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Whiling away the time waiting for mine, I thought I might ask for some thoughts/advice about paddles.

I've generally driven fairly nippy cars - currently a Saab 9-5 Aero - and always, by choice, with a manual box.

My XF will be a PL 2.7D, so clearly not as brisk as the Saab. What do those of you familiar with the automatic with paddle option suggest as the best times to use paddles, or don't you ever do that? All thought gratefully received, and thanks.
 

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I use the paddles all the time for engine braking and only for that. I find that the functioning of the paddle is near seamless in action and I benefit very much from less brake wear and the consequent deposits on the alloys.
 

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I use my paddles when

a) I want to have a bit more of an involved drive on a twisty, fast road - excellent for that - and switching to Sports mode makes it even better.

b) For when I want to pull out and have the box in the right gear to deliver the power straight away. Again it's excellent for that.

They way I look at it is, if you want ot just drive from A to B smoothly without wanting or having to put the foot down, then just let the gearbox do it's job. But, if you want granular control of what gear and thus torque you wish to apply, then simply tap the paddles. I love it!
 

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I have used my paddles for all of about 10 seconds and then realised that the car in whatever mode it is in knows better than me so leave them alone.
 

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I find they lunge the car forward when going down the gears, so not smooth in my opinion.
Bit of a gimmic really.
 

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"I find they lunge the car forward when going down the gears, so not smooth in my opinion.
Bit of a gimmic really."

That is a most interesting comment. I have never heard any critiscm of the smoothness of the paddle shift except one motoring journalist was irritated that he was unable to move from a high gear to second gear almost in an instant. Jaguar and ZF had combined their efforts to prevent him from damaging the engine!
 

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I use the paddles mostly for breaking. The gear changes are very smooth on my PL. My only critisism is that they are fixed to the steering wheel and not so easy to use when cornering.
 

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Still trying to break with the downshift, but it can become really dangerous when going from 2nd to first. when selecting 1st the car seems to let go, and then the gear locks in. Giving you the jerky motion. Not good if you are behind someone.
 

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I think that you are asking for something you don't need, i.e., dropping from 2nd gear to 1st. If the engine is braked down to 2nd gear, and keep in mind that you will not be allowed to drop to 2nd if the speed is to high, in ordinary driving conditions the car will slow to the point where it is almost stopped and a gentle application of the brake will halt the car. If you are trying to use the 1st gear as an emergency brake then you will certainly experience a lunge forward. I can't remember that I ever used first gear in any car with a manual gearbox that did not respond in a similar manner but again the need to use 1st gear ordinarily would not arise.
 

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I have only accidently used the paddles! The car has incline sensors and the auto box will select the appropriate gear for you (in theory) that should be appropriate for going uphill or downhill.
 

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Still trying to break with the downshift, but it can become really dangerous when going from 2nd to first. when selecting 1st the car seems to let go, and then the gear locks in. Giving you the jerky motion. Not good if you are behind someone

Roma,
I think you have overlooked the point being made. martinmc666 wishes to use the paddle to brake the engine, a perfectly legitimate use of the paddle.
 
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