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post #1 of 50 (permalink) Old 10-22-2018, 04:49 PM Thread Starter
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To 2018 or not to 2018

I've had my 2015 Mazda 6 Touring for over 3yrs now and it has given me rock solid performance through its 66,000mi in my possession. Having said that, the 'new car itch' my family seems to be infected with is starting to act up. It flared up over the weekend when the dealer I bought my 2015 from sent me one of those 'we'll pay top dollar for your trade' notices. Yeah, right. Been there done that. However, it did get me thinking. Looks like there's decent incentives for the Mazda 6 at the moment (up to $2750 between loyalty credit, same as cash, etc). And despite the new redesign, it looks like the 6 is having a rough year due to the SUV craze this country is still gripped in. That tells me there is wheeling and dealing to be had.

Here's my dilemma. I have been very proud of the fact that I have not bought a car with an automatic transmission since 1995 when I bought an old Pontiac police cruiser. The odds are increasingly stacked against me that my next new car will be a manual. Not interested in the 6 Sport in the least. I'm willing to eat some crow pie with friends and family, but it better be worth it. My question is... how good is the automatic in the 6? I've rented plenty of cars in the past with 'manu-matic' options but two things turn me off on them:

1) It still tries to second guess upshifts at high RPMs
2) Paddle-to-shift times lag


If I'm going to go to the dark side and get an automatic, it better hold the gears I want regardless of rev line and it better shift the split second I hit that paddle. Tempted to schedule a test drive on a very nice looking 2018 6 Touring with a Deep Crystal Blue paint job. If I do, I will go for the most technical road in my area (full of tight turns and rolling foothills) to put the automatic to the limit.

Then again, I could go completely batshit and try a CX5 (gasp) being my job requires some trunk space.


Can anyone who regularly uses their paddles give some feedback?
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post #2 of 50 (permalink) Old 10-22-2018, 05:01 PM
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Do I take it that you are looking for (if you consider again the "6") the naturally (normally)-aspirated version, not the Turbo? If so then you'd be getting that cylinder de-activation aspect (not so for the manual transmission car). I'm not convinced that I am comfortable with that technology yet. If you wait 'till next year you would be able to have a turbo in the CX5...

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post #3 of 50 (permalink) Old 10-22-2018, 05:06 PM
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I rather suspect there would be a slight lag between actuating the paddle and the shift occurring. Having said that, as you grow to know the car you would automatically make allowance for this...

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post #4 of 50 (permalink) Old 10-22-2018, 05:09 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cdn17Sport6MT View Post
Do I take it that you are looking for (if you consider again the "6") the naturally (normally)-aspirated version, not the Turbo? If so then you'd be getting that cylinder de-activation aspect (not so for the manual transmission car). I'm not convinced if I am that comfortable with that technology yet. If you wait 'till next year you would be able to have a turbo in the CX5...

Not interested in a turbo. There's a 4MPG penalty on highway economy and that adds up to an extra 300+ a year in fuel expense. Not to mention the upcharge on my insurance premiums. The cylinder deactivation doesn't bother me.
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post #5 of 50 (permalink) Old 10-22-2018, 05:11 PM
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You would lose some performance due to extra wt. not offsetting slightly more pwr + torque. However by all accts the new car is substantially more quiet... for me a good tradeoff.

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post #6 of 50 (permalink) Old 10-22-2018, 05:15 PM
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Ok, good things to check on.

First off, and I'm fairly certain others will agree, this is a rock solid AT. The one in my '16 Mazda3 was solid, and this one is no different. Quite honestly, having had at least 10 cars to this point in life - all automatic - this is the best auto I've driven. Primarily because of the non-existent lag in the paddle shifters.

When you press the paddle, it shifts - it's damn impressive in comparison to what I've used in past. As one member on here put it in his review (he had obviously driven some pretty nice cars), it's not Porsche PDK quick, but it's pretty damn quick. The really nice thing is your don't have to be in "manu-matic" mode to use the paddle shifters. For example, I don't like to hit the detent on the pedal. So on the highway, if I need to pass and downshift two gears, I don't floor it, I simply hit the paddle shifter to go down two gears and quickly go into the throttle and then shift up when I'm ready. I don't need to select M on the console shifter or anything, it just does it when I tell it to. I believe Mazda refers to this as DM mode as once you get back to cruising, it'll take over again as if you were in D all along.

The point you're probably not going to like, the 2.5T Auto in the 6 doesn't hold the gears as one would like. It was one of the first things I noticed coming from my Mazda3. My Mazda3 2.5 Auto held each gear as desired and shifted as fast as I wanted it to when using the paddle shifters. So naturally I expected the same from the 2.5T Auto, only to be slightly disappointed. It will force a shift UNDER CERTAIN CIRCUMSTANCES as I noticed:

For example, coming out of a turn in DM, I eased into the throttle waiting for the straightaway, and the thing shifted in DM mode, that was disappointing - didn't do that in my 3. However, I have yet to have it force a shift when I'm purely in M mode using the shifters. The car is equipped with a 4.09 final drive and it bounces off the rev limiter REALLY fast in first gear, so be forewarned.

I'm not a daily user of M mode, but I've never been disappointed when using it. Those are just a few tidbits I've learned through my few years with Mazda; both my 3 and 6.

I say go for it, I really don't think you're gonna be disappointed.

EDIT: And seeing you're not looking to do the turbo, I guess none of that really matters. In which case, I refer to my '16 Mazda3 - that thing held the gears beautifully and was always satisfying.

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post #7 of 50 (permalink) Old 10-22-2018, 05:27 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks @Chazzy J. To be honest, the only time I would really use M mode is on mountain passes. Good to know you can do incidental manual shifts while in D. Definitely allays some of my concerns.
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post #8 of 50 (permalink) Old 10-22-2018, 05:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chazzy J View Post

And seeing you're not looking to do the turbo, I guess none of that really matters. In which case, I refer to my '16 Mazda3 - that thing held the gears beautifully and was always satisfying.
I suppose there's no reason to think they would have changed this on the non-turbo 6 (versus your prior-owned 3.... but does anyone know for sure?

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post #9 of 50 (permalink) Old 10-22-2018, 05:35 PM
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Originally Posted by Cdn17Sport6MT View Post
I suppose there's no reason to think they would have changed this on the non-turbo 6 (versus your prior-owned 3.... but doesanyone know for sure?
Yeah, that's my thought. My buddy owns a '14 6 GT (same drivetrain as my 3) with paddle shifters and it functions identically as my 3 did. Holds the gears everytime. But as with everything, Mazda like to makes tweaks every now and then and I don't know anyone who owns a non-turbo '18.

So I stop short of saying it's the same, but with any luck it is

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post #10 of 50 (permalink) Old 10-22-2018, 05:37 PM
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Unless you care for the gadgets/tech, the new look, and other minor things (imo) of the 2018 itís pretty much the same car you have now.




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