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Driving a 5-speed

2834 Views 18 Replies 14 Participants Last post by  Inno
Many of you have read my previous post Automatic vs. Manual.

After reading it and thinking I am getting more interested in going with the manual transmission.

I have a few questions. I heard that the shifter feels real smooth and that the throws are short. Is that true?

I have a question about the clutch. Is it easy to find the friction point? I have only driven one 4-cylinder car with a manual, a 98 ZX2. On that car I couldn't find the friction point very well. It was like guessing everytime. Also the shifter was sloppy on that car.

Also how does the clutch pedal feel. Does it have a heavy feeling when you push it in, or is it light? I hope my description makes sense, afterall I am trying to describe something i don't have. :)

The other manuals I have driven are 94 GMC Sonoma w/ 4.3 V-6, and a 95 Trans Am LT1 6-speed. I found these cars easy to drive with a manual. On the Sonoma, I would start to let out the clutch and I could feel the truck start to pull forward a little, and that gave me the que to get on the gas. Same thing with the Trans Am, only more so. Trans Am was kinda funny. You could let the clutch out very, very slow and not even need to get on the gas and this thing wouldn't die on you. Is that rare or what?

I have plenty of time to learn to drive a manual before I buy. My dad drives a Mustang GT 5-speed. Plenty of friends who drive manuals too.

Everyone I know who drives manuals swears by them and won't drive anything else. Manual drivers do you feel the same way?
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The clutch in the 3 definitely has it's own character but it doesn't take that long to get the feel of it. It is pretty forgiving IMO.
you dont like finding things out for yourself do you?
I could, but its nicer to have personal responses.

Why the attitude? I am curious to know.
no attitude.

nothing we say is going to help better than finding out yourself.

Get in the car, drive it. All your questions will be answered.
I am 6 months to 1 year away from buying one. If I drive it know, knowing I can't afford it yet it will only make things worse.

When I am closer to buying will I actually drive one.
The act or power of calmly or contentedly waiting for something due or hoped for; forbearance.
raitchison said:
The clutch in the 3 definitely has it's own character but it doesn't take that long to get the feel of it. It is pretty forgiving IMO.
I didn't drive mtx for two years before picking up my car and i agree with Raitchison, the clutch is very forgiving, i was able to pick it up right away pulling off the lot.
Clutch is super light, friction point is about halfway up the travel which took some getting used to, but is nice and linear and has a good feel. Engine's got enough torque to let you know where the friction point is without instantly stalling (a la Honda... sorry H-guys, I've always hated driving Hondas). Gearshift action is rather stiff, but is getting better with miles... this coming off of 60k miles on a v6 VW Passat, so is just a matter of context. In all the 3's an extremely easy car to drive, likely much lighter action all around than a truck or Trans-Am and very friendly for a four-banger. Nothing you can't get accustomed to within a few miles.
cant hurt to test drive one. but yes the clutch is much lighter and forgiving compared to hondas.
I find it very easy to drive this car. Like others said, the clutch is light (but not feathery) - it's got some resistance to it. The travel is a bit more than I'm used to, with the contact point being roughly centered, with a bias towards the floor. The throws aren't short, but they're shorter than most. Shifts are smooth but not mushy - there's a slight notch when entering/exiting gears but nothing as dramatic as the se-r specv.

Take a test drive and you'll figure it out in 5 minutes.
the clutch on the 3 is really forgiving. i used to drive a 300zx, and the difference between the two cars are night and day. the 3 is really easy to drive around town, with more play in the shifts and the clutch is easier, whereas the z used to be a little more sensitive.
This manual has a very forgiving clutch and the smoothest shifter I've felt in a front driver. Get a 5 speed!
Of all the 5 spd I owned, this one has the most forgiving clutch and is the easiest to drive.
forgiving, forgiving, forgiving. This thread sounds like a broken record. Aren't there about 20 of these "shift" threads floating around now?
So whats your point? :)
Stock shift is good for regular driving, but it gets flimsy if you start to throw it around fast.
I like the Mazda clutch, but prefer my Honda shifter.
Haha... from my first experience, i recall that the clutch Pedal was heavy and not light at all....i think u guys didn't get what he meant.

anyway, the clutch itself is light and yes, forgiving.

However, i only like it when traffic is heavy and the "long travelling of the clutch's friction point" helps, ur leg would be less tired, but i dun like that once i want to drive fast.
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