30 October 2007

Rev-erse psycarlogy

As a general rule manuals get better gas mileage than automatics (just slightly and only if you know when to shift). But when I bought my Honda Civic in 2006 the manual model had an estimated MPG of 38 while the automatic had a 40. People, in general, prefer automatics but price sensitive buyers may be willing to go for the manual if the price is right and they get better gas mileage. But if they don't get better gas mileage more people will now choose the automatic.

So does Honda just make better automatic transmissions than manuals? Or do they purposely lower the fuel economy of manual transmissions to entice buyers to purchase the higher priced automatics?

My bet is that they just make better automatics. If they purposefully try to switch price sensitive consumers over to the more expensive product, they may lose the consumer entirely to a different product (like a Toyota Corolla). Maybe Honda has done the market research and figured it all out, but most likely, they just make good automatics for Civics.

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