The manual shifts are much harsher than automatic. Also starting in 2nd means that it ONLY uses 2nd, not 1st. One thing I do tend to do is put the selector in 3 for city driving. It gives a bit more engine braking and reduces the extra shift to 4th when you let up to coast to a stoplight. Also gives much better "scoot". If I'm on a two lane highway and planning to pass someone I'll also drop it to 3 as I prepare to nail the throttle.