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I dont know about you. I took the Mazda3 2.0 manual for a test drive and came back very impressed but had one reservation. Unlike most cars I have driven, the cruising rpms around 30 mph was around 3000. The engine is overall quiet, but gets very annoying while cruising since the tach. needle is hovering @ the 3000 rpm range. My dad owns a Saturn Ion and when cruising at 30 we are at a quiet 2500 rpms. I happened to find the Saturn as a whole, quieter than the Mazda but I was more impressed with the Mazda's shifter action, interior materials, and handling. I am sold on the Mazda, but can someone explain to me why the transmission ratios are set so close together. It would be easy to say that I should shift into 4th gear when at 30 mph, but that is by far the most unusual thing I could ever do at 30 considering the other cars I have driven.
Does everyone else notice this minor annoyance.
 

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umm, I'm usually in 5th gear at 30 mph when not accelerating. Why would you stay in 3rd? :dunno:
 

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Hi, I'm new to the forums, just about to buy a Mazda 3 Sport. Since this will be my first car, I'm wondering if going to 5th ASAP harms the engine at all? I tend to do it in my fiance's car, as I can pull 500miles odd out of it, rather than 300 out of a tank when doing it. That's a 1.4 C3, but all the same, does it stress the engine?

Cheers
 

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Please elaborate. What EXACTLY do you mean by: ASAP? If you're skipping to 5th immediately after getting started in first gear... then yes, you will damage the engine by lugging the hell out of it.
 

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[quote author=lexuses82 link=topic=70218.msg1226263#msg1226263 date=1172206275]
I am sold on the Mazda, but can someone explain to me why the transmission ratios are set so close together.
[/quote]

Close gears = faster acceleration without more power. honestly I think my 3 has too many gears. 4 is plenty, the 5th almost seems worthless considering I'm at 2500-3000rpms at 65mph. What's the ratio like on the MS3 6th?
 

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2nd feels too tall and 5th feels too low to me. I'd love faster pickup in 2nd and lower rpm's at 70 in 5th. 3rd and 4th are spot on IMO.
 

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[quote author=sano link=topic=70218.msg1228658#msg1228658 date=1172287999]
[quote author=lexuses82 link=topic=70218.msg1226263#msg1226263 date=1172206275]
I am sold on the Mazda, but can someone explain to me why the transmission ratios are set so close together.
[/quote]

Close gears = faster acceleration without more power. honestly I think my 3 has too many gears. 4 is plenty, the 5th almost seems worthless considering I'm at 2500-3000rpms at 65mph. What's the ratio like on the MS3 6th?
[/quote]

whaaaa? A 5-speed gearbox is too many gears? :eh:
 

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[quote author=dmention7 link=topic=70218.msg1228675#msg1228675 date=1172288441]
[quote author=sano link=topic=70218.msg1228658#msg1228658 date=1172287999]
[quote author=lexuses82 link=topic=70218.msg1226263#msg1226263 date=1172206275]
I am sold on the Mazda, but can someone explain to me why the transmission ratios are set so close together.
[/quote]

Close gears = faster acceleration without more power. honestly I think my 3 has too many gears. 4 is plenty, the 5th almost seems worthless considering I'm at 2500-3000rpms at 65mph. What's the ratio like on the MS3 6th?
[/quote]

whaaaa? A 5-speed gearbox is too many gears? :eh:
[/quote]

+1 I wish I have a 6th gear on my Mazda3... Preferably a cruising gear, like 2000rpm running at 65mph
 

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Eh, I don't flog my car often so going through 5 gears just seems unnecessary for my purposes, I suppose. Oh well.
 

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[quote author=MetalCord link=topic=70218.msg1226752#msg1226752 date=1172242051]
Please elaborate. What EXACTLY do you mean by: ASAP? If you're skipping to 5th immediately after getting started in first gear... then yes, you will damage the engine by lugging the hell out of it.
[/quote]

Once I'm at 30, in 3rd gear (doing this in my fiance's car, mind) I'll change to 5th, I notice by doing this I can get 500 mile sout of a tank of petrol, rather than 300 odd by driving normally (it's a 1.4 C3). Should I be going to 4th for a bit, then up to 5th? I can understand how skipping 4 gears right into 5th from 1st would cause problems, but skipping one gear - would that cause the same problem?
 

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[quote author=sano link=topic=70218.msg1228658#msg1228658 date=1172287999]
[quote author=lexuses82 link=topic=70218.msg1226263#msg1226263 date=1172206275]
I am sold on the Mazda, but can someone explain to me why the transmission ratios are set so close together.
[/quote]

What's the ratio like on the MS3 6th?
[/quote]


im right at 2500 at 65 in 6th and 3000 going 75
 

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[quote author=sdkfz232_8rad link=topic=70218.msg1228821#msg1228821 date=1172294098]

+1 I wish I have a 6th gear on my Mazda3... Preferably a cruising gear, like 2000rpm running at 65mph
[/quote]
Ditto-although I'd be satisfied if the engine's rpm dropped to 2k rpm @ 60 mph.

In my view 2k rpm @ 65 mph might be a little TOO tall if there was only going to be one add'l gear (6 speeds). Of course if they'd add two more gears (for 7-speeds) 2k rpm @ 65 probably could work as an uber highway cruising gear just for use on flat roads...:).

My parent's '07 Camry (2.4 L 4-cylinder) has a 5-speed automatic that only has the engine turning around 1800 rpm @ 60. The combination is certainly quiet and serene when cruising on flat roads, but the transmission seems to shift a lot when you're on roads that aren't almost completely flat.

How about that new top-of-the-line Lexus that comes equipped with an 8-speed automatic. Makes you wonder how many gears will it take before the manufacturers will stop adding even more!
 

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[quote author=Skid link=topic=70218.msg1231105#msg1231105 date=1172425068]
[quote author=MetalCord link=topic=70218.msg1226752#msg1226752 date=1172242051]
Please elaborate. What EXACTLY do you mean by: ASAP? If you're skipping to 5th immediately after getting started in first gear... then yes, you will damage the engine by lugging the hell out of it.
[/quote]

Once I'm at 30, in 3rd gear (doing this in my fiance's car, mind) I'll change to 5th, I notice by doing this I can get 500 mile sout of a tank of petrol, rather than 300 odd by driving normally (it's a 1.4 C3). Should I be going to 4th for a bit, then up to 5th? I can understand how skipping 4 gears right into 5th from 1st would cause problems, but skipping one gear - would that cause the same problem?
[/quote]

Skipping one gear? Nah... that's fine. If you're in 3rd and don't need to accelerate anymore, going to 5th is good for exactly what you want to do it for.
 

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[quote author=wolfe link=topic=70218.msg1228671#msg1228671 date=1172288288]
2nd feels too tall and 5th feels too low to me. I'd love faster pickup in 2nd and lower rpm's at 70 in 5th. 3rd and 4th are spot on IMO.
[/quote]

I concur. 2nd is spaced too far from 1st. Even if you wind it out, going into 2nd feels sluggish. 4th gear is usually useless for me as I can usually easily pass anyone using 5th gear. Shortening 2nd, making 5th taller or adding a tall 6th gear would be ideal for me.
 

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[quote author=MetalCord link=topic=70218.msg1247886#msg1247886 date=1173032582]
[quote author=wolfe link=topic=70218.msg1228671#msg1228671 date=1172288288]
2nd feels too tall and 5th feels too low to me. I'd love faster pickup in 2nd and lower rpm's at 70 in 5th. 3rd and 4th are spot on IMO.
[/quote]

I concur. 2nd is spaced too far from 1st. Even if you wind it out, going into 2nd feels sluggish. 4th gear is usually useless for me as I can usually easily pass anyone using 5th gear. Shortening 2nd, making 5th taller or adding a tall 6th gear would be ideal for me.
[/quote]
+1
 

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after dealing with my previous WRX's turbo lag, i welcome the shorter gearing of the Mazda on the highway. also, i would hardly classify it as noisy.

but to answer the OP's question, shorter gear ratio = better acceleration but a lower top speed; that's why your rpm's are higher than normal.
 

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I find it quite relaxed compared to my old 1985 Nissan 200sx Turbo. That car had a rally like gear box in terms of how short the gears were. 70 mph in 5th was about 4000 rpm. I find the gears much taller/longer than really necessary on this car, especially 2nd gear. 5th is about perfect. 3rd isn't bad either i feel the worst gear is definitely 2nd and sometimes I wish we had the the 4.3 final drive that the JDM Mazda 3 has for peppier acceleration.
 

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the reason why 2nd is so long is because of marketing. to get the best possible 0-60 time, it's better to hit it in 2nd gear than take an extra .5sec to shift into third. in the 1/4 mile it wouldn't matter as much.

i've been a huge advocate of abolishing the useless 0-60 test that means absolutely nothing in the long run.
 
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