2012 Mazda Mazda3 Long Term Road Test

2012 Mazda Mazda3 i Touring Skyactiv: Automatic Transmission Has Brains

August 21, 2012

2012 Mazda Mazda3

By now, several of us have written about our Mazda 3's six-speed automatic transmission and how quickly it comes up with downshifts in passing situations. Over the weekend, I became acquainted with another side of this transmission.

So, basically, there's a ton of traffic on the Monterey Peninsula during the weekend of the historic races and the Pebble Beach Concours. On many occasions, I found myself trailing other cars at 30-50 mph on downhill stretches of twisty two-lane roads.

And in situations where I was in D, off-throttle and intermittently applying the brakes, the transmission would at a certain point drop down a gear to provide some much desired engine braking.

Now there are plenty of other automatic transmissions with hill logic that will downshift in these situations, but the timing and smoothness with which this particular automatic does it is just right-on and adds to the enjoyment of driving an automatic-equipped Mazda 3. It made me happy.


2012 Mazda Mazda3

Erin Riches, Senior Editor @ 14,214 miles

Leave a Comment

Research Models


Edmunds Insurance Estimator

The Edmunds TCO® estimated monthly insurance payment for a 2012 Mazda Mazda3 in VA is:

$142 per month*
* Explanation