In this section:
- Driving position and dashboard
- Visibility, parking sensors and cameras
The interior layout, fit and finish
Driving position and dashboard
Drivers of all shapes and sizes should have few issues getting comfortable behind the wheel of the Mazda 3. There's a good range of adjustment in the seat, and the steering wheel moves in and out as well as up and down by a good amount. We also think the perfectly positioned and wide central armrest is ideal.
The only issue is that adjustable lumbar support isn't available until you reach the top-end trims, which also add electric adjustment for the driver's seat into the mix. And without lumbar adjustment on the lesser trims, the lack of lower back support was an issue on longer trips for some of our testers.
Thankfully, there are features on hand to make life easier. Entry-level SE-L trim comes with rear parking sensors, while the next trim up (SE-L Lux) has front and rear parking sensors plus a high-definition rear-view camera to improve matters no end. The range-topping GT Sport Tech model adds a bird’s-eye-view camera.
Bright LED headlights are standard on all models, and they're upgraded to adaptive units if you opt for the swankier trims – Sport Lux and above.
Sat nav and infotainment
The Mazda 3’s infotainment system eschews the touchscreen interface that most of its rivals employ, on the grounds that this can be distracting to use while driving. We tend to agree with that, so it's nice to see that the centrally mounted 8.8in infotainment display is operated by an intuitive rotary controller and shortcut buttons mounted between the front seats.