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Discussion Starter #1
Hi,

After four months of ownership, one feature of the car really stands out to me. I like a lot about the car, but the simple hood up display, has made me think about how effective and useful it is.

I know that this feature is discussed in many threads, but as I write, I think that many (if not all) cars in the future will have information fixed in front of our eyes, on the windscreen or in the cheesy plastic screen in our M3's, in addition to the instrument cluster.

I wish it was glass so I seemed to be better quality, but this feature has really taken me by surprise. I very rarely look at the instrument cluster except to look at the fuel gauge. In four months, I guess that I have looked at the digital speedo less than 10 times, with the hood up display being viewed hundreds of times.

When driving today, I got to thinking about how often I look at it, speed limits change all the time where I live from 40, 50, 60, 70, 80 kph with speed camera's everywhere. I am located in Sydney and believe me these cameras are located almost everywhere and are very sensitive to 2 to 3 kph speed offences, that get a lot of people pissed.

I don't think I would buy a car without this feature in future. It would be a deal breaker. What do you think?

Other deal breakers would be, the large dash navigation screen (everyone in the car uses it), paddle shifters on the wheel, very good reliability (in my experience as an ex Alfa Romeo owner).
 

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I know that some people hate it for various reasons, but I quite like my "Active Driving Display". Sure, plastic doesn't seem as upscale as glass would, but I honestly felt lost when I was driving a Mazda 6 loaner for a week, and that was only a month after I bought my 3. I really like that the speed info is still within my periphery while I'm driving. Most of the time, I can tell if I've changed speed without looking directly at it. It also comes in handy when using the GPS.

With regard to speeding, I actually find myself driving closer to the speed limit than I did in my last car. That's actually quite impressive, considering that my last car did 0-60 Mph in about 11.5-12 seconds on a good day. I credit the Active Driving Display.

My other "must have" now is adaptive bi-xenon headlights. The difference is literally like night and day. :grin2: LED would also be fine. I want pretty much anything but halogens now that I've had these.
 
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I like the HUD as I have the large Tachometer with only the little speedometer display in the lower right corner of the tach. Also the navigation display is nice as sometimes I do not hear the voice commands from the nav.
Ditto.

The only thing that I initially thought was missing from the HUD was a digital tach like the C6 Corvettes had but after a couple days I felt that was not needed.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Hi Guys,

Have any of you driven cars where the display is on the windscreen rather than a pop up screen. That would be very cool. I understand some luxury cars have this feature. Why didn't Mazda give it to us on the windscreen. Anyone know the difficulties an on windshield arrangement?

Thanks Marc. :smile2:
 

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Very expensive. I believe there is a coating that goes on the windshield.
 

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The windshield glass to work with an on-glass HUD is on the order of 4 figures, so would get expensive fast and likely increase your insurance rates. The Mazda3 is a great car, but I think they probably oculd have gone slightly less feature-rich and still had a winner.

That said, after thinking the HUD was silly I actually do find myself liking it after a while, as you can easily catch the speed in your peripheral vision without looking away. Can't imagine living like a plebe and actually having to move my eyes to focus 7" lower...
 

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I thought the HUD was superfluous. Dumb even. Until I lived with it for what is now three months. Honestly? I love it. On the S version of the cars it's actually necessary as that small speedo in the corner of the big tach is harder to read than it should be (or I'm getting old... could be that). That, however, tells me that really there's still no substitute for two nice large round gauges for vehicle speed and engine rpm. With two proper large gauges I do think the HUD is less necessary for every day driving and I'd be more willing to live without it.

The one thing I don't like about it: I still think this is the piece of equipment that's going to break first. It doesn't seem to be the most durable implementation ever, and I've already had an issue with it not quite coming up all the way a few times (until a quick start-off-restart I discovered with the ignition -- by accident -- cured it with no recurrence so far). You could tell because the speed digits weren't centered. It was subtle but it was there. To others' points above though, the windshield variant that high end cars utilize would have been to expensive to employ. So for that reason I get why Mazda went they way they did with it (BMW did the same thing for their lesser Mini lineup).
 

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The one thing I don't like about it: I still think this is the piece of equipment that's going to break first. It doesn't seem to be the most durable implementation ever, and I've already had an issue with it not quite coming up all the way a few times (until a quick start-off-restart I discovered with the ignition -- by accident -- cured it with no recurrence so far). You could tell because the speed digits weren't centered. It was subtle but it was there. To others' points above though, the windshield variant that high end cars utilize would have been to expensive to employ. So for that reason I get why Mazda went they way they did with it (BMW did the same thing for their lesser Mini lineup).
Yea I have it locked up about 5 times so far. I have had the car for a year...should i take it in? The issue are so intermittent. not sure the dealership will even bother to take a look.
 

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Hi Guys,

Have any of you driven cars where the display is on the windscreen rather than a pop up screen. That would be very cool. I understand some luxury cars have this feature. Why didn't Mazda give it to us on the windscreen. Anyone know the difficulties an on windshield arrangement?

Thanks Marc. :smile2:
Yup...I've driven both a C5 and C6 Vette as well as a current gen Camaro with the windshield based display. The upside with them is that the image appears to be focused out in front of the car so you barely need to refocus your eyes to check the information. As mentioned by many others, the downside is cost.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Ah hah. So its a cost issue to have the fancy screen image on the windscreen. Hopefully costs will come down. But if I have to put up with a plastic screen so be it. I use it every time I drive the car. So rarely look at the instrument binacle.

Still can't imagine driving a car without one now. After only four months. Amazing to me.
 

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I'm willing to bet this is the first thing to break. I don't care for the old-fashioned digital font and non-colour display either.

I wish there was a separate on/off switch for it. That said, so many things are integrated solely into that display that it would be difficult to not have it. The ACC distance indicator is one.
 

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Hi Guys,

Have any of you driven cars where the display is on the windscreen rather than a pop up screen. That would be very cool. I understand some luxury cars have this feature. Why didn't Mazda give it to us on the windscreen. Anyone know the difficulties an on windshield arrangement?

Thanks Marc. :smile2:
I've driven several last-gen BMW models with that feature. It's a lot better and more advanced than what Mazda has (and I love the HUD on my Mazda). Being on the windscreen it's more within your line of sight, has much higher resolution, has colors, shows more info (like the current speed limit, etc). First time I experienced it felt like I was looking into the future )
 
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