2024 Mazda 3 Updated With Huge New Infotainment System And Safety Features

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Showcased in Japan, these updates are likely to be mirrored on US-spec models in due course.

The first details have emerged of the updated 2024 Mazda 3 in Japan, and these improvements are expected to reach US-spec models at some point this year. In America, the Mazda 3 was last upgraded in August 2022, when it received a slight boost in horsepower and efficiency. The latest updates from Japan don't reflect any mechanical changes, but there are new safety features as well as improvements to the infotainment interface.

One of the biggest changes inside is the adoption of a larger 10.25-inch center display, which replaces the 8.8-inch display used currently. Wireless capability has also been incorporated for Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, making it easier to link your phone to the car's interface.

Mazda Japan

Other additions include a USB-C port with illumination along with the availability of remote engine start. Customers can use the latter feature to remotely start the car and get the interior to a more comfortable temperature before getting inside. In Japan, the Mazda My Car Care plan protects the vehicle against theft, with a security guard able to track and check the car if the worst happens. Another new function allows owners to set the speed and driving location for the car, presumably to monitor the vehicle if another driver is using it.

New safety technologies include an improved pedestrian detection system and driver monitoring that can detect a distracted driver and warn them both visually and audibly. The only exterior update seems to be the addition of Ceramic Metallic paint.

Mazda Japan

Mazda says that the engine, body type, and options have been "reviewed" to make it easier for customers to choose a specific model. This sounds more like a simplification of trims than any significant change. In Japan, there is also a Black Tone Edition, but this variant may not make it to the USA.

We contacted Mazda to find out when some or all of these updates will make it to US-spec models, but representatives declined to comment on future products.

For such an elegant, engaging, and high-quality compact, the Mazda 3 lineup continues to fly under the radar in the USA. Most Mazda customers are choosing the similarly priced CX-30 instead, with this crossover finding 19,870 buyers in the first quarter of 2023, an increase of 109.3% relative to the same period in 2022. By comparison, the Mazda 3 range as a whole - including both hatchback and sedan body styles - only sold 7,295 units over the same period, down by 23.1%.

Mazda Japan

While we do like the CX-30, you can actually pick up a Mazda 3 Hatchback turbo for over $1,300 less than the CX-30 turbo. Yes, the 3 hatch is a little smaller inside than the CX-30, but it has almost exactly as much cargo space, it's more economical thanks to being over 100 pounds lighter, and it is more engaging to drive thanks to the lower seating position. It's also one of the safest small cars you can buy.

We'd hate to see the Mazda 3 go the way of other fun hatchbacks like the defunct Ford Focus and quirky Hyundai Veloster in this country, but declining sales make us feel that the Mazda is another car we should appreciate while it's still around.

The updated Mazda 3 will go on sale in Japan in June, and it starts at the equivalent of $17,300 (at current rates) in that country. Naturally, it will be pricier in the USA.

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