People get their advice from many places, Banks, Brokers, Gym Instructors, Dietitians, Books and even magazines – it seems like everyone is out there lining up to offer up a little nugget of information that can be used to enhance your life.
Mazda offer their information via a head up display. It’s a tiny visor (no bigger than the palm of your hand) that pops up from the dashboard but boy does it have a lot to say. Head up display units are not new and often they just project information onto the windscreen (predominantly just the speed you are going). However Mazda 3’s ‘visor (or Active Driving Display) has a raft of information to deliver to the driver. Speed of course, Navigation directions (when you plot a course to somewhere), gear selection, distance to car in front, collision warning and it even lets you know if a vehicle is getting too close with cute proximity brackets. As with all advice it’s good to only receive what you want and when, so to top it all off you can ‘personalize’ it all by selecting the information YOU want, the right brightness and the perfect height – genius.
I slipped behind the wheel of the Mazda 3 SP25 for a few days, all in Jet Black Mica, it’s a deep with a shiny fleck about it (the car not me). The SP25 is a sporty hatch that comes loaded with style and technology. Its friendly ‘face’ offers up a warm welcome, with integrated headlights and chrome accents adding the class. Strong shoulder lines show off the front and rear wheel base while a deep crease off the front sill gives off an ‘in motion’ effect that rises off the front Alloys. The rear tailgate again has integrated lights with a spoiler that blends in seamlessly to the rear quarter bodywork.
The interior is leather clad with piano black and chrome highlights where required. It’s not overdone. The tech is controlled via dial in the centre console and it’s all displayed on the MZD Connect 7” colour display screen – the voice control actually works too. The sounds are terrific (as they should be coming from the Bose technical team), 231watts through 9 speakers – but it does seem to be dominated by the centre dash speaker.
On the road the SP25 engine is quick and very responsive (especially in Sport mode). The SKYACTIV-G 2.5Litre DOHC S-VT powerplant delivers 138kW and 250Nm of torque smoothly and efficiently through its ‘drive by wire’ throttle. From the town in Drive to the more open road fun in Sport it really is a great hatchback. It has plenty of room for the family and gear (aka shopping) too.
The SP25 excels in the safety department, Radar Cruise control offers a no stress approach to long drives, Blind Spot alert, Cross traffic alert, Lane departure (that actually guides you back into your lane), Smart City Brake and forward obstruction warning to name but a few. All this sounds like you have limited control over the actual drive but to honest it just lets you play that little bit harder (knowing that you have quite a big safety net).
Then there’s the G-Vectoring Control, in true Jinba Ittai style, the GVC integrates the SKYACTIV engine and chassis for a far better driving experience. ‘GVE precisely adjusts engine torque in response to steering inputs to manage lateral and longitudinal G-Forces in a unified and smooth manner which optimizes the vertical loading of each tyre’ is how Mazda put it – what you’ll notice (or possibly won’t because it’s so smooth) is much better cornering and improved passenger comfort (put away those car sickness pills).
And here’s one last piece of advice, if you’re in the market for a stylish and modern hatch The Mazda 3 SP25 should definitely be on your ‘must try’ list.
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