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Discussion Starter #1
Have you found the steering wheel shifters to be of any use, or at least some fun? Or are they just a gimmick that really doesn't enhance the driving experience?
 

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Have you found the steering wheel shifters to be of any use, or at least some fun? Or are they just a gimmick that really doesn't enhance the driving experience?
Good question. I was wondering the same thing. Additionally, do they feel sturdy? Some paddle shifters seem like they would break off with an enthusiastic driver. I'm used to pounding the 6-speed shifter in my Z.
 

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Good question. I was wondering the same thing. Additionally, do they feel sturdy? Some paddle shifters seem like they would break off with an enthusiastic driver. I'm used to pounding the 6-speed shifter in my Z.
They look sturdier than the paddle shifters on the Grand Prix GTP, but I haven't tried either so I don't know.
 

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Have you found the steering wheel shifters to be of any use, or at least some fun? Or are they just a gimmick that really doesn't enhance the driving experience?
With my style of driving, it's mostly for fun. However, when encountering a long downhill grade I will put the stick in manual mode and force the tranny to downshift for engine braking. I suppose it would also be helpful when dealing with ice and you need to start out in a higher gear to help limit wheel spin. I know we have traction control, but starting out in a higher gear may help things even more.

Good question. I was wondering the same thing. Additionally, do they feel sturdy? Some paddle shifters seem like they would break off with an enthusiastic driver. I'm used to pounding the 6-speed shifter in my Z.
The paddle shifter is in no way similar to your 6-speed shifter. The paddles only require a little thumb pressure to upshift and an index finger to downshift.
 

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They are sturdy and have a good feel to them. They are pretty cool and it does feel a bit quicker when you shift yourself with the T/C turned off. However, for the most part IMO they are kinda gimmicky and just a cool little gadget to show your friends. Other then that I don't really use them.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I read this in one of the Malibu reviews. How do you pull in the shifters? Are your fingers wrapped around the back side of the shifters?

The six-speed automatic was great — seemingly light years ahead of the four-speed we tested earlier in the day — but the paddle shifters weren't as intuitive as they could have been. Instead of using a left paddle down, right paddle up setup, Chevrolet decided to use both paddles for up and down shifting — with your finger tips pulling in for downshifts and thumbs pushing away for upshifts. Shifts were smooth — albeit a little slow — but we loved the fact that GM would even include paddle shifters on its mid-sized offering, especially since it's not even an option the Cadillac CTS.
 

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The paddle shifter is in no way similar to your 6-speed shifter. The paddles only require a little thumb pressure to upshift and an index finger to downshift.
I realize that. Like I said, "enthusiastic driver". :D

Instead of using a left paddle down, right paddle up setup, Chevrolet decided to use both paddles for up and down shifting — with your finger tips pulling in for downshifts and thumbs pushing away for upshifts.
Good. I usually don't drive with two hands on the wheel, so it is nice that you don't have to have both hands on the wheel or near it to use the tap-shift feature.
 

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I think the paddle shifters have a good feel, but don't use them very often except when I want to have some fun. Also worked good in the winter allowing for second gear starts with slippery conditions. My only suggestion for GM would be to make one side of the wheel upshift and the other downshift as quoted in one of the reviews.
 

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They are nice to play around with but most of the time I just leave the car in drive. I am a finger driver...I turn with my finger not my hand, habit, I guess but I have noticed that when I am making turns, the positive tab shifter on either side gets in the way. If I could make a suggestion to the engineers, it would be to get rid of the paddle shifters and go to a Triptronic like shifter on the floor.
 

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I use them frequently enough, but it's not usually for "sport" reasons. There are lots of complaints about the standard shifting of the six speed being geared toward fuel economy (lots of reviews complain about early upshifts and reluctance to downshift in normal Drive mode). I've not found that to be an issue, and my car downshifts nicely any time I punch it to pass. Instead, I've found I can usually use the manual mode like I would a stickshift, to gain fuel economy, by upshifting into higher gears earlier in normal driving. A good example is that the auto only shifts to 6th somewhere between 50 and 55mph normally. But I find myself doing a lot of driving around town between 45 and 50, where the car wants to be in fifth. Using the manual mode, I can upshift as early as 43mph, and the car pulls just fine. I earn a few more mpg, and with gas prices getting where they are, it's worth it.

And of course I use it when climbing steep grades (as I mentioned in an earlier post) or coming down steep grades. Being able to keep both hands on the wheel all the time is great too.
 

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I found the paddle shifters have a lag before it shifts. So it's not as responsive as I have experienced in other cars. Hey, it's the cheapest car you can buy with paddle shifters. I can't complain too much.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I saw an LTZ at the dealer yesterday, and the car was open. So I got to sit in the car and check out the features. I noticed that there are paddles on the back side of the steering wheel in addition to the buttons on the front. The paddles are big enough to get at least two fingers on them and they seem to have a good feel to them.
 
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