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Anyone else have problems in slow acceleration for the manual I-Sport?
Especially in the lower gears from 1st, 2nd and to 3rd gear - basing this on observation of relative speed of other 4-cylinder automatics passing by on the road - from a stop and go situation (ie. stoplight)

I've been shifting around 25000-3000 RPM for 1st, 2nd and 3rd - revving any higher will results in car jerking forward between shifts - maybe I'm dumping the clutch too early?

Or is the slower acceleration normal for Mazda 3 (expecting too much from the 2.0L engine)?

Relatively new again to manual driving (used to own a manual 5 years ago, Mazda seems not as forgiving to grab the catch point on the clutch)

I want to drive smooth and fast -- wondering if it's my technique/skills or is it the car?
 

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That's quite low of a shift point when accelerating from a stop. You need to work on your shift timing and Rev matching. The jerking your feeling is because you're dumping the clutch too late most likely and too quickly.

You'll naturally get better at Rev matching as you drive more. You'll get used to the approximate revs of the engine at the same speed in different gears.

Until then, you can mitigate the jerk by letting off the clutch slower. This will wear the clutch plate quicker, but it's to be expected on your first manual.
 

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I've been shifting around 25000-3000 RPM for 1st, 2nd and 3rd - revving any higher will results in car jerking forward between shifts - maybe I'm dumping the clutch too early?
The manual transmission in this car is geared long for fuel economy. This makes it a bit trickier to to rev-match to get smooth upshifts, especially from 1-2.

FWIW, I don't have this issue with my 5 speed BMW which has closer gear ratios.

To get a smooth up-shift in the low gears with this car:
1. Clutch-in, Shift quick, and clutch-out at exactly the right speed/rpm (around when the shift suggestion appears on the dashboard)
2. Clutch-in and wait a moment or two for the flywheel to spin down to about where the next gear would be comfortable at your speed, .. and then clutch out. This take a bit of practice to get exactly right (try not to keep the clutch pressed in for too long, you'll wear it down) but it's entirely do-able.
 

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things i have noticed:

from a stop, the car bogs down all the time unless i rev the motor and drop the clutch which leads to instant take-off but then the tires chirp. Not cool around popos.

shift from 1st to 2nd, the car will jerk. I have to make an effort to ease the clutch more slowly. It happens 2nd to 3rd, but much less.
 

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This thread reads more like a "i don't know how to drive stick" thread to me. No offense or anything, but... go to a parking lot and practice. It's not that hard to take off without peeling out or dumping the clutch and bogging, but it takes practice and finesse.

Having driven the competition, the 3 is certainly one of the more responsive 4 cylinder cars in its class, and certainly one of the easier to shift thanks to a very forgiving clutch (though that's more compared to older cars than current, whihc all seem to have a very soft clutch).
 

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The Mazda3 is very forgiving! It has hill assist and the anti stall when rolling. In addition, the clutch is really light. The car only has 155hp so of course it's not going to have the quickest take off. It's still faster to all of the 1.8 civics amd corrola's out there though. If you pay attention to the recommended shift points on the tach, it usually tells you to shift before 2000-3000rpm. The engine seems to be most responsive above 4000, but I rarely take it that high because I care more about my fuel economy than a quick take off. I think you just have to get used to the car.
 

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I've driven manual consistently for almost 20 years. It's the clutch on this car along with the extra pedal travel. It's so light, it's not easy to get a good start without getting these tires to chirp. Most fwd cars are like that. I don't recall how my 6MT Acura TSX was, but I know I didn't complain about take-offs. My Exige on the other hand with an ACT clutch takes off like a motherf*ker from a stop. That thing is either "on" or "off."
 

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shifting strategy

Acceleration takes power, and the higher the engine speed the more power you have available. On the other hand revving higher than you need to wastes fuel. In summary:

There is no one correct answer to what rpm you should upshift. It all depends on what you want to do with the car in the next seconds of driving. If you want more power, then you might want to downshift or stay in your current gear. If not, upshift to keep the engine revs down to save fuel and wear and tear on the engine and accessories. Don't upshift if that will result in lugging the engine. It doesn't matter if you are driving a sports car, motorcycle, or family car; the following is the basic logic to follow for shifting a manual transmission for both efficiency and performance:

• Try to think ahead about the next 10 seconds or so of driving
• If you upshift to the next higher gear will you have enough power to do what you want to do with the car? (this all depends on how fast you want to accelerate and whether you are going uphill or downhill)
• If so, go ahead and upshift, but not if that will result in lugging the engine
• If not, then decide if you can attain the level of power you need in your current gear or you need even more power
• If you need more power than is available in your current gear then downshift
Keep running this algorithm in your head as you drive. You always want to strive to get in top-gear, but not at the expense of not having enough performance, or lugging the engine, or not having fun!

Dave
 

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Acceleration takes power, and the higher the engine speed the more power you have available. On the other hand revving higher than you need to wastes fuel. In summary:

There is no one correct answer to what rpm you should upshift. It all depends on what you want to do with the car in the next seconds of driving. If you want more power, then you might want to downshift or stay in your current gear. If not, upshift to keep the engine revs down to save fuel and wear and tear on the engine and accessories. Don't upshift if that will result in lugging the engine. It doesn't matter if you are driving a sports car, motorcycle, or family car; the following is the basic logic to follow for shifting a manual transmission for both efficiency and performance:

• Try to think ahead about the next 10 seconds or so of driving
• If you upshift to the next higher gear will you have enough power to do what you want to do with the car? (this all depends on how fast you want to accelerate and whether you are going uphill or downhill)
• If so, go ahead and upshift, but not if that will result in lugging the engine
• If not, then decide if you can attain the level of power you need in your current gear or you need even more power
• If you need more power than is available in your current gear then downshift
Keep running this algorithm in your head as you drive. You always want to strive to get in top-gear, but not at the expense of not having enough performance, or lugging the engine, or not having fun!

Dave

People say that "upshift to keep the engine revs down to save fuel ..." is not necessarily always true.
 

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People say that "upshift to keep the engine revs down to save fuel ..." is not necessarily always true.
I am an automotive powertrain engineer and I can tell you that it is true as long as you are not lugging the engine. If you only need 20 HP deleivered to the wheels, it is much more efficiently done at 1500 rpm than 2500 RPM.

Dave
 

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I am an automotive powertrain engineer and I can tell you that it is true as long as you are not lugging the engine. If you only need 20 HP deleivered to the wheels, it is much more efficiently done at 1500 rpm than 2500 RPM.

Dave
So, basically, always be in a highest gear possible, unless you need to accelerate hard, in that case shift down then shift back up?
 

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So, basically, always be in a highest gear possible, unless you need to accelerate hard, in that case shift down then shift back up?
Yes, though if you are driving competively (racing, driving school, or autocross) there are reasons to keep the engine buzzing. It still fits the algorithm stated above. A good manual transmission driver is thinking ahead.

Dave
 

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If you aren't worried too much about MPG, redline in 2nd gear to get decent acceleration! You can't get much pull from 3rd gear unless the rpm's around 4K

As long as you've past your break-in period, try it. It won't kill the car. However, do it ONLY after the car has reached the operating temperature (about 20 min of driving).
 

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Check your air filter. If it is dirty it will restrict air flow and cause you to have to rev higher to get adequate power. Also, low tire inflation will cause additional drag so keep to the correct psi. These things would be less noticeable in a V6 but our little 4's need to be properly tuned or you will notice it.
 
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