is powerful enough an is fine on the highway.
    Putting the car-top carrier on is about a 4mpg hit.

    The 2007 Accord EX stick gets about the same mileage as the 1993 Accord EX stick but has like 20 more hp and much bigger car. The last tank in the 07 was 32.6 mpg and that included some "I am going to be late for work" driving.
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,669
    At only 109K miles, I would call a quart of oil every 1000 miles high oil consumption if it were a Honda, and VERY high for a Toyota. That's too few miles for that much oil consumption.

    At 100K miles, my Echo doesn't use a drop so far. And those CR ratings were primarily what I was referring to in my comments, better results than Corolla has ever achieved. There was also a JDP 3-year study back maybe five years now, which listed Echo as the best model surveyed IIRC.

    There was never a lot of data available though, because with only 50K sales a year for only three years before sales dropped way off, there weren't always enough Echo owners responding to create a meaningful data sample.

    2013 Civic SI, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (stick)

  • bearcrkrdbearcrkrd Posts: 167
    $4,500 @ $100 a month. It was beautiful inside and out. New license tabs and a full tank, too. Title swap was "gift', so $20. Feel a little bad, but that takes most of the sting out.
    Doesn't blow any smoke. Runs perfect, power and (I think) torque wise. Took it to a shop year + ago because I didn't see any smoke, dip stick is clean as new, and it runs great. They said there was no leak, and when they moved it out of the bay the guy revved it high. He said he saw a touch of blue. It's valve guides, I guess. i believe I caused it by driving it too easy during the 60,000 I had it. I always tried to be in the highest gear. Lugged it some, but it didn't knock/pink, so I thought it was ok. Used a half quart right around 60,000 after a trip to Oregon Coast. I had to put a half quart in the little '01 Tacoma I had for 78,000. I don't remember any more in the 5 new Toyotas I've owned since Aug '01. 235,000 miles. Got some feedback last year on the Camry Engine forum here at Edmunds. Thx for the thoughtful reply, nippononly.
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,669
    Don't worry, the oil consumption problem wasn't caused by the way you drove it, the problem with the valve stem guides is widespread among the 4-cylinder Camrys prior to 2003. What's unclear is whether the problem continued well into the '02-'06 Camrys. Certainly, it seems that the '02s suffer from it.

    2013 Civic SI, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (stick)

  • MrShift@EdmundsMrShift@Edmunds Posts: 43,626
    There no doubt about it, the difference in fuel economy between sticks and automatics is growing ever smaller. It may be that only the skilled driver knows how to get the best mpg out of a stick shift.

    In other words, if you make the WRONG choices about shifting in a manual transmission, you might end with worse mileage than cars with these extra smart, extra efficient modern automatics.

    The down side of all that modernity is that if one of these computer controlled 6 speed automatics, or even 5 speeds, rolls over and goes dead on you out of warranty, you can be in for a mighty big hit, and without proper diagnostic equipment, you are helpless to fix it yourself.
  • bearcrkrdbearcrkrd Posts: 167
    They sure are close now, EPA wise. I've been driving automatics the last 4 years. Couple Tacoma 4x2 4 bangers and a Sienna 3.3L 6cyl.
    Before that a couple manual trannies - '01 Tacoma base model. little reg cab, and a '01 Camry CE. They were 2001's so it was a while ago. The biggest difference I notice is the cold weather mileage. The stick shifts had very little difference in mileage the year round. The automatics are dramatically lower in the Winter. If I go on a hiway trip the Winter mileage is fine. But even 50/50 street - hiway or 40/60, mileage is way down. Then I go on a road trip and it's ok. Next tank, regular work & weekend routine, down again.
    I found Edmunds just before buying those '01's. Didn't find the Forums until almost a year later. I was afraid to post the mileage I was getting in the Camry for fear of being called a poor liar. The Camry Mileage Forum at that time consisted of mostly complaints about what people considered less-than-window-sticker mileage. They all had automatic trannies. I regularly got 35-36 on the hiway, and 37-38 was not uncommon. Highest was 40-41, and that was for around 250 miles, from Tacoma, Wa to Eugene, OR. I remember it because I couldn't believe it. I kept track of every tank after that until I got rid of the car. I'm not lyin :D
    The little Tacoma didn't break any records, but I got Window Sticker mileage, always. The next gen Tacoma, the current one, is bigger and gets better mileage. I did very well on the hiway with that, but it was the models (4x2 Reg Cab and Extra Cab, not Pre-Runner) that were not real truck-like, and not what most people think of when they think of a new Tacoma.
    I was real curious about the '09 Corolla, Matrix/Vibe, and found this Forum. It's been fun, thanks, and I'll leave it to those who have a smaller vehicle, like a Corolla ;)
  • lilengineerboylilengineerboy Posts: 4,116
    There no doubt about it, the difference in fuel economy between sticks and automatics is growing ever smaller. It may be that only the skilled driver knows how to get the best mpg out of a stick shift.

    Oh I wasn't complaining about the mileage those cars were getting at all. I feel having a manual lets me get by with a smaller/less powerful engine than I could with a slushbox.

    In other words, if you make the WRONG choices about shifting in a manual transmission, you might end with worse mileage than cars with these extra smart, extra efficient modern automatics.

    I think if you drive like a grandma, the difference between a well driven manual and a sit-and-steer automatic are negligible. I think the differences show up when people drive in their more aggressive, natural way. I think driven "normally," a manual transmission returns better fuel efficiency than the auto (my '07 Accord stick gets considerably better real world mileage than my old boss's '06 Accord auto).
  • MrShift@EdmundsMrShift@Edmunds Posts: 43,626
    That is very true and given everything else being equal, the stickshift driver will get better mileage---unless say the manual and automatic versions of the same car are geared differently in the transaxle, as was the case with the xA.
  • lhansonlhanson Posts: 268
    The results for Echo are still published in Consumer Reports. They have been combined with the results for the Yaris.
  • mcmanusmcmanus Posts: 121
    I averaged 35 mpg with my 1989 Camry base 5M. Not the quickest car, but very smooth. Caught myself a number of times going 80 mph when I intended to stay at 70 (no cruise). The car cost $11k and felt very solid (not just tight like a good small car does today). Stupid me, I dumped it when it approached 120k miles and time for tune up, timing belt change, brakes, etc. The Camry's since have been too big (and too much like a Japanese Buick) for me taste. So when I looked for a replacement, the 2001 Corolla (generation 8?) only offered a 3 speed automatic, so I bought elsewhere.

    If you check acceleration times between automatic and manual transmissions you'll typically find significant differences. Designers have traded mpg for acceleration. Civic for instance (according to CR) 10% better mpg in automatic than manual on the highway (5A vs. 5M) but does 10% worse overall. The automatic does 0 - 60 in 10.1 seconds versus 8.6 in the manual (a quite noticable difference). More gears that allow for higher top gear final drive ratios have allowed better fuel economy but there's still no free lunch (automatics being less efficient overall).
  • bottgersbottgers Posts: 2,028
    I don't know, I think you'd hard pressed to beat the fuel economy of the auto with a manual in the Civic. Honda really did thier homework on that 5A. I'm a hardcore manual guy and I actually preferred the auto over the manual in the Civic, that's how nice it is.
  • I haven't read this whole thread so I don't know if this has come up. My main reason for buying a MT is theft deterrence. In my ~30 years of car ownership I've owned six manuals and two automatics. Both the autos were eventually stolen. We have a serious problem here in DC with teenagers stealing cars. Most of them don't know how to drive a stick.

    My first car, a '76 Chevy Nova was totaled when the thief ran from the police. It was a dog and I didn't miss it. My next automatic was a '85 SEI Accord (the first with fuel injection.) I really didn't want an auto, but my Honda mechanic said they didn't make the SEI with a stick. One day it just disappeared from in front of my house and was never recovered. It had "the club", but I couldn't find the receipt. It was 8 years old and I only had liability insurance. Years later I spotted one for sale with a stick. Extremely rare. The spousal unit was adamant that I shouldn't buy such an old car. I was grumpy for a week.

    Now I own an '88 Accord with 217K miles that I love, but the spousal unit says it's too low to the ground and smells funny, and an '06 base Matrix with the power package (I hate those body skirts.) Both are 5-speeds.

    Both cars have delivered 37MPG driving on two lane highways of the Maryland Easter Shore at 55-60MPH.
  • MrShift@EdmundsMrShift@Edmunds Posts: 43,626
    You can save an enormous amount of gasoline driving at 55 mph instead of 70 mph, and using cruise control on flat or gently rolling terrain. I can vary my mpg a full 30% depending solely on how I drive.
  • Corrections:

    Wife says the old Accord INTERIOR smells funny. And it didn't help when after I got the Matrix I loaned the Accord to a friend and he drove to the golf course smoking cigars in it.

    And, that's Maryland EASTERN shore, not Easter.
  • busirisbusiris Posts: 3,442
    And it didn't help when after I got the Matrix I loaned the Accord to a friend and he drove to the golf course smoking cigars in it

    Maybe you can return the favor by using his car to haul a load of manure for your garden this spring.

    I would NEVER, EVER smoke in someone else's vehicle, even if the owner was a chain smoker...just common courtesy....
  • dave594dave594 Posts: 218
    While finding a manual tranny in most econoboxes seem to be a problem as the dealers try to maximize profit, I was happy to find plenty of manual equipped car at the Scion dealer. I'll probably end up getting an xB with no options for about $15,400 including delivery. Since the Mazda dealer didn't want to deal for the Mazda 5, I'll end up saving $3k over what I would have paid for it. Only thing I'll miss is the 3rd row seats.
  • irismgirismg Posts: 345
    But then you would be accused of driving like a grandmother, or be described with some other expression of ageism. Thing about that is, though, Grandma always got to where she was going in one piece! Slow and sensible was best for her, smart girl!

    It's an interesting discussion. On the one hand, I think fuel consumption is about simple algebra with some physics mixed in. Higher speed is higher RPMs, and higher RPMs is higher fuel consumption. But, on the other hand, I wonder if going at 25mph doesn't burn even more fuel than going at 70mph because of the lower gearing needed to maintain such a low speed? In that case low speed is higher RPMs which is higher fuel consumption, so one could conclude that it's not speed but RPM that eats your fuel.

    A new kind of transmission, then, could best help cars be more efficient, rather than either driving habits or structural changes. In the meantime, however, I'd say just drive in the highest gear possible, regardless of speed.

    I hope you don't mind I commented on your comment. I just wanted to make an observation. Thanks!
  • MrShift@EdmundsMrShift@Edmunds Posts: 43,626
    Yes you're right, slower is not always better--it depends a great deal on gearing, throttle opening and aerodynamics.
This discussion has been closed.