The 2014 Mazda3 has just gone on sale in Europe, debuting its new human-machine interface (HMI) and in-vehicle connectivity system, dubbed MZD Connect. On the latter, Mazda claims that the new 3 is one of the first in its segment to offer an on-board package of online services.

MZD Connect syncs with the user’s smartphone (via Bluetooth or USB) to offer a wide scale of connected convenience, including navigation and SMS (readout and voice recognition) features. In Europe, Internet radio, news, podcasts, audio books, and Facebook and Twitter feeds are offered through Aha, a cloud-based platform.

Real-time infotainment services can be accessed through either the seven-inch touchscreen display or the Rotary Commander on the centre console. Audio will then be served through the (optional) Bose nine-speaker premium sound system with Bose Centerpoint 2 surround sound technology.

Meanwhile, Mazda’s new HMI implements an ergonomically centre-focused driver’s space, with an integrated head-up display (Active Driving Display in Mazda-speak), symmetrically-positioned pedals and a lower steering wheel. The HUD utilises a transparent plastic panel to reflect the projected display, much like those on high-end Peugeots.

Want a closer look at the new 2014 Mazda3? Check out a mega-gallery of both the hatchback and sedan bodystyles here, as well as indicative pricing and specs of the Malaysian-bound models here, as seen on our sister classifieds site