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Short Gearing Makes It Slower - 2015 Ford Mustang GT Long-Term Road Test

Edmunds.comEdmunds.com Posts: 10,112
edited January 2016 in Ford
imageShort Gearing Makes It Slower - 2015 Ford Mustang GT Long-Term Road Test

Edmunds.com explains why the short final drive in its long-term 2015 Ford Mustang GT makes it slower on the street.

Read the full story here


Comments

  • It doesn't have 3.73 gears in it so it can accelerate faster using 3500-4000 rpm as a shift point the way you're doing leaving a stoplight next to an SUV. The short length of time you spend in each gear is not just a function of the final-drive gearing...it's more a function of how little of the tach you're using.

    I'm sure that using 6500 rpm as a shift point, and all of the throttle, the 3.73 gears are faster than the standard ratio. That's why they're in there.
  • daryleasondaryleason TexasPosts: 501
    This is what's bad about living in our modern world. I love manual transmission vehicles. I don't care if it's an econobox daily driver that's slower than the one line open at a Wal-Mart, a truck, or a sports car. I prefer a manual. It used to be that a manual offered better performance and typically better fuel economy. Sadly, technology is getting to the point that it's able to surpass humans when it comes to getting power to the ground & better fuel economy. I think manual transmissions still win out as far as durability, but I'm afraid that it's almost to the point that those that choose a manual over an automatic do so because they want to row their own gears over any other reason. You can't even say it's a way to save money on the purchase price anymore, because the car companies no longer give you a lower price for it.
  • subatomicsubatomic Posts: 140
    Given the Mustang GT's "appetite" for fuel, it's remarkable that it managed to avoid the gas guzzler tax penalty, especially with no skip-shift mechanism. Regarding other cars keeping pace when pulling away from a stoplight....it seems that if you are driving a sports car, other people are determined to prove that their mundane vehicle (family car, SUV, minivan, etc.) is just as fast as your car, even when you feel you have nothing to prove.
  • daryleasondaryleason TexasPosts: 501
    The gas guzzler tax is based on the EPA fuel economy ratings. Obviously, the whole Volkswagon ordeal has proven that the tests aren't perfect, the Government isn't all that great at over-sight, and the car companies can figure out ways to cheat the system.
  • Of course modern automatic transmissions (and variants) are going to be faster - it takes time to use the clutch and move the gears. Could you imagine trying to change through all of the gears to go 0-60 in under 3 seconds? Not what I'd consider "fun". You get the manual because you enjoy shifting and controlling the gears and if the vehicle has an excellent manual transmission or maybe if the manual components are more reliable. You don't get it because you want to beat someone in a stoplight race.
  • 5vzfe5vzfe Posts: 161
    I like to build cars using the manufacturer's website just for fun, and I always equip them with a manual when possible because I simply enjoy it more, not because I expect better performance or fuel economy. That being said, I've yet to see a car cost less with an automatic when optioned so - maybe when you go to actually buy it and haggle with the salesperson, but I don't see why it would be cheaper to get an automatic. Mechanically, they're more complex and they're also more popular, which manufactures see as a way to make profit.
  • daryleasondaryleason TexasPosts: 501
    edited January 2016
    @5vzfe : You misread what I posted. Or maybe I didn't post it clearly enough. It used to be that the standard transmission was a manual (which is why so many people refer to a manual transmission as a "standard" transmission). If you wanted an automatic, you paid an additional fee. Then, they started changing their price structure. The automatic became the "normal" transmission, but if you wanted a manual, you would normally receive a "credit" against the purchase price. So it sort of worked out the same. They'd knock around 700 dollars off the Purchase Price because the cost of the automatic was already rolled into the base MSRP. Now, assuming your car even has the option of being offered with a Manual, you typically see it listed as a "no-charge option", such as in the case of the Mustang GT, specifically. Even though the manual is PROBABLY less expensive, they're not going to pass the savings on to you. And yes, for those that are going to raise the point, I get it...that's subjective based on their cost of acquisition and quantity procured, etc. But typically, a manual is less expensive to source and install than an automatic.
  • csubowtiecsubowtie Posts: 143
    If you ask me, 5 speeds is just right in a stick, maybe 6 if 1-5 are like normal and 6th is just an extra overdrive. For a while my mom had a STI (6 spd) the same generation as my WRX (5 spd). I actually preffered the 5 spd. On the 6, 1st gear was so short you hit redline before you knew it, and 2nd wasn't much better. It always seemed to run out and need a shift into 3rd right at the most in opportune spot in a corner. I think in the later ones, the WRX with less power matched the STI to 60 just because it only required a 1-2 shift, where the STI required a 1-2 and a 2-3 shift. Having to skip gears like Carlos is talking about would kind of take away of lot of the fun on a good road.
  • With the first gen NSX, and using all the revs, 2nd gear would take you nearly to 90 mph! For street driving, that takes away some of the fun.
  • @daryleason and @5vsfe - you only need to search as far as Edmunds to see that some automakers no longer offer manuals at a lower price than automatics:

    http://www.edmunds.com/fuel-economy/five-myths-about-stick-shifts.html
  • daryleasondaryleason TexasPosts: 501
    edited January 2016
    @wheelmccoy : I'm aware of the fact that fewer cars offer a manual at all. I'm also aware that few offer a credit if you select the manual. That was the point of my previous posts. I don't mean to sound snarky.   I just edited that because I sounded like a jerk.  So no offense.
  • @wheelmccoy : I'm aware of the fact that fewer cars offer a manual at all. I'm also aware that few offer a credit if you select the manual. That was the point of my previous posts. I don't mean to sound snarky.   I just edited that because I sounded like a jerk.  So no offense.

    No offense taken. Actually, I think we're all in agreement. :)
  • I'm getting older (60) and I tend to keep cars a long time. My first car was an automatic, but almost everything in between was a manual. I'm truly interested in buying a (used) 2015 Mustang GT, or maybe going crazy for a brand new 2017. But I'm worried that, as I age, I will find my stiff left knee, and my creaky right shoulder urging me to reconsider the stick. I currently own a 2009 Mazda 3 5-door hatch with an auto, and it shifts crisply and can be pretty fun to drive. Any other seniors out there thinking that it's time to give up the dream of getting back in to a manual?
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