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#4294212 - 01/05/17 02:39 PM paddle shifters
Joe1 Offline


Registered: 03/14/03
Posts: 572
Loc: NJ
I've had my Impreza for almost 2 years and have never attempted to use the paddle shifters. Am l missing out on one of life's greatest joys or should l just keep on doing without them? The salesperson explained how to use them during delivery, but l dismissed it as a gimmick.

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#4294224 - 01/05/17 02:52 PM Re: paddle shifters [Re: Joe1]
Virtus_Probi Offline


Registered: 06/25/15
Posts: 2763
Loc: New England
The paddle shifters on my FXT are way too slow for sporty driving in manual mode, in my opinion...I will stab at the downshift paddle in "auto" mode to get the tranny to respond a little faster when I really get on it on the highway or for a merge, though. I have found through my own driver error that stabbing at that paddle just before taking off from a stop will really bog you down...

I do genuinely love the paddle shifters in manual mode for really tough winter conditions, though. Nothing like using engine braking when going down steep, slippery hills to make me feel safer, and they are handy for keeping the car from shifting up too soon when climbing those hills, too. The slow response times don't matter when I'm crawling along in snow or on ice.
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#4294227 - 01/05/17 02:56 PM Re: paddle shifters [Re: Joe1]
BigD1 Offline


Registered: 08/12/15
Posts: 2527
Loc: NC
On my Lexus, they are collecting dust. Computer control is just faster.
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#4294231 - 01/05/17 03:00 PM Re: paddle shifters [Re: Joe1]
HerrStig Offline


Registered: 08/24/11
Posts: 9560
Loc: Boston, MA
I wouldn't pay extra for them OR a big red "START" button.

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#4294233 - 01/05/17 03:08 PM Re: paddle shifters [Re: Joe1]
Virtus_Probi Offline


Registered: 06/25/15
Posts: 2763
Loc: New England
I will say that mine were so small that they were not very practical for even my limited use...I bought adhesive extenders on eBay. I was going to go with ones that used small set screws to hold them in place, but it seemed like people had more trouble with those than with ones that used really good 3M adhesive (not at all what I would have expected).
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#4294242 - 01/05/17 03:22 PM Re: paddle shifters [Re: Joe1]
OneEyeJack Offline


Registered: 09/14/10
Posts: 6971
Loc: S California
On some sporty cars you can save hundredth's of a second on a shift on your commute to work. And the paddle system can instantly lighten your pocket books if something goes wrong. On a car like a 911 you didn't know you needed to shift so fast until these things came along. The guy you're racing toward that off ramp on your way to your next speeding ticket in the lane next to you won't know what hit him when you shift gears like a real race car driver.

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#4294248 - 01/05/17 03:32 PM Re: paddle shifters [Re: BigD1]
MarcS Offline


Registered: 11/18/16
Posts: 183
Loc: PA
Originally Posted By: BigD1
On my Lexus, they are collecting dust. Computer control is just faster.


I've found that to frequently be the case. My Infiniti is available with paddle shifters, but i don't see the point. In sport mode the 7 speed automatic uses various sensors and gyroscopes to influence shifting behavior. As a brake hard into the corner, the car selects the appropriate gear and downshifts so i'm right in the powerband as i exit the corner. It even gives a little throttle blip while it does it to simulate a heel-toe downshift on a manual. Nice touch. If your Lexus has the ZF 8 speed it's probably even better.

On most cars with paddle shifters, however, they are attached to a transmission that is too slow and cumbersome to make them matter. My father's last lincoln was like that. Gobs of power from the ecoboost that the computer was constantly trying to restrain to achieve ideal EPA numbers and a 6 speed automatic programmed to granny-shift into andf hold the highest gear possible for the same reason. If you floored it from a stop and hit the paddle shifter right after you took off, you would be lucky to shift into second before you banged off the rev limiter.


Edited by MarcS (01/05/17 03:37 PM)

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#4294254 - 01/05/17 03:38 PM Re: paddle shifters [Re: HerrStig]
Leo99 Offline


Registered: 03/30/14
Posts: 2340
Loc: NJ
Originally Posted By: HerrStig
I wouldn't pay extra for them OR a big red "START" button.


I agree about the paddle shifters. Don't see the point. There's no feel like an actual clutch.

But I love my push button start. I'm never going back to a key.
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#4294257 - 01/05/17 03:39 PM Re: paddle shifters [Re: Joe1]
Quattro Pete Offline


Registered: 10/30/02
Posts: 34618
Loc: Great Lakes
Originally Posted By: Joe1
I've had my Impreza for almost 2 years and have never attempted to use the paddle shifters. Am l missing out on one of life's greatest joys

Why not just play around with them and see for yourself?

Paddle shifter implementations vary greatly from one car to another. In some cars they are responsive, in others they are not. Sometimes I use them in wife's Q5 to downshift a couple of gears when in D or S mode when I'm getting ready to accelerate quickly. They are quite responsive, but after all, it's still just a heavy SUV. Typically, for more spirited driving, the S mode alone does pretty well without a need to fiddle with paddle shifters.

On the other hand, I test drove the new Fusion Sport with the 2.7 turbo and 6-speed trans. Paddle shifters in that car were a disaster.
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#4294259 - 01/05/17 03:41 PM Re: paddle shifters [Re: Joe1]
BalticBob Offline


Registered: 11/27/16
Posts: 212
Loc: Texas
Paddle shifting is only useful in canoes when you shift the paddle from left to right.

drive

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#4294264 - 01/05/17 03:45 PM Re: paddle shifters [Re: Leo99]
MarcS Offline


Registered: 11/18/16
Posts: 183
Loc: PA
Originally Posted By: Leo99
Originally Posted By: HerrStig
I wouldn't pay extra for them OR a big red "START" button.


I agree about the paddle shifters. Don't see the point. There's no feel like an actual clutch.

But I love my push button start. I'm never going back to a key.


Agreed on the keyless ignition. I'm never going back to digging my keys out. I grab the door handle, the car opens, i push the button and it starts. It doesn't matter if they're in my pocket, gym bag or with me while passed out in the passenger seat while someone else drives. Also, since they're in my hand less, it has drastically reduced my tendency to misplace them.

Probably even better for women who leave their keys in their purse along with a million other items.

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#4294272 - 01/05/17 03:51 PM Re: paddle shifters [Re: Joe1]
AIRJAC3 Offline


Registered: 05/27/16
Posts: 113
Loc: Englishtown, NJ
My Camaro has them and I think I tried them once but I realized I need a clutch to shift. The paddle shifters feel like a toy. Never liked them.
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#4294276 - 01/05/17 03:54 PM Re: paddle shifters [Re: Joe1]
Pop_Rivit Offline


Registered: 02/09/08
Posts: 6367
Loc: Midwest
I think they're rather silly. I expect drivers that use them to also make vocal motor noises as they drive.

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#4294297 - 01/05/17 04:24 PM Re: paddle shifters [Re: Joe1]
MCompact Offline


Registered: 07/21/02
Posts: 3704
Loc: KY
My 2 Series has paddle shifters, but the ZF 8HP45 is so good I never feel need to use them. At my last HPDE I just put the transmission in Sport and the car in Sport+; there were only two spots on the track where I might have chosen a different gear than the one the transmission selected- and in any case it was good enough to minimize the number of point-bys I had to give to other instructors.
I will say that the transmission responds to the shift paddles with essentially no delay. I may try them this summer when I go to the strip and see if manual mode can eke out a quicker ET.
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#4294315 - 01/05/17 04:44 PM Re: paddle shifters [Re: MarcS]
BigD1 Offline


Registered: 08/12/15
Posts: 2527
Loc: NC
Originally Posted By: MarcS
Originally Posted By: Leo99
Originally Posted By: HerrStig
I wouldn't pay extra for them OR a big red "START" button.


I agree about the paddle shifters. Don't see the point. There's no feel like an actual clutch.

But I love my push button start. I'm never going back to a key.


Agreed on the keyless ignition. I'm never going back to digging my keys out. I grab the door handle, the car opens, i push the button and it starts. It doesn't matter if they're in my pocket, gym bag or with me while passed out in the passenger seat while someone else drives. Also, since they're in my hand less, it has drastically reduced my tendency to misplace them.

Probably even better for women who leave their keys in their purse along with a million other items.


+1

Start button is awesome. I do have to hold the brake pedal down while pressing the button before my Lexus will start.
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#4294348 - 01/05/17 05:41 PM Re: paddle shifters [Re: BigD1]
Wolf359 Online   content


Registered: 04/27/12
Posts: 3659
Loc: MA
Originally Posted By: BigD1
Originally Posted By: MarcS
Originally Posted By: Leo99
Originally Posted By: HerrStig
I wouldn't pay extra for them OR a big red "START" button.


I agree about the paddle shifters. Don't see the point. There's no feel like an actual clutch.

But I love my push button start. I'm never going back to a key.


Agreed on the keyless ignition. I'm never going back to digging my keys out. I grab the door handle, the car opens, i push the button and it starts. It doesn't matter if they're in my pocket, gym bag or with me while passed out in the passenger seat while someone else drives. Also, since they're in my hand less, it has drastically reduced my tendency to misplace them.

Probably even better for women who leave their keys in their purse along with a million other items.


+1

Start button is awesome. I do have to hold the brake pedal down while pressing the button before my Lexus will start.


Have them on the Mercedes too. Keyless go is great, holding down the break pedal to start might be standard, have to do that on the Mercedes also. Mine also has paddle shifters, never use them. I think it was a gimmick that didn't really catch on, but they're still out there.

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#4294466 - 01/05/17 08:27 PM Re: paddle shifters [Re: Joe1]
buck91 Offline


Registered: 04/17/12
Posts: 2330
Loc: West Michigan
Wifey's explorer has them and I use them occasionally. Probably more so to downshift for engine braking.... but they would not exactly be missed if they were removed.
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#4294475 - 01/05/17 08:43 PM Re: paddle shifters [Re: Joe1]
chunt Offline


Registered: 12/14/12
Posts: 123
Loc: ga
The only way I can stop my Altima from slowing down (down shifting) as I go down a hill with my foot off the gas is by using the paddle shifters. Sometimes I just want to coast. That is the only time that I use them.
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#4294482 - 01/05/17 08:50 PM Re: paddle shifters [Re: Joe1]
DerbyDave Offline


Registered: 10/27/15
Posts: 185
Loc: KS
I have never had them in a car I owned but I have driven a few rentals with paddle shifters. My take is they are slow and gimmicky. Anyone who really knows how to drive a manual knows that the true art and magic of manually selecting the gears lies in manipulating the clutch, not the gear selector.


Edited by DerbyDave (01/05/17 08:51 PM)
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#4294483 - 01/05/17 08:50 PM Re: paddle shifters [Re: Joe1]
slacktide_bitog Offline


Registered: 03/20/08
Posts: 5086
Loc: USA
I'm convinced basically nobody actually uses them smile

The only time when they'd be useful is in DCT's, which basically REQUIRE using paddles. This is a major reason why Ford's Focus and Fiesta DCT's are such a disaster--no paddles!

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#4294751 - 01/06/17 08:08 AM Re: paddle shifters [Re: Joe1]
Vikas Offline


Registered: 07/22/05
Posts: 11108
Loc: NorthEast
In the 4 years of ownership, I might have used them no more than half a dozen times. If you really want to override the default shifts, one can always manipulate the gas pedal to provoke a shift. Besides, paddle are essentially a "hint" to the car to change the gear and NOT a "command"!

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#4294755 - 01/06/17 08:15 AM Re: paddle shifters [Re: Joe1]
Kestas Offline



Registered: 06/04/02
Posts: 11923
Loc: The Motor City
I always considered them a marketing gimmick for itchy finger (enthusiast) driving, for those who miss driving a stick.

My dad, an automotive transmission expert with numerous patents, remarked on people who would play with their shifter during driving. Transmissions are designed to pick the optimal shift points. Just leave it in D and forget it. Selectors 2 and 1 are chiefly for downhill braking and maybe a few other rare situations.

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#4294795 - 01/06/17 09:05 AM Re: paddle shifters [Re: Joe1]
MinamiKotaro Offline


Registered: 08/01/12
Posts: 1301
Loc: TN
Don't like them. For a shiftamatic or sequential, I prefer an up/down shift lever.
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#4294840 - 01/06/17 10:01 AM Re: paddle shifters [Re: Joe1]
KrisZ Online   happy


Registered: 12/23/06
Posts: 6877
Loc: Toronto, Canada
I only use it for engine braking or to prevent the tranny from gear hunting on the inclines, all other time it's in D mode.
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#4294846 - 01/06/17 10:09 AM Re: paddle shifters [Re: slacktide_bitog]
4WD Online   confused


Registered: 09/21/10
Posts: 4471
Loc: Texas/International
Not many. I drove up to the hill country last week and thought I might dabble with them - but there were really no hills the ecoboost even noticed. Had to laugh thinking back to being 18 and driving those hills in a screaming VW beetle ...
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#4294876 - 01/06/17 10:48 AM Re: paddle shifters [Re: Kestas]
HemiHawk Offline


Registered: 03/09/16
Posts: 578
Loc: PA,US
Originally Posted By: Kestas
I always considered them a marketing gimmick for itchy finger (enthusiast) driving, for those who miss driving a stick.

My dad, an automotive transmission expert with numerous patents, remarked on people who would play with their shifter during driving. Transmissions are designed to pick the optimal shift points. Just leave it in D and forget it. Selectors 2 and 1 are chiefly for downhill braking and maybe a few other rare situations.


To be fair, lately "optimal" and "most fuel efficient" are the same thing. Nog optimal for the conditions or driver feel/experience. Not arguing that auto tarns programming isn't there for a reason, and not doing what its designed to do, but its obvious on many models that just sticking it in D can sometimes feel pretty terrible when motoring along. My Jeep for instance will basically lug itself around 50ish mpg. Which is fine, but it will then shift down way more often. with the select shift jazz I can manually shift it into 4th gear, leaving it at an RPM where its much happier.

In most auto trans with them I wouldn't pretend its a manual at all, but the ability to select a gear sometimes really does improve the feel of the car depending on conditions.
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#4295036 - 01/06/17 02:04 PM Re: paddle shifters [Re: HemiHawk]
supton Offline


Registered: 11/09/08
Posts: 11045
Loc: NH
Originally Posted By: HemiHawk
Originally Posted By: Kestas
I always considered them a marketing gimmick for itchy finger (enthusiast) driving, for those who miss driving a stick.

My dad, an automotive transmission expert with numerous patents, remarked on people who would play with their shifter during driving. Transmissions are designed to pick the optimal shift points. Just leave it in D and forget it. Selectors 2 and 1 are chiefly for downhill braking and maybe a few other rare situations.


To be fair, lately "optimal" and "most fuel efficient" are the same thing. Nog optimal for the conditions or driver feel/experience. Not arguing that auto tarns programming isn't there for a reason, and not doing what its designed to do, but its obvious on many models that just sticking it in D can sometimes feel pretty terrible when motoring along. My Jeep for instance will basically lug itself around 50ish mpg. Which is fine, but it will then shift down way more often. with the select shift jazz I can manually shift it into 4th gear, leaving it at an RPM where its much happier.

In most auto trans with them I wouldn't pretend its a manual at all, but the ability to select a gear sometimes really does improve the feel of the car depending on conditions.


Then my Tundra had programming by monkeys--I don't see how it's fuel efficient to unlock the convertor and use slippage in high gear while hill climbing. That's exactly what it will do: unlock the convertor first and stay in sixth. Many many times I have clicked down a gear, heard the convertor lock up, and had lower engine rpm. Biggest complaint I have about the truck, really.

Most of the time I want the same operation as a good manual: when I let off the gas I want the vehicle to coast in gear. No rpm jumps. My Camry is horrible at this--it unlocks and drops rpm on coasting. Always. The Tundra will stay locked during coast, but if I am too fast on the throttle it will unlock. For no good reason. I've adjusted; the Camry I will basically never fully lift off, and the Tundra I know not to be too aggressive on the throttle.

Neither has "paddle" shifters but basically I can select the topmost gear it can shift up into. And both get used heavily by me, as often I don't see a reason to shift into a too-high gear when I know it'll need to downshift again in 50 yards. The first 2-3 gears it's not so bad with, but it's the upper gears which often need locking out.
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#4295195 - 01/06/17 06:09 PM Re: paddle shifters [Re: Joe1]
Kestas Offline



Registered: 06/04/02
Posts: 11923
Loc: The Motor City
One pet peeve of mine is the lockup torque converter on my car engages and disengages numerous times every mile when driving on the freeway. I'm not a spastic driver.

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#4295244 - 01/06/17 07:11 PM Re: paddle shifters [Re: Joe1]
Delta Online   happy


Registered: 04/20/14
Posts: 833
Loc: South Central PA
I have the paddle shifters on the Camry; I think I've used them once. I typically just use the manual selector for going up and down the mountain. 2 out of the 4 vehicles in the fleet are traditional manuals, so using the console shifter feels more natural to me.
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#4297372 - 01/09/17 07:11 AM Re: paddle shifters [Re: Joe1]
Cujet Offline


Registered: 02/15/03
Posts: 6524
Loc: Jupiter, Florida
Drove a rental 2016 Corvette with automatic and paddle shifters. While the magazines all claim the new 8 speed transmission shifts like lighting, I found that using the paddle shifters still resulted in quite a delay from the time I selected a gear, to the time it shifted. I also found that I mistakenly asked for a shift that it could not achieve, such as redline in 2nd, then downshift to 1st, Or, redline in 2nd for too long, then pull the shifter, at which point the delay was there, that was just my stupidity. It would be better if the shifts were instantly responsive. Otherwise, I found it far easier and more effective to simply leave it in "track" mode and let the auto do it's thing.

I think the auto starts the shift process before the engine hits redline, and therefore shifts on time, at redline. When done manually, I had to pull the paddle shifter 500 or more RPM BEFORE I wanted it to shift.
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