I've got a '08 2dr manual and I've got to say I find the gear ratios perplexing. Let me say that this is my first new car. I've owned before this an '88 Jetta, an '88 Camry, and a '98 Subaru legacy wagon. All were manuals.
What I find funky about the Rabbit's shifting is that 1st gear has this crazy low ratio, yes it's great for climbing a mountain but in 99% of situations it just feels way too low. You start the car in first and immediately need to shift to 2nd because the RPMs are red lining.
2nd gear has a similar problem, where you feel like you need to upshift almost immediately even at fairly low speeds. 2nd gear is so low that on level ground I will frequently start the car from a dead stop in 2nd because it feels smoother than starting it in first. This is something I would do in previous vehicles only when I was headed downhill. 3rd and above I have no real problems with other than that they end up being workhorse gears.
While I like the great acceleration this provides it does make me worry about lifespan of the clutch.
So am I crazy or is gearing on the manual unusually harsh?
its geared for acceration.
some times i think its to short, but not that big of a deal.
unless your slipping the clutch on every gear change the clutch will be just fine
Our manuals have what's called "close ratio". This is common for sportier cars. My saturn that I drove before and a friends WRX are the same way. I'll generally be in 3rd gear by the time I'm through an intersection. If you're redlining in 1st you're waiting way to long to shift.
'08 2-Door Reflex Silver
This is a city car. VW designed it for CITY streets where low speeds and quick sprints are a must....like NYC. No, i'm not joking. If you wanted more of a cruiser, you should have opted for the automatic trans 6 speed. Hwy rpms are about 1000 revs less at any given speed.
2013 GLI Autobahn, 2010 Tiguan 4mo.
This post does not reflect the views or opinions of Volkswagen AG or any individually owned dealer or entity.
This post is simply my personal, not professional, opinion.
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I think 3rd should be geared a bit lower. 4th and 5th are good for Highway driving.