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More Should Do This - 2014 Mazda Mazda3 S Long-Term Road Test

Edmunds.comEdmunds.com Member, Administrator, Moderator Posts: 10,281
edited August 2014 in Mazda
imageMore Should Do This - 2014 Mazda Mazda3 S Long-Term Road Test

More automakers should place a volume dial just forward of the armrest, where your right hand naturally falls, like the 2014 Mazda 3 does.

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Comments

  • allthingshondaallthingshonda Member Posts: 878

    Easier to use the steering wheel controls.

  • schen72schen72 Member Posts: 433

    I really like how Chrysler cars used to (still do?) have redundant volume controls on the BACK of the steering wheel. It was perfect for using your index fingers to control the volume. I wish more manufacturers would do that. Hell, how about steeling wheel front AND rear volume controls?

  • cah11705cah11705 Member Posts: 12

    @schen72 said:
    I really like how Chrysler cars used to (still do?) have redundant volume controls on the BACK of the steering wheel. It was perfect for using your index fingers to control the volume. I wish more manufacturers would do that. Hell, how about steeling wheel front AND rear volume controls?

    Chrysler still has their controls on the back of the wheel. It's weird at first but actually pretty nice. Allows them to put more buttons on the front without making it look cluttered.

  • victorminatorvictorminator OttawaMember Posts: 18

    @allthingshonda said:
    Easier to use the steering wheel controls.

    Have you used it?
    If not then you don't know how incredibly intuitive and comfortable it is. I actually use it more than the steering wheel's because it's right next to the commander knob, and most of all I can tune volume WAY faster than tapping my finger repeatedly. The car uses a large scale of volume range and going from 35 to 15 is 20 taps too many.
    This whole setup is just genius and Mazda nailed it. It needs to be copied. I also fully realize Mazda copied this from Audi, but hey, it's just proof that it's a good concept.

  • spdracerutspdracerut Member Posts: 8

    On my Lexus CT200h, I still go for the volume knob in the center stack vs. using the steering wheel buttons. Not a fan of buttons... using a knob gets to my desired volume much more quickly.

  • adamb1adamb1 Cookeville, TNMember Posts: 122

    I think the most intuitive place for the volume control (aside from those on the steering wheel) is that it be positioned so it can be reached with your finger tips while your hand is resting on the shifter.

  • explorerx4explorerx4 North Central OHMember Posts: 17,915

    I'm going with the steering wheel control is better. You don't take your hand off the wheel. Also, how about voice control?

    2020 Ford Explorer XLT, 91 Mustang GT vert
  • victorminatorvictorminator OttawaMember Posts: 18

    @explorerx4 said:
    I'm going with the steering wheel control is better. You don't take your hand off the wheel. Also, how about voice control?

    You want to interrupt your tune so you can tell the car to lower the volume? Seems hardly like an intuitive solution let alone contributing to the user experience.

    Again, if you haven't tried it, you aren't able to experience its benefits.
    In addition, it's a secondary control, it doesn't replace your steering wheel's shortcuts.

  • explorerx4explorerx4 North Central OHMember Posts: 17,915
    edited August 2014

    @victorminator‌ Everyone has their own priorities. It's not like that tune can't come around again. My priority is on driving. I've had the antenna for my Mustang GT vert in the trunk for 23 plus years. I like a nice sound system in a car, but the control featured, seems overrated.

    2020 Ford Explorer XLT, 91 Mustang GT vert
  • victorminatorvictorminator OttawaMember Posts: 18

    The point was that it's not substituting anything by being where they placed it.
    It is a lot more consistent with the user interface because the control knob is right next to it. Driver and passenger can focus on the road and not have to extend their arms. Most drivers are comfortable having an arm on the armrest, right where these knobs sit below the hand.

    If the entire audio and entertainment setup was on the dashboard like traditionally, and this knob was by itself, then I would agree it's overly complicated for nothing. But as it is, it's incredibly comfortable to use and it's a heck of a lot faster to control with than either the steering wheel or talking to the car.
    My priority is also on driving, I feel talking to the car is way more distracting than moving my hand in a familiar area and controlling a knob and letting my ears decide what's a comfortable volume. With voice control I would have to hope the car doesn't mistaken my command. Sadly this car has its share of voice recognition issues.

  • ex_tdierex_tdier Member Posts: 277

    I am surprised you like the Mazda entertainment (infotainment system). Others have commented it's basically 2005-2006 technology.

    Mazda3 has seemingly chronic issues with their infotainment and they can't get the firmware updates to fix problems without causing new ones down pat. Just check the Mazda forums....tonnes of folks ranting about their infotainment issues.

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