I have loved my Black Mazda 6 Wagon until it hit 52,000 miles. It was at this point that the transmission started really acting up. Prior to this time the down shifting problem was just considered to be part of the firm or hard shifting of a sports car "zoom-Zoom" feel. When the transmission started popping into neutral on downshifts was when my concerns REALLY started.
When this happens, if you are not careful you can stick the tach into the twilight zone when it misses the gear on a downshift. Normally when it does this, is when you have to get "zooming" into faster traffic and the event leaves you in a pickle. Now you have to brace your neck for the re-engagement of the transmission into 4th or 5th when RPM's return out of the red line. When the "re-engagement occurs, it sounds like you are going to tear the transmission right out of the car.
And now here is what I have done so far... Mazda says that the car is out of warranty and the problem is mine. Thanks for all of that zoom-zoom stuff... Moving on to where does one go from here, this is how I have now "nursed" the car to 75,000 miles with few episodes of "zooming my engine into the twilight zone".
1. If I have to pass (IE: downshift) I switch the shifter into the manual position and manually put the car into 4th gear. From there I can accelerate to the desired speed with incident.
2. Once at the new higher speed (without any load on the transmission) I "manually shift" the automatic into 5th and then 6th.
3. At this point it does not matter if you leave the transmission in manual or automatic. It feels like you have done the work of shifting (while keeping the transmission engaged) for the computer that is supposed to be controlling the valve body.
Because the car is my personal car that I own and use for business, I can live with it. I am putting 40,000 miles a year on it. Very generally, it has been a better looking car than anything.
The marketing got me. For those who would read this type of a forum to consider a Mazda, I would not buy another one.
Best wishes to those who own one of the 6's. Nice looking car... enough said.