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Well, after two weeks and 750 miles on the car, here are my impressions of my Mazda6 s with a five speed.

Power and Drive Train – I really like the smooth feel of the shifter, its got a good short throw that’s quick. The clutch while smooth in its pickup, is rather long, I feel like it takes a while to shift because of the clutch travel, is there a way to fix this? Good power in 2nd and 3rd gear, I feel like I really have to rev the car in first to get it going, while that doesn’t bother me I’m trying to find a good way to launch without scaring those in the car with me. I realize first gear is really to get you going and in most cars it max’s out at ~30-35 mph, I guess I was just expecting to be able to blast out in first. I’m pretty new to manual tranny’s so some of my comments maybe off or obvious to those with more experience. I’d also like to see a dyno of the power curve to understand better the power dynamics. Steering is tight and precise, I feel like I have good control of the car even it aggressive turns. Braking is smooth and linear, I have tested the stopping power and this car can really haul it self down to a halt quickly. The ride of the car on rough roads can be a little bumpy but not bothersome….I guess that’s the price you pay for the control and performance.

Build Quality – Great, doors still have a solid thud, no rattles or squeaks I can hear.

Exterior – I like the car more and more each day. I’m still really wanting the sports grille, and while I was on the fence about the spoiler I want that as well. I can decide what to do about wheels, I want 17inch but I want to keep it looking somewhat conservative. Tint is a must for the darker colored cars. The Tough Guard paint protectant has been good thus far, and a good was is all the car needs to really shine.

Interior – So far I really enjoy many of the built in features from the automatic climate control to the extra power outlets. The base stereo isn’t bad, I’m going to keep it for a while, I’m still not a big fan of the ascetics of fabric seats, while they are supportive I wish they were a little softer, but that should come from wear. I really like the feel of the switches, they feel solid and well built.

Points I like insight on:

1. Dyno – Anyone have one? If not, I might dyno mine so we can get a base line
2. What to expect in first gear, how much power, rpm level that you find best to shift at for normal driving
3. Ride quality, what do you think of it?
 

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Replying to Topic 'Mazda6s 5 speed review'

I agree the first gear is not all that great. However the best launch I had was when I took it too about 3500 RPM and just slipped the cluth slowly enough not to really spin the tires hard but fast enough to let it go with just the hint of spin which did not allow the traction control to activate even though I did not turn it off. But the car really took off very well. The clutch is really high and after driving it for about 2600 miles now I think I have gotten used to it and it is getting a lot better for me now.
 

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Replying to Topic 'Mazda6s 5 speed review'

In situations where you don't really need to get going real fast, as in stop lights in the city, but rather stop signs on normal roads and other safer situations you don't really need to go to first. Second is perfect since you don't need to change gear in the middle of the road if turning left (right for you strange people who drive on the wrong side of the road). I stared it in 3rd gear by mistake. It was almost up-hill! Not even a hint of that bluddering help-I'm-stalling sound from the engine! :thumbup
 

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Reading Topic: Mazda6s 5 speed review

I don't have a the stick shift version of the Mazda, but I do believe I can help with the shift question, since I have driven manuals all my life. I had an SHO before this car, and the feel was much the same. Basically the best takeoff I found was to bring the car as close to it's peak torque limit as possible, then dropping the clutch until the wheels just catch. Don't release the clutch any farther until you've left a standstill. Once you are going, shift to second around 4800 RPM, and it shoud pull strongly until well into third's power curve. This will keep the wheels from spinning, while giving you maximum takeoff power at the same time. For the Mazda 6, peak torque is achieved at 5,000 RPM.

Of course the instructions above are primarily for when you are racing, and definitely is not good advice if you are trying to improve your MPG. For more average daily driving, I would probably just follow the recomended shift points available in the Mazda 6's owner's manual.
 
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