2021 CX-5 hesitation/back and forth feeling

Just got my 2021 CX-5 and am concerned about a certain hesitation feeling I'm getting at slow speeds. It almost feels like I'm driving manual on first gear and letting go of the clutch. Didn't notice this on my test drive with other car. I've read how others have experienced this feeling too on their 2018's but no mention on newer models. Also was told by my sales guy that this is all part of the Skyactiv tech though I'm having a hard time believing him. Has anyone else had this problem? Thanks in advance.
 

CarpeDiem

Under Pressure
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Superstitions
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2021 Carbon T
My 2021 CE has no such symptoms. Does this happen when accelerating, coasting or braking? How many miles on the vehicle? Is yours AWD or FWD? What market?
 
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Florida
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2021 CX5 Signature
Not sure what model CX5 you have but if it’s a non-turbo 2.5L, your probably feeling the cylinder deactivation kicking in and out. There’s a number of links regarding cylinder deactivation you can search on this site.
 
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Florida
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2021 CX5 Signature
The Touring trim has the standard 2.5L engine which does, depending on model year, have the cylinder deactivation (CD) feature. You should have a screen available that will show the engines CD status at any given time. My wife has a 2020 CX5 GT WITH CD and does experience the same symptoms at speeds at or just below 20 mph. Using this monitor screen, You should be able to see the engines real time CD status as you drive slowly to recreate your hesitation issue. If the hesitation, jerking motion occurs while the CD is going on/off then you will know the source.
 

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Right on. I’m going to check that now. Thanks.

On a side note, I was originally looking at 2018 CX-5 Touring trims, and test drove a few. Out of the four, I noticed one of them felt off which now when I think about it was probably this hesitation feeling that I’m experiencing now. The other few didn’t have it from my recollection. Just kind of a strange..
 
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Florida
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2021 CX5 Signature
Turbo models do not have CD. Also, you only notice it going slow like when driving in a parking lot. My wife doesn’t even notice it now. I imagine that different vehicles have slightly different feel when CD engages.
 

HardRightEdg

US 2020 CX-5 Touring AWD Soul Red
I'm not sure if you're describing what I would call lugging. In my 2020, I find that in first or second gear, easing off the gas, dropping the revs far enough, followed by acceleration will produce the lug as in a manual trans when you let the revs drop too low for the gear. Others have described it as such. Some describe a jolt. Well, if you're lugging and then give it the gas there is a somewhat jolting sensation as you might expect. Some describe shifting issues in other ways.

It's easy to call this a CD issue but I view it more as systemic. You could just as easily say if they had put in an 8-speed tranny they could have smoothed things out. You can't take CD out and you can't put an 8-speed in, so what to do?

Whether somebody experiences this lug would depend on driving style and situation. Your sales guy has a point. If you're frisky with the gas into 3rd. gear you get a sporty-ish engine growl and smooth shifting. If you use sport mode that revs higher you're also not likely to experience the lug, though I don't consider that very friendly in daily driving. I've gotten accustomed to being more frisky on the get-off so it does not bother me that much. Still, if I'm in a low gear and then have to ease for a slow moving car in front, or ease off into a turn and accelerate out of it, if the revs drop low enough it can lug. The more I drive it the more I know what it wants in these situations. I'm getting the hang of what it wants in a hairpin turn I come up on with some frequency; how I work the gas needs to be just right to get through it smoothly.

There is a TSB 05-002/20 entitled "Surging at Low Speeds During Acceleration" when locked up in first gear, last updated 12/18/2020 calling for a software update that will adjust control of the torque converter. That was posted in another thread and I only have the hard copy, so I'd have to hunt for a link. The 2021 was not addressed in this TSB but who knows if it will be updated again. I've skimmed through the other 2020 TSBs and this is the only one vaguely related.

I'm going for my first oil change soon and I'm going to ask about this TSB even though it does not appear to apply to my experience given the description. Unless the dealer can say, "Oh, yes, we have experience with this eliminating some lugging," I'll take a pass under the heading of "unanticipated consequences".

In the end, it may just be what the salesman said--it wants zoom zoom.
 
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2021 CX-5 Sig
I have a 2021 Signature and I've noticed the same thing you've described while going at similar speeds, I would say around 35 mph. I also noticed it happens sometimes right before coming to a sudden stop. The back and forth or shifting feeling only occurs on occasion and like you, I didn't notice it on my test drive either. I'm curious to know others thoughts about it too b/c I also was wondering why it happens...
 
Thanks everyone! I took a look at the CD display and noticed the feeling coming and going when it was activating and deactivating. I still don’t think it’s exactly normal and more likely a design flaw that hopefully can be remedied with a simple software update. I’ve got some time before I head in for my first oil change with the dealer.
 
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@chigirl007 Yeah, it's definitely felt most when I'm about to stop and cruising from 0-20 mph. From what I've read, it's part of the Skyactiv tech where the cylinder deactivation kicks in to save gas. But like you, when I test drove the car (a different one), that yo-yoing wasn't there...
 

HardRightEdg

US 2020 CX-5 Touring AWD Soul Red
@chigirl007 Yeah, it's definitely felt most when I'm about to stop and cruising from 0-20 mph. From what I've read, it's part of the Skyactiv tech where the cylinder deactivation kicks in to save gas. But like you, when I test drove the car (a different one), that yo-yoing wasn't there..
chigirl007's vehicle has the turbo engine which does not have cylinder deactivation. Apples and oranges. I don't think you've mentioned whether you have FWD or AWD. Behaviors between the two can certainly differ. The issue might not be cylinder deactivation. It might be how CD works in concert with the transmission--systemic in other words--requiring a mod to the transmission control software.

Anyway, I found the post with the TSB referenced earlier. Go to post #56 in the following linked page:


If that sounds like your problem it may be updated at some point for 2021s.

In any event, I'd be prepared to recreate it at the dealer with a service manager or tech in the vehicle.
 
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2018 CX-5 Sport
CD isn't causing it. Going from 4 to 2 and back again is seamless and undetectable. I think it is lugging, that HardRightEdg described. I recall reading that there is a program update that they can do so the clutch doesn't lock at low speeds.
 
Yeah, I think HardEightEdg is spot on and will be bringing it into the dealer with the TSB report from 2020 and have the service rep with me in the car to experience it. Also going to test drive another 2021 to see if it has the feeling. My concern now is whether they’ll address the issue or just say that’s the way it drives. This could be a program update like you mentioned which is what I’m hoping for. Otherwise they may not bother but I’m going to try.
 

HardRightEdg

US 2020 CX-5 Touring AWD Soul Red
Yeah, I think HardEightEdg is spot on and will be bringing it into the dealer with the TSB report from 2020 and have the service rep with me in the car to experience it. Also going to test drive another 2021 to see if it has the feeling. My concern now is whether they’ll address the issue or just say that’s the way it drives. This could be a program update like you mentioned which is what I’m hoping for. Otherwise they may not bother but I’m going to try.
If you can demonstrate to the dealer the behavior that matches the TSB while the vehicle is under 36,000 miles I don't see how they could refuse to do it for free.
 

HardRightEdg

US 2020 CX-5 Touring AWD Soul Red
Yeah, I think HardEightEdg is spot on and will be bringing it into the dealer with the TSB report from 2020 and have the service rep with me in the car to experience it. Also going to test drive another 2021 to see if it has the feeling. My concern now is whether they’ll address the issue or just say that’s the way it drives. This could be a program update like you mentioned which is what I’m hoping for. Otherwise they may not bother but I’m going to try.
One caveat. I forgot for a minute you have a 2021. If Mazda has not yet extended that TSB to 2021 covering your model and serial number I doubt you'll get much traction at the dealership. Maybe there's a separate 2021 TSB but you'd have to hunt for that. I'm not seeing one, at least in this one list:

 
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Pitter

Pitter
Contributor
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2020 CX-5 Signature Azul Metalico
I have a 2020 model purchased in Colombia which appears to be the 2019 vession in the US. I don't think I have the exact problem you describe but when I am descending in with transmission held in first gear I experience a very annoying lurching back and forth when I touch the accelerator then remove my foot from the accelerator pedal I never experienced that with any standard shift vehicles I've driven over the same route.
 
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2019 CX-5 Touring
I had the problem with my 19 Touring. It appears like it’s not sure whether it wants to drop into 1st gear or stay in second when approaching a red light that has just turned green and you are now hitting the accelerator. The gas mileage indicator looks like it is a windshield wiper. I took the car and the TSB to my dealer and they confirmed my diagnosis. They applied the PCM update and all is well now.
 
@Busch Yeah, that's exactly what happens with mine. RPMs rev a little and then just drop when I approach a full stop. I haven't had the chance to bring it into the dealer yet. I'm really hoping they will make the update for me since the TSB, from what I've read, has not yet been mentioned for 2021's. Might just depend on their "mood."