2014 Mazda 3: Easy-To-Use Technology Interface
June 13, 2014
I really like the technology interface found in our 2014 Mazda 3. It has what I consider to be an ideal setup of both a touchscreen and a multi-use controller knob.
The controller knob works similarly to those you'd find in a BMW or Mercedes-Benz. You can make cursor/highlight inputs on the screen by turning it, moving it like a joystick and pressing down to select. There are also fixed buttons to immediately go to the most common things you'll use or do: audio, navigation, the home screen, favorites and a back button. As Travis commented as part of an overall update about the Mazda 3's control layout, the knob and buttons fall readily to hand.
Admittedly, having the volume knob on the console is a little weird, and I'm often finding myself reaching towards the dash to a non-existent volume knob purely out of habit. But as an owner, you'd no doubt acclimate to the different location.
The other welcome aspect to this interface is the touchscreen. It, too, falls pretty easily to hand. Mostly, I like how it gives you an extra way to make inputs if you're so inclined. The menu structures are pretty straightforward and the icons are easy to understand. I doubt many owners will need to consult the owner's manual much.
Overall, I think this is one of the best technology interfaces you'll find in a small sedan or hatchback for 2014.
Brent Romans, Senior Automotive Editor @ 7,764 miles