2014 Mazda CX-5 Grand Touring AWD Long-Term Road Test

Edmunds.comEdmunds.com Member, Administrator, Moderator Posts: 10,237
edited September 2014 in Mazda

image2014 Mazda CX-5 Grand Touring AWD Long-Term Road Test

I think it's a sin that our long-term 2014 Mazda CX-5 is without paddles shifters on its steering wheel. It is a Mazda right? Zoom Zoom and all that.

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  • alex4515alex4515 Member Posts: 29
    Really? If I'm in an automatic, paddle shifters and/or a manual mode don't do anything for me. I say just let it be what it is - there's no clutch pedal so there isn't any reason to try to fake it. If you really want to shift the CX-5 for yourself, just get the sport version with the 6 speed manual. Although it is too bad that they won't equip the higher trim levels with the manual - of course I'm sure the take rate on those combos would be way too low to justify.
  • bankerdannybankerdanny Member Posts: 1,021
    Tell us how you really feel Scott.
  • legacygtlegacygt Member Posts: 599
    I don't see the need. Maybe it would be nice but I don't see how paddle shifters are a must have in a CUV, even a sporty one. Any nobody denies the sporty nature of a manual transmission. And where is your right hand when you're shifting a manual transmission? Exactly. We can debate all day the pros and cons of shifting an automatic yourself. But I don't really see how the nature of driving this car changes if you're forced to reach for the shift lever every time you want to change gears.
  • duck87duck87 Member Posts: 649
    Perhaps it should be said that with Mazda recently posting a profit after years of losses (albeit due largely to the yen's depreciation) that the beancounter helped in one of many ways to saving the company.

    But let's be realistic. This is a CUV, so if you're choosing the automatic, you expect it to shift for itself. For the odd 10% of the population that wants to shift for themselves, they'd be getting the manual option anyways.
  • stovt001_stovt001_ Member Posts: 799
    Sorry Scott, gotta disagree with you there. Even a sporty, driver-centric Mazda CUV is still a CUV, and you're not going to drive it so that you're downshifting through the gears as you approach the apex before powering out or anything like that. Once the novelty of the manual shift mode wears off, drivers will use it for passing maneuvers and dealing with steep grades. And for that, a simple manual gate on the shifter will do just fine. That wheel is already more cluttered than I'd care for.
  • oldparnelloldparnell Member Posts: 37
    I'm half expecting Mark T to photo shop "Grumpy Cat" onto the picture, though it might be risky doing that to your boss on Friday morning .
  • tx2scooptx2scoop Member Posts: 1
    I'd like to disagree here. Personally I find paddle shifters awkward.

    I like to fancy myself a driving enthusiast and I much prefer the system the Mazda has. They still do it right (back for an upshift and forward for a downshift) There's just something about having the shifter next to my leg that just feels right.
  • bc1960bc1960 Pittsburgh, PAMember Posts: 171
    Paddle shifters are an absurd affectation on non-sports cars, found primarily on cars with CVTs and automatics that do not have a proper manual shift gate, which the CX-5 does. Of course, Mazda has put paddle shifters on the MX-5 and RX-8 automatics even thought they do have the manual shift gate, so they are not a model of consistency.
  • agentorangeagentorange Member Posts: 893
    I'm not too fussed at their absence in a CUV. At least this has shifter selectable gears unlike the stupid Ford toggle or the GM rocker.
  • 330i_zhp330i_zhp Member Posts: 55
    I doubt many people will miss the paddles on this car... However it seems odd that my mother's Lincoln MKX has them(and she had no clue what they were for), but not a Mazda.
  • legacygtlegacygt Member Posts: 599
    I'll just add that I drive a CX-9 with a similar gate for the automatic shift lever. I rarely shift over to manual control, but when I do, I have no concern about having to take one hand off the wheel to nudge the shift lever forward or back. It takes less time and concentration than shifting a manual and nobody ever complained that taking your hand off the wheel to shift a manual did anything to diminish a car's sportiness.
  • zorentozorento Member Posts: 19
    An Editor in Chief? As an editor I would think you could post a better comment. Yours looks like something a 16-year-old would write.

    And you seem to think everyone is of the same opinion. We're not.
  • bankerdannybankerdanny Member Posts: 1,021
    It really depends on the transmission and where you drive. At 40-45, the 4EAT in my '07 Forester required a full throttle stomp to get a downshift to squirt into an opening in traffic. The Tiptronic in my '04 Jetta is much more responsive (the turbo's torque makes a huge diff too). I would have loved paddles in the Subie, the VW doesn't really need them.
  • uthikeruthiker Member Posts: 18
    I'm glad my CX5 has no paddle shifters...I like the manual mode on my GT.
  • legacygtlegacygt Member Posts: 599
    Just to be clear, I don't see this is a discussion about manual shift option vs. no manual shift option. The CX-5 does have a manual shift option via the +/- gate on the shift lever. From what I've read, the skyactiv automatic is a good one and it responds quickly to manual inputs. So the discussion is whether or not using the shift lever is too much of a hassle or if the car should have paddle shifters. I personally think that reaching for a shift lever to manually select gears is relatively simple and convenient. I don't need paddle shifters on my small CUV.
  • metalmaniametalmania Member Posts: 167
    I don't see paddles as a need, but wouldn't object to having them - as long as the manual gate on the actual shifter is still there. Why have redundant manual actuators? Because I actually wore out the microswitches for the manual mode in the shifter of my '04 Mazda 6 (granted it took 8 years and I used the mode a little bit almost every day). Until I got it fixed (a stinging $400 repair too) I had NO WAY to manually control the transmission. I mostly used it for speed control descending a couple of steep hills on my daily commute and some occasional engine braking if I came down a short exit ramp "a little too hot". I don't use the manual mode much to "drive it like a stick", but having manual control of all the gears in the transmission when desired is a very handy feature.
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