The 2015 Mazda3 s Grand Touring is a hoot. It’s SkyActiv technology makes it nimble and quick, the 184 horses come through the pedal quickly, and the 185 lb/ft of torque are fully available at 3,250 rpm. It looks good, both inside and out, and it’s expected to be a best seller for Mazda.
And it’s available in a 6-speed manual across all trim lines.
The cabin employs just the right amount of tech. There is a 7″ infotainment screen that can also be operated via a control knob on the center console. It’s fairly easy to navigate and doesn’t offer any over the top technologies. Just your basic nav system, Bluetooth, and satellite radio.
The 2015 Mazda3 also has a heads up display, which Mazda calls an Active Driving Display. Mazda’s technology even displays navigation information when the nav system is in use.
People either love or hate this technology. Some find it distracting, others like that they don’t have to take their eyes off the road to check their speed.
If you love it, great. Read no further. If you hate it, you’ll really hate it in the Mazda.
Hit the ignition button and the Active Driving Display screen pivots up from its place in the dash. Other manufacturers don’t have any kind of extra screen, instead they project the information directly on to the windshield. The bonus to this system is that if you find a heads up display to be distracting, you can turn it off, no muss no fuss.
You can turn off the heads up system in the Mazda as well, but the screen will not retract. It just hangs out just below your eyeline, which some consumers will find distracting. What’s worse, the display defaults to “on” when you start the car. You’ll have to turn it off in the settings menu for every trip.
Again, not a problem if you like the technology. Annoying if you find the technology, um…annoying.
Mazda probably uses a separate screen rather than projecting on to the windshield in order to reduce repair costs. A windshield without any reflective coating or whatever magic allows for information projection is more likely much cheaper to replace in the event of any chips or cracks.
Look for a full review of the 2015 Mazda3 s Grand Touring coming soon, but in the mean time, check out this video of the all new 2016 Mazda CX-3.