2012 Mazda 3 SkyActiv: Mazda "Gets It"... Again
March 14, 2012
Like Mark (who loves the smooth shifts) and Jay (who mentioned, among other things, the proper directional functionality of the manual gate), I also feel the 6-speed automatic in our Mazda3 is engineered and calibrated very well. But I found another Mazda-specific Easter egg that makes me believe people at Mazda really do care about driving...
If your car has an automatic with a manual-shift gate, what happens when you initially select it? Does it stay in the current gear or does it kick down a gear when you snick the shifter over? Our Mazda3 does either/both depending on the throttle position. Why is this a case of Mazda "getting it?"
If you're on the throttle and move the shifter to the manual gate, it retains the current gear -- as if you're readying the car for some sort of "spirited action" ahead. If, on the other hand, you first remove your foot from the throttle (like when you're going down a grade and want some engine braking), the Mazda3 kicks down a gear (and matches the revs, by the way). By the way, is the shift surround supposed to look like the layout of a racetrack?
Thanks for sweating the details, Mazda. We noticed.
I don't know of any other car that does this. Do you?