Of course you can ..
As Jeff P points out, you match the load to the gearing..
Stick drivers are aware of this eng/gearing Feel , and the auto option lets a driver get in this "Best for the Situation" range.
If one is not aware of the mechanics of engine loads and gearing,
the auto Drive Range is fine, but the Option is better for those with this Feel, for both engine effeciency and wear/tear .
I, for one , never use top range until my cars are warmed up....