top of page
  • Johnson's Automotive

Why So Many Americans Drive Automatic Cars

Updated: May 16

Today, the vast majority of cars on the road use an automatic transmission. According to Reader's Digest, 96% of vehicles registered in the United States have automatic transmissions. Why are automatic cars so popular?

With automatic vehicles you don't have to use a clutch and manual shifter to change gears. Most people also enjoy the relative ease of driving an automatic versus learning to use a manual. Aside from making driving easier, here are some other reasons why the majority of Americans prefer driving automatic cars.

Lower Production Costs

Carmakers have a very simple reason for doing away with the manual transmission – lower production costs. When all models have an automatic transmission, there’s no need for a separate assembly line for models with a manual transmission.

As a result, most cars being produced and sold in the United States are cars with automatic transmissions. According to, this means car makers can focus on developing new technology that make automatics more fuel efficient than manuals.

Better Fuel Economy

In fact, the biggest reason why most vehicles have automatic transmissions is that it makes it easier to meet mandated fuel economy targets. Over the years, the federal government and many states have mandated vehicles be made to achieve increasingly better fuel efficiency goals.Automatic transmissions help improve fuel economy by shifting up or down as needed to ensure smooth and improved power delivery. There was a time when manuals were the most cost effective and fuel efficient option, but today automatic cars are taking the lead.

More Efficient Power Delivery

Current automatic transmissions often have between eight and 10 gears, which makes it a lot easier to automatically shift into the ideal gear to maintain your momentum. Even when driving up or down steep roadways, an automatic transmission can shift to the ideal gear while enabling the motor to provide mostly the same amount of power. You won't have to step on the gas as much because the transmission takes care of the changing needs for power.

Better Towing Capability

Automatic transmissions also make it easier to tow heavy loads compared to a manual transmission with fewer gears. The automatic can shift from very low to very high gears, while maintaining a smooth power delivery even when towing heavy loads. With more gears, an automatic transmission can handle heavy towing without breaking down and requiring auto repair services to make it run well again.

From the ease of driving to better fuel economy, it’s clear why automatic vehicles are taking the lead on the road. But, like all vehicles, transmission repair and service is sometimes necessary. The experts at NAPA identify several warning signs that a system needs maintenance or an overhaul. Here are some of our favorites:

• Has your gas mileage decreased?

• Is the shifting choppy or is the engine stalling?

• Are you noticing grinding or shaking?

Regardless of the issue, Johnson's Automotive Repair in Big Rapids is here for all your car care needs! Call or visit our auto repair services facility to learn more and schedule transmission or other services for your vehicles.

4 views0 comments


bottom of page