Mazda CX-3 Forum banner

1 - 16 of 16 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hi,
My sister owns a 2017 CX-3, she's in Philadelphia.
She loved the feel of her torque-heavy VW Jetta (2003) but finds the CX-3 frustrating in terms of engine response.
It seems to be a combination of automatic trans and engine management software because even the pseudo-manual operation leaves her wanting.

I am here to see if there is a way to "chip" this engine in the U.S. .... what options are out there, see if anybody has tried them, what levels of success.

Thanks!
HukkFinn
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
550 Posts
There aren't any/many go-fast bits for the CX-3. Econo-crossovers don't have a big tuner presence yet (I expect this to change as sedans and hatchbacks continue to decline) and the CX-3 is a small player in the lineup of a small player.

Which Jetta did she have? If it was a 1.8T, chip tuning worked really well because they could alter the amount of boost from the turbo. Not much to be gained from tuning an NA engine beyond raising the redline, tweaking AFRs, and moving timing a bit. I think Orange Virus did a tune for us but I only know of one person that has it (search this board for orange virus).

If her Jetta was a chipped turbo, it's going to be tough because those things were awesome (I had a 1999 Passat 1.8T with an APR chip). I made the jump from an Infiniti G37x sedan (300+ HP) to my CX-3 and I really miss the power and torque.

If she had a 2.Slow then I don't know what to tell you since those engines only made 115 HP and 122 lb-ft (read: less than the 2.0L SkyActiv in the USDM CX-3).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
218 Posts
There aren't any/many go-fast bits for the CX-3. Econo-crossovers don't have a big tuner presence yet (I expect this to change as sedans and hatchbacks continue to decline) and the CX-3 is a small player in the lineup of a small player.

Which Jetta did she have? If it was a 1.8T, chip tuning worked really well because they could alter the amount of boost from the turbo. Not much to be gained from tuning an NA engine beyond raising the redline, tweaking AFRs, and moving timing a bit. I think Orange Virus did a tune for us but I only know of one person that has it (search this board for orange virus).

If her Jetta was a chipped turbo, it's going to be tough because those things were awesome (I had a 1999 Passat 1.8T with an APR chip). I made the jump from an Infiniti G37x sedan and I really miss the power and torque.

If she had a 2.Slow then I don't know what to tell you since those engines only made 115 HP and 122 lb-ft (read: less than the 2.0L SkyActiv in the USDM CX-3).
On this forum, I believe it is @TORQUERULES that has the Orange Virus yes?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
155 Posts
  • Like
Reactions: PandaG

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
550 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
155 Posts
Orange Virus.... what does that do?
Does anybody in the U.S. have it?
Thank you!
I do. In the U.S. It is custom tuning for the Mazda Skyactiv platform.

I may be one of the first, if not the first, in the U.S. with this tuning on a CX-3.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
I do. In the U.S. It is custom tuning for the Mazda Skyactiv platform.

I may be one of the first, if not the first, in the U.S. with this tuning on a CX-3.
Just found your March thread about your OV tune.

Early on you say “For the most part, I am surprised with the smoothness. Way smoother than stock.”
Can you expand on what you meant by smoothness? Sorry I am not experienced in this area.

Very happy to see you felt increased linearity in throttle response! That’s our big complaint.

Does every tune like this need to involve sending data back to OV? Are we saying that each CX-3 is unique?

Finally could my sister do this herself? She has NO experience under any hood, but she’s OK with a laptop.

Thank you so much for posting your experience!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
155 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
155 Posts
Just found your March thread about your OV tune.

Early on you say “For the most part, I am surprised with the smoothness. Way smoother than stock.”
Can you expand on what you meant by smoothness? Sorry I am not experienced in this area.

Very happy to see you felt increased linearity in throttle response! That’s our big complaint.

Does every tune like this need to involve sending data back to OV? Are we saying that each CX-3 is unique?

Finally could my sister do this herself? She has NO experience under any hood, but she’s OK with a laptop.

Thank you so much for posting your experience!

The power delivery is much more linear and smooth just like the throttle response. You can tell there is more under the curve which is what these little engines need. Yes, there is more peak power, but it is what you are getting everywhere else that can be felt the most.

Anyone who can operate a computer and read instructions can do this.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
155 Posts
I want to add that in order to tweak the throttle response to the point where I have mine, you need to get the throttle upgrade add-on to the tune. It does make a difference, but even before that was added in the tune, he gives you a couple without to get some logs before he adds that in, the throttle response was much better than stock. So, some of you might not need it and could try the tunes without and then add that later if you think you need it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
86 Posts
...If her Jetta was a ... 2.Slow then I don't know what to tell you since those engines only made 115 HP and 122 lb-ft (read: less than the 2.0L SkyActiv in the USDM CX-3).
Hi! Sarah from Philadelphia here. My brother (HukkFinn in Delaware) has been listening to me grumble about my lovely CX-3 a bit. :)

Thanks for the information in this thread!

My 5-Speed Manual 2003 Jetta GL definitely has a 2.0, but isn't slow. Even with the GL's modest proletariat 115 HP and 122 lb-ft of torque, it has nice throttle response. When I press the gas pedal for some get up and go (to pass on a highway, for instance, when I'm already in 5th gear), I get it, smoothly and fairly quickly, without having to downshift to 4th.

With the CX-3, I sometimes feel like the car is doing a long series of calculations while I wait for throttle response.

If I really step on the accelerator, it'll respond (but not as quickly as needed) with an RPM-jump-and-roar as it downshifts to 5th or 4th, but then it wants to shift back up to 6th gear too soon. So, if I'm trying to pass, I get a short burst of power that doesn't always achieve what I was hoping for, even if I'm keeping steady pressure on the throttle / trying to increase my speed.

The Mazda service folks mentioned (suggested?) that you can really stomp the accelerator and get response, and that you can really DEMAND things from Mazda's automatic transmissions. But that feels like I'm abusing the car — maybe I'm too used to driving stick. I'm used to gradually asking for speed/power and gradually getting it from my previous cars (all manual transmissions). Even for quick "I need speed" maneuvers, I haven't had to floor other cars.

Thanks for the info and help, folks. I hung out on this board for a solid YEAR before buying and it's a fantastic resource. Much appreciated. My 2017 CX-3 Touring (named Manuel) is a fine little fella and I'm trying to learn to speak his language.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
550 Posts
Hi! Sarah from Philadelphia here. My brother (HukkFinn in Delaware) has been listening to me grumble about my lovely CX-3 a bit. :)

Thanks for the information in this thread!

My 5-Speed Manual 2003 Jetta GL definitely has a 2.0, but isn't slow. Even with the GL's modest proletariat 115 HP and 122 lb-ft of torque, it has nice throttle response. When I press the gas pedal for some get up and go (to pass on a highway, for instance, when I'm already in 5th gear), I get it, smoothly and fairly quickly, without having to downshift to 4th.

With the CX-3, I sometimes feel like the car is doing a long series of calculations while I wait for throttle response.

If I really step on the accelerator, it'll respond (but not as quickly as needed) with an RPM-jump-and-roar as it downshifts to 5th or 4th, but then it wants to shift back up to 6th gear too soon. So, if I'm trying to pass, I get a short burst of power that doesn't always achieve what I was hoping for, even if I'm keeping steady pressure on the throttle / trying to increase my speed.

The Mazda service folks mentioned (suggested?) that you can really stomp the accelerator and get response, and that you can really DEMAND things from Mazda's automatic transmissions. But that feels like I'm abusing the car — maybe I'm too used to driving stick. I'm used to gradually asking for speed/power and gradually getting it from my previous cars (all manual transmissions). Even for quick "I need speed" maneuvers, I haven't had to floor other cars.

Thanks for the info and help, folks. I hung out on this board for a solid YEAR before buying and it's a fantastic resource. Much appreciated. My 2017 CX-3 Touring (named Manuel) is a fine little fella and I'm trying to learn to speak his language.
What you're talking about is shift logic rather than throttle response. Modern automagic gearboxes are focused more on economy than passing power so they hold higher gears longer and are more reluctant to downshift. The CX-3 is especially like this.

Almost all automagic cars have a kickdown switch at the end of the gas pedal travel. You can feel it if you slowly push the gas pedal to the floor with the engine off. Resistance will go up suddenly but you can push past it for another 1/4" of pedal travel - that's the kickdown. It forces the transmission to downshift.

Of course, this behavior is somewhat mitigated by the "sport mode" switch.

The bright side is that the transmission responds to the paddle shifters on the steering column even when not in "manual" mode. So, if you know you've got a pass coming up, hit the left paddle one or two times and off you go. It'll stay in faux-manual for 10-15 seconds after the last time you use one of the paddles before reverting to it's normal shift logic (which is dictated by the status of the "sport mode" switch).
 
  • Like
Reactions: Stokers Rule

·
Registered
Joined
·
218 Posts
What you're talking about is shift logic rather than throttle response. Modern automagic gearboxes are focused more on economy than passing power so they hold higher gears longer and are more reluctant to downshift. The CX-3 is especially like this.

Almost all automagic cars have a kickdown switch at the end of the gas pedal travel. You can feel it if you slowly push the gas pedal to the floor with the engine off. Resistance will go up suddenly but you can push past it for another 1/4" of pedal travel - that's the kickdown. It forces the transmission to downshift.

Of course, this behavior is somewhat mitigated by the "sport mode" switch.

The bright side is that the transmission responds to the paddle shifters on the steering column even when not in "manual" mode. So, if you know you've got a pass coming up, hit the left paddle one or two times and off you go. It'll stay in faux-manual for 10-15 seconds after the last time you use one of the paddles before reverting to it's normal shift logic (which is dictated by the status of the "sport mode" switch).
That's a good lesson. I didn't know about the "kickdown" on the gas pedal.
I hear what Sarah is saying though. Flooring it at highway speed sometimes makes the car scream and I think that she's gonna blow up or something.

But...just by natural trial, error, and poop-my-pants situations; I've figured out that dropping the paddle manually in auto mode is way calmer and more effective (in my driving style of course...which is chill lol) :D
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
86 Posts
What you're talking about is shift logic rather than throttle response. Modern automagic gearboxes are focused more on economy than passing power so they hold higher gears longer and are more reluctant to downshift. The CX-3 is especially like this.

Almost all automagic cars have a kickdown switch at the end of the gas pedal travel. You can feel it if you slowly push the gas pedal to the floor with the engine off. Resistance will go up suddenly but you can push past it for another 1/4" of pedal travel - that's the kickdown. It forces the transmission to downshift.

Of course, this behavior is somewhat mitigated by the "sport mode" switch.

The bright side is that the transmission responds to the paddle shifters on the steering column even when not in "manual" mode. So, if you know you've got a pass coming up, hit the left paddle one or two times and off you go. It'll stay in faux-manual for 10-15 seconds after the last time you use one of the paddles before reverting to it's normal shift logic (which is dictated by the status of the "sport mode" switch).
The Touring comes with slap shift (no paddles) and I use it on parts of each commute. I use it every time I have to go up a steady incline and it helps, but even in 'manual mode,' the car is still reluctant to show any torque or good acceleration. Even if I downshift, I can see the tachometer start dancing, and I can feel the engine work differently, but it still seems a little lethargic.

I asked questions about sport mode on here a while back and I think I was told that going into manual mode / using the slap shift is like making your own customized sport mode. In other words, sport mode does nothing for you if you're already using the slap shifter. Sport mode just changes the intervals of shifting when you're in automatic mode. Correct?

I'm surprised that manual mode doesn't make me feel THE POWAH, but maybe I'm being too gentle on it.
 
1 - 16 of 16 Posts
Top