2012 Mazda 3: Navigation. Is It Worth It?
April 20, 2012
I've gone back and forth on the value of the navigation system in the Mazda 3. In 2008, when the current car debuted as a 2010 model, the compact, integrated system was touted to be small so it could be comptetitvely priced with portable units. We were told then that it would draw only a $500 premium. It sounded like a reasonable idea, but I don't believe the pricing has ever been actualized.
Currently, you must step up to the Grand Touring trim level to get the system. Doing so provides a pile of other features, but the cost is nowhere near $500.
In fact, opting for a Grand Touring trim level adds $3,850 to the 3's cost. For that sum you get the navigation system, a 10-speaker Bose audio system, sunroof, heated mirrors, an eight-way power adjustable driver's seat, heated front seats, leather upholstery, a sliding center armrest and a color trip computer.
Here's the thing: I used the 3's navigation system today and was suprised to find that its button-only interface is relatively easy and efficient to use. But for that kind money I'd likely buy the Touring trim level, skip the heated seats and other features and use my phone's navigation funtion.
Josh Jacquot, Senior editor