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I have one of each, 2018 manual, and 2017 Auto. The auto doesn't have many miles to make a good comparison yet, but it's looking pretty good, I expect similar numbers, maybe a bit less than the manual overall. (manual lifetime is sitting at 44MPG, best 50 mile was 69MPG, last 50 is about 52MPG) The Gen 2 auto is an improvement over the Gen 1 auto, in most ways, though I do prefer the Gen 1 manual shift mode over the Gen 2 set-up, even with the "Shift Denied" messages when the computer reminded you who was really in charge! That said, the auto posts better in town MPG primarily due to the engine auto-stop feature that is part of the automatic transmission.. some hate this feature, it takes some getting used to.. but I don't find it a problem, and it IS entirely possible to disable this if you want to, contrary to what some have said. The manual mode "L" on the snifter sets the highest gear only, and the transmission will shift just like "D" up to that gear... but will ONLY auto-stop when all the parameters are met, in "D" only, so don't want auto stop: Drive in "L9" and it won't auto stop, and still shift through all 9 speeds.. problem solved. I concur with you on the option packages, the reason I ended up with the 2017 auto, is my wife came to like some of those features on her 2015 that the 2018 manual did not have, and only way to find a car in actual inventory was to get an auto version... it's sadly the way GM thinks most buyers will equip their cars.. only other way would be factory special order, and a hassle that would be, with no good discounts.. a hefty price to pay, and they know it. When I have more data on the auto, I'll post it.
 
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