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The six-speed automatic in the 2014 Mazda 3 shifts quickly. You might not even miss a manual transmission.
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Maybe I shift at the wrong point in the corner but the downside I run into with my CX5 is it will sometimes automatically drop a gear as it sense me slowing into the corner. So while I'm thinking "I'm in 5th and need to drop 2 clicks to hit 3rd" it already drops into 4th, even in manual mode, so when I drop 2 clicks it hits second gear which is a bit lower than I was expecting or wanting. That kills my 'flow' through the corner. The only other option is to look at the dash before shifting which at those times is the last thing I want to do.
I wonder if the Skyactiv 6MT is still on the table for the 2.5L gas engine. Perhaps you can find out for us, Brent?
As of July, dealerships are ordering 2015s, and yes, the 2.5 manual is in production. Could be Aug or Sept delivery but pricing is not available yet through my dealer.
I'm not sure if the 3 has this feature, but my 2014 Mazda6 GT has a feature that I think is genius. I think that the transmission manual mode is perfectly set up. You get multiple ways to change gears that suit you - you can use the shift knob or the paddles and then there's my favorite feature...the gas pedal is set up in a way that gives you another level of control. When you depress the pedal all the way, you'll feel it stop. If you keep pressing, you will feel the pedal click down, as if you're pressing a button. When you're in manual mode, pressing the pedal down all the way but not clicking it, will hold whatever gear you're in. Once you click it though, the transmission automatically shifts to the lowest gear available, instead of having to shift through each gear individually. This works amazingly if you're in manual mode in 4th gear at say 30mph and want to drop gears quickly. To me, this feature makes the driving experience almost perfect...they certainly have thought of everything to make an automatic transmission the most fun, and it works great! There's so much versatility with the transmission and shift modes, that it should please just about anyone. Just thought I'd leave this comment because I haven't read about anyone on here discussing this amazing invention!
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