2014 Mazda Mazda3 S Long-Term Road Test

2014 Mazda 3: Head-Up Display Stubbornness

February 25, 2014

2014 Mazda 3

For those people who find head-up displays distracting, redundant or just plain dumb (or all of the above (*raises hand*), you won't find solace in our long-term 2014 Mazda 3.

Mazda calls its head-up display an "Active Driving Display." ADD. I kid you not. Dan Edmunds doesn't seem to mind it. Me, the first thing I'm looking for when I get into a head-up display-equipped car is the "off" button.

2014 Mazda 3

The Mazda 3 indeed has an "off" button for its head-up display, but there are a couple of caveats. First, the head-up display screen atop the instrument cluster remains deployed after you switch off ADD in the Settings menu of its touchscreen as shown above. The display screen remains vigilantly present in your field of view like a business card stuck under the wiper, standing at attention for absolutely no reason at all. Keen readers will correctly conclude that the only time the ADD stows away is when the car is shut off. What, exactly, is the point of that?

More insidious is the second caveat: the ADD defaults to "on" after a key cycle. Yes, you have to re-switch it off every single time you start the car. This is just maddening.

My only recourse is a combination of scrolling the digits as far down as possible and turning the brightness of the ADD display all the way down. This banishes the hovering digits during daylight hours, at least.

Jason Kavanagh, Engineering Editor @ 2,666 miles

Most Recommended Comments

By blueprint1
on 02/25/14
5:17 PM PST

I would avoid this car only for the screen that looks duct-taped to the IP, and the ADD is just the cherry on the lame sundae.

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Edmunds Insurance Estimator

The Edmunds TCO® estimated monthly insurance payment for a 2014 Mazda Mazda3 in WA is:

$198 per month*
* Explanation