Mazda’s CX3 hits Thailand. An owner’s impression


Jan Abbink is a motoring enthusiast who lives here in Pattaya, and became the first person to purchase the new Mazda CX-3. He recorded his first impressions, beginning with what Mazda calls the HMI (Human Machine Interface – Artificial Intelligence).

Our new Mazda CX-3 comes with a handbook the size of the Holy Bible.

Unfortunately (in particular) for me it is in Thai – they have promised us an English one as soon as it is available. Now as you all know I am in many ways still living in the previous century. I only bought my first smart phone a few months ago and on many occasions I have been tempted to throw it against the wall!

Mazda CX-3.Mazda CX-3.

The Mazda 2.0 S comes with quite a few gadgets that I had to get acquainted with.

Now let’s start with what Mazda calls HMI (Human Machine Interface) aka MZD Connect – which consists of the Center Display, Center Command and Active Driving Display.

I’ll mention the negatives first.

1) Keyless entry. When power door locks (central locking) were introduced on most cars in late 80’s this was a blessing indeed – not only for convenience but also for the safety aspect. Next came the remote control – I could also live with that but even today on my BMW 7 series I prefer to use the key because it is not so bulky in your pocket – is that a key in your pocket or are you just happy to see me?

Okay I managed to get in the car and started it. But why is the start button on the other side of the steering wheel? Not very logical. I drove the car from the rear carport to the front of the house, put the gear in P and the handbrake on and turned off the car. I had forgotten to check something on the display but everything was already off. Pressed the start button – nothing happened… Oh yes foot on the brake! But why? The car is not in drive so why have to put the foot on the brake? I’ve also heard of cases that people have left someone else to drive with the car but walked off with the “key” in their pocket – imagine what happened next…

2) I – STOP. Another “useless” feature is the Idling Stop System, which you can turn off but every time you start it seems to reset to the on position. Yesterday it caught me by surprise as it decided to stop just when the lights turn green. And I can’t imagine that all this restarting won’t affect the life of the starter motor.

3) Active Driving Display, The speedometer has been replaced by a rev-counter (RPM) which does add to the “sporty” image of the car (I remember fitting a rev-counter on my very first car – a BMW 1602). There is a small digital speed display in the bottom right corner. As some short people may not be able to see it they have come up with this ADD display – which is basically a flimsy piece of transparent plastic that comes up above the dash on which the speed is projected. You need to go to Central Command if you want to adjust the angle. Cumbersome – they should have found a more practical solution.

Now for some positives:

1) Automatic (LED) lights. Great feature – should be made compulsory on all cars here in Thailand!

2) Automatic windscreen wipers. Drove through some light and heavy rain yesterday afternoon and it performed very well.

3) Center display featuring navigation, rear view camera, audio, visual, etc. Thank God they set it to English and so far I’ve found it quite easy to work through the menu with the central commander knob – wish I would have such a feature on my Smartphone as touch screens just don’t agree with me.