• Our Mazda Connect and Mazda 3 review

    Today, Iím reviewing the Mazda3. Why a Mazda3 you ask? Why are you checking out a car? The answer is simple, Iíll review anything if I see it as an accessory for my phone. Until recently, cars and phones were very separate pieces of technology. You might be able to use your car to make calls and maybe play music from your iPod but other then that, thereís been very little integration between the two.

    That is until now. While weíre still in the initial stages of bringing the two together, itís still worth checking out where weíre at right now. Mazda let me borrow a 3 with their solution called Mazda Connect which is what Iím checking out here:
    The Mazda3 Iím looking at 2014 GT model in Soul Red Mica ($300 extra) and comes with these features standard for $25,855:

    • SKYACTIV-G 2.5L DOHC 16-valve 4-cylinder engine
    • 184HP @ 5,700RPM
    • 185FT/LB Torque @ 3,250 RPM
    • SKYACTIV-AT 6-speed automatic transmission
    • drive selection switch with Sport Mode
    • bi-xenon HID headlights with manual leveling and LED light signature
    • LED tail lights
    • 18-inch alloy wheels
    • intelligent key system (proximity and ignition)
    • voice-activated navigation system
    • BOSE premium audio system with 9 speakers
    • Active Driving Display (ADD)
    • dual-zone automatic climate control
    • rearview camera
    • 7Ē touchscreen display with HMI commander
    • Bluetooth
    • USB/AUX inputs
    • heated seats

    Plus the following options:

    Luxury Package $1,500:
    • Leather seats
    • leather-like door trim
    • garage door opener
    • 6-way power driver's seat (recline, lift, fore/aft)
    • manual driver lumbar support
    • auto dimming inner rear view mirror
    • leather-like rear console lid

    Tech package $2,500:
    • Blind Spot Monitoring (BSM) with Rear Cross-Traffic Alert (RCTA)
    • Lane Departure Warning (LDW)
    • High Beam Control (HBC)
    • Smart City Brake Support (SCBS)
    • Adaptive Front Lighting System (AFS)
    • SIRIUS Satellite Radio
    • i-ELOOP Regenerative Braking System

    So, the GT with the Red paint and the 2 packages weighs in at a hefty $30,155 before taxes, freight and PDI.

    On the hardware-side, Mazda Connect consists of a 7Ē display which sits on top of the dash, and a controller just below the shifter. You can also access voice commands and volume controls via buttons on the steering wheel.

    The controller is a substantial knob that you can move up/down/left/right or turn. You can press it in to select.

    In the armrest are a pair of USB ports, MicroSD slot and 12 volt outlet and a line in.
    This article was originally published in forum thread: Our Mazda Connect and Mazda 3 review started by howard View original post
    Comments 8 Comments
    1. Treatz's Avatar
      Treatz -
      Let me know when you need the 2015 Mustang GT reviewed
    1. HC - NO "i"'s Avatar
      HC - NO "i" -

      That reminds me of a conversation with Martin Cooper a while back about his invention and the Mazda 3 (2014)...


      Anyway, as a passenger in the rear, the fold-down centre console is quite roomy for gadgets too...

      I would also consider the upcoming 2015 VW Jetta as a competitor as well... http://contents.vw.ca/models/2015-jetta/en/
    1. TelecomZombie's Avatar
      TelecomZombie -
      For Quality of Cell Service Industry Canada recommends driving a Convertible with the Top Down in The Sun!
      Maximum full use of your Expensive Hardware.and abilty to impress others with wrist worn EwearZ atire is accesible upon Buses and Trains 24/7
      Free Unlimited WiFi at Tims and Select Subway Stations so save commuting headaches and parking hijacking by Logging On and Nodding Off.

      Edit: HC no I apologies I forgot to mention at the HoFo meet last weekend was that a Nokia 6340 in your pocket or were you just happy to see moi?
    1. GVRD777's Avatar
      GVRD777 -
      The Mazda Infotainment system as they call it has been ridiculously buggy since day 1 last year. There are GPS mapping issues, connectivity issues with devices, especially with the iPhone including downloading your SMS into your car. USB tagging issues, and random boots just to name a few. I feel bad for all those folks who spent a lot of money on the tech package. In Canada, you have to have the leather package to get the tech package, which is baffling yet the two are shown separately including the price.

      Incidentally, I read somewhere that Mazda is using old (entertainment) tech going back to 2006 and beyond in their 2014 models. Soon the 2015s will be out, who knows if the current issues will be present in the new models.
    1. Im2bz2p345's Avatar
      Im2bz2p345 -
      Dang, that's one detailed review. I read about this car on other car specific site/forums, but thanks for sharing, lol.

      Not a fan of that 7" display (looks like an external Garmin or something) or the control knob, but I like reading about all the "new" technology in the car. I guess if it's buggy like GVRD777 mentioned above me, then there is no point in trying to incorporate even more of crap that doesn't work right to begin with.

      ~ Im2bz2p345
    1. GVRD777's Avatar
      GVRD777 -
      Just a side note. In the USA, Mazda has a firmware update for the Infotainment system. Right now, it's version 31; however, it's really bad and causing a lot if issues including worsening of previous issues that it was suppose to fix. Some dealers are refusing to update to latest update because of the above.

      In Canada, V30 is the latest. One of two things can be inferred: either Mazda Canada is slow in their updates or they know the update is flaky and won't push it.

      Either way, the infotainment issues aren't going away anytime soon.
    1. advicepyro's Avatar
      advicepyro -
      Just a comment about the bugginess of Infotainment - I have a 2014 GS - I play music on my iPhone via USB and sometimes when I pair it with a GPS app, after a couple of voice prompts from the GPS the music cuts out with a loud static pop and refuses to come back on until you flip the audio source to something else and back.

      I just opted to use Bluetooth even though there is some audible choppiness in the first few seconds of a song. But it works fine when paired with a GPS app, so eh.

      And something like $700 for the Navigation package - I'll stick with more accurate apps on my phone, thanks Without the package the Nav button just brings up a compass.
    1. zcutlip's Avatar
      zcutlip -
      Thanks for such a great review, especially your detailed coverage of the infotainment system.

      Something I've been trying to find out about the Mazda 3 is how nicely it plays with multiple bluetooth devices. For example, if both my wife and I drive the car, will it remember pairings with both of our phones? Also, if we both are in the car at the same time, how easy is it to switch from my phone to hers and back?

      Our current car will remember pairings with two devices, but to switch devices requires about 8 button presses, and then about 5 or 6 more button presses to get back out to the main menu where the volume control will work again.

      Another car we test drove would only remember a pairing with a single device. Pairing a second device meant replacing the first.

      Do you or any other forum members have any experience with multiple bluetooth devices and the Mazda Connect infotainment system?

      Thanks again!
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