Troubleshooting 2020 Mazda CX-5 Transmission Issues: What You Need to Know

We’ve all been there, cruising down the highway when suddenly our beloved ride starts acting up. It’s a situation no car owner wants to face, especially when it comes to something as crucial as the transmission. That’s why we’re diving into the nitty-gritty of the 2020 Mazda CX-5 and its transmission woes. It’s a stellar vehicle by all accounts, but like any mechanical marvel, it’s not immune to issues.

Many of us have heard whispers or faced firsthand the transmission problems plaguing some 2020 Mazda CX-5 models. From unexpected jerks to uninvited noises that make you go “hmm,” these issues can be more than just a nuisance—they can affect your driving experience. Let’s get under the hood together and explore what’s been causing headaches for some Mazda CX-5 owners, and more importantly, what can be done about it.

Overview of the 2020 Mazda CX-5

Moving forward from understanding the transmission issues that some owners have encountered, it’s crucial to delve into the specifics of what makes the 2020 Mazda CX-5 a noteworthy vehicle in its class. Recognized for its appealing design and superior driving dynamics, the 2020 CX-5 stands out as a compact SUV that has garnered appreciation from both critics and drivers alike.

Under the hood, this model typically features a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine, which provides a balance of efficiency and power, ensuring a responsive driving experience that Mazda vehicles are known for. Additionally, the option for a turbocharged variant adds an extra layer of exhilaration for those seeking more spirited drives.

When it comes to transmission, the 2020 CX-5 utilizes a six-speed automatic transmission designed to optimize performance and fuel economy. This transmission plays a pivotal role in how the vehicle handles and responds while navigating different driving conditions. Given its importance, any disruptions or irregularities in transmission performance can significantly impact the overall driving experience, as highlighted by the issues some owners have faced.

The vehicle’s interior and technology offerings further contribute to its appeal, offering comfort and connectivity features that enhance the driving experience. From advanced safety systems to infotainment options, the 2020 Mazda CX-5 is equipped to meet the needs of modern drivers, providing a seamless bridge between performance and convenience.

In examining the facets that define the 2020 Mazda CX-5, it becomes clearer how transmission problems, despite being a concern for some, are just one aspect of this otherwise well-received vehicle.

Common 2020 Mazda CX-5 Transmission Problems

Transitioning from the vehicle’s impressive features and design, we delve into the specifics of the common transmission issues that some 2020 Mazda CX-5 owners have encountered. Understanding these problems is essential for identifying the right solutions and ensuring that the driving experience with this vehicle remains enjoyable.

  1. Unexpected Jerking and Shuddering: Drivers have reported instances where the car jerks or shudders during acceleration. This can disrupt the smooth driving experience Mazda aimed for, especially noticeable when transitioning between gears.
  2. Delayed Gear Engagement: Another prevalent issue involves a noticeable delay before the transmission engages, particularly when shifting from “Park” to “Drive” or “Reverse.” This lag can not only be frustrating but also raise safety concerns under certain circumstances.
  3. Harsh Gear Shifts: Some have experienced harsh gear shifts, wherein the transition between gears is not as smooth as expected. Instead of a seamless shift, drivers might feel a jolt, which can be unsettling, especially in a vehicle known for its driving dynamics.
  4. Loud Noises During Gear Changes: Unusual noises, such as whining or clunking when changing gears, have also been a point of concern. These sounds can indicate internal issues within the transmission system that require attention.
  5. Transmission Warning Light: In some cases, the transmission warning light illuminates on the dashboard, indicating a potential problem within the system. This light acts as a prompt for drivers to seek a professional diagnosis and address any issues promptly.

User Reports and Experiences

After discussing the overall performance and potential transmission issues of the 2020 Mazda CX-5, we dive deeper into the experiences shared by actual vehicle owners. These firsthand accounts provide valuable insights into the nature and frequency of the transmission problems some drivers have encountered.

Owners report unexpected jerking motions, especially when accelerating from a stop or during low-speed maneuvers. This jerking, they describe, feels as if the vehicle struggles to select the appropriate gear, resulting in a jolt that can be unsettling. This symptom not only affects the driving experience but also raises concerns about long-term reliability.

Delayed gear engagement is another commonly reported issue. Drivers notice a significant delay when shifting from park to drive or reverse, with the vehicle taking a few seconds longer than expected to respond. This delay can be frustrating, particularly in situations that require a quick start, such as busy traffic intersections or parking maneuvers.

Harsh shifts and loud noises during gear changes have also been mentioned in several reports. These noises, often described as clunks or thuds, occur when the transmission shifts up or down. The harshness of these shifts sometimes gives the impression that the transmission is being forced to change gears, which can be concerning to drivers aware of the importance of smooth gear transitions for vehicle health.

Lastly, the illumination of the transmission warning light on the dashboard has been a signal for some owners that something is amiss. This warning light, often accompanied by a decrease in performance, prompts drivers to seek immediate professional diagnosis and, if necessary, repairs.

Comparison with Previous Models

Transitioning from the detailed discussion on the common transmission problems of the 2020 Mazda CX-5, it’s insightful to compare its performance with previous models. This comparative analysis offers a broader understanding of whether the transmission issues are a recurring problem or a unique setback for the 2020 model.

Starting with the 2016 Mazda CX-5, owners reported far fewer transmission complaints. Specifically, there were minimal instances of jerking and harsh shifting, indicating a more stable transmission system during that period. The improvements continued through to the 2017 and 2018 models, with both showcasing enhanced performance and fewer transmission-related concerns from owners.

However, the tide seemed to turn with the 2019 Mazda CX-5, where there was a slight increase in the number of complaints related to the transmission. Drivers mentioned issues akin to those of the 2020 model, such as delayed gear engagement and jerky movements, albeit less frequently. It suggests that the transmission problems might have begun to surface more prominently in later models, culminating in the concerns highlighted by the 2020 Mazda CX-5 owners.

Interestingly, throughout these comparisons, the overall appreciation for Mazda’s efforts to improve engine performance and fuel efficiency remained high. The brand consistently aimed to strike a balance between a dynamic driving experience and environmental consciousness. Nonetheless, the escalating issues with the transmission from the 2019 model leading into 2020 underline the necessity for Mazda to address these setbacks promptly.

In light of this comparative analysis, it becomes evident that while Mazda has a history of producing vehicles with commendable performance, the recent transmission problems in the 2020 CX-5 mark a notable deviation from the reliability witnessed in earlier models. Understanding this progression is crucial for potential buyers and for Mazda as it looks to enhance its future models, ensuring a return to the reliability and driving pleasure its vehicles are known for.

How to Address the Transmission Problems

Given the increasing concerns over transmission problems in the 2020 Mazda CX-5, it’s essential for us to share some effective strategies for addressing these issues. Recognizing the symptoms early can indeed make a significant difference in maintaining your vehicle’s performance and longevity. Here are our top recommendations:

Consult the Dealership or an Authorized Service Center

First and foremost, if your Mazda CX-5 experiences any transmission issues, such as unexpected jerking, delayed gear engagement, or harsh shifts, we advise visiting a dealership or authorized service center. They possess the requisite tools and expertise to diagnose and rectify these problems accurately. Especially if your vehicle is still under warranty, this could be the most cost-effective solution.

Regular Maintenance Checks

Regular maintenance is key in preventing and identifying potential transmission problems before they escalate. Ensure to follow Mazda’s recommended service intervals. Check the transmission fluid level and quality regularly, as dirty or low fluid can lead to transmission issues.

Software Updates

Occasionally, transmission glitches are software-related rather than mechanical. In such cases, a software update from Mazda might resolve the issue. Dealerships can check for and install any available updates for your vehicle’s transmission system.

Consider a Transmission Specialist

If the problem persists or if it’s out of warranty, consulting a transmission specialist could be beneficial. Specialists have a deeper understanding of complex transmission systems and may offer more targeted solutions than general mechanics.

Alternative Transportation Modes

While your Mazda CX-5 is undergoing diagnosis or repair for transmission problems, exploring alternative modes of transportation can minimize inconvenience. Rental cars, public transportation, or car-sharing services can provide temporary mobility solutions.

Alternatives to the 2020 Mazda CX-5

Following our exploration of the 2020 Mazda CX-5’s transmission problems and potential solutions, let’s discuss the alternatives for those who might be reconsidering their options. While the CX-5 offers an engaging drive and a premium interior, the transmission issues can be a dealbreaker for some. Fortunately, the market is abundant with comparable SUVs that excel in reliability, comfort, and performance.

1. Toyota RAV4

A direct competitor, the Toyota RAV4, stands out for its reliability and fuel efficiency. Featuring a robust safety suite and a comfortable ride, it’s an excellent choice for families. The RAV4 also comes in a hybrid variant for those looking to minimize their carbon footprint.

2. Honda CR-V

The CR-V is known for its spacious interior and smooth driving experience. With high reliability ratings and excellent fuel economy, it’s a solid alternative. Honda’s commitment to safety is evident in the CR-V’s array of driver-assistance features.

3. Subaru Forester

For those who adventure off the beaten path, the Subaru Forester offers standard all-wheel drive and impressive ground clearance. Its safety scores are top-notch, and the cabin is both comfortable and spacious, making it ideal for road trips.

4. Hyundai Tucson

The Hyundai Tucson presents a compelling package with its stylish design, comfortable ride, and advanced technology features. Its warranty is one of the best in the segment, offering peace of mind to potential owners concerned about reliability.

These alternatives provide diverse options catering to various preferences and needs, ensuring that there’s a suitable SUV for everyone. Whether prioritizing fuel efficiency, interior space, or off-road capability, each of these vehicles offers a reliable and enjoyable driving experience without the transmission woes faced by some 2020 Mazda CX-5 owners. Considering these options, we encourage prospective buyers to test drive and research further, ensuring their next vehicle meets all their requirements.


We’ve explored the ups and downs of the 2020 Mazda CX-5, focusing on the transmission troubles that have left some drivers looking for solutions. Through our journey, we’ve shared how to tackle these issues head-on and when it might be time to consider other reliable SUV options. Whether you’re sticking with your CX-5 and addressing its quirks or eyeing a new ride like the Toyota RAV4 or Honda CR-V, we’re here to help you make an informed decision. After all, ensuring a smooth ride is what we’re all about. Let’s keep the conversation going and share our experiences to help each other along the way. Safe travels!

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