Getting Used To Automatic

Pitter

Pitter
Contributor
:
2020 CX-5 Signature Azul Metalico
For the last thirty years I have driven manual shift vehicles, my most recent here in Colombia before Mazda CX-5 purchase was a Renault Duster. While upshifting is very smooth there seems to be a lag time when downshifting. I feel it was faster on my manual shift and easier to stay "on cam". I don't know, maybe I need to gun it harder to make it downshift faster or maybe use manual shift mode. Any thoughts?
 
You should be able to move the shifter to the side which enables "manual" mode. In that mode you can tap the shifter forward and back to manually change gears.

Or, you can use the button on the console to enable "Sport" mode. It'll still be automatic but it holds the gears longer while upshifting and downshifts a bit harder.

Bottom line...an automatic transmission is never going to mimic a true manual/standard entirely.
 
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2010 Mazda 5 Sport
There's a reason why Automatics are referred to as "slush boxes". They will never feel as tight as a manual transmission or hit the shift at exactly the RPMs you would like it to.

I love driving manual cars. 4cyl to v8. It's always a better experience. I was happy to snag the Mazda5 with manual transmission that I got. The 4cyl feels that much more alive than the Mazda5 of my mother who has an automatic.
 

Pitter

Pitter
Contributor
:
2020 CX-5 Signature Azul Metalico
Oh well...times they are a changin'..and I guess have been. When I ordered a 1993 Dodge Dakota 4x4 in the US I had to wait a bit to get a 5 speed manual. Everything on the lot was automatic. Years later when I sold it buyer was amazed he could find the truck with a manual.
 
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2019 CX-5 Reserve
Automatics have come a long way, with lockup torque converters and different programming modes from the old three-speed autos. Better gas mileage used to be a big draw, but that*s mostly gone away, and you had to do it right and not keep it in the lower gears too long. I*ve had manual transmission cars, but it was a pain in stop and go traffic and starting on an incline. For the vast majority of people, a manual just isn*t worth the effort in everyday driving.
 
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2018 CX-5 GT PP
The Mazda transmission is pretty great in most conditions. But it can't handle my road; tight and twisty with a lot of elevation gain. There's a 1.5 mile section on the climb that I have to shift into M2, otherwise it's just hunting for the right gear. My 1985 380SL Benz handles this section just fine, with that V8 purr.

It's a bit disappointing that a CX-5 in auto can't handle a mountain road as well as an antique. But it's easy to shift into manual and push her through the hairpins...I have way too much fun through the double S-section. Don't need to manually shift on my descent, auto works fine.
 

Pitter

Pitter
Contributor
:
2020 CX-5 Signature Azul Metalico
Thanks. I think we have some somewhat similar driving conditions.That lag when I hit the gas to pass someone on my mountain road going up hill is definitely disconcerting i.e I step on the gas to pass the guy in front of me knowing hey I've got the power but...when will it kick in???
 

Avoidin Deer

Zoom Zoom, baby
Contributor
:
Central Virginia
:
2019 CX-5 Reserve
I drove mostly manual shift the first 20 years I had my license (learned to drive on a 3-speed column shift), even in that '75 Vega wagon I had for a while.

Then in 1990 I got a new pickup truck...manual shift was not offered as an option. Same for the 2005 truck I bought.
Who in their right mind makes trucks without offering floor shift????

I moved to this rural area 10 years ago and got a beater 1990 Volvo 740 Turbo with a manual shift & 5th gear overdrive. I was in heaven! She was my zippy 20 year old Swede. I miss Inga. Zooma Zooma, baby. Zooma Zooma.
 

Avoidin Deer

Zoom Zoom, baby
Contributor
:
Central Virginia
:
2019 CX-5 Reserve
I*ve had manual transmission cars, but it was a pain in stop and go traffic and starting on an incline.
And that right there is the issue.

I lived in the DC area for 50 years. At first manual shift was fine. Then it grew to the point where even a short commute involved constant shifting...you would barely get out of First when traffic would stop again.
 

shadonoz

SkyActiv Member
Contributor
:
State of Jefferson
:
2017 CX-5 GT AWD+
Thanks. I think we have some somewhat similar driving conditions.That lag when I hit the gas to pass someone on my mountain road going up hill is definitely disconcerting i.e I step on the gas to pass the guy in front of me knowing hey I've got the power but...when will it kick in???
You've got noticeable turbo lag? I thought all reports were that it was well controlled with this engine...?

Or are you talking about downshifting?
 

Pitter

Pitter
Contributor
:
2020 CX-5 Signature Azul Metalico
I think it is the downshifting as it was on an up hill grade when I experienced it.
 
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2019 CX-5 Signature; 2014 CX-9 Touring AWD
Like all other vehicles I've ever driven with electronic throttle control, my CX-5 seems more responsive when I take maybe half a second to go from zero to full pedal engagement. I've always operated under the assumption that slamming the pedal to the floor is momentarily ignored by the engine controller, and it's only when you maintain full pedal that the system interprets your input as a request for power and not just a clumsy placement of your foot.
 
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'18 Mazda 6 Signature
When you drive a manual you know what you want the car to do before you get to the point you want to do it. Thus you can actually shift / prepare before the point the power is needed so it's on tap ready to go.

Automatics need to wait for an input and process the demand before acting. They're way better than they used to be but still can't read your mind.

As others said in certain scenerios you may want to control via manual shift mode. That's why it's there.

When you're in auto mode, if you want full power (think on ramp or passing, etc) and want to make sure it shifts down make sure you press the skinny pedal down ALL the way. if you don't hit the kick-down switch you're still not giving it all it's got. Pushing until you feel the stop, then pushing past it and holding will make the transmission skip down to the lowest gear it can to keep it in the power as long as you keep your foot there.

My brother just recently picked up a 2018 Mazda 3 auto after driving stick for years and wasn't thrilled with full throttle attempts at acceleration on on ramps etc. He didn't know that was there and after I told him he's fine with it now that he knows how and when to use it.
 

Chris_Top_Her

Banned
Moderator
Contributor
:
San Antonio, Texas
:
'15 CX-5 Miata AWD
Anticipate what's happening ahead and act accordingly; downshift manually to whatever gear you feel you need to be in for the acceleration you will need/want. If you were driving a manual mz3/cx5/mz6 and trying to merge into 70 mph traffic from an off ramp where people are entering at like 50mph (typical around here, no one actually accelerates to highway speed on the ramp) you wouldn't approach it in 5th gear... you'd likely be in 3rd (or 2nd even depending on how hard you wanna accelrate) by the time you at your "opening". The auto cant predict that, it only reacts to your foot and it will only downshift so much, even if you could get 1000 usuable rpms from a lower gear it might not go into it.

You have to learn when and how to use manual mode properly (just like a manual car) to get the most from the engine and trans. The other problem with D is that there is no logic built in about when not to upshift. So for example if you stab the throttle to downshift and accelerate on a curve, the throttle will upshift once you let off a little mid turn, which reduces grip and increases understeer. You just have to control the engine speed yourself when you want specific performance.

In that respect I am very satisfied with the transmission, and its performance in manual mode. Btw of you have AWD it's the only way to really control the mechanical aspect of the system yourself.

Someone mentioned an old v8 merc.. still making more tq than our engine, with less rpm lol.
 
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Avoidin Deer

Zoom Zoom, baby
Contributor
:
Central Virginia
:
2019 CX-5 Reserve
Just the other day, I had my first instance of my transmission feeling as though it were searching for the right gear. I went to pass a car that was doing 45, and when I pulled around him, the engine raced a bit before a gear caught and the car lurched a bit. I did not floor it because no traffic was coming the other direction.

That's the first miscue I've had.
 

Avoidin Deer

Zoom Zoom, baby
Contributor
:
Central Virginia
:
2019 CX-5 Reserve
If you were driving a manual mz3/cx5/mz6 and trying to merge into 70 mph traffic from an off ramp where people are entering at like 50mph (typical around here, no one actually accelerates to highway speed on the ramp) you wouldn't approach it in 5th gear
As often as not, people arrive at the acceleration ramp and you see brake lights go on. I keep a good distance between me and the car in front until I can tell which type of driver they are. It's insane to see how many people driving on the highways are in a perpetual state of fear.

You have to learn when and how to use manual mode properly (just like a manual car) to get the most from the engine and trans.
I've mentioned before that there are areas around me where the windy roads go down into gullies, then back up again, then down into the next gully, with turns all the way through them. I downshift heading into the gully, then wind the car out @4,500 RPM in 3rd gear and punch it coming up the hills and out of the turns. The torque and acceleration in these things is insane!!! I can tell it's happy when it's driven like that.
 
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CX5 GT-R
The Mazda transmission is pretty great in most conditions. But it can't handle my road; tight and twisty with a lot of elevation gain. There's a 1.5 mile section on the climb that I have to shift into M2, otherwise it's just hunting for the right gear. My 1985 380SL Benz handles this section just fine, with that V8 purr.

It's a bit disappointing that a CX-5 in auto can't handle a mountain road as well as an antique. But it's easy to shift into manual and push her through the hairpins...I have way too much fun through the double S-section. Don't need to manually shift on my descent, auto works fine.
The non-turbo in general sucks even where I live, in the Ozarks. The turbo model is totally different. My over-all mpg went up several mpg when I got rid of my 2015 and got my 2019 GTR.
 
:
CX5 GT-R
Just the other day, I had my first instance of my transmission feeling as though it were searching for the right gear. I went to pass a car that was doing 45, and when I pulled around him, the engine raced a bit before a gear caught and the car lurched a bit. I did not floor it because no traffic was coming the other direction.

That's the first miscue I've had.
The ones I have are when I coast to a very low speed and turn to go up an incline (such as slowing to turn off onto a mountain cut-off), then I slowly accelerate and the rpm's climb to about 2K with very little forward initiative, then there is a lurch, a drop to about 1600rpm, and she's off. Only happens in that exact scenario. My GUESS is that it has not downshifted all the way to 1st, instead being in 2nd, but yet it is under 10mph, so the converter is unlocked, and it's "flashing" the converter, and then downshifting at the same time nearly, and then locking the converter after the downshift. Just an educated guess.
 

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