2014 Mazda MAZDA3 S Long-Term Road Test

Edmunds.comEdmunds.com Member, Administrator, Moderator Posts: 10,137
edited September 2014 in Mazda

image2014 Mazda MAZDA3 S Long-Term Road Test

Most states and countries require front license plates, so why does the Mazda 3 look so ridiculous with one?

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  • joner800joner800 Member Posts: 80
    i live in FL and i dont have to have a front plate. maybe that goes by county, but have never noticed one anywhere in south FL.
  • zimtheinvaderzimtheinvader Member Posts: 580
    The first time I saw one with a front plate I wondered if they couldn't have designed it to go somewhere differently. It really does look terrible there. Having gotten fix-it tickets (that they now fine you for along with having to fix it) I keep the front plates on our cars.
  • stovt001_stovt001_ Member Posts: 799
    Right now I live in California and I'm defying Johnny Law by not running a front plate on my Miata, but by the fall I am moving to Indiana so I'll be good to go. One more unexpected reason to be excited about this move.
  • yellowbalyellowbal Member Posts: 234
    Get the darkest plate you can get from the DMV. Use the bare plate and it won't look too bad.
  • oxmeadoxmead Member Posts: 79
    there are aftermarket companies that have other options for front plates.
  • veedubber86_veedubber86_ Member Posts: 8
    I'm about to move from Oklahoma to Hawaii, and this is a major concern for me... I don't want a front plate! :/
  • robs249_robs249_ Member Posts: 42
    What about having it mounted lower beneath the grill?
  • dgcamerodgcamero Member Posts: 148
    I think it would look better from the tow hook location, angled like it was the hour hand of a clock pointing at 5:00, it would at least match that body line.
  • camrydriver69camrydriver69 Member Posts: 54
    It's not the end of the world. I think if you have a plate frame that hides some of the plate and blends in with the grill it looks ok.
  • greenponygreenpony Chicago, ILMember Posts: 531
    I defy Johnny Law.
  • cotakcotak Member Posts: 89
    Russia's annexing Crimea while we go "Well I never!". There are 200+ people missing on a 777. And you guys in California are short on drinking water and the fruit farmers are screaming.

    I am sure that plate being where it is you can live with it.
  • ocramidajzjocramidajzj Member Posts: 91
    I think you're assuming this wasn't taken into account in design. This comment is especially odd since Mazda is one manufacturer who pay a lot of attention to compelling design. I have no doubt that this is probably more about compromise due to last minute tweaks that had to be made due to something like pedestrian crash regulations. The United States also has license plates that are a different aspect ratio from the rest of the world- and IMO uglier to boot.
  • jrizjriz Member Posts: 10
    Cotak: No, the license plate on a Mazda 3 should receive our utmost attention, far ahead of the world's most pressing issues.

    Really, if that's your response, then I must ask why you're bothering to read and comment upon such apparent dross when so many more important things are going on in the world.

    ocramidajzj: I just came from Switzerland, which has one of the world's smallest (and therefore awesome) front license plates. The Mazda 3 looks stupid there too, and even worse with the bigger EU plate.

    -James Riswick
  • cotakcotak Member Posts: 89
    jriz: Well why not? It doesn't strike you as silly that some would risk tickets for looks? Or that for vanity that people are willing to break the law? What else would they be willing to do for appearances? Sure it seems nit picking. But there are places in the world where drivers take laws regarding road use at their convenience, and it might just be me but I find those places terrible places to drive. People, especially on a site like this, will complain about cops and tickets. But if we are honest with ourselves up holding small laws like front license plates on the surface seems stupid and pointless but in reality if you are wiling to let one thing slip it's not a far leap to another thing and another and so on.
  • opfreakopfreak Member Posts: 106
    I think we need al gore on this. Just tell him that the plate is causing more air pollution due to drag.
  • greenponygreenpony Chicago, ILMember Posts: 531
    cotak, that's quite a slippery slope, akin to "if you drink one beer, what's to stop you from driving intoxicated?" Driving without a front license plate doesn't effect safety. You talk about other things being more important, and I completely agree. What about the people driving around with NO functioning brake lights? Or with grossly underinflated tires? Or tires worn to the cords? Or with their high-beams on all the time? Or a crack in their windshield? Or without their seatbelts on? Or without a child seat installed properly? Or with NO license plates at all? Or without insurance or a valid driver's license? You see, there are a lot more serious issues out there other than the placement of a front license plate -- issues which may actually effect road safety -- and that priority is reflected in the relative non-enforcement of the front license plate requirement.
  • antonpugantonpug Member Posts: 1
    Is this really a problem for some people? Why in the world does it matter that there is a license plate on the grill? It's a car. IMO, as long as the car gets you from point A to point B, is reliable, performs well, and looks nice, the location of the license plate is pretty irrelevant.
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