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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all. Just hit 2500 miles on my 2022 2.5 Preferred automatic. It's superb! I'm looking for input from other owners as to the smoothness and responsiveness of their automatic transmission. Mazda's home-grown 6AT gets a lot of favorable comments. So far, it's one of the few things about the car that I don't like. And for the price, should I even be complaining?? It's otherwise a great little machine, but having driven other modern automatics, I'm not convinced by this one.

Having not driven a lot of other recent Mazdas, I'm wondering if this is normal for a car that is just beginning to learn transmission behavior --
  • Reluctant to downshift for acceleration -- tries to accelerate slowly (lugging) in a very high gear, sometimes with an aggressive delayed downshift which sends the car surging unexpectedly forward
  • Clunk / jerk when slowing to a stop, as vehicle changes between neutral and first
  • Slow / pronounced shifts under moderate or heavy throttle application
  • Brief, minor grinding / jerking sensation when vehicle is coasting in neutral and must change back into gear to accelerate -- or as if I was driving manual and tried to force the car into a gear without fully pressing clutch
  • Jerky throttle tip-in under very light application when cruising -- noticeable feeling of engagement / disengagement
  • Random or unnecessary shifts, usually during acceleration -- sometimes upshifting or short shifting even when under moderate to heavy load
  • Minor delay during takeoff after changing from R to D or vice versa -- but I have noticed this on other automatic cars and figure it is normal.

The car has no check engine lights or anything of the sort. I am a brisk but conscious / safe driver and am averaging about 34 mpg. Is this a case of normal behavior that I should get used to, or something to ask my dealer about? My friend has a 2021 CX-5 with the same powertrain (but AWD) and I'm wondering if I should take hers for a spin to see if mine is out of order. I am beginning to think the 3 came with the transmission fluid underfilled from the factory or something. Maybe a crummy shift solenoid? Or maybe I am just overthinking things?

Any input is appreciated.
 

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I feel like a lot of this could have been summed up with a simple, "Yeah... it's a turd." Sport mode is better, but it hangs in 3rd until 45, and it's much quicker to downshift, but it also searches for gears, I feel, in a way. I also hate how when I'm pulling into a spot I sometimes shift into manu-matic by mistake. Out of sport the gears are a bit too long for a car that's relatively underpowered, and would be a ton better with closer ratios. A DSG or something like it would have been awesome, as well. But you're marketing it to meet a certain price point. Where do you spend your money?
 

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Hi all. Just hit 2500 miles on my 2022 2.5 Preferred automatic. It's superb! I'm looking for input from other owners as to the smoothness and responsiveness of their automatic transmission. Mazda's home-grown 6AT gets a lot of favorable comments. So far, it's one of the few things about the car that I don't like. And for the price, should I even be complaining?? It's otherwise a great little machine, but having driven other modern automatics, I'm not convinced by this one.

Having not driven a lot of other recent Mazdas, I'm wondering if this is normal for a car that is just beginning to learn transmission behavior --
  • Reluctant to downshift for acceleration -- tries to accelerate slowly (lugging) in a very high gear, sometimes with an aggressive delayed downshift which sends the car surging unexpectedly forward
  • Clunk / jerk when slowing to a stop, as vehicle changes between neutral and first
  • Slow / pronounced shifts under moderate or heavy throttle application
  • Brief, minor grinding / jerking sensation when vehicle is coasting in neutral and must change back into gear to accelerate -- or as if I was driving manual and tried to force the car into a gear without fully pressing clutch
  • Jerky throttle tip-in under very light application when cruising -- noticeable feeling of engagement / disengagement
  • Random or unnecessary shifts, usually during acceleration -- sometimes upshifting or short shifting even when under moderate to heavy load
  • Minor delay during takeoff after changing from R to D or vice versa -- but I have noticed this on other automatic cars and figure it is normal.

The car has no check engine lights or anything of the sort. I am a brisk but conscious / safe driver and am averaging about 34 mpg. Is this a case of normal behavior that I should get used to, or something to ask my dealer about? My friend has a 2021 CX-5 with the same powertrain (but AWD) and I'm wondering if I should take hers for a spin to see if mine is out of order. I am beginning to think the 3 came with the transmission fluid underfilled from the factory or something. Maybe a crummy shift solenoid? Or maybe I am just overthinking things?

Any input is appreciated.
Well, I've noticed most of the little quirky jerky crap and after getting over the initial worryment, I settled into an I just dont give a damn mode.Now I do like Manual Mode. Have you tried that? Killer
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Well, I've noticed most of the little quirky jerky crap and after getting over the initial worryment, I settled into an I just dont give a damn mode.Now I do like Manual Mode. Have you tried that? Killer
I have tried the manual mode, but for just pootling around town I can't be bothered. Without paddles, eh. Unless I'm driving down a really steep slope I probably won't bother, but you are absolutely right, maybe I should experiment and be open-minded.

And @Domino81 I agree, it's built to a price point, and for the most part I am very happy. It's just extremely clear where they spent the money.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
There is also the hope that the car will continue getting smarter and adapting better to my style of driving. It's only been about 40 days since I got the car. It still has a LOT of learning to do :)
 

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It's a slow transmission. Simple as that. Lots of weird behavior compared to other auto cars, but mazda wanted it to be as smooth as possible. Mine will hang at high rpm for 4 or 5 seconds sometimes before shifting. Will stumble or drop rpm for a second when slowing down.

Your issues seem pretty pronounced so you might need to consider getting the dealer to look at it. But that is your call.

I'm crossing my fingers that someone will come out with a better tune or a shift kit or something. If it shifted with a touch more line pressure it would be much quicker. Would really make it a badass little car.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
It's a slow transmission. Simple as that. Lots of weird behavior compared to other auto cars, but mazda wanted it to be as smooth as possible. Mine will hang at high rpm for 4 or 5 seconds sometimes before shifting. Will stumble or drop rpm for a second when slowing down.

Your issues seem pretty pronounced so you might need to consider getting the dealer to look at it. But that is your call.

I'm crossing my fingers that someone will come out with a better tune or a shift kit or something. If it shifted with a touch more line pressure it would be much quicker. Would really make it a badass little car.
Yes, the issues are noticeable, not things I have experienced even in some other mediocre Japanese automatics in Volvos, Hondas etc -- still thinking it might not be a bad idea to compare and contrast with the transmission in my friend's CX-5 which has about 17k miles on it.
 

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Well, I've noticed most of the little quirky jerky crap and after getting over the initial worryment, I settled into an I just dont give a damn mode.Now I do like Manual Mode. Have you tried that? Killer
Manual mode doesn’t really do it for me, because it still is slow in reacting on manual gear shift changes. Other cars react more quickly to manual shifts. For example I used to like shifting down manually instead of hitting the breaks when coming to a stop or red light. However in the Mazda3 you almost have to shift down to gears 2 or 1 to feel the car actually slowing down. Our other car when I come off the accelerator and start shifting down, the car remarkably decelarates quickly. The Mazda3 just carries on cruising despite the downshifts.
 

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Not certain that you care, since I have a 2022 Mazda 6 GT. I don't know if your engine is a Turbo (like mine), or NA, and I'm not certain if we have the same automatic transmission, though it is possible.

This is my first automatic transmission in almost 30 years of car ownership, and not by choice. My previous cars were all manuals, so I may come across as too picky.

The first thing I would say is, don't hold your hopes on the car "learning" anything. From what I can tell, the only thing the car is trying to learn, is how to maximize the MPG, and/or reduce emissions. After about 7500 miles and just over a year of ownership, I do not feel that the car has "learned" anything. Instead, I have had to learn how to work the throttle to get the transmission to behave the way I wanted it to, or as close to that as is possible. Which, on the plus side, turned out not to be all that difficult.

For the first year I shifted myself, almost entirely by using the stick (not paddles), while running in sport mode. I have not discovered a combination that performs better, as far as responsiveness. I have recently given up on both, the sport mode and manual shifting, because the price of premium has gone through the roof.

For me, the biggest problem with the transmission is the number of gears, and/or spacing. Because my car is a Turbo, it performs like a diesel; meaning that it doesn't like to rev, and if you do rev it, there is not much joy (power) in the upper revs. I suspect Mazda intentionally tuned it to work in the low revs. Again, for MPG and emissions.
This means that I effectively have 3,000 RPM (above idle) to play with. Combine that with the power output of the engine, and I find myself shifting quickly, and often. This is fine in the first four gears, but the fifth and sixth are clearly meant for (leisurely) cruising. Shifting from "top" of the fourth into fifth feels like dropping a (very heavy) boat anchor.
It is not surprising that many cars that have hit the market in the last three-four years have eight or more gears in their transmission. They have to; they are all tuned to operate in a narrow range of low revs, so you need a lot of gears to get up to speed.

I am puzzled by your comments about jerkiness. Perhaps my car's higher curb weight mitigates any shifting harshness, or perhaps because I drive aggressively I am not as sensitive to it. But I haven't had any problems with shift smoothness, especially when slowing down. I have on occasion experienced a jerky shift, but it's an exception, rather than the rule. I cannot think of anything to suggest here, except maybe to change your transmission fluid early, preemptively, and see if that helps.
 

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Hi all. Just hit 2500 miles on my 2022 2.5 Preferred automatic. It's superb! I'm looking for input from other owners as to the smoothness and responsiveness of their automatic transmission. Mazda's home-grown 6AT gets a lot of favorable comments. So far, it's one of the few things about the car that I don't like. And for the price, should I even be complaining?? It's otherwise a great little machine, but having driven other modern automatics, I'm not convinced by this one.

Having not driven a lot of other recent Mazdas, I'm wondering if this is normal for a car that is just beginning to learn transmission behavior --
  • Reluctant to downshift for acceleration -- tries to accelerate slowly (lugging) in a very high gear, sometimes with an aggressive delayed downshift which sends the car surging unexpectedly forward
  • Clunk / jerk when slowing to a stop, as vehicle changes between neutral and first
  • Slow / pronounced shifts under moderate or heavy throttle application
  • Brief, minor grinding / jerking sensation when vehicle is coasting in neutral and must change back into gear to accelerate -- or as if I was driving manual and tried to force the car into a gear without fully pressing clutch
  • Jerky throttle tip-in under very light application when cruising -- noticeable feeling of engagement / disengagement
  • Random or unnecessary shifts, usually during acceleration -- sometimes upshifting or short shifting even when under moderate to heavy load
  • Minor delay during takeoff after changing from R to D or vice versa -- but I have noticed this on other automatic cars and figure it is normal.

The car has no check engine lights or anything of the sort. I am a brisk but conscious / safe driver and am averaging about 34 mpg. Is this a case of normal behavior that I should get used to, or something to ask my dealer about? My friend has a 2021 CX-5 with the same powertrain (but AWD) and I'm wondering if I should take hers for a spin to see if mine is out of order. I am beginning to think the 3 came with the transmission fluid underfilled from the factory or something. Maybe a crummy shift solenoid? Or maybe I am just overthinking things?

Any input is appreciated.
That transmission is not that good, mine sometimes will not change out of third, unless I let of the gas, like you say, its very sluggish on down shifting, 1st and second can be a jerky shift, light throttle or hard on the gas, its bad, cold going into revearse, it trys to jump out of the car, and the whole car lurches backwards, its left me stranded a couple of times in junctions, when it suddenly has no drive, then it slams into a gear, my issues started at 500 miles, Mazda never fixed it, but that was a minor issue, compaird to the other problems it had in 10,000 miles, I got rid when the rear diff started to whine and the drive line vibrated so bad you thought the wheels where coming off. Worst car I ever had, my friend drove a Mazda 5, went one mile, came back parked it, went to nissan and got a fully loaded Rouge, a way superior SUV.

As a warning, I had a CX-30 and Mazda 3 AWD both bought back under California lemon law in one year.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
That transmission is not that good, mine sometimes will not change out of third, unless I let of the gas, like you say, its very sluggish on down shifting, 1st and second can be a jerky shift, light throttle or hard on the gas, its bad, cold going into revearse, it trys to jump out of the car, and the whole car lurches backwards, its left me stranded a couple of times in junctions, when it suddenly has no drive, then it slams into a gear, my issues started at 500 miles, Mazda never fixed it, but that was a minor issue, compaird to the other problems it had in 10,000 miles, I got rid when the rear diff started to whine and the drive line vibrated so bad you thought the wheels where coming off. Worst car I ever had, my friend drove a Mazda 5, went one mile, came back parked it, went to nissan and got a fully loaded Rouge, a way superior SUV.

As a warning, I had a CX-30 and Mazda 3 AWD both bought back under California lemon law in one year.
Well sounds like you have a worse version of my symptoms. Sorry you had 2 bad experiences. Luckily I have no risk of AWD problems since mine is a 2WD!

Your friend must have REALLY hated the Mazda to have bought a Nissan ;) I would never do that in a million years!
 

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I don't know if your engine is a Turbo (like mine), or NA, and I'm not certain if we have the same automatic transmission, though it is possible.
The 6-speed auto on the Turbo trim is different. It's mentioned in this video.

I am puzzled by your comments about jerkiness. Perhaps my car's higher curb weight mitigates any shifting harshness, or perhaps because I drive aggressively I am not as sensitive to it. But I haven't had any problems with shift smoothness, especially when slowing down. I have on occasion experienced a jerky shift, but it's an exception, rather than the rule. I cannot think of anything to suggest here, except maybe to change your transmission fluid early, preemptively, and see if that helps.
Having owned both the naturally-aspirated and turbocharged gen 4 hatchbacks, I can tell you right off the bat the transmission on the Turbo is waaaay smoother. I previously owned a 2020 base FWD hatchback and a 2021 Preferred AWD hatchback, and both felt super jerky when shifting between first and second gear. So I think it's completely normal behavior for the automatics found on the naturally-aspirated models. I believe the reason for the jerkiness is because it's not a traditional torque converter automatic. Mazda designs and builds their own transmissions in house.

Description taken from this link: "The torque converter transfers engine power to the transmission through fluid, making a smooth start-up and gearshifts possible. The drawback is that fuel economy worsens due to the loss of power transfer through the fluid, and slippage during rapid acceleration, which causes vehicle speed to lag behind engine speed. Therefore, a torque converter with a lock-up clutch was developed, which locks the torque converter's turbine to the impeller to improve fuel economy and direct drive feel."

So it's kind of a unique design which incorporates a lock-up clutch to improve fuel economy and responsiveness. They claim it's less harsh/jerky than most other dual-clutch transmissions, but I disagree. I don't know if the transmission on the turbocharged models also have that lock-up clutch... and if it does then they've done a hell of a job improving it. I suspect Mazda is going through a teething period of ironing out some issues with that design. I think whenever the gen 5 models roll out they're going to quietly transition into using the improved automatic found in the turbocharged model.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
The 6-speed auto on the Turbo trim is different. It's mentioned in this video.



Having owned both the naturally-aspirated and turbocharged gen 4 hatchbacks, I can tell you right off the bat the transmission on the Turbo is waaaay smoother. I previously owned a 2020 base FWD hatchback and a 2021 Preferred AWD hatchback, and both felt super jerky when shifting between first and second gear. So I think it's completely normal behavior for the automatics found on the naturally-aspirated models. I believe the reason for the jerkiness is because it's not a traditional torque converter automatic. Mazda designs and builds their own transmissions in house.

Description taken from this link: "The torque converter transfers engine power to the transmission through fluid, making a smooth start-up and gearshifts possible. The drawback is that fuel economy worsens due to the loss of power transfer through the fluid, and slippage during rapid acceleration, which causes vehicle speed to lag behind engine speed. Therefore, a torque converter with a lock-up clutch was developed, which locks the torque converter's turbine to the impeller to improve fuel economy and direct drive feel."

So it's kind of a unique design which incorporates a lock-up clutch to improve fuel economy and responsiveness. They claim it's less harsh/jerky than most other dual-clutch transmissions, but I disagree. I don't know if the transmission on the turbocharged models also have that lock-up clutch... and if it does then they've done a hell of a job improving it. I suspect Mazda is going through a teething period of ironing out some issues with that design. I think whenever the gen 5 models roll out they're going to quietly transition into using the improved automatic found in the turbocharged model.
Hm, that is interesting. I assumed it was an old-fashioned TQ, wasn't aware of the lockup clutch. I know most automatics nowadays can "lock" at high speeds but didn't know about Mazda's solution. How long have they been doing this, does anybody know?

I wonder if the TQ is what causes the surging, unpredictable power delivery on moderate-to-hard acceleration. It feels as if the car finds its second wind, and then shoots forward, as if, in fact, there was a clutch somewhere that finally unstuck. I'll bet it's the system locking together for direct drive. I'm pretty sure my 2.5 NA Preferred doesn't have cylinder deactivation, but I was starting to wonder.

Maybe as the miles pile on the clutch will wear / soften a bit and the feel will gradually get smoother. But good to know that I am not the only one. Thanks @mmmoose!
 

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Does someone know if a 2022 2.5 "Preferred" has CD? If it does, there's some kind of pendulum flywheel, that is supposed to ease the discomfort of going between 2 cyl and 4 cyl operation and vice versa. Not sure if that's it...i.e. the cause of the roughness, but...it could be.

Re the torque converter, apparently Skyactiv-AT's have small TC's, and early lockup is part of the "scheme". This early lockup of this regular- albeit smallish TC is apparently the cause of the downshift roughness, from what I understand. Or more properly, the programming of same. It may be a bit of a sacrifice Mazda made, by way of improved fuel economy, relative to improved comfort? I personally don't like trade-offs like that but Mazda's engineers do tend to push technology boundaries... Just like CD; I hate the concept...
 

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Does someone know if a 2022 2.5 "Preferred" has CD?
I'm pretty sure I read somewhere that they completely eliminated cylinder deactivation with the 2021 models. Not sure if it happened at the beginning of the year or whether it was a mid-cycle type of update. All I know is that it's gone for sure with the 2022 models.

My late 2021 production AWD Preferred hatchback didn't have it. The 2020 base hatchback I owned before DID have it. Both exhibited jerky shifting in the lower gears (typically when cruising around parking lots, smaller backroads, or during traffic jams). That being said I don't think there's any relation there. Plus cylinder deactivation mainly kicked in at highway speeds, not city driving. How do I know? Well the infotainment screen had a graphical monitor to show when it was active.

I know cylinder deactivation gets a bad rep around here, but personally it has never given me any issues on my 2020 model. The feature basically worked 100% seamlessly in the background with no noticeable throttle delay or any sensation of the engine being bogged down. I recognize that it also added a lot of complexity for mediocre gains (a whopping single MPG difference). So I'm not going to shed any tears with its disappearance either. I just don't think it's the big bad wolf everyone claims it to be.
 

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I'm pretty sure I read somewhere that they completely eliminated cylinder deactivation with the 2021 models. Not sure if it happened at the beginning of the year or whether it was a mid-cycle type of update. All I know is that it's gone for sure with the 2022 models.

My late 2021 production AWD Preferred hatchback didn't have it. The 2020 base hatchback I owned before DID have it. Both exhibited jerky shifting in the lower gears (typically when cruising around parking lots, smaller backroads, or during traffic jams). That being said I don't think there's any relation there. Plus cylinder deactivation mainly kicked in at highway speeds, not city driving. How do I know? Well the infotainment screen had a graphical monitor to show when it was active.

I know cylinder deactivation gets a bad rep around here, but personally it has never given me any issues on my 2020 model. The feature basically worked 100% seamlessly in the background with no noticeable throttle delay or any sensation of the engine being bogged down. I recognize that it also added a lot of complexity for mediocre gains (a whopping single MPG difference). So I'm not going to shed any tears with its disappearance either. I just don't think it's the big bad wolf everyone claims it to be.
I think, for a certain % of cars it is a prb... I just don't know how big that % is.

Thx for clarifying re the 2022's not having CD.
 
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