The new car has an absurd gear pattern that I just cannot get used to. Admittedly I don't drive it a lot. A friend who also owns a Mazda 3 tells me that nearly all new cars are similar.
Talk about re-inventing the wheel. What was wrong with gears all in a line. How simple. And really, if you want to change gears all time, then buy a manual.
Park, reverse and neutral are fairly standard, but I would rather just a button to press to move the stick than moving in a gate. Normal drive is straight on from neutral, but then it gets really weird. Move it across to manual drive and the car won't change up a gear unless you pull the stick towards you and it will change to the next gear up. To change down, you push the stick forward..........or is it the other way around. It did not seem very instinctive to me and did the opposite of what I thought it should.
I got into all sorts of bother with it when we were driving in the Dandenongs recently. I did not want it to use overdrive, so I kept it in 3rd, but on a tight corner it changed down to 2nd and then of course I had to change it back to third. R firmly suggested with some bad words that I just leave it alone and use normal auto, but I don't like these things to get the better of me.
Our car parking spaces are up about five ramps and I like to keep it in 1st so the wretched thing is not changing up and down, and when leaving, I don't have to brake as I descend, just let the engine hold the car back. That is not so difficult, I suppose. But I am also in the habit of putting my seatbelt on or taking it off while waiting for the car park gate to open. You soon get out of that habit as a loud squawk starts happening if you try to drive without the belt on.
Another thing it does that took me by surprise and is quite usefeul, is that it changed down to 3rd when I was braking while descending a long hill, Burnley Tunnel actually, thereby giving some engine braking. The first time I thought I imagined it, but it has happened more than once. I don't know if it is angle of the car, or brake pressure, or the length of time the brake is applied.
The old Hyundai has a neat little electric button on the shift to turn off the overdrive and give some engine braking. I prefer that really.
Mutant, how about unravelling the mysteries of the modern motor car for me?