2014 – 2015 Mazda3 MazdaConnect Infotainment Review

2014 Mazda 3 hatchback taking a look at the all new Mazda connect infotainment system this is an all new seven-inch LCD touchscreen infotainment system that’s going to be spreading its way across the Mazda lineup it’s starting out here in the Mazda 3 it’s not available in the base model of the Mazda it’s optional in the
one grade up and it’s standard in the

higher-end trims of the Mazda 3 we do
expect this to arrive in the Mazda 6 and the other models of Mazdas in the United States relatively soon it is a much more advanced system than the outgoing Mazda system in fact the one that’s currently in the Mazda 6 is one of my least favorite systems in the entire industry and this brand new system is easily one of my favorites the system is based around this 7 inch high-resolution touchscreen LCD it’s mounted right on the dashboard and it looks very similar to BMWs latest iDrive systems that you’ll find in the BMW 3 series the 5
series of 6 Series etc it kind of looks

like a tablet PC that’s been grafted
onto the dashboard some people have made fun of that but I actually think that the look is quite attractive it definitely is very prominent in the car and it delivers a good eyeline to the screen so if you’re looking out the dashboard this is a very easy thing to see without being distracted so you can keep your eyes closer to the road in addition to this touchscreen we also have a multi-way controller joystick and button arrangement in the center console we have a home button a music media button a navigation button a favorite button a back button and then we have this rotary joystick this is a selectable rotary joystick so you just click down to select you can toggle up down side to side you can also rotate it
over here you find the power button and

the volume knobs that’s a volume knob
and power button if I’m honest the volume and power knob being right here does strike me a little bit odd outtie does this as well in the Audi MMI system strikes me as a little bit peculiar in the MMI system as well the combination of a touchscreen input method as well as a controller joystick is relatively unique Infiniti as well as Nissan tend to do this as well and I find it very handy because some items it’s easier to touch the option right on the screen rather than use the rotary dial and selector knob and some things it’s a little bit easier to use that rotary knob for in this system allows you to select which one you want to use for instance entering an address in the system is a little bit convoluted using this rotary joystick however it’s much

easier to just tie

in using the touchscreen let’s go over the general features one at a time first off we have the communication option which is that central option in the system this is basically your Bluetooth phone interface we do have full access to our favorites our contacts call history we can text message in the system if your device supports it because I’m using an iPhone 5 my device does not support text messaging we also have settings we can pair phones you can change how you want the system to operate with your device etc returning to the main screen is very easy you can either click the home right there or you can click the home right on the controller joystick if we select the option for navigation you’ll see the other thing that I really like about Mazda connect this system unlike all the other systems out on the market remember where you left off so if you’re trying

to enter a navigation destination and
then someone calls you on the phone you end up in that phone interface or if you want to change your Tunes or whatever it is you want to do in the system then you want to come back to navigation this will remember where you were so it’s very easy to take right back off and enter an address into the system hit the checkmark button and then as you can see when you enter an address like that it’ll look up in the database and see what streets match what you’ve entered makes it a lot easier to enter an address if you don’t know the exact zip code or the exact city etc while says navigation software is very responsive and it offers 3d views with topographic information as well as a default 2d view as well interacting with the system is very easy using either the touchscreen or that

rotary controller Mazda Connect gets its

traffic information via HD radio so you do not need a SiriusXM subscription like you do in other systems in order to have traffic information on this display let’s skip on over the media for a moment and go to applications Mazda tells us that there will be additional applications available for this system over time right now we simply have these four we have this HD radio traffic map right here so you can see a static map of where the traffic incidents near you are we can drag this screen like you see there or you can use the rotary joystick in the middle to control it as well can either hit the back button or you can hit that little arrow to go back we also have our fuel economy monitor in the car right now we’ve been averaging twenty nine point three miles per gallon this has been with a great deal of idling in this car this is the 2-liter version of the Mazda 3 and our overall average has been closer to about 35 miles per gallon
during my week with the car but again a

lot of Eiling a lot of photo shoots as
drop the mileage right there you also have this button at the bottom to help bring you back to shortcuts in the system have our maintenance reminders here you can have scheduled maintenance reminders turned on in the car so you can remember when you need to go back to the dealer when you need to go back to your shop to have oil changes etc you can also have tire rotations scheduled right there as well now let’s move on to the entertainment will hit the entertainment direct access button right there on the controller system on the media interface we have a variety of different options across the bottom you can either touch them or you can use that rotary control
knob to select them if you use the

rotary control knob it will give you a
little hint as to what those items are before you select it this is audio sources this is the route menu on your USB or your iDevice we have song lists this takes you to the current playlist that you’re playing if repeat shuffle more like this this will try and search your USB or your iDevice to try and play similar songs or what the system thinks are similar of course forward backward pause and then sound settings part of this system in the Mazda 3 that we’re with right now is this Bose Centerpoint surround system which does have a very good sound to it the benefit of using the touchscreen in this system is that we can drag items so you can drag the song forward and backward to fast forward or rewind the song depending on what you’d like to do if you’re digging around in a playlist you also have the ability to drag your playlists up and down as well if we go back you’ll find we can go to the route menu of the device if we click on the artists selection you’ll notice we also get an alphabetical listing right over here on the side so we can drag that separately of the list and then try and find artists in the h’s the system is very responsive it caches the data from your USB or your eye device and you can see it lets you scroll quite far forward in the list so the faster you swipe at
further down the list it will go very

much like competing systems from Ford
General Motors as well as Toyota you can now completely voice command your USB or your iDevice media library from within the system you just click that voice control button on the steering wheel and you tell it play artists so-and-so and it will then try and find them in the system if we click the audio sources button in the system you’ll notice we have aa ha Pandora and stitcher right here with the other media sources that’s because the system doesn’t throw them in an apps menu like you’ll find in other systems I think this is a little but more logical since they are audio sources you’ll also find bluetooth streaming USB 1 USB 2 if I can actually stay on that menu as well as the single slot CD player and the auxilary input that’s in that center console clicking on over to Pandora in the system we have to allow access on our USB or our I device and then it will launch the Pandora app right here on the radio interface once loaded pandora allows us full access to our station list we can thumbs-up thumbs-down songs we can bookmark them pause them go to the next track then right over there on that other side is again the audio settings

for the system that brings us finally

onto the settings menu in the car you’ll see we have a wide variety of vehicle settings right in the system from display settings to safety settings again depending on how many safety systems you have in your Mazda this will be different we only have the blind spot monitoring system right here in this car but if you had pre collision warning etc there would be additional options there can again change your sound settings they have the clock settings they have vehicle settings like door locks turn signals and lighting on the devices tab we have Bluetooth as well as a Wi-Fi interface in the system it does allow you to pair with certain Wi-Fi devices and then we have overall system settings over here Mazda promises that they plan to continually update the software in the system as well as offering additional apps right down there we’ll also see this spread across the Mazda lineup but I think that’s a very good thing this is one of the best infotainment systems out on the market it’s very intuitive very easy to use and the display is very crisp and readable
while you’re driving versus competing

systems from Honda Nissan as well as
Toyota I find the system easier to use it’s more intuitive it’s more attractive it’s also more feature-rich I find the placement of the screen in the dashboard definitely better than most of those systems as well versus my Ford touch the system doesn’t have quite the array of features that Ford offers in that product however I think this is more intuitive it’s also definitely more responsive Chrysler’s UConnect takes this to the next level offering a few more features in the system but I don’t find its interface just as intuitive as the system I think this is just a hair better than that Chrysler you connect system I think this interestingly enough competes very well with BMWs iDrive which is probably my all-time favorite infotainment system regardless of brand at this moment thanks taking the time to watch this video again I’m Alex dykes and this has been the Mazda connect system inside the 2014 Mazda.

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