Manual or Auto - 2004 to 2016 Mazda 3 Forum and Mazdaspeed 3 Forums
View Poll Results: Manual or Automatic
Manual 631 64.26%
Automatic 351 35.74%
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post #1 of 488 (permalink) Old 02-10-2014, 02:59 PM Thread Starter
Nikias
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Manual or Auto

I am about to buy a new Mazda 3 I Touring. I have never had a manual before but considering getting one. My friend has been teaching me in-spite of getting car sick as I learn to come out of first gear (after that little issue). From what I have read the manual seems very forgiving on this car and it seems like it will be fun to drive. My dad says that it is fun at first but gets old quickly. He says he cant wait till he trades in his old manual and gets an automatic. I want to know what people got and get an idea on what I should do moving forward. I live off a hill that has 4 lights on it and it is a busy street. This worries me a bit just starting out. My friend informs me that when in city traffic a manual can be a b**** and he wished for an automatic in those times but loves the added safety of engine braking in the winter. He drives a TC. With the new automatics it seems you can go into sport mode to shift down a get to get that added safety.

So suggestions, comments, opinions, facts, troll rage, lets have it.
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post #2 of 488 (permalink) Old 02-10-2014, 03:03 PM
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The clutch on these manual 2014 3s is really really light. If you've driven a Mini Cooper S before, its actually lighter than the mini's clutch (which is very very light). It also has hill assist that holds for up to two seconds after you let go of the brakes, so hills shouldn't be an issue. There are times when I wish I got another automatic 3, but then again, I saved $1000 by getting a manual and put that towards the moonroof + foglight package (canadian option). The skyactiv automatic gets better fuel mileage than the manual and it has a manual mode for those days you want to control the gears.
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post #3 of 488 (permalink) Old 02-10-2014, 03:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oshiguru View Post
The clutch on these manual 2014 3s is really really light. If you've driven a Mini Cooper S before, its actually lighter than the mini's clutch (which is very very light). It also has hill assist that holds for up to two seconds after you let go of the brakes, so hills shouldn't be an issue. There are times when I wish I got another automatic 3, but then again, I saved $1000 by getting a manual and put that towards the moonroof + foglight package (canadian option). The skyactiv automatic gets better fuel mileage than the manual and it has a manual mode for those days you want to control the gears.
This manual tranny also allows you to pull of odd shift combinations like 2->4, 4->6 without feeling guilty. The 2.0L engine isn't fast, but it sure is easy to drive.
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post #4 of 488 (permalink) Old 02-10-2014, 03:53 PM Thread Starter
Nikias
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Quote:
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This manual tranny also allows you to pull of odd shift combinations like 2->4, 4->6 without feeling guilty. The 2.0L engine isn't fast, but it sure is easy to drive.
Dose skipping a gear provide any real benefit?
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post #5 of 488 (permalink) Old 02-10-2014, 03:57 PM
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Not really just one less shift you have to make.
Manuals are fun but in all honesty autos are just as efficient now. It really comes down to personal preference. I like manuals myself. Just more engaging to drive. But autos are easier to drive. Test drive both a couple times then make a decision.
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post #6 of 488 (permalink) Old 02-10-2014, 04:04 PM
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I prefer manuals for many reasons.

#1: way more control over engine RPM, speed / gear
#2 ability to keep revs low when engine is still warming up
#3 more engaging driving experience
#4 when you have mastered driving your car and the feel of your gears, you'll be shifting without even realizing.
#5 Push start ability ( in a bad scenario ) less chance of being stranded
#6 no ecu controlling gears shifting when you don't want it to.
#7 Less chance of car being stolen ( FACT )
#8 downshifting
#9 ability to still shift WITHOUT Clutch in emergency situation
#10 it's more comfortable

One thing about people I've seen with manual transmissions is nobody downshifts. Proper downshifting is awesome and feels beautiful. Don't think you've got a complete manual transmission driving experience until you can downshift into every gear ( except 1/6/ reverse lol )

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nikias View Post
Dose skipping a gear provide any real benefit?
I have been told that it puts additional wear on the snychros. The reason why is that each gears synchros are sized specifically to shift to the next gear, and they optimize the shift with the RPM of the main shaft in the transmission. so for 2nd gear, the synchros are spinning at the correct speed and matching the main shaft to make an easy transition to 3rd gear. When you go from 2nd gear to 4th gear, The 4th gear synchro has to slow the main shaft down really really quickly to match the engine RPM and it causes un-necessary wear. You may not even feel it happen, and the shift may feel smooth, but it's happening. Imagine you're in 3rd gear at 5500 RPM and you shift to 6th gear and your RPM drops to 1500 RPM. That synchro just did ALL the work in matching the engine RPM to the main shaft. that's 4000RPM of momentum that has to be stopped in less than 1 second. Instead of a 5th to 6th shift where it may be 500 rpm.
as far as I've been told.

Think of it this way. If an engine is spinning 500 RPM and you have to stop it with your hand it's going to be pretty damn difficult. Now imagine you have to stop one going 4000RPM. it's probably going to rip your arm off. your synchro takes that abuse when you skip.
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Last edited by OrangeVirus1; 02-10-2014 at 04:19 PM.
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post #7 of 488 (permalink) Old 02-10-2014, 04:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OrangeVirus1 View Post

I have been told that it puts additional wear on the snychros.
dang. Now, I won't be able to drive lazy anymore (without feeling guilty). That said, this car is geared long so very frequent shifting isn't needed (depending on traffic, of course).

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post #8 of 488 (permalink) Old 02-10-2014, 04:39 PM Thread Starter
Nikias
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OrangeVirus1 View Post
I prefer manuals for many reasons.

#1: way more control over engine RPM, speed / gear
#2 ability to keep revs low when engine is still warming up
#3 more engaging driving experience
#4 when you have mastered driving your car and the feel of your gears, you'll be shifting without even realizing.
#5 Push start ability ( in a bad scenario ) less chance of being stranded
#6 no ecu controlling gears shifting when you don't want it to.
#7 Less chance of car being stolen ( FACT )
#8 downshifting
#9 ability to still shift WITHOUT Clutch in emergency situation
#10 it's more comfortable

One thing about people I've seen with manual transmissions is nobody downshifts. Proper downshifting is awesome and feels beautiful. Don't think you've got a complete manual transmission driving experience until you can downshift into every gear ( except 1/6/ reverse lol )



I have been told that it puts additional wear on the snychros. The reason why is that each gears synchros are sized specifically to shift to the next gear, and they optimize the shift with the RPM of the main shaft in the transmission. so for 2nd gear, the synchros are spinning at the correct speed and matching the main shaft to make an easy transition to 3rd gear. When you go from 2nd gear to 4th gear, The 4th gear synchro has to slow the main shaft down really really quickly to match the engine RPM and it causes un-necessary wear. You may not even feel it happen, and the shift may feel smooth, but it's happening. Imagine you're in 3rd gear at 5500 RPM and you shift to 6th gear and your RPM drops to 1500 RPM. That synchro just did ALL the work in matching the engine RPM to the main shaft. that's 4000RPM of momentum that has to be stopped in less than 1 second. Instead of a 5th to 6th shift where it may be 500 rpm.
as far as I've been told.

Think of it this way. If an engine is spinning 500 RPM and you have to stop it with your hand it's going to be pretty damn difficult. Now imagine you have to stop one going 4000RPM. it's probably going to rip your arm off. your synchro takes that abuse when you skip.
While I understand better control of the car reasons does this still apply since you can use the sport mode to drop gears. I have a rental 2013 mazda 3 and it lets me drop gears for engine breaking or go up in gears to get the lower rpms.

With the smart key is it even possible for them to steal the car. I have been told that with the new smart keys it makes it makes it near impossible.

Since the new mazda 3 is push button start is pushing the car to get the engine to engage even possible. I know with older cars it was but it was more of a mechanical process than an electrical process as newer cars seem to be.

shifting if the clutch goes out could be good but my dealership offers life time power train protection so long as they perform the standard maintenance. This is a free of charge offer as an incentive to buy from them.
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post #9 of 488 (permalink) Old 02-10-2014, 04:39 PM
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I prefer manual for anything other than a luxury car.

It is a preference thing...plain and simple.

And in my opinion anybody who complains about a manual in traffic shouldn't be in a manual anyways. If you love manual really and truly, you would even prefer it in traffic.

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post #10 of 488 (permalink) Old 02-10-2014, 04:54 PM
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There are only two reasons to buy a manual - you like to shift gears and it is cheaper. The new automatics are extremely efficient, have just as many gears, can downshift, allow you to shift manually if you like with the paddle shifters. Driving in the city is a chore with a manual. It used to be that you had more control with a manual and that it had more gears, but no more. The Mazda auto is very good.

If you are thinking about getting an "S" model with the 2.5L engine, you don't have a choice. In that model you have "sport" mode which is a blast to use.

From a pure technology standpoint and mpg standpoint, autos are really much better. That said, I've always had manuals in my sports cars because they were the better transmission for those cars. If you plan on either a lot of city driving or a lot of trips, buy an auto. If you want to get in touch with your inner gear, buy a manual.

The other point is that with all of the technology in the car with phone, text messaging, nav, etc., it can be unsafe to use a manual AND those things.
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