2010 Mazda Mazdaspeed3 Long-Term Road Test


2010 Mazdaspeed 3: Illuminating Thoughts

September 09, 2010

IP-Daylight-Illum.jpg

Here's how the instrument panel appears on the Mazdaspeed 3 every time I climb behind the wheel for a long drive home after dark. Notice anything peculiar here?

I'll help after the jump.

IP-Night-Illum.jpg

Apologies for the blur, but my point is still demonstrated fairly obviously here. Check out the instrument panel in this shot relative to the first one. Notice the difference in lighting intensity and color?

This is how the Mazdaspeed 3's instrument panel is supposed to look at night. That is, illuminated to an intensity which matches that of the world outside so its driver's irises aren't constantly correcting between the lighting intensity of the panel and that of the road. And as an added bonus, it doesn't leave his/her retinas smoking.

Problem is, the button which swaps between the two (on the left of the IP) is always, and I mean always, left in the brightest position. This happens when drivers turn on the headlights during the day which causes the IP to go dim and unreadable. Then they hit the button to max the out the panel intensity so it's readable in ambient daylight. I'm seemingly the only one on staff who even notices this stuff.

If I sound intimately familiar with the problem it's because it happens all the time with my wife's car. And it bugs me there too.

Josh Jacquot, Senior editor

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Edmunds Insurance Estimator

The Edmunds TCO® estimated monthly insurance payment for a 2010 Mazda Mazdaspeed3 in VA is:

$146 per month*
* Explanation
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