What Is a 5-Speed Shiftable Automatic Transmission?

by Michael Ryan

A 5 speed shiftable automatic transmission provides the ease of use offered by an automatic transmission coupled with the sportiness and increased fuel economy offered by a manual transmission.


A shiftable automatic transmission is mechanically an automatic transmission with an electronic override system that allows for driver shift control.


Shiftable automatic transmissions do not have a clutch in the sense of a manual transmission. Instead they use a torque converter to transfer engine power into forward motion through the wheels.


Most shiftable automatics are a regular automatic with electronic override. Some shiftable automatics are actually based on the principles of a manual transmission, using wet clutches that are controlled electronically.


A shiftable automatic allows the performance of an automatic transmission to be improved. Depending on driving style, the driver can change shift points to provide better fuel economy or better performance.

Expert Insight

Shiftable automatic transmissions are very reliable. With most vehicles offering this feature, it will not cost any extra to have a 5-speed shiftable automatic on your next vehicle.

About the Author

Michael Ryan is a freelance writer with professional experiences in the auto industry and academic training in music. Ryan earned a Bachelor of Arts with honors from Olivet College. Since college, he has been a featured speaker at music conferences at the University of Michigan and Bowling Green State University. Ryan is a published writer, with work featured on websites including eHow and CarsDirect.com.

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Photo Credits

  • Auto gear shift handle closeup image by George Dolgikh from Fotolia.com