Shifting isn't about when you want to shift its about how you want the car to react to the throttle. Try driving at 20 mph in fourth gear and see what happens when you floor the gas, then try 20 in third, then 20 in second, you can try first but you wouldn't really ever cruise at 20 in first. Do that at the common speeds you drive and then when you want to accelerate you will know which gear to go to. When you're not accelerating, use fifth and sixth for gas mileage. I am really using the cruise control on longish 60+ mile trips. I set it pretty high so I'm not sure how much gas I save but its got to be something. For accelerating off the line, you have to be good with the clutch and that just takes practice. In any car with some power, there is going to be a certain range of rpm that you can dump the clutch and accelerate well. Below that range the car will bog because the initial load slows the engine to a speed without enough power to accelerate. Above that rpm, your engine will make more power than the tires can handle and you will just spin which isn't fast. But knowing that rpm isn't enough, the engine's flywheel stores rotational energy so it plays a role also. I've had cars that just needed a slight blip of the throttle before dumping the clutch, then a roll in to the throttle and only a slight lift on the 1-2 shift with a good chirp of the tires when power shifting in to third. This car is a little tricky, the rpm range between bogging and spinning is fairly narrow and the flywheel effect isn't huge. If you are not starting from a stop, you can't really use any of that flywheel effect so it won't feel as fast as it really is.