Yep, Mazda Gets It - 2014 Mazda Mazda3 S Long-Term Road Test

Edmunds.comEdmunds.com Member, Administrator, Moderator Posts: 10,237
edited September 2014 in Mazda
imageYep, Mazda Gets It - 2014 Mazda Mazda3 S Long-Term Road Test

Mazda builds cars for enthusiastic drivers. An example of this thinking is the center-mounted tachometer in the 2014 Mazda 3 S Grand Touring.

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Comments

  • rshollandrsholland Member Posts: 19,788

    Agreed.

  • grijongrijon Member Posts: 147

    More agreement.

  • legacygtlegacygt Member Posts: 599

    I do all my driving on public roads with speed limits. I like a nice big analog tach. But I want an analog speedometer too. With an analog speedometer you can easily get a sense of your approximate speed with a quick glance at an analog gauge.

  • victorminatorvictorminator OttawaMember Posts: 18

    I agree this is a fantastic setup. Legacygt, I would agree having an analog speedometer would be nice too but you get used to it fairly quickly with the HUD display. I have always been against the Civic's approach but the 3 makes it easier for me to get used to it.

    The thing I love about the new 3 (especially in the sGT) is how the entire driver cockpit feels like a pilot's centre. It really does communicate a feeling of being in control of a driver's car. From the paddles, to the unique instrument gauge pod shape (with the pulsating red halo around the tach when entering the car), to the fighter jet style HUD, to the perfectly sized and feeling wheel with the red stitching, the entire layout design and feel is spot on. You notice that as you are about to enter the car even by the shape of the top of the dashboard (sharp pointing, Cadillac style) where the instrument pods sit below. It's a very special place to be in for a compact mainstream car.
    And there's something about seeing that tach work standing by itself in the center, it just commands attention when the car responds with fast shifts.

    I just feel bad for i trim users who have to deal with the crappy digital tach setup. Wish Mazda didn't shortchange base and mid trim model users.

  • fordson1fordson1 Unconfirmed Posts: 1,512

    Analog is best for tachs and speedos - a needle moving up or down quickly or slowly gives info about the speed but also the RATE of increase or decrease of speed, of the engine or the car, better than digits flashing by.

    And a dash that puts gauges in two very different focal planes like this one is not the best idea - you have to keep refocusing your eyes in order to scan everything. Not ergonomic.

  • mcloffsmcloffs Member Posts: 5

    Still seems backward that automatic cars have these gauges while manual cars have a more traditional setup.

  • ocramidajzjocramidajzj Member Posts: 91
    edited September 2014

    So why isn't it the best idea Fordson? I understand that the speedo and tach are on slightly different planes but arguably not enough to make a difference in comfort. Certainly not as much as the differences between where the windshield sits respective to the tach/speedo. In fact looking at the picture the digital speedo and tach appear to be on the same plane, where as the ancillary read outs (odometer, fuel etc.) are clearly on different planes. In this case I think Mazda gives the user a couple of options. The heads up display allows for a better integration between knowing what your speed is and keeping your eyes on the road. IMO

  • victorminatorvictorminator OttawaMember Posts: 18

    @ocramidajzj said:
    So why isn't it the best idea Fordson? I understand that the speedo and tach are on slightly different planes but arguably not enough to make a difference in comfort. Certainly not as much as the differences between where the windshield sits respective to the tach/speedo. In fact looking at the picture the digital speedo and tach appear to be on the same plane, where as the ancillary read outs (odometer, fuel etc.) are clearly on different planes. In this case I think Mazda gives the user a couple of options. The heads up display allows for a better integration between knowing what your speed is and keeping your eyes on the road. IMO

    Exactly, the HUD is where the speedometer is mainly used. The digital one below the tach is for redundancy or if, for some reason, you decide you don't want to use the HUD. I almost never look at the lower speedometer.

  • steverstever Guest Posts: 52,454

    The HUD in a rental I had a while back was great.

  • bc1960bc1960 Pittsburgh, PAMember Posts: 171

    It's marginally superior to the 3i setup but I would definitely prefer an analog speedometer to redundant digital ones. Like the 3i I found the tiny LCD displays on either side almost illegible when wearing polarized grey sunglasses, amber/brown were better. Good thing it's not information really critical for driving--the fuel gauge, maybe, but it has a yellow warning light with ample cushion for most circumstances (at least 2 gal, it seems). The LCDs also don't seem to be affected by the brightness control except when the lights (not the DRLs) are switched on--night setting, I guess. I would rather see a cluster like the 2016 MX-5, or even the 2014-15 Mazda6 or 2013-15 CX-5. And I wish it had eye-friendly red backlighting like my older Mazda6.

  • tedmondsjrtedmondsjr Member Posts: 1

    Strange that the mph / kmh toggle is a physical button on the dash instead of being integrated into the infotainment system. Other than occasional trips to Canada I cannot imagine that button seeing much use. However, I'm sure hilarity would ensue after accidentally switching to kmh instead of resetting the trip odometer (think driving 60 kmh on the highway instead of 60 mph).

  • flunderflunder Member Posts: 9
    Yeah, I am also puzzled on how does that matter for an automatic? Looks like a fancy way to waste valuable real-estate...
  • fordson1fordson1 Unconfirmed Posts: 1,512
    That's right - so if you use the HUD, then your tach and speedo are in different planes from one another. So you have a choice between having your tach and speedo in different planes, and having your tach and speedo in one plane and your ancillary gauges in another. Fatal flaw? No, but it's not as good as if they are all roughly the same distance away from the viewer.
  • mlin32mlin32 Member Posts: 35
    Simple gauges work best. See VW Golf or most any other German car.

    I do like the flexibility programmed into the system though, since I do everything in metric including speed and fuel consumption
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