Archive for Mazda

Review: 2019 Mazda3 Sport GT AWD – Part 5

Posted in Products with tags on May 17, 2019 by itnerd

I’ve come to the end of my review of the 2019 Mazda3 Sport GT AWD and this is a car that was difficult to give back to Mazda Canada. That was due to the fact that for yours truly, this is the perfect car for me. Here’s why:

  • The fact that it is a hatchback gives me a lot of versatility.
  • Because it has AWD it allows me to feel more secure in inclement weather or winter.
  • It sips gas as I registered an outstanding 8.4L / 100 KM which I got in a mix of city roads and highways, not to mention a lot of rush hour traffic. That’s pretty good given that there’s all wheel drive on board which usually impacts fuel economy. Not to mention that I wasn’t exactly driving in a fuel efficient manner. Clearly Mazda has got that part nailed.
  • The Interior is top shelf in every way.
  • The exterior is a head turner.
  • The tech on board is impressive.
  • Finally, because it is a car, it handles exceptionally well.

Thus don’t be surprised if I post something saying that I am now the proud owner of one.

Here’s the bottom line. Mazda clearly put a lot of time and effort to come up with a compact car that will rise up the sales charts. But if you must cross shop it, the only direct competitor that I could come up with was Subaru Impreza as is the only compact car that I can think of that comes with all wheel drive. But the Impreza doesn’t match the interior of the Mazda3 Sport, nor does it match the engine and transmission combo. And when it comes to the usual suspects in the compact car space like the Honda Civic, Toyota Corolla, Hyundai Elantra, and the like, it’s simply heads and shoulders above those vehicles and everything else in the segment.

The Mazda3 Sport GT AWD goes for $33,295 including freight and taxes. But you can get a Mazda3 Sport for $27,200 to start. Quite frankly, Mazda has a winner on its hands here. If you’re in the market for a compact car, you should consider Mazda3 Sport a must test drive.

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Review: 2019 Mazda3 Sport GT AWD – Part 4

Posted in Products with tags on May 16, 2019 by itnerd

If you’re looking for technology in the Mazda3 Sport GT AWD, there’s a lot of it. Some of it which is really different. And some of it is new for 2019.

First let’s start with the driving experience. You get a proximity key with push button start. Thus all you have to do is press a button on the driver’s door handle. Well, it’s not a button. It’s more like a touch sensitive indent on the front door handle. And it took me a while to figure out how to use it because I didn’t read the manual. Specifically:

  • If the car is locked, grabbing the door handle will unlock the door.
  • If the car is unlocked, touching the indent will lock the door.

My challenge came when locking the door as grabbing the handle and touching the indent would not lock the door. Once I figured that out, it became second nature to me.

Once you get in, hit the start/stop button and drive away. When you’ve reached your destination, press the start/stop button to turn off the car. Then get out of the car, touch the indent on the door and walk away. You never need to pull out the key fob to do any of this. But the key fob does have the ability to lock and unlock the doors and it has the ever useful panic button. As an added bonus, it has a backup key inside the key fob should you need it. And you can set the car to auto lock if you so desire which will allow you to just walk away from the Mazda3. The car that I had this week was set up that way and it was a very handy feature to have as I never had to think about locking the car.

Let’s go to the safety technology:

  • Blind Spot Monitoring: This system keeps an eye out for cars in your blind spots so that you don’t hit them when changing lanes. It works well as the area of detection was large enough to keep me safe, but not so large that it created false positives. One cool thing is that unlike a lot of systems which only work when the car is above a certain speed, this system seems to work all the time for an extra level of safety.
  • Lane Departure Warning With Lane Keep Assist: If you cross over into another lane, this system will buzz you on either the right or the left side. The buzz really gets your attention I must say. You can also set it to vibrate the steering wheel. And it gets really loud if you’re too close to a car and you’re in danger of hitting it.
  • Rear Cross Traffic Alert: If you back out of a parking space in a busy shopping mall and you have limited visibility to your left and right, you’ll love this system as you will be warned of any cars that cross into your path.
  • Rear Backup Sensors: The Mazda3 has sensors that help you to revers into a spot without hitting anything. And the Mazda3 is capable of stopping itself if you are about to revers into something.
  • Adaptive Front Lighting System and High Beam Control: I wrote about this previously and I have to admit that on some of the back roads that I drive at night, this feature comes in handy. I was always able to see what was in front of me clearly. One thing that I really appreciated was the fact that the LED headlights were very bright.
  • Radar Based Cruise Control: I really liked this feature as you can set the speed you want and the distance that you want to have between yourself and the car in front of you, and you can pretty much let it slow down and speed up depending on the conditions. It’s very handy on long highway drives.
  • Smart City Brake Support: Let’s say that you you do not react in time to a car that panic stops in front of you. This Mazda is capable of coming to a stop on it’s own, or slowing down to make the impact less severe. You can get more details on this system here.
  • Rear Backup Camera: The camera is a fisheye camera that has an impressive degree of clarity. You can see anything and everything that is behind you when you’re backing up and the camera is insanely clear. One thing to note is that the camera is exposed so that the potential exists for dirt to obscure the camera.
  • You get anti-lock brakes, traction control, stability control, and electronic brake force distribution. Plus you get hill launch assist which keeps you from rolling backwards when you’re on a hill.
  • Finally, you get dual front air bags, dual front side air bags, dual side air curtains and knee air bags.

The next piece of technology that stood out was this:

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The Mazda Active Driving Display is a heads up display that places everything from speed and blind spot monitoring info, to navigation and warning for the lane monitoring, and how close you are to the car in front of you. On top of that, the car is capable of reading speed limit and stop signs so that it can display them on this heads up display (as is the case here) in color. It works very well with the only thing that I should mention is that polarized driving sunglasses will filter the display out. Thus choose your sunglasses carefully.

But Mazda has a new feature for 2019. Mazda has a new version of Mazda Connect. Here’s a look at the screen which is an all new 8.8″ super sharp widescreen, which for the record is not a touch screen. More on that in a second:

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The interface is clean and easy to understand. As you can see there’s a list of functions that you can scroll through. And it takes one only minutes to figure out. Another feature is that you can set up either Apple CarPlay or Android Auto to pop up automatically when a phone is plugged into the system. That’s a very cool feature as there are some who will just want to use either Apple CarPlay or Android Auto instead of Mazda Connect. And Mazda has fully leveraged the screen real estate for both Apple CarPlay as displayed above or Android Auto.

The screen is not touch sensitive as mentioned earlier so to interact with Mazda Connect, you have to use this:

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This is the HMI (Human Machine Interface) Commander Switch. It’s been redesigned and feels a lot better in the hand and becomes second nature to use after only a few uses. The logic behind forcing you to use the HMI Commander Switch rather than a touch screen is that it is way safer than a touch screen. And I would agree with that as I didn’t realize how distracting a touchscreen in a car is until I started using Mazda Connect. I say that because touchscreen usage while driving takes my attention from the road. But using the HMI Commander Switch for me is far less distracting.

One other thing. this new version of Mazda Connect is fast. It’s fast on startup, it’s fast in terms of navigating it, it’s fast in terms of how the screen responds. It’s just plain fast. I was impressed as it was one of the fastest car infotainment systems that I have ever seen.

Mazda Connect comes with SiriusXM which include the following:

  • More room for song/artist/genre metadata.
  • Album art display.
  • Channel logos on Now Playing and Station List screens.
  • New SiriusXM features: TuneStart, TuneScan, and TuneMix.

On top of that, SiriusXM Traffic Plus is now onboard and it includes the following features:

  • Live Traffic: View traffic flow and incident information directly on the Mazda Navigation map. This feature is available in 20 different Canadian communities. It ties into the on board navigation system to allow it to better route you.
  • Weather: View Forecasts, Radar Maps, and Severe Weather Alerts.
  • Fuel Prices: Find the lowest fuel prices or the closest fuel stations and see the available fuel types.
  • Parking Information: Find parking locations, pricing, and hours of operation.
  • Sports: Follow your favorite teams sports with play-by-play details and game/event schedules.

SiriusXM Traffic Plus is free for five years. This is separate from the three month trial SiriusXM audio subscription.

The only hiccup that I noted with this new version of Mazda Connect was that if I used Apple CarPlay, it would disable the ability fo the Mazda3 to display traffic signs either on the Mazda Active Driving Display or in the instrument cluster. I wondered if this was a bug or was it by design. It turns out it was the latter when I asked my contact at Mazda about it. Mazda’s goal was to avoid inconsistent speed limit displays between what is shown on the gauge cluster with Traffic Sign Recognition and what Apple Maps, Google Maps, Waze, etc. would show on the center display.

I should note that I will be doing a separate story on the new Mazda Connect so that you can see how much it has changed.

A 12 speaker Bose audio system is on board. It impressed my wife who usually isn’t impressed by many car stereo systems as she is a classically trained pianist and takes audio seriously. My wife compared this sound system to one that was a $4000 option in a $75000 SUV we recently spent time in which is great company for Mazda to be in. My new audio torture playlist which includes LookLA, Ruelle, Snoh Aalegra, SAHED, Astrud Gilberto, Jorja Smith, Kali Uchis, 10,000 Maniacs, Death Cab For Cutie, Chicago, Röyksopp, and Thutmose & NoMBe sounded amazing on this system and the one thing that stood out was that Blue Lights by Jorja Smith sounded amazing as the stereo separation that the song has was next level on this audio system.

One last bit of tech that caught my eye was the fact that the windshield wiper nozzles were integrated into windshield wiper blades. That means that the fluid gets sprayed directly onto the windshield where it will be most effective. It also means less waste when it comes to the fluid which is a good thing.

The final part of this review will tie up some loose ends and I’ll give you my final verdict. Watch for it tomorrow.

Review: 2019 Mazda3 Sport GT AWD – Part 3

Posted in Products with tags on May 15, 2019 by itnerd

The interior of the Mazda3 Sport GT AWD is outstanding the mix of black and red leather really sets it off and makes it stand out. I got a ton of compliments about it from those who were in the car and total strangers. Let’s take a look at the interior to see why it generates this sort of reaction:

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The drivers seat is a comfortable place to be. It’s leather, power adjustable in ten ways with two memory settings. While it could have a bit more bolstering in the lower part of the seat and be slightly wider, you’ll find no issues with it.

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The mirror, door locks, and window controls are lit and easy to reach. There’s a leather and piano black finish along with silver trim around the speakers that gives the interior an upscale feel.

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Here you can see the buttons for the electronic overseers as well as the driver seat memory settings. You can also see the pedals and the dead pedal.

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There’s also this storage area for coins under the buttons for the seat settings.

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The steering wheel is on the thick side and much like the Mazda3 Sedan that I tested recently, I never really got comfortable with it. It is heated and has all the controls that you need to use the infotainment system and cruise control. There are also paddle shifters behind the steering wheel.

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The gauge cluster is made up of two real gauges on the outside, and a TFT screen in the middle which you can flip through a series of screens that allow you to get the information that you need. It’s generally bright and easy to read, though I did note that it is sometimes prone to glare.

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Moving to the center of the dash, there’s a 8.8″ widescreen for the infotainment system. The screen is bright and very, very sharp. I’ll have more on this and the whole infotainment system tomorrow.

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Below the screen are the controls for the dual zone HVAC system which includes the controls for the heated front seats and the heated steering wheel. Right below that is a USB port to plug your phone into.

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Right under the HVAC controls is a cubby that also contains a pair of cupholders. I have to admit that when I first saw this, I was dubious that it would pass my Venti Starbucks drink test. But….

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… But it did pass. Though I did note that this venti Starbucks drink was a bit too loose in the cupholder for my liking.

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Here you can see the leather wrapped gear shift, the redesigned HMI Commander Switch, as well as the parking brake, auto hold switch and the sport switch on the left. You can also see the fingerprints that tend to get left behind on a piano black finish like this.

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Flip up the armrest and you get this storage area complete with a USB port and 12V outlet.

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There’s a decent sized glovebox.

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You also get a decent sized powered moonroof.

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The back seats are a decent place to be for two adults as I tested that with two six foot tall adults during the week I had the Mazda3. Three adults back here is a non-starter because of the tunnel in middle of the floor.

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There’s a pair of cupholders in an armrest that flips down from middle of the back seats.

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My wife noted that there were plenty of anchors for a child seat in the Mazda3 Sport. That is a big bonus for a small family.

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The cargo area with the seats up can hold a lot of stuff and it is deep. But if you need more space you can flip down the 60/40 folding rear seats to get an almost flat floor to slide your gear into.

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The rear seats flip down with ease via the button to the right of the seatbelt.

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As you can see, the Mazda3 Sport holds our weekly shopping with ease.

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One nice touch is that the rear hatch as a button to lock all the doors. I don’t recall ever seeing that in a vehicle before. Thus that’s good thinking on Mazda’s part as it’s very handy.

Overall the interior is first class in every way possible. Mazda really did a great job putting the interior together as it it really impressed anyone who saw it. The interior is also very quiet. More so than I expected it to be. I should also note that there’s very good vision in every direction for the driver. No rattles, squeaks, or other annoyances were noted during my week with the Mazda3 Sport AWD.

Tomorrow I will talk about the technology in the Mazda3 Sport GT AWD which has made a massive transformation for 2019. Stay tuned for that.

Review: 2019 Mazda3 Sport GT AWD – Part 2

Posted in Products with tags on May 14, 2019 by itnerd

IMG_0774.JPEGThis is the 2.5 L Skyactiv-G 4 cylinder engine that powers the Mazda3 Sport GT AWD. It puts out 186 horsepower and 186 pound feet of torque. Now this engine combined with a 6 speed automatic transmission will move this Mazda3 Sport GT AWD with authority. It’s not head snapping fast. It’s more like the speed builds in a wave fast. Which means that if you’re looking for hot hatch levels of performance, this may not be the hatch for you. (Though Mazda could make this a hot hatch by taking the 2.5 L turbo engine that they use in a variety of other Mazda products and drop it into this vehicle and call it the MazdaSport3. Hint. Hint.) But having said that, You’ll have no problems passing transport trucks, merging onto the highway, or anything else that requires torque and horsepower.

The six speed transmission that’s mated to this engine is well sorted and always seems to be in the right gear to power all four wheels. In fact the iActiv AWD system is one reason in my opinion that the Mazda3 GT AWD is able to get the power to the road. It constantly monitors the road and shunts power to where it is needed. Not to mention it will assist in keeping you shiny side up when driving in inclement weather. The system worked transparently and without drama during the week that I had the Mazda3 as it rained a couple of times during the week and I always felt confident driving this vehicle.

As for handling, I have to say that I was impressed with the handling that was on offer here. I found the handling to be very sharp and responsive, and I perceived it to be a step up in some ways from the 2019 Mazda3 Sedan which I test drove recently. When I pinged my contact at Mazda about this, he assured me that this wasn’t the case. It turns out that the tuning between the sedan and hatchback are the same. However cars with AWD have slightly different rear springs and dampers to make it feel the same with the added weight. But that’s the only difference.

Mazda also brings G-Vectoring Control Plus to the table as it helps you to carve corners like you’re on rails. And the steering is sharp and direct. I will also give Mazda credit retaining a lot of road feel in the Mazda3 Sport so that I could feel what the car was doing. The only catch to that is that on rougher roads, the Mazda3 Sport might not be your cup of tea as the vibrations from hard bumps may turn you off a bit. You might want to include some rough roads on your test drive to see if you find this to be an issue. But having said all of that, Mazda really has done a great job with the suspension in the Mazda3 Sport and I would suspect that if handling matters to you, you’d be taking the hatchback in a heartbeat.

The brake pedal is firm but easy to modulate. The accelerator pedal is easy to modulate as well. In terms of fuel economy, I am currently getting 8.4 L per 100 KMs which is great as I am driving in city and highway traffic, most of which is in rush hour, and I am making no attempt to drive in any way that saves fuel because this car is so much fun to drive. I suspect the fact that it comes out of the box with cylinder deactivation technology which allows the Mazda3 Sport to run with 2 cylinders under light load has something to do with that.

Tomorrow I will discuss the interior which can be described in two words: Class Above. Tune in tomorrow to find out why.

 

Review: 2019 Mazda3 Sport GT AWD – Part 1

Posted in Products with tags on May 13, 2019 by itnerd

I have been looking forward to doing the review of the Mazda3 Sport GT AWD as I am partial to hatchbacks and station wagons because of their versatility without having to go to an SUV or CUV to get that cargo capacity. Another bonus is that you still get all the great handling that comes with a car. In the case of the Mazda3 you get AWD tossed into the mix which means that there’s no compromise. But I am getting ahead of myself. Let’s get a look at the Mazda3 Sport:

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The grey paint with the black low profile wheels make this hatchback look kind of sinister. That’s sinister in a good and cool way. This is also a hatchback that looks very different than most of what it has to compete against because it literally has no character lines. Instead it has lots of curves that makes the Kodo design language just pop. If you want to turn some heads, this is the car to be in.

My review of the 2019 Mazda3 Sport GT AWD is made up of five parts:

  • Exterior
  • Engine, transmission, handling, fuel economy, and driving comfort
  • Interior
  • Technology in the vehicle
  • Wrap up

The next part of this review will cover the engine, transmission and driving comfort. I’ll put it out there now that this hatchback is very fun to drive, and you’ll find out why tomorrow.

 

Review: 2019 Mazda3 GT AWD – Part 5

Posted in Products with tags on April 19, 2019 by itnerd

I’ve come to the end of my review of the 2019 Mazda3 GT AWD and this is a car that I had to try hard to find things that were wrong with it. Mazda clearly put a lot of time and effort to come up with a compact car that will rise up the sales charts. The interior is next level. Actually, it’s beyond next level as it impressed everyone who saw it. The exterior is a head turner, the tech on board is impressive, and will stand out in a crowded field of compact cars. The engine is a willing partner to the all wheel drive system and the latter makes the Mazda3 almost unique in the compact car segment. I say almost unique because the Subaru Impreza is the only compact car that I can think of that comes with all wheel drive. But the Impreza doesn’t match the interior of the Mazda3, nor does it match the engine and transmission combo. And when it comes to the usual suspects in the compact car space like the Honda Civic, Toyota Corolla, Hyundai Elantra, and the like, it’s simply heads and shoulders above those vehicles and everything else in the segment.

My final fuel economy was 9 L/100KM’s which I got in a mix of city roads and highways, not to mention a lot of rush hour traffic. That’s pretty good given that there’s all wheel drive on board which usually impacts fuel economy. Not to mention that I wasn’t exactly driving in a fuel efficient manner. Clearly Mazda has got that part nailed.

The Mazda3 GT AWD goes for $32,395 including freight and taxes. But you can get a Mazda3 for $18,000 without all wheel drive with lots of options all the way up to the GT AWD trim level. Quite frankly, Mazda has a winner on its hands here. If you’re in the market for a compact car, you should consider Mazda3 a must test drive.

Review: 2019 Mazda3 GT AWD – Part 4

Posted in Products with tags on April 18, 2019 by itnerd

If you’re looking for technology in the Mazda3 GT AWD, there’s a lot of it. Some of it which is really different. And some of it is new for 2019.

First let’s start with the driving experience. You get a proximity key with push button start. Thus all you have to do is press a button on the driver’s door handle. Well, it’s not a button. It’s more like a touch sensitive indent on the front door handle. And it took me a while to figure out how to use it because I didn’t read the manual. Specifically:

  • If the car is locked, grabbing the door handle will unlock the door.
  • If the car is unlocked, touching the indent will lock the door.

My challenge came when locking the door as grabbing the handle and touching the indent would not lock the door. Once I figured that out, it became second nature to me.

Once you get in, hit the start/stop button and drive away. When you’ve reached your destination, press the start/stop button to turn off the car. Then get out of the car, touch the indent on the door and walk away. You never need to pull out the key fob to do any of this. But the key fob does have the ability to lock and unlock the doors and it has the ever useful panic button. As an added bonus, it has a backup key inside the key fob should you need it. And you can set the car to auto lock if you so desire which will allow you to just walk away from the Mazda3.

Let’s go to the safety technology:

  • Blind Spot Monitoring: This system keeps an eye out for cars in your blind spots so that you don’t hit them when changing lanes. It works well as the area of detection was large enough to keep me safe, but not so large that it created false positives. One cool thing is that unlike a lot of systems which only work when the car is above a certain speed, this system seems to work all the time for an extra level of safety.
  • Lane Departure Warning With Lane Keep Assist: If you cross over into another lane, this system will buzz you on either the right or the left side. The buzz really gets your attention I must say. You can also set it to vibrate the steering wheel.
  • Rear Cross Traffic Alert: If you back out of a parking space in a busy shopping mall and you have limited visibility to your left and right, you’ll love this system as you will be warned of any cars that cross into your path.
  • Rear Backup Sensors: The Mazda3 has sensors that help you to revers into a spot without hitting anything. And the Mazda3 is capable of stopping itself if you are about to revers into something.
  • Adaptive Front Lighting System and High Beam Control: I wrote about this previously and I have to admit that on some of the back roads that I drive at night, this feature comes in handy. I was always able to see what was in front of me clearly. One thing that I really appreciated was the fact that the LED headlights were very bright.
  • Radar Based Cruise Control: I really liked this feature as you can set the speed you want and the distance that you want to have between yourself and the car in front of you, and you can pretty much let it slow down and speed up depending on the conditions. It’s very handy on long highway drives.
  • Smart City Brake Support: Let’s say that you you do not react in time to a car that panic stops in front of you. This Mazda is capable of coming to a stop on it’s own, or slowing down to make the impact less severe. You can get more details on this system here.
  • Rear Backup Camera: The camera is a fisheye camera that has an impressive degree of clarity. You can see anything and everything that is behind you when you’re backing up and the camera is insanely clear. One thing to note is that the camera is exposed so that the potential exists for dirt to obscure the camera.
  • You get anti-lock brakes, traction control, stability control, and electronic brake force distribution. Plus you get hill launch assist which keeps you from rolling backwards when you’re on a hill.
  • Finally, you get dual front air bags, dual front side air bags, dual side air curtains and knee air bags.

The next piece of technology that stood out was this:

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The Mazda Active Driving Display is a heads up display that places everything from speed and blind spot monitoring info, to navigation and warning for the lane monitoring, and how close you are to the car in front of you. On top of that, the car is capable of reading speed limit and stop signs so that it can display them on this heads up display in color. It works very well with the only thing that I should mention is that polarized driving sunglasses will filter the display out. Thus choose your sunglasses carefully.

But Mazda has a new feature for 2019. Mazda has a new version of Mazda Connect. Here’s a look at the screen which is an all new 8.8″ super sharp widescreen, which for the record is not a touch screen. More on that in a second:

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The interface is clean and easy to understand. As you can see there’s a list of functions that you can scroll through. And it takes one only minutes to figure out. The screen is not touch sensitive so to interact with Mazda Connect, you have to use this:

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This is the HMI (Human Machine Interface) Commander Switch. It’s been redesigned and feels a lot better in the hand and becomes second nature to use after only a few uses. The logic behind forcing you to use the HMI Commander Switch rather than a touch screen is that it is way safer than a touch screen. And I would agree with that as I didn’t realize how distracting a touchscreen in a car is until I started using Mazda Connect. I say that because touchscreen usage while driving takes my attention from the road. But using the HMI Commander Switch for me is far less distracting.

Another feature is that you can set up either Apple CarPlay or Android Auto to pop up automatically when a phone is plugged into the system. That’s a very cool feature as there are some who will just want to use either Apple CarPlay or Android Auto instead of Mazda Connect. And Mazda has fully leveraged the screen real estate for both Apple CarPlay or Android Auto. Since I am typically on team iPhone, here’s what Apple CarPlay looks like:

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One other thing. this new version of Mazda Connect is fast. It’s fast on startup, it’s fast in terms of navigating it, it’s fast in terms of how the screen responds. It’s just plain fast. I was impressed as it was one of the fastest car infotainment systems that I have ever seen.

Mazda Connect comes with SiriusXM which include the following:

  • More room for song/artist/genre metadata.
  • Album art display.
  • Channel logos on Now Playing and Station List screens.
  • New SiriusXM features: TuneStart, TuneScan, and TuneMix.

On top of that, SiriusXM Traffic Plus is now onboard and it includes the following features:

  • Live Traffic: View traffic flow and incident information directly on the Mazda Navigation map. This feature is available in 20 different Canadian communities. It ties into the on board navigation system to allow it to better route you.
  • Weather: View Forecasts, Radar Maps, and Severe Weather Alerts.
  • Fuel Prices: Find the lowest fuel prices or the closest fuel stations and see the available fuel types.
  • Parking Information: Find parking locations, pricing, and hours of operation.
  • Sports: Follow your favorite teams sports with play-by-play details and game/event schedules.

SiriusXM Traffic Plus is free for five years. This is separate from the three month trial SiriusXM audio subscription.

The only hiccup that I noted with this new version of Mazda Connect was that if I used Apple CarPlay, it would disable the ability fo the Mazda3 to display traffic signs either on the Mazda Active Driving Display or in the instrument cluster. I am not sure if that is a bug or by design. But other than that, I couldn’t find any other oddities. I will be doing a separate story on the new Mazda Connect so that you can see how much it has changed.

A 12 speaker Bose audio system is on board. It impressed my wife who usually isn’t impressed by many car stereo systems as she is a classically trained pianist and takes audio seriously. My wife compared this sound system to one that was a $4000 option in a $75000 SUV we recently spent time in which is great company for Mazda to be in. My new audio torture playlist which includes LookLA, Ruelle, Snoh Aalegra, SAHED, Astrud Gilberto, Jorja Smith, Kali Uchis, 10,000 Maniacs, Death Cab For Cutie, Chicago, Röyksopp, and Thutmose & NoMBe sounded amazing on this system and the one thing that stood out was that Blue Lights by Jorja Smith sounded amazing as the stereo separation that the song has was next level on this audio system.

The final part of this review will tie up some loose ends and I’ll give you my final verdict. Watch for it tomorrow.