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A great car ruined by transmission mapping

Edmunds.com logo Edmunds.com 8/29/2015 John Zuanich

This is a decent car that could be a great car with better transmission mapping and an additional transmission gear or two. I own the larger 2.5L engine with the 6-speed automatic transmission. I live on a hill, but most of my driving is down on fairy flat terrain. The transmission mapping is definitely part of the Skyactive technology, designed to shift to the highest possible gear as soon as is practical. More often than not this isn't a problem--until you begin driving up a hill, where it has a constant tendency to lug. The transmission is reluctant to down shift without feeding it a significant amounts of throttle. Then it downshifts and races up the hill, making it difficult to drive up a hill smoothly. More often than not, I'm forced to shift manually whenever I'm driving up the hill, inorder to be in total control of shift points. Most of the other cars I've owned with automatic transmissions seen to sense when you begin driving up a hill and seem to downshift much more inuitively (more quickly and with less throttle application) and smoothly. The transmission is adaptive, meaning it adapts to your driving style over time. I drive very moderalty most of the time, so I don't mind the hunt for the highest gear, as that strategy generally improves fuel economy. But drive it loaded up a hill and any hint of a "performance" vehicle flies right out the door. Additionally, gear spacing between 32 and 40 miles per hour is way to broad. This car would definitely benefit from one or two additional gears in this important speed range. I've owned many cars with automatic transmissions, and this is by far the worst transmission mapping I've noticed. The key is "noticed." When transmission mapping is done well, you don't notice it because the transmission always seems to be in the correct great. In the CX-5, even with the larger engine, the poor mapping is always noticed driving up a hill. It's really a shame, because all other aspects of this vehicle are really good. Steering and brake feel are outstanding, and this car really is fun to drive--over flat terrain. Enter a hill, and entire package falls apart due to the transmission.

Average Rating : 3

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