2012 Mazda 3: Don't Rush Me
April 22, 2012
Perhaps you remember Ed's blog from last week regarding the ergonomics of the 3's button-release hatch. Whatever your feelings on the usability of the electromechanical release, I've found another downside.
It's slow to reset itself. At first use this isn't obvious, but cycle the mechanism a few times with the hatch open and you'll realize that after it release its grip on the striker, the latch mechanism requires a three count to return to a position where it will fully latch. Not a big deal in normal use, but a much bigger deal if you try to release it and close it quickly.
I noticed this issue last week when I failed to fully secure the latch before leaving home. One block away I noticed the light on the dash and stopped to find the hatch held shut by the saftey catch but not fully sealed. Here's what happened next:
Release hatch and close it normally. Latch fails to fully engage, but catches on saftey stop.
Close hatch harder. Same result.
Slam hatch. Same result.
Slam it harder. Same result.
Engage brain. Examine latch. Cycle mechanism with button. Wait (smoke pours from ears). Think (more smoke). Wait more. Latch clicks and resets.
Close hatch normally. Hatch fully seals.
Something to think about the next time you find yourself repeatedly slamming the hatch on your Mazda 3.
I'll take a conventional mechanical release any day.
Josh Jacquot, Senior editor