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I have read that any car that is driven in Manual, definitely can get better milage than that of an automatic transmission if driven properly. In the case of the smart car, does it fall in the same category or is it better driving it in automatic? This question goes to those who have tested the car for the best milage possible - hypermiling.
 

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In my opinion, Hypermiling takes too much effort for the small gains on a smart. The automatic mode does a pretty good job of giving good MPG, but if you are on hills or in traffic, the manual mode will work better. Automatic mode tries to put you in high gear as soon as possible. Going up hills gets real slow and pushing the pedal to the floor will waste fuel.

Just my humble opinion.
 

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If it's the 453 model, the auto wins because of its 6th gear. The manual only has 5.
it has nothing to do with the number of gears ... manual will get better mpgs with really basic eco driving skills with the 453 .. the manual is also quicker and gear spacing better than the 6 speed imo. i've test driven both models during the same day over the same road and i was easily able to beat epa numbers with the manual but not with the auto!
 

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it has nothing to do with the number of gears ... manual will get better mpgs with really basic eco driving skills with the 453 .. the manual is also quicker and gear spacing better than the 6 speed imo. i've test driven both models during the same day over the same road and i was easily able to beat epa numbers with the manual but not with the auto!
Umm, yes it does. There are higher rpms with the car in 5th gear than there are when the car is in 6th gear. That's why the smart auto (6 speed) gets a better fuel economy rating than the manual.
 

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Umm, yes it does. There are higher rpms with the car in 5th gear than there are when the car is in 6th gear. That's why the smart auto (6 speed) gets a better fuel economy rating than the manual.
Gears are more widely spaced with the 5 speed and it revs lower in 5th than the auto in 6th! So as i said having 5 gears instead of 6 isnt representative of fuel economy
 

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I have read that any car that is driven in Manual, definitely can get better milage than that of an automatic transmission if driven properly. In the case of the smart car, does it fall in the same category or is it better driving it in automatic? This question goes to those who have tested the car for the best milage possible - hypermiling.
That was definitely the case in the past, but automatic transmissions have improved so much that they are able to achieve better MPGs than their manual counterparts. On the 453 the twinamic achieves higher overall EPA mileage because it's city rating is higher than the manual's.
 

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A good driver could likely better it with a manual though.
Epa numbers are far from reality when it comes to measuring fuel economy with manual transmissions.. even more with smaller cars... look at the mirage as a good example.. epa gets much better numbers with the cvt but in real life the manual easily beats the cvt..

Same applies with the fortwo.. ive driven both models many miles and the manual gets hands down much better numbers and i think the gearing is better suited for the car.. you make much better use of the engine's torque
 

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The 451 is my daily commuter (city driving only) and it consistently gets about 34 mpg in manual mode without using AC. I had been driving in only manual mode, but was curious about the 451's automatic mode.

On one recent full tank of gas, I let the 451 automatically shift and it resulted in approximately 36 mpg.

The very next full tank I went back to manually shifting, but dropped back to 34 mpg. Here's why:

The 451's automatic mode put the transmission into 5th gear while I was driving around 40 mph with the flow of traffic on long, level roads. While this optimized mpg, 5th gear at 40 mph made my 451 weak.

Instead, manually driving the 451 in 4th gear at 40 mph allows me to make sudden maneuvers in city driving that would be unwise to attempt in 5th. Downshifting gears from 5th to 4th (by slamming down the gas pedal in auto mode or manually shifting) takes precious moments when time is critical. For this reason alone, I am gladly willing to stay in 4th gear at 40mph and sacrifice 1-2 mpg to drive in manual mode.
 
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