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Fact #850: December 8, 2014 Automatic Transmissions have closed the Fuel Economy Gap with Manual Transmissions

Historically, manual transmissions have delivered better fuel economy than automatic transmissions. However, improvements in the efficiency of automatic transmissions have closed that gap in recent years. Improved designs and the increased number of gears used in automatic transmissions have contributed to the improved fuel economy of vehicles fitted with automatic transmissions. Automatic transmissions have added gears more quickly than their manual counterparts.

Comparison of Manual and Automatic Transmission Fuel Economy in Vehicles which have Both Options, Model Years 1980-2014

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Note: Fuel economy average is the production-weighted harmonic mean.

Fact #850 Dataset

Supporting Information

Comparison of Manual and Automatic Transmission Fuel Economy in Vehicles which have Both Options, Model Years 1980-2014
Model Year Transmission Type
Automatic Manual
1980 17.1 18.2
1981 18.4 20.1
1982 20.2 22.2
1983 21.0 23.0
1984 20.8 22.5
1985 21.3 22.9
1986 21.3 22.8
1987 20.9 22.2
1988 20.9 22.0
1989 20.7 22.0
1990 20.8 21.8
1991 20.8 21.9
1992 21.0 22.1
1993 21.2 22.3
1994 20.7 21.8
1995 20.8 21.9
1996 21.5 22.8
1997 21.2 22.3
1998 21.0 22.1
1999 21.4 22.4
2000 21.0 22.1
2001 21.0 21.9
2002 20.8 21.5
2003 20.9 21.6
2004 21.0 21.6
2005 21.0 21.6
2006 21.2 21.5
2007 21.4 21.7
2008 21.6 21.8
2009 22.3 22.4
2010 22.8 22.8
2011 24.0 24.1
2012 24.7 24.6
2013 25.8 26.0
2014 26.2 26.1

Note: 2014 estimates are based on preliminary production data.
Source: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Light-Duty Automotive Technology, Carbon Dioxide Emissions, and Fuel Economy Trends: 1975 Through 2014, EPA-420-R-14-023, October 2014.

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