• Oct 13, 2008
Judging from exterior shots of the 2010 Mazda3 that were released last week, Mazda is looking to be more than a bit player in the small car market. The styling of the new Mazda3 looks more expensive than the current model, and is perhaps a better example of the brand's new design language than the also recently redesigned Mazda6. We've been looking forward to seeing pics of the Mazda3 on the inside, and judging from this one spy shot we've seen so far, the Zoom Zoom designers didn't go cheap on the interior.
The first thing that draws attention in the Mazda3 cabin is the Civic-esque two-tier dashboard. We're not huge fans of this style, but Mazda designers did a nice job of integrating the top deck with the lower level and center stack. Judging from the sole pic, some buttons on the center stack look to be a bit small, but main knobs for HVAC and volume are nice and big. The interior in this example is two-toned with what looks to be an aluminum-finished applique above the glove box, and more contrasting colors on the seats and doors. One thing that didn't change from the current generation Mazda3 is the red back-lighting on all the gauges, buttons, and knobs that we've come to expect from Mazda.


[Source: TTAC]


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  • 27 Comments
      • 6 Years Ago
      Not only is the double stack dash Honda-esque, the steering wheel is a dead ringer for the Si wheel with the split fork design. I am not sure if I like the combo of round and rectangular vents, but it seems pretty decent overall.

      • 6 Years Ago
      Stylish and looks contemporary. More interesting than say the new Corolla and more cohesive than the Civics. Hopefully decent quality materials.
      • 6 Years Ago
      It doens't look too bad. The one thing I wonder about is that switch pod that kind of sticks out underneath the left a/c vent, at least it looks like it sticks out. Will that hamper your left knee room any?
      • 6 Years Ago
      I'll reserve judgement until I see it. That one shot just looks like a lot of hard plastics and doesn't particular convey much of anything regarding quality. I like the current 3, but the one thing that bugs me the most is the super hard door panels.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Again, how many interiors in this segment have interiors that are padded surfaces galore? The current and by looking at the pictures next 3 will have padded surfaces where it matters, the seat fabric will be an insert on the door and the armrest will be padded. The rest of the interior will have high grade plastic panels.
        • 6 Years Ago
        It wasn't just opinion really. Go sit in every car in it's price range and you'll instantly notice the difference. Theres a solid feel to the whole thing.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Lazy design team nicked a Honda, luckily for them the Honda interior is nice to look at. Hopefully it wont be as crappy to live with as Hondas is (can you say "scratches"?).

      Handbrake is on the wrong side tho.
        • 6 Years Ago
        +1 to JD.
        E-brake is better on the right side. My car (wrx) has it on the left, and it cramps the driver. When it's up, there's very little room between the steering wheel and the brake handle.
        • 6 Years Ago
        I dunno, I'm with Swede. I don't enjoy reaching over and groping my passenger to set and release the parking brake... wait, SOMETIMES I don't enjoy it.
        • 6 Years Ago
        I have a Speed3 right now, and I have to say, the e brake being on the far side of the middle thing is actually a nice touch, because it frees up space next to you so you aren't constantly reaching over the e brake to get to ipod, cell phone, whatever. I mean, how often do you use the e brake in a trip? Twice. Once when you leave, and once when you get there. How many times you hit next or back on the ipod? More than twice, and it all happens in between the two uses of the e brake.

        Besides, at least they put it on the right side of the driver. In my 944, it's on the left side, between the seat and the door. It's actually a convenient place (once you're used to it), but it can make getting in and out of the car more of a chore than it is already.
      • 6 Years Ago
      is it me or does the navigation system screen appear to be a part of the steering wheel? i see a big rectangular item in the middle. the steering wheel seems to protrude a little?
      • 6 Years Ago
      Wow. This, the new Cruze, the Focus and Fiesta, etc. are all shaping up to be really nice cars. Its a great time to be looking at a compact car! This is obviously a pre-production interior so I won't bash some flaws such as really shiny plastic on the grab handles or the really poor looking shift boot. I can't wait to see it in full production spec with high quality materials throughout.
      • 6 Years Ago
      I dont think its a 2-tiered dash, it looks like those auxilary guages are set way back into the dash. Look how close they are to the windscreen.
      As for the texture of the dash plastics, who cares, the only time i touch the dash is when im wiping the dust off it!
      Mazda 3 is 3rd best selling car in australia and is the only car in the top 6 that doesnt rely on fleet sales. And its 5 years old!
      • 6 Years Ago
      At first look, the interior look cluttered. Now though, it looks really nice
      • 6 Years Ago
      It's definitely Civic-influenced but the design/material looks quite good. At least it doesn't have the super-sloped windshield and gigantic dash like the Civic.
      • 6 Years Ago
      I think the USA will soon catch up to the Euro theme luxury compact cars...The Chevy Cruze is going in the same direction, We'll soon see the Euro Focus...A category pretty much only VW dominated in the US when it came to luxury compact cars....
      • 6 Years Ago
      zoom44:
      While Chris Shunk may not have known this to properly credit the picture TTAC should have. The picture is actually from the Autocar First Drive article. Shame on TTAC for not crediting the source

      No, it isn't. If you look at the pictures in that article, the one we posted isn't from that gallery.

      The picture is from spiegel.de, which is attributed directly below the picture posted on TTAC.
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