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kalifornia - how much more he could have gotten with the 5 speed would depend first on how aggressive he would be, particularly with shutting off the engine, and 2nd with how much neutral coasting he did.
I think the answer of which transmission you should choose depends on whether you drive primarily in the city or on the open road. The manual will beat the CVT in the city in the hands of a competent driver and wouldn't take much more effort (with the exception of cities with traffic jam nightmares). On the open road though, the CVT gearing apparently gives it the advantage.
Thread: Mirage CVT or 5-speed: which should you get for best gas mileage/fuel economy?