2018 CX-5 Low Speed Transmission Hesitation/Jerk/Lurch

New to Mazda here with a 2021 CX-5 FWD (non-Turbo) as of a couple weeks ago.

I'm also experiencing jerkiness and occasional hesitation under 30 mph. Can't figure out whether I missed it on the test drive or what, but it's enough to concern me about longevity. Not so much that I find the driving feel a total dealbreaker -- I just want to make it well over 100k without issues, and this doesn't inspire confidence that the drivetrain is operating smooth as butter.

Anyway, just chiming in since I see lots of discussion here and elsewhere, but very few have mentioned it on a 2021. I definitely get the "brakes dragging but not really" feeling at parking lot speeds consistently, some jerks at start/stop that I think most reasonably perceptive new car owners would find surprising, and also occasional jerkiness at low speeds... but it's not consistent.

FWIW, I'm coming from mainly Honda ATs in the past. I made the switch in large part because I'm terrified of long-term reliability on their new CVTs, hoping I didn't unknowingly trade one pitfall for another...
 
I have a CX5 2019 and also jerks/lurching at low speed. Very annoying. My previous car was a Sonata and never experienced something like this. I am seriously considering going back to Hyundai.
 

yrwei52

2016 Mazda CX-5 GT AWD w/Tech Pkg
Contributor
:
Plano, Texas, USA
I have been wondering why do all of those transmission jerk / lurching complaints started from MY 2018 CX-5, the time when Mazda modified the SkyActiv-Drive transmission to accommodate new cylinder deactivation? Not sure the 2.5T’s transmission made the same change, but I believe the problem has to be related to the change to the transmission since 2018.
 
I have been wondering why do all of those transmission jerk / lurching complaints started from MY 2018 CX-5, the time when Mazda modified the SkyActiv-Drive transmission to accommodate new cylinder deactivation? Not sure the 2.5T’s transmission made the same change, but I believe the problem has to be related to the change to the transmission since 2018.

It has to be a result of the changes to make CD work. I honestly don’t notice much jerkiness, maybe a small amount in my 2020 GT. As I’ve mentioned in other threads, I do notice the CD transitions below 40mph though. The transmissions in My 2019 GTR is smoother over all. The 19 does have some shift flare into 2nd when below operating temp that the 20 does not.
 

HardRightEdg

US 2020 CX-5 Touring AWD Soul Red
I'm also experiencing jerkiness and occasional hesitation under 30 mph. Can't figure out whether I missed it on the test drive or what, but it's enough to concern me about longevity. I just want to make it well over 100k without issues, and this doesn't inspire confidence that the drivetrain is operating smooth as butter.
Honestly, you won't know until you get there. In this forum or any other you'll find posters reporting many years and many miles of trouble free driving while others report serial issues for the same make/model/drive train.

I take solace in the fact that Consumer Reports has given the CX-5 it's highest rating for reliability in all 6 drive train categories for 6 years running except for 4 out of 5 (second highest ratings) for 2017 Engine-Minor and 2019 Drive System. I would not have bought my 2020 if the CR drive train reliability ratings were not above average. CR's methodology is described here:


Cylinder deactivation, if that is the cause of the oft reported jerkiness, is in it's 4th. year. However, I find it interesting to note that drivers have reported similar issues in these pages with the turbo engine, much fewer of which are sold, that does not have CD, while 2.5L normally aspirated drivers report that the issue is alleviated when driving in the higher revving sport mode where CD still operates. I'm in agreement with the latter observation.

I'm also reminded of my 2004 Sienna V6 equipped with a 5-speed automatic that had the annoying habit of gear hunting between 1st. and 2nd. gears, something that never bothered my wife by the way, and which was rectified in my 2014 with Toyota's next gen 6-speed. That 2004 vehicle was trouble-free for 10 years and 150,000 miles at trade in.

The only concession I would make with your FWD is have trans fluid service done every 50k- 60k miles rather than no interval for the "life of the vehicle", but I would apply that rule of thumb to any vehicle purporting lifetime trans fluid.
 
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OK, finally an update:

I had an appointment today with the dealer for the trans. issues. The mechanic said if the fluid was low, it would set a code. The mechanic and service manager drove the car and both said there were no issues with the car (which I anticipated). No diagnostic codes set.

I'm not a novice car person, I rebuilt my first engine at 19, completed 2 frame off restorations of 1986 Buick Grand Nationals and have done everything but a transmission rebuild so I know how cars work.

I say the transmission programming is at issue. I notice when pulling from a stop and accelerating fairly hard, I need to "floor it".....it will then downshift and move the car. It's almost like I'm in a manual trans. pulling out in 3rd gear and need to downshift. That means to me the transmission programming is off. Now the question is, how do we get Mazda to fix the issue. ??

IMHO, I don't think this will affect transmission longevity. Please post any updates or symptoms.
 
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HardRightEdg

US 2020 CX-5 Touring AWD Soul Red
I say the transmission programming is at issue. I notice when pulling from a stop and accelerating fairly hard, I need to "floor it" to get the car to move.....it will then downshift and move the car. It's almost like I'm in a manual trans. pulling out in 3rd gear and need to downshift. IMHO, I don't think this will affect transmission longevity. Please post any updates or symptoms.
To recap, I had TSB 05-002/20 applied. That TSB first came to may attention in @Dark5tar post #202 above. Just to clarify, is that the one you had applied?

After two months and 1,500 miles the positive affects have not changed since my post #218 on the subject. No "wearing off" as some have posted. What I experienced is little different than your symptoms--my vehicle would not downshift when a lug occured; I'd just have to accelerate out of it. Besides, I'd get lugs in first gear and there's no gear to downshift to from there.

So, if you had that TSB applied to a 2019 AWD why would you not see some change compared to my 2020 AWD experience? It's the same drive train. I have a question and a conjecture that I'll leave to folks with hands-on experience to confirm or deny:

Would this TSB re-flash the entire engine and transmission control code to a most current version? Or is it a case where, "If base code is A version, apply B code changes; if base code is X, apply Y code changes." And even if it was an entire re-flash of the engine code, but different versions of the trans code are floating around, different results may occur--they have to work in concert.
 
Hello, Correct, it was TSB 05-002/20 that I had applied.

I concur with a "lug" but my car will shift into a lower gear or two; even though it should be in the lowest gear when pulling from a stop.
 
Get this slightly on my uk 2018 diesel but as previous replied said torque of the diesel makes it less intrusive and using manual override at slow parking speeds cancels out - seems to be a quirk in the auto box torque converter design - now I am used to it I do not even notice it 😏
 

HardRightEdg

US 2020 CX-5 Touring AWD Soul Red
Hello, Correct, it was TSB 05-002/20 that I had applied.
I concur with a "lug" but my car will shift into a lower gear or two; even though it should be in the lowest gear when pulling from a stop.
Were you in the car when the mechanic and service manager tested it? If not, you should be driving to recreate the problem for them. Other than that, I'm out of ideas.