2014 Mazda 3 S: Driver-Oriented Interior Layout
March 10, 2014
The driver-oriented interior layout in our long-term 2014 Mazda 3 S is excellent. Mazda press material says that "each control and function has been specifically placed with intuitive utility in mind." After my first weekend in our Mazda 3, I'm inclined to agree.
The location of the multi-function control and volume knob is perfect, especially when combined with the curved center console. Once you've found a comfortable seating position, there's no need to lean forward to reach the controls. You can easily use any of them with your right hand whenever it's not engaged in the task of steering the car. And if we'd opted for the manual transmission, the knobs are mounted far enough away that they wouldn't interfere with shifting, either. Plus, you still have the redundancy of the Mazda 3's steering wheel-mounted controls for quick adjustments when both hands are on the wheel.
While driving our silver hatchback, I found myself changing tracks and stations easily, accurately and quickly without taking any focus away from the road ahead.
On the whole, the Mazda's setup feels intuitive and natural, and the quality of its controls is more in line with those in much pricier luxury cars. Considering that our long-term car has a price tag of $27,585, this is a pretty fantastic layout.
Travis Langness, Associate Editor @ 4,150 miles