I have a 2018 Mazda 3 HB manual, and I love it, but it is more challenging to drive smoothly than any other manual Iíve driven. One thing Iíve noticed: the RPMs drop really quickly at lower engine speeds, so unless Iím revving up over about 3000 rpm, the engine speed drops below the speed of the next gear on normal up shifts, which leads to a fairly harsh shift. The clutch friction point is also really low, so engagement happens quicker. When driving slower, I donít let off the gas all the way when I shift and it does help. I also have to be careful not to let off the gas until I get my clutch foot all the way down. Actually, quicker shifts also tend to be smoother, which feels a little counter-intuitive when youíre driving slower. It has also been a bit smoother when the a/c is off, which kinda makes senseóless load on the engine and the rpms donít fall quite as quickly between shifts.
Iíve had to learn some different habits to shift smoothly, but it is possible when Iím doing it right, just takes a lot of practice. Maybe when I get a few more miles on the odometer the clutch will become a little more forgiving. Or I just have to rev her up a lot more!
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