2012 Mazda 3: Fingertip Controls
March 28, 2012
There are times when I feel like steering wheel controls are needlessly redundant, and then there are controls like the ones in the Mazda 3. These work better than most for a couple of reasons.
One, you can figure out which one is which without even looking at them. It doesn't take long to learn that the volume is the first rocker switch and the seek the other. Same goes for the hang up button with its braille dot.
Second, the tight arrangement of them makes it easy to hit them all with your thumb. Can't tell you how many cars I've driven that had buttons that required moving your hand around to push one of the buttons. In other words, this setup rewards proper hand placement while driving, not surprising from Mazda though.
Ed Hellwig, Editor, Inside Line