Notice the reflective panels. The takumi behind this car’s design decided to hell with conventional character lines. Instead, they’ve let the customers’ eyes and brains do all the work. It’s an idea we first saw a few years ago in a few concept cars, and thankfully, Mazda has kept that ‘less is more’ idea here. Remember as a kid when you would watch your reflection as you passed a building, and you were amazed at how your body changed as you walked? Like a life-sized Rorschach test, this car’s visage changes depending on your perception.
It’s not all futuristic wonder, though. In the rear, you get a set of circular taillights. While strip-style LEDs are damn near must-haves in 2019, Mazda has opted for a look that harks back to the first generation. It might be looking to the future, but the 3 has its foundations firmly planted on the ground. And it’s not the only thing on this new car that reminds me of my old BK.
Inside, you get...even less. There’s the floating infotainment display with dial operation similar to the old model, and you get a heads-up display on top of the gauge clusters to boot. Aside from those, everything is kept as sleek and minimalist as possible. Not subtle, though, are the 12 Bose speakers strategically scattered around the interior. As expected, they provide a crisp, reverberating experience inside the cabin. We play ‘Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da’ to test them out, and each clap and cheerful line echoes to the delight of our ears. “Desmond has a barrow in the marketplace...”