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Discussion Starter #1
Everyone tells me to get the auto, but the few i talk to that have the manual tell me to get the manual. why do so many people dislike manuals? Ive never driven one, are they hard to learn? How hard to learn is the mz3?

thanks,
alex
 

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The only reason I don't like manny's is because of convenience. Would I drive a manual? yes. Have I driven a manual? yes. I had one on my Jeep for 5 years, and I told myself that my car would be everything my Jeep wasn't. Comfortable> So I made sure to have speed, power, auot, cruise,... Manual is more fun to drive, but when I have a drink in one hand, cigarette in the other and talking on the phone(do no try this at home), I'd rather not be shifting too. There's nothing wrong w/manual, just not always convenient. Case in point, traffic.

My .02
Craig
 

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I prefer manual transmissions because, in general, I find them more enjoyable to drive than point-and-shoot automatic transmissions. Our 3 is going to be a manual transmission. As has been mentioned, manual transmissions can be a pain in traffic, but as with anything, it has positive and negative aspects to it. In my opinion the fun stuff is more fun with a manual transmission and the tiresome stuff is more tiresome but, overall, it's no contest. If you don't know how to drive a standard and you're apprehensive about it, though, the activematic that comes with the Mz3 is a reasonable compromise.
 

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Its all in the wrist! (I've been looking for a reason to use that all night for some unknown reason, even though its not really pertinent) But yes, the manual is more fun to drive, especially if you don't have to drive through heavy traffic often. You're loss of power through the drivetrain is less with the manual and therefore you get more power to the ground and go faster quicker. I'll stop driving an MTX when my arthritis gets so bad i can't move my arm anymore!
 

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SayNoToRice said:
Everyone tells me to get the auto, but the few i talk to that have the manual tell me to get the manual. why do so many people dislike manuals? Ive never driven one, are they hard to learn? How hard to learn is the mz3?

thanks,
alex
People that hate manuals are either lazy, or are too attached to their company work vans :wink:

Its very easy once you get the concept. The M3's clutch is very forgiving. Its all timing, get it down and your on your way.
 

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I live in Seattle and probably won't get a manual trans due to just the traffic alone. Manuals aren't fun in stop and go traffic or on incredibly steep hills which Seattle has in spades.

I just got rear ended on Friday by a young girl driving a stick on the freeway during stop and go traffic. She had only been driving stick for awhile on her brand new car when she bumped into my old dumpy car at low speed. We checked out both cars were fine (but I still got her info, ALWAYS get their info if you've never been in any accidents before).
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Well i live in MI where there are no hills so thats not a problem. I will be driving 45-60 mins to school and the same back w/ 20 mins cruizing @ 55 , 15 @ 75, and prob 15 in busy freeway traffic. Itll only be stop and go one way for about 15 minutes. Thats not too much stop and go so the manual tranny is the way to go?
 

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Get the manual because:

a) The Mz3 isn't all that powerful and a 5 speed will be quicker and more fun

b) Manuals are more reliable and need less maintanence

c) Better fuel economy

d) The Mz3 has probably the best manual tranny you will ever drive in a car under $30,000. It's absolutely outstanding.

e) Automatics are just dull to drive, even the sportshift one.
 

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If you want to learn to DRIVE your car, get the 5 speed... if you are satisfied with just steering it, get the auto. :wink:
 

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Manual is the way to go... Just have someone teach you on an older car first, as wil likely want to learn prior to buying a new car.

I love them.... and I live in arguably the most traffic-ridden area of the country (Central NJ - Los Angeles has nothing on NJ traffic).

I learned how to drive on a 1976 Mercedes 280S 4-spd manual....

First car was a 1978 VW Rabbit 4-spd (with no Tach! What redline?).

My crappy old Saturn and my Porsche are both 5-spds, and I alternate driving them to work every day, 30+ miles each way. You won't see me buying an auto until my left leg stops working!
 

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My comments regarding the a manual can be found here:

http://mazda3forums.com/viewtopic.php?t=704

The traffic argument is pretty lame if you ask me. The clutch and shifter efforts on a 3 are so light....if you're having a hard time with them, even in traffic, you probably shouldn't be driving on public roads. In terms of convincing you to get a manual, since you're local I'll get you an S-plan pin if you want (and don't already have) but not for an automatic. (I commute from Brigton to Allen Park daily with a manual.) We can probably even work out a lesson or two in one of my beater cars if you're that worried about learning....it's not that hard-really.
 

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I agree with timo about the traffic argument.

Once you have driving manual down, traffic is no problem. Driving stick is instinctive - you just do it. Never once I have thought 'oh great, traffic - now I have to shift in and out of first"

The first item on my list for a car: manual tranmission. You've seen from the other posts - most of us you drive stick are very passionate about it. There is joy to be found in shifting gears, why let a micro-processor take that from you?

PS. about the convenience factor TellyDSP was referring to - well - many of those things are best left for when you're not driving.
 

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Think broadly, people. Piping out "that's a load of BS" requires no effort. Let's try and have some useful discussion once in a while. Tiresome doesn't only refer to physical fatigue. That being said, though, negotiating traffic in a vehicle with a manual transmission is, without a doubt, a more active process than in an auto-equipped car. Depending on how well traffic's moving, you could be going back and forth between neutral and first gear, clutch in and clutch out repeatedly. It won't be tiring physically (no foot-operated clutch should be), but it's definitely tedious and gets old quickly. On a motorcycle with a stiff clutch it's much worse, though (especially if the weather's cold -- frozen fingers + frozen lever...terrible). Relative to that any foot-operated clutch is a piece of cake in bumper-to-bumper traffic (but still tedious in traffic). 3 Pedals + 1 hand to operate in MT vs 2 pedals and 0 hands to operate in AT. At times it definitely seems like a waste of time doing all of that moving about inside the car (clutch disengaged, first gear selected, brake out, clutch engaged (maybe light throttle), five feet forward, clutch disengaged, brake, select neutral, clutch engaged) just to move 5 feet forward in traffic every 20 seconds...compared to an AT -- release brake (maybe gentle throttle), reapply brake.

The point was simply that, relative to an automatic transmission, the manual transmission is obviously more work in traffic. There's no denying that. The disagreement that keeps coming up but never being resolved whenever this "manual's tiring" vs "No it's not. You're lame." debate comes up is really regarding whether or not the MT is significantly more work, significantly more tedious or significantly more tiring than the AT, key word being significantly. Such judgements are relative to personal experience and, therefore, entirely subjective.
 

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zc1 said:
The point was simply that, relative to an automatic transmission, the manual transmission is obviously more work in traffic. There's no denying that.
I don't think anyone is claiming that there is more "work" involved in driving a manual... But rather that an experienced manual driver never thinks about it as "work" in the first place.

I find driving my wife's automatic Matrix XR extremely frustrating... the inability to get the car to downshift prior to entering a corner is very irritating, as I then have to stomp on the gas while exiting a corner to force the AT to do so.

There's also no denying that in the case of highway travel, manuals will always get the best gas mileage (as they don't have a torque-converter robbing horsepower between the engine & wheels).
 

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trolldrengi said:
I don't think anyone is claiming that there is more "work" involved in driving a manual...
Timo seemed to be suggesting that the negative aspect of manual trannies that we had mentioned (more "work" than auto) had to do with physical work when he said in response:

timo said:
The traffic argument is pretty lame if you ask me. The clutch and shifter efforts on a 3 are so light....if you're having a hard time with them, even in traffic, you probably shouldn't be driving on public roads.
This was regarding the manual tranny being more "work" in traffic.

trolldrengi said:
...but rather that an experienced manual driver never thinks about it as "work" in the first place.
I agree, but remember that the person who initially asked the question isn't an experienced MT driver. It does become instinctive, I agree. A lot of my work is repetitive, monotonous and now second-nature, but it's still not easier than if we had a machine to cut out a few steps for me (not hard, but more work than the alternative)...just like calculator vs hand calculations. Both monotonous when doing 50 calculations, but one is definitely more work.

trolldrengi said:
I find driving my wife's automatic Matrix XR extremely frustrating... the inability to get the car to downshift prior to entering a corner is very irritating, as I then have to stomp on the gas while exiting a corner to force the AT to do so.
I agree, definitely less fun.
 

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I will be honest. My only car before this one had a 4 speed manual, and it got old in traffic. No, it wasn't tough to drive that way, nor was it impossible on the hills of San Fran, and if you've done those hills, you know what I'm talking about. What convinced me I wanted an auto was that it wasn't impossible, but it did make me nervous when there was somebody who decided to see if they could read my radio frequency in my dash by crawling up my butt. I got an auto for all those times when I'm in my car and I want to pick up a drink while in traffic. Yes, that means I give up 3 mpg every moment I drive, and I also get less power. What I gain is what most Americans crave--convenience. I used to joke that when I was delivering drugs for a pharmacy, my workout was driving aerobically. Now with power steering and an automatic, I am about to give up my in-car exercise routine. The bottom line is this--if you want maximum involvement with your car, a stick is the way to go. If you want an excellent car with fantastic ride and handling, but still want the car to do some work, give the auto a shot. Either way, you'll love your choice and enjoy it for years.
 

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I feel ya' on those SF hills SBTanMan, I'm waiting anxiously 'til the next day I'll be driving a manual up California Street (Nob Hill) and hit a stoplight on the way up. YIKES!

ATs sure are convenient, I've been driving one for the past 3 years. Nonetheless, I'll be going MT for my next car. I haven't had a negative experience with the AT in my Tribute but have found times when accelerating demanded more effort and patience (than I would like to commit to) in trying to coax the transmission to upshift.

The AT in the Mz3 seems to be pretty well matched to the car tho, other than less fuel efficiency, there's not much else to hold the AT below the MT except the fact that the MT will keep you awake while you're driving :razz:.
 

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Of course, if you've got other plans for $800 bucks, that's another story...

I don't think anyone is claiming that there is more "work" involved in driving a manual... But rather that an experienced manual driver never thinks about it as "work" in the first place.
I think if we talk from a purely physics aspect, there is indeed more work required to operate a manual. You can't get around that fact. So considering that we all only have a certain amount of energy, that amount of work seems negligible when you're all rested up.

But say you just finished a workout at the gym in the evening and the only thing you want to do in the entire world is rest. I think the last thing you want to do is spend what little energy you have on shifting. So, if you're the kind of person who is always tired, Manual isn't probably for you.

I know that's probably not applicable to many people... but It's another point ;)
 

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Kazbaeden said:
Me said:
I don't think anyone is claiming that there is more "work" involved in driving a manual... But rather that an experienced manual driver never thinks about it as "work" in the first place.
I think if we talk from a purely physics aspect, there is indeed more work required to operate a manual. You can't get around that fact. So considering that we all only have a certain amount of energy, that amount of work seems negligible when you're all rested up.
I should say that I was pretty tired when I posted my comment above and I meant to say that no one is denying that there's more work involved in driving a manual... My tired mind wasn't sending the right words to my typing fingers when I wrote that!

There's absolutely more physical work involved in driving a manual, no doubt. If you're a huge driving enthusiast (like me) you would consider it heresey to own an AT.
I'm still kicking myself for not teaching my wife before she needed a new car, because if she had learned we could have gotten her a Mini Cooper S (which she really wanted) or at least a Matrix XRS.

I've been driving a manual trans for since I learned to drive (12 years ago)... I have driven both manuals and automatics in many types of cars, and even after driving several very good ATs (with manual modes as in the '04 Maxima, '00 BMW 528i, & '01 BMW 530i, '02 Mercedes C320, '00 Lexus IS300) I cannot seem to enjoy driving as much unless there's a clutch pedal under my left foot. Now, if my uncle ever lets me drive his F1-paddle shift Ferrari 360... maybe I'll feel differently.

Besides, slushbox is a slushbox no matter how you put it. The torque converter robs horsepower at speeds over ~40mph (as I understand the Mz3 doesn't have a locking tc).

Sorry about the confusion I caused with my previous typo!
 
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