I shift into the next higher gear when the tach reaches 4,000 RPMs. I like the feel at that point and keeping it in lower gears in the city reduces the likelihood that I am going to get a speeding ticket. I have always tended to keep the revs up both in cars and motorcycles so not to put a strain on the engine.
I'll say that after driving the MINI a bit, I've been trying to find the sweet spot, i.e. the RPM no. that allows one to shift without using the clutch (I still use the clutch, but look for the moment when it changes gears the smoothest).
So far I've found that if I am taking off slowly, it changes best in low RPMs (between 2000-2500) for the first three gears.
The higher gears sweet spot seems to be 3k or a bit higher even.
2012 MINI Cooper, Pepper White, Manual Transmission and Panoramic Roof
It is more to do with how you change gear rather than when in the rev range. As long as you either "match the revs" or do a sustained rev gear change then you should not do any damage. The key is to have the engine speed running at the right revs for the gear you are engaging. Being smooth is the key here. There are plenty of articles on techniques for this if you do a search on Google.
The actual number of revs really just changes your fuel consumption. A rough guide for economy driving would be to change about 2500 revs in a petrol and 2000 in a diesel. If you want to go quick then aim for 90% of the Max revs which is usually peak power for most engines (check your engine specs for a more precise figure). Redlining the engine is fun at times but at the red line power usually has started to drop off.
I am sure someone more knowledgeable than me can offer better advice.
I don't think there is a 'right' answer - to some extent, it depends on your personal preferences.
If you want maximum performance available, even at times when you're not using it, then let the engine rev up to 4000 or more. If you're just cruising along a flat road in low speed traffic, then changing up below 2000 will be as much as you need.
Do not be afraid of revving the engine - many people do not rev them enough - but using more revs than you need does increase fuel consumption. 'Slogging' an engine, trying to make it deliver power at too low revs, isn't good for them, so change down if in doubt.
Do US cars not have the gearchange indicator? That is quite a sophisticated piece of work and it will tell you to change up when it thinks that the same performance or acceleration is available in the next higher gear. Equally it will tell you when you should change down because the speed is too low for the current gear - if you like, an 'anti-slogging' warning.
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