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Discussion Starter #1
Some of the AT have a four speed AT and some have a five speed AT. Which is the difference and does it matter that the Mazda 3 S has a four speed?

Thanks.

Kevin
 

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I think if the MZ3 had a 5 speed auto, it would help the 2.3 engine have considerably lower highway RPMs, which would help gas mileage. Not sure about any acceleration advantages. Others could answer this.
 

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If it was a five speed auto then it would have slightly better acceleration because the gear ratio's would be slightly closer (because you have on more gear to fit in) and that would mean your RPM's wouldn't drop as much between shifts. Another thing is that with another gear in the transmission you can have better ratio's for higher torque multiplication.
 

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If it was a five speed auto then it would have slightly better acceleration because the gear ratio's would be slightly closer (because you have on more gear to fit in) and that would mean your RPM's wouldn't drop as much between shifts. Another thing is that with another gear in the transmission you can have better ratio's for higher torque multiplication.
 

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First, the Mazda3 doesn't have a 5 speed AT. Unless you're referring to a 5 speed MT vs a 4 speed auto. The 4 speed will have a lower top speed then the 5 speed and have worse gas milage. It's dissadvantages are that it would be noisier, and slower than a 5 speed
 

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I think fearturtle was just wondering what the differences would be IF the MZ3 HAD a 5 speed auto vs. the 4 speed auto it does have.
 

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Most of the times, a 5 speed auto is with the 5th speed being OD. In the 3, 4th is OD. When going 70 on the highway my RPM's were at 2500ish. When I dropped it to 3rd, they went to 4000. It's very strange though, because the AT will shift to 4th at around 35-40MPH. All the gears seem to have a largly overlapping range. 3rd could be run to 80, I think it even says it in the book, and the AT shifts to 3rd at about 20 MPH. It's very strange, but it seems to work. The 5 sp MT does get better mileage.
 

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Gas milage would not improve with a 5th gear. Yes, the RPM's would be lower, but you would have to press the gas pedal further to maintain speed, and more gas would be in each combustion.
 

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Hi 98LX,

I think you should - rethink your previous comment ... ???

"RPM would be lower, but you would have to push the accelerator harder ??"

You would use engine torque to maintain the higher gear whilst maintaining the same rpm vs speed figure.

A minor lesson in recipicating engines; "at any time you press the accelerator in the same gear - the RPM will increase - they are connected by an accelerator cable".

Warren
 

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Discussion Starter #10
4 vs 5

Yeah, I was just wondering the big difference in the two and if Mazda made a mistake in not putting a 5 speed AT on the M3-S!

Thanks for all the comments.

Kevin
 

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98LX said:
Gas milage would not improve with a 5th gear. Yes, the RPM's would be lower, but you would have to press the gas pedal further to maintain speed, and more gas would be in each combustion.
No? The purpose of putting a 5th gear into an automatic is to make the engine work less at higher speeds. With the engine working less, your gas milage improves.

I think Mazda should've put a 5th gear into the mazda3 AT, better milage, better acceleration, and less noisey at higher speeds.
 

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<Putting on a Corporate hat>
I think it is a matter of economics & compromise, why Mazda did not put in the 5spd auto. For one thing, I don't believe any of the 3's competitors have one, so there was really no need for having it (in terms of keeping up with the Jones'). Unlike the minivan market, pretty much all the import automakers have one (MPV, Odyssey, Sienna, & I think the Quest have it as well), so you have to have it to compete. Plus the 3 already has the SportShift trump card, so adding 5 spd would only be adding more cost but not significantly enriching the feature content.
<Taking hat off>
DrewSG said:
I think Mazda should've put a 5th gear into the mazda3 AT, better milage, better acceleration, and less noisey at higher speeds
Agreed, but not at the expense of increasing the price.
fearturtle44 said:
Yeah, I was just wondering the big difference in the two and if Mazda made a mistake in not putting a 5 speed AT on the M3-S!
Based on my experience with the MPV, it not something you would notice in your daily drive, unless you were watching for it. It may be a tad quieter on the highway (depending on the overdrive ratio) with the 5spd, but you'll likely notice it more at the pumps than anything else.
 

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if the auto had a 5th gear, i woulda bought it.
 

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From prior experience, the extra gear helps, but when it comes down to mileage and power, gearing reigns supreme. It all depends on the gear ratios and where the engine is set to run at. An extra gear would have been alright, but I don't think the 4 speed is going to make the AT inferior to other vehicles on the road.
 

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jintegra said:
<Putting on a Corporate hat>
I think it is a matter of economics & compromise, why Mazda did not put in the 5spd auto. For one thing, I don't believe any of the 3's competitors have one, so there was really no need for having it (in terms of keeping up with the Jones'). Unlike the minivan market, pretty much all the import automakers have one (MPV, Odyssey, Sienna, & I think the Quest have it as well), so you have to have it to compete. Plus the 3 already has the SportShift trump card, so adding 5 spd would only be adding more cost but not significantly enriching the feature content.
<Taking hat off>
DrewSG said:
I think Mazda should've put a 5th gear into the mazda3 AT, better milage, better acceleration, and less noisey at higher speeds
Agreed, but not at the expense of increasing the price.
fearturtle44 said:
Yeah, I was just wondering the big difference in the two and if Mazda made a mistake in not putting a 5 speed AT on the M3-S!
Based on my experience with the MPV, it not something you would notice in your daily drive, unless you were watching for it. It may be a tad quieter on the highway (depending on the overdrive ratio) with the 5spd, but you'll likely notice it more at the pumps than anything else.
Actually, the 4 speed auto costs the same as the 5 speed auto in the mazda6 ($900 MSRP). But even if it were more expensive, some of us are willing to pay more for it.
 

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The number of speeds in a transmission really doesn't have much of a difference, often. The tall gears are probably the same size, just more difference between the gears.
 

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MZ6ZoomZoom said:
The number of speeds in a transmission really doesn't have much of a difference, often. The tall gears are probably the same size, just more difference between the gears.
If the 4 speed had a 5th gear, then that 5th gear could afford to be slightly taller than the previous 4th gear, therefore allowing you to run the car at higher speeds while keeping the RPMs lower. I would love to have a 5th gear on my Jetta, because at 3200rpm/75mph, I'm only getting 18mpg!
 

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The tallest gear in the 4-speed auto is 0.725 and the tallest in the 5-speed manual is 0.755, so the engine probably could not handle a taller gear.

Also, you will get different gas milage if you stay in 1st with your foot barely on the gas pedal as opposed to 1st with your foot all the way down. Just because your engine is turning 3000 times per minute, the amount of gas you're feeding in will vary the milage.
 

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A previous post mentioned that both transmissions cost the same (900 dollars) on a Mazda 6. That is true, but the cost of the 5 speed Auto may be subsidized, also, the 5 speed is only available on the V6, not on the 2.3 inline 4 that we lucky few inherited for the Mazda 3 comes with the 4 speed AT. Thus, we paid the 900 for an AT, but it has the 4 cogs just like its bigger brother (sister for those of use who name our cars after women).
 

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DrewSG said:
jintegra said:
<Putting on a Corporate hat>
I think it is a matter of economics & compromise, why Mazda did not put in the 5spd auto. For one thing, I don't believe any of the 3's competitors have one, so there was really no need for having it (in terms of keeping up with the Jones'). Unlike the minivan market, pretty much all the import automakers have one (MPV, Odyssey, Sienna, & I think the Quest have it as well), so you have to have it to compete. Plus the 3 already has the SportShift trump card, so adding 5 spd would only be adding more cost but not significantly enriching the feature content.
<Taking hat off>
DrewSG said:
I think Mazda should've put a 5th gear into the mazda3 AT, better milage, better acceleration, and less noisey at higher speeds
Agreed, but not at the expense of increasing the price.
fearturtle44 said:
Yeah, I was just wondering the big difference in the two and if Mazda made a mistake in not putting a 5 speed AT on the M3-S!
Based on my experience with the MPV, it not something you would notice in your daily drive, unless you were watching for it. It may be a tad quieter on the highway (depending on the overdrive ratio) with the 5spd, but you'll likely notice it more at the pumps than anything else.
Actually, the 4 speed auto costs the same as the 5 speed auto in the mazda6 ($900 MSRP). But even if it were more expensive, some of us are willing to pay more for it.
Odd thing too as the V6 has much less need for the extra gear than does I-4 motors. All about pricing points and differentiation between product lines.
 
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