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Discussion Starter #1
I test drove a 2018 2.5L 6MT yesterday and came away really disappointed in the throttle response when trying to rev match downshifts. I wasn’t too bothered with response when in gear, but the throttle seemingly didn’t want to respond through the neutral zone unless I really laid on it in which case it was still laggy making it impossible to finesse.

I drove a 2007 2.3L on the lot immediately after and it was much more responsive, but still not great. Does anyone have experience with multiple year Mazda 3’s or long term ownership in 3rd Gen. 3 that can let me know their experiences in this matter? I have read through searching that some people contribute it to DBW, heavy flywheel, or computer system that has to learn driving style? My 2006 Miata had a DBW setup and felt more responsive, though not as good as my NA or NB Miata’s. Honestly, the AT in CX5 felt sportier than MT in 3 test drive which I also thought lacked clutch and shifter feel.

I
 

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Actually, the SkyActiv motor in the 3 is tuned for more sedate driving. The same motor in the ND has much better throttle response.
 

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Agreed that you have to dig deep on the pedal to get some revs. Agreed that it's setup for more sedate diving. It's an adjustment. Would be nice if there was a way to tune the throttle potentiometer.

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G891A using Tapatalk
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Good point about OVT. I am familiar with options available via the tuning route. However, I think my biggest hang-up would be purchasing a brand new vehicle with a neutered stick based on hopes that a future tune would turn it into a vehicle I am happy with. If the results didn’t meet expectations I would be sorely disappointed $20k+ worth. One option would be to find a forum member with a tune in Philly area that would willing to let me take theirs for a test drive.

I would assume the 2.0 of this generation drives similarly? Does anyone have feedback on earlier years?

I’ve always had a Miata as my third car. I sold my most recent one and had hoped a 3 would pull double duty as a daily and back road bomber.
 

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Mazda "E" Division
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I test drove a 2018 2.5L 6MT yesterday and came away really disappointed in the throttle response when trying to rev match downshifts. I wasn’t too bothered with response when in gear, but the throttle seemingly didn’t want to respond through the neutral zone unless I really laid on it in which case it was still laggy making it impossible to finesse.

I drove a 2007 2.3L on the lot immediately after and it was much more responsive, but still not great. Does anyone have experience with multiple year Mazda 3’s or long term ownership in 3rd Gen. 3 that can let me know their experiences in this matter? I have read through searching that some people contribute it to DBW, heavy flywheel, or computer system that has to learn driving style? My 2006 Miata had a DBW setup and felt more responsive, though not as good as my NA or NB Miata’s. Honestly, the AT in CX5 felt sportier than MT in 3 test drive which I also thought lacked clutch and shifter feel.

I
When I first test drove my 2018 M3 GT the engine response seemed slow, which made my 2007 M3 2.0 seemed faster . After my purchase, drove 500-1000km and the engine came alive.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Ok, good to know. I should look up used 6MT models and give them a test drive to find out how they feel once broken in.
 

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If your not happy with the way the car drove, time will not cure it. I thought it would, but it has not. I have owned my 2016 2.0 for about 5 months and I just can't get it right. for me it's a combination of slow/non responsive throttle response, the car being pretty silent, and a pretty numb clutch. I have only owned stick shifts for the 17 yrs I have been driving, my inability to get this one right is quite irritating.
 

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If your not happy with the way the car drove, time will not cure it. I thought it would, but it has not. I have owned my 2016 2.0 for about 5 months and I just can't get it right. for me it's a combination of slow/non responsive throttle response, the car being pretty silent, and a pretty numb clutch. I have only owned stick shifts for the 17 yrs I have been driving, my inability to get this one right is quite irritating.
Sport mode, 2.5L makes a big difference and 20c/70f air temp will wake up most cars.
 

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good to know.
Thanks,

Different manufacturers: Sport mode controls - engine, trans and suspension.


Mazda's version is the transmission
Auto - Eco mode vs sport mode .. this link explains it well
https://mazda3revolution.com/forums/2014-2017-mazda-3-skyactiv-engine-performance/87649-sport-mode.html
Yeah, the manuals while great got the short end of the stick a little bit. Nothing some mods and tuning didn't fix but I feel like shouldn't have to. Tightening up the movement and getting the throttle response is a much better experience.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
OP here; I tested a used 6MT broken in with around 10k miles on it and it didn’t feel much different. I am thinking about going back to try out an AT version in sport mode next.
My 2015 2.5L CX-5 was the first AT I had owned. In the first year I relied heavily on shifting it with the auto- manual shift gate. After 14k the transmission went and Mazda replaced it under warranty. I haven’t shifted it myself since! Not 100% the two were related and Mazda could have upgraded internal components of trans they use since then. Can anyone comment on longevity of shifting an AT Mazda3 with paddles or the sporting feel of doing so?
 

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If your not happy with the way the car drove, time will not cure it. I thought it would, but it has not. I have owned my 2016 2.0 for about 5 months and I just can't get it right. for me it's a combination of slow/non responsive throttle response, the car being pretty silent, and a pretty numb clutch. I have only owned stick shifts for the 17 yrs I have been driving, my inability to get this one right is quite irritating.
Same here
Tip: I feel the car gets more responsive and I get better shifting with traction control OFF
 

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I have a 2016 2.5 manual, took me a minute to adjust from my subaru but heel/toe shifts are 2nd nature by now. I don't have any trouble getting the revs up for it - although in fairness, i'm not threshold braking or way up in the rev range usually, so just need a little blip to match for "casual spirited driving" let's call it..
 

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I have a 2016 2.5L manual transmission and also felt that the throttle response was not stellar, but also kept in mind that my main cars for the past 16 years had light weight flywheels and throttle cables instead of drive by wire TB, so my frame of reference may not be super applicable to a stock MZ3.

I recently flashed my ECU with a “pre-tuned” 91 octane file from Orange Virus Tuning with their “throttle calibration” feature and the throttle response has significantly improved. I recently took my MZ3 to a track day at Willow Springs with this tune and felt satisfied with the adjusted throttle response. If you’re OK with an initial expense of a tune, then the MZ3 can be a great practical car that is entertaining to drive.

OP here; I tested a used 6MT broken in with around 10k miles on it and it didn’t feel much different. I am thinking about going back to try out an AT version in sport mode next.
My 2015 2.5L CX-5 was the first AT I had owned. In the first year I relied heavily on shifting it with the auto- manual shift gate. After 14k the transmission went and Mazda replaced it under warranty. I haven’t shifted it myself since! Not 100% the two were related and Mazda could have upgraded internal components of trans they use since then. Can anyone comment on longevity of shifting an AT Mazda3 with paddles or the sporting feel of doing so?
 
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