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A cockpit tour of the all-new Mazda3

Inside, the all-new Mazda3 is a world of up-to-the-minute technology, but itโ€™s also safe, comfortable and engaging in the tradition of a great all-round family hatchback

Words ByWhat Car? team

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They say a carโ€™s styling counts for everything. Itโ€™s the first thing you see, and it dictates whether you love it or loathe it. Youโ€™d struggle not to look twice at the all-new Mazda3 โ€“ its flowing KODO design exterior sets it apart from a stable of innocuous modern hatchbacks.

Thereโ€™s more to any car than initially meets the eye, though, and letโ€™s face it, youโ€™re going to be spending more time inside the thing than outside looking at it. So a comfortable, functional and lively interior is probably more important than what you think of the looks in the long run โ€“ and the all-new Mazda3โ€™s cabin ticks every box.

Two sides to the story
Go for a full-on sports car and everythingโ€™s centered on the driver, while more conventional models try to do a good job all round. The all-new Mazda3 does both.

The front end of the cabin is split into two sections. The first is geared towards the driver with a sporty, low-slung driving position and all the information you need within easy sight. The Active Driving Display* is positioned on top of the instrument cluster directly in the driverโ€™s line of sight, and displays vital stats such as speed, navigation instructions and safety alerts โ€“ the thinking being you can keep your eyes on the road more of the time for safer and spirited progress.

The second area is all about the passenger and is relaxed and comfortable, with easy access to entertainment features. While the driver has the most relevant information directly in front of them, the entertainment and communication functions are available to the passenger via the new 7.0-inch colour touch-screen display. The system can be controlled via the screen itself, with voice commands or by the new rotary Multimedia Commander, located on the centre console between the two front seats. The screen is positioned on top of the dashboard rather than below it, which makes it easier and more obvious for the passenger to view and also benefits the driver. Should they take a peek, the screen is now only 15 degrees outside the driverโ€™s viewing angle, as opposed to 28 degrees with the previous model, so itโ€™s safer, easier and simply easier to see and to reach.

Sit down next to me
The seats do the duality thing as well. Theyโ€™re soft and comfortable but at the same time snug and supportive, so passengers can doze off on a steady cruise and drivers will feel plugged in when they tackle a twisty switchback with gusto.

Whether youโ€™re bossing a demanding stretch of B-road, trudging through town or hitting the motorway for hours on end, youโ€™re likely to break a sweat at some stage, which is why every all-new Mazda3 comes with air-conditioningto help you keep you cool โ€“ or warm you up depending on what the weatherโ€™s up to.

Get yourself connected
In-car infotainment systems have changed rather a lot since the days of your average CD head-unit, and the all-new Mazda3โ€™s cabin is brimming with advanced connectivity and entertainment features.

The MZD Connect system merges social-media feeds and internet radio via the Ahaโ„ข cloud-based connectivity platform**. In short, you can keep up with online news and gossip from Twitter and Facebook, and listen to radio stations around the planet in real time, whenever you want. The text-to-voice function means you can listen to your Facebook and Twitter feeds out loud, and even hear and verbally reply to text messages โ€“ removing the often tempting but illegal urge to glimpse at your phone on the move.

The Stitcherโ„ข internet radio app makes it even easier to dig up music from every corner of the globe, too. It offers free online streaming content from thousands of sources and, as the name suggests, stitches it into virtual radio stations. New content is permanently coming on song and thereโ€™s no need for updates in order to get to it โ€“ the app does it all automatically.

Itโ€™s easy to connect a compatible smartphone to the all-new Mazda3, either wirelessly via Bluetoothยฎ or directly through the USB port, and surf the internet or get access to even more infotainment services through Ahaโ„ข (they pop up on the touch-screen display). It almost doesnโ€™t seem worth going back to your living room โ€“ and your living room canโ€™t take you on holidayโ€ฆ

Experience the all-new Mazda3 for yourself: download a brochure here, and book a test-drive here.

For more information on the all-new Mazda3, visit www.mazda.co.uk

See our latest offers here: http://www.mazda.co.uk/offers/mazda3/

Retail sales only, subject to vehicle availability for vehicles registered between 01.10.14 and 31.12.14 at participating dealers. T&Cs apply. 0% finance available on all all-new Mazda3 models. You will not own the vehicle until all payments are made. Finance subject to status, 18s or over. Guarantee/indemnity may be required. Mazda Financial Services RH1 1SR.

  • Standard on Sport Nav models only
    ** Requires compatible Appleยฎ or Androidโ„ข device. Aha and Stitcher apps need to be downloaded to mobile device and app registration completed before connection. Data usage and costs will vary, please contact your network provider for more information. Data usage relies on a valid data signal being available. These functions may not operation in areas of low signal strength

Please refer to www.mazdahandsfree.co.uk for the latest information regarding compatibility and functionality of mobile devices.