My 2011 335i sedan with MSport package has a 6 speed auto with paddle shifters. When manually shifting, starting from a stop, modest acceleration, is there any harm in doing so from 2nd gear? When in manual mode (D/S and paddle shifter has been actuated), if you forget to downshift the car will do it for you, but will stop at second gear instead of first, which suggests that starting from second is OK. First gear is very short and really not needed other than for very quick launches. I shift manually, even when driving moderately, because in auto mode when pressing the accelerator from a stop there is a brief pause, then surge forward as it seems to "find" the gear. Not sure if this is normal or due to age on this 54K mile car I bought used last fall.