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Thread: Moved From 2017 Signature to 2018 Signature In 4 Months

  1. #1
    Guest2018
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    Moved From 2017 Signature to 2018 Signature In 4 Months

    First, my thoughts.

    As some of you know, I purchased a new 2017 Signature in August and have been nothing but ecstatic about its performance since that time. During said purchase, we asked several dealers whether or not there would be any significant changes made to the 2018, such as forward tilting seats, height adjustments for the passenger seat, heated seats in the second row and most importantly, G-Vectoring. Of course, we were told no at every turn and that if there were any adjustments coming to the 2018, they would not amount to much other than exterior trim alterations - minor adjustments at best. You all now know the rest of the story.

    Mazda, introduced (finally) G-Vectoring into the CX-9 as Standard, added forward tilting seat adjustments to the driver's side and height adjustments to the passenger side (something we really thought should have been standard since 2016), heated second row (very nice) and a heated steering wheel (something I thought I would never use until I had it - now I use it all the time). In addition, Mazda, did in fact increase noise and vibration dampening in the 2018 CX-9 and I would say to the point of being considerably noticeable. That was enough to send us back to the dealer a second time.

    We took the 2017 Signature back and upgraded to the 2018 Signature (same color). Immediately, I noticed a difference in the straight-line handling and noise levels. Those two things added an extra sense of quality and comfort. The new seat adjustments on both sides makes for a more comfortable ride as well. The G-Vectoring addition is silent during normal driving and unless you take your CX-9 out sometimes like I do to run the canyons (yes you can in a CX-9!), you probably won't be able to tell the difference. Since I am someone tuned-in to drive-train and suspension adjustments, I notice the difference almost right away during 'spirited' driving on normal roads/streets. Disclaimer: I do not recommend that anybody go out and drive their CX-9 the way I drive mine. I get the most performance the road conditions allow from mine, but that always comes with the risk of running afoul with law enforcement.

    The 2018 CX-9 is just better, IMO. Not worlds apart from the 2016 or 2017, but slightly more tuned to its capabilities thanks primarily to the G-Vectoring, which you really do need to experience come alive at lest once in your CX-9 life. I'm expecting the G-Vectoring to really shine during highway driving with heavy rain, where hydroplaning is notorious under certain kinds of road conditions. That's where I expect to really see the new AWD torque vectoring algorithms to kick in and start doing their job. However, I have been in the canyons once already with the new 2018, and I find that entering and exiting corners with lateral stability and control is even more pronounced - where it was already darn good in the 2017. Even more so now, the 2018 adopts the entry line you set-up going into the corner and somehow seems to know precisely where you desire to exit. Getting in tune with the driving dynamics of this version of the CX-9 is a bit easier, IMO.

    Once again, I have to say that Mazda knocked it out of the park. Though our time with the 2017 was short (4 months), the past couple of weeks with the new 2018 has essentially been a proofing paper on the new 2016 re-design. While I still think the CX-9 deserves a Six Cylinder Turbo Charged powerplant producing a minimum of 300hp, having the Four Cylinder Turbo Charged powerplant producing 310lb/ft of torque at the low end does provide enough go-power to make the overall driving experience about as fun as you can make it for a seven passenger carrier. With the new Mazda 2018 CX-9 Signature, I have zero complaints!


    Now, for my frustrations.

    Dealers! Here we go again!

    I went back to the same dealer for this trade-in deal. I brought the 2017 back in pristine condition in 4 months minus 7,000 miles. The dealer initially offered $35k. I knew Kelly Blue Book was between $34,000 and $36,000, so I figured that they were going to come after me on the back-end of the deal during the new 2018 purchase phase. I had $3,195 residual value remaining in extended warranty that I could cancel and use if needed. I proceeded to counter with an all-inclusive offer of my own.

    My counter offer: "I'll do the deal, but only under the conditions that whatever your math looks like in the final analysis, the total cash price price to me does not extend beyond your initial offer for the 2017 plus the residual value remaining in my 2017 extended warranty - which I am official canceling as of right now."

    They were actively selling new 2018s at $45k+. They ultimately sold me the 2018 for $43k. I asked them to include the new Front and Rear Bumper Trim Accessory package at no cost to me and they agreed. They said the refund check on the extended warranty cancellation would take 15-days. However, and this is where things start going downhill, we could not take delivery that day because they did not have our color in stock and needed to do a swap with another dealer. Problem? They never told us this until the moment after we signed. So, just like the 2017 purchase, we drive home having done a deal but without our new vehicle.

    The next day we head to the dealer after work to finally take delivery. When we get there, there is no Front and Rear Bumper Chrome accessory package installed on the vehicle I see waiting near the front door. Sales rep says, your CX-9 is waiting outside! I say, "That can't be ours. There is no chrome accessory package installed." The GM walks over looking as if he just ate a domestic Canary without a bottle of water to wash it down and says: "We couldn't find the chrome package, so we had to order it. As soon as it comes, our parts department will call you." I turned to my Wife and said to Her: "I knew it. I knew they would try to deliver without the kit installed. I knew it." The Sales Rep says, "Don't worry. You are getting it for free!" I looked at her as if she just dropped in from outer space and then proceeded to do my pre-delivery inspection.

    The 2017 was delivered to us with a minor scratch on the passenger side door. So, I took this delivery inspection rather seriously. I first began a microscopic scan of the exterior - took about 30 minutes total on the exterior paint alone. I went over every square millimeter of the paint. I found no visible scratches or abrasions. However, it was clear that the vehicle had been sitting outside on the other dealers lot and nobody bothered to wash it properly before having us come pick it up. You could tell that someone had merely sprayed some water on it, wiped it and left. There was literally mud sticking to the roof. How mud got to the top of the roof like that, I'll never know. So, they sprayed everything but left the roof completely untouched. I pointed all of this out to the Sales Rep.

    I then began my inspection of the interior. I spent another 30 minutes going over every detail. I found two scratches in the back of the Napa Leather headrest of the third-row on the driver's side. Deep enough to not be removable with a simple wet clothe wipe. I found another scratch in the dashboard paneling as it wraps around to meet the passenger side door. The gap between those two pieces is where someone had nicked the soft touch material to the point where a wet wipe would not be sufficient to remove the damage. I found shoe prints all over the Napa Leather seating, literally everywhere you looked. It was as if someone had literally been dancing inside the vehicle on the seats. The glass was horribly dirty and every single floor mat section was completely out of place and mismatched (right side placed on the left and left side placed on the right). Everything was ass backward.

    I then began my inspection of the engine compartment. I checked fluid levels and luckily those were good. I was shocked at this point. I checked the fuse box and looked for unseated and burned out fuses. The air box for a properly installed air filter. I checked all on-top electrical connectors and found two of them were loose. I checked for general fitment and unnecessary play in all on-top engine accessories. I smell tested the engine oil. I then connected my ODBII scanner and searched for DTC codes. I then began checking wheel lugs, did a visual brake inspection and tire pressure checks. Tire pressure ranged from 71psi to 52psi. The PDI sheet had a check mark next to "Tire Pressure Check" which I had confirmed on the spot as being a total lie.

    I then entered the vehicle and ran an ACC test. Making sure that every switched circuit worked, I then did full vehicle lighting test. I was basically 1.5 hours into this inspection when I noticed the fuel gauge was on absolute "E." There was not a millimeter between the digital needle and "E." It was like adding insult to injury - a slap in the face. My Wife, told the Sales Rep. The Sales Rep brought a technician over to take the vehicle out for fuel. I said, no thanks. At that point, I did not want anyone from that dealership touching the vehicle, let alone driving it.

    After making a few more Mazda Systems checks we buckled up and drove off to the nearest gas station. You can't make this Q$%$Q% up.

    Two weeks later, we find out that Sales never sent the accessory kit order to Parts. So, in speaking with Parts on the phone yesterday, I found out that they just ordered the part today. I called and confirmed with several other dealers that the part could have been ordered before 2pm and delivered to the dealer the very next day! Beautiful. Just beautiful. As if that was not enough, 12 days after we cancelled our extended warranty, we still don't know when our refund check will arrive or even if it is being processed. The refund check amount was miscalculated and I had to engage in several emails just to get their cancellation department to recognize the error!

    Here we are nearly two full weeks after the "deal," with no Trim Accessory Package and no clue about our extended warranty refund - other than obligatory, "we're working on it and seek to provide you with excellent service."

    For the second time in 4 months we absolutely love our new CX-9! We do not love the way we get treated by our Dealer, repeatedly.

  2. #2
    Registered Member CrazyBiker's Avatar

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    Stupid unless you didn’t get hosed on the resale

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    Doesn't sound like a wise financial decision but hey if you're happy with it less the inconvenience and annoyances from the dealer service then all is good! I just can't/won't justify the jump from '17 to '18 due to the financial hit on depreciation and the features while they're nice to have not everyone wil find them as must have.

  4. #4
    Registered Member Srad600's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cessna CJ4 View Post
    First, my thoughts.

    As some of you know, I purchased a new 2017 Signature in August and have been nothing but ecstatic about its performance since that time. During said purchase, we asked several dealers whether or not there would be any significant changes made to the 2018, such as forward tilting seats, height adjustments for the passenger seat, heated seats in the second row and most importantly, G-Vectoring. Of course, we were told no at every turn and that if there were any adjustments coming to the 2018, they would not amount to much other than exterior trim alterations - minor adjustments at best. You all now know the rest of the story.
    First off, congratulations! Sounds like you're already loving the new car. When I was test driving cars, the dealer told me the same thing, no significant differences between the '17 and '18, they kept trying to sell me on the '17. I'm glad I had access to both so I could see/feel for myself that I preferred the '18.

    Quote Originally Posted by Cessna CJ4 View Post
    The G-Vectoring addition is silent during normal driving and unless you take your CX-9 out sometimes like I do to run the canyons (yes you can in a CX-9!), you probably won't be able to tell the difference. Since I am someone tuned-in to drive-train and suspension adjustments, I notice the difference almost right away during 'spirited' driving on normal roads/streets. Disclaimer: I do not recommend that anybody go out and drive their CX-9 the way I drive mine. I get the most performance the road conditions allow from mine, but that always comes with the risk of running afoul with law enforcement.
    Ha ha, I really enjoy driving. I mean REALLY...so canyons are where I used to spend most of my time (before my daughters came along). First on Mountainbikes (in the hills), then on dirt bikes, then street bikes, nowadays mostly in cars (but often still on street bikes). I was out driving Hwy 74 the other night, between Lake Elsinore and the coast. As I was heading up the first climb from the lake, a pair of headlights pulled up on me pretty fast, so I pulled over to let them go. I figured I was in a big heavy car, and likely couldn't keep up. After waiting for their lights to disappear, I got back in and took off for some fun of my own. Not long afterwards I started seeing the tailights of the car that i'd let past earlier, and eventually caught up with him. Both he (guy in a tricked out toyota, too heavily modified for me to identify from the back) and another guy (S2000) had just caught up to slower traffic. Once the slower cars pulled aside, they took off. The adult in me said "let 'em go" but the kid screamed to "see what the cx-9 could do"...I listened to the kid. Put her in sport mode, and in manual and off we went. Now, as we got to the tighter sections, those two little cars started creeping away from me bit by bit. They are definitly quicker, more nimble and easier to turn. I was however surprised that if I pushed it, I could keep up with them. Things got even more interesting if you turn off the DSC.

    The CX-9 is no sportscar...but it is quite capable of running at some hair raising speeds if you can manage the weight.

    Quote Originally Posted by Cessna CJ4 View Post
    Now, for my frustrations.

    Dealers! Here we go again!
    Yep. Mine was pretty good, yet and still, they did some silly things. They messed up the calculations on my contract, so I had to go back and sign again. Even now I still haven't received my plates and it's been about six weeks since I bought it? The dealer network really could use some client retention training. I was really honest in the "assessment survey" I just received yesterday.

  5. #5
    Registered Member CrazyBiker's Avatar

    14' Mazda6 GT Tech, 17' Kia Sorento SXL V6 AWD V6, BMW S1000R/RR

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    Looks like you had/have a SRAD GSXR 600??

  6. #6
    Registered Member Srad600's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by CrazyBiker View Post
    Looks like you had/have a SRAD GSXR 600??
    Yep, I had a '99, yellow & black...one of my all time personal favorite bikes.
    Sigs are visible only in your first post on a page. To change your thread display preferences, click here and enable 'Always Show Signature'.

  7. #7
    Registered Member JPL's Avatar

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    Congrats Cessna CJ4. The '18's are certainly an improvement, sorry you had to do it the hard way.

    I got an '18 at launch in October, and was happy about the timing. I was originally concerned Mazda would be late bringing the '18's as they were with the '16/'17 but they got on the normal schedule.

    I have never driven the '16/'17 for comparison. You have the advantage of experiencing the differences from actual ownership.

    Seems you had just missed the announced '18 changes. They were announced at least 3 months ago, and you bought the '17 4 months ago.

    Sounds like you do pretty well so hopefully the financial hit doesn't hurt too much.

  8. #8
    Grand Poobah tex2670's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cessna CJ4 View Post
    During said purchase, we asked several dealers whether or not there would be any significant changes made to the 2018, such as forward tilting seats, height adjustments for the passenger seat, heated seats in the second row and most importantly, G-Vectoring. Of course, we were told no at every turn and that if there were any adjustments coming to the 2018, they would not amount to much other than exterior trim alterations - minor adjustments at best. You all now know the rest of the story.
    It's a myth that dealers know info about upcoming MYs before the press. Besides, even if they did, they want to make the sale NOW, not in 4 months when the new MY comes out, so there's no way they will be honest about material changes to the car.

  9. #9
    Guest2017
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    Quote Originally Posted by CrazyBiker View Post
    Stupid unless you didn’t get hosed on the resale
    Quote Originally Posted by tekbis View Post
    Doesn't sound like a wise financial decision but hey if you're happy with it less the inconvenience and annoyances from the dealer service then all is good! I just can't/won't justify the jump from '17 to '18 due to the financial hit on depreciation and the features while they're nice to have not everyone wil find them as must have.
    The financial aspects were not a factor. We cared a bit more about getting the right Signature for us. The 2018's seat adjustments were a significant (overlooked by Mazda in 2016/2017) factor in reducing lower back stress and providing better over the hood visibility for the passenger. The heated second row is no small gain either on long drives will a full cabin. And, the G-Vectoring can already be felt and experienced in the improved handling and performance.

    If you go see what Mazda Engineer Dave Coleman, has to say about the evolution of iSkyActiv within all Mazda products and focus in on what he said specifically about G-Vectoring and its introduction into the CX-9, you will come away with a significant improvement over the first production year 2016 in terms of lateral handling dynamics relative to power output at the wheels. Though out where I live there are no serious wet road conditions to explore, I am expecting (and have good reason to expect) improved handling on wet roads where hydroplaning as a probability begins to increase (I don't drive in snow).

    I went out and replicated (as much as I could) the G-Vectoring Control set-ups that Dave, talked about in the video below during the iSkyActiv Driving Academy introduced to the Media in Monterey, California, back in 2016. I felt exactly what he refers to in the video. It is one thing to hear him talk about it, or read an editor at a Car Magazine who writes about it - but it is a completely different thing to understand the technology, how it was mechanically and logically integrated, as well as what it actually should feel like when driving the CX-9.

    The "intuitive" optimization that Mazda intended to dial-into the CX-9 via G-Vectoring is but one of many iSkyActiv implementations. iSkyActiv is an Engineering Philosophy predicated on dissimilar I/O Integration from throughout the vehicle leading to a predictable and fun driving experience within a specific safety envelop. This Engineering Philosophy is actually not new. It actually began in the Aerospace/Aeronautical Industry. The idea is to use input/out throughout many sub-components of the vehicle in combination with Human Factors Science, to bring about a synergy between Vehicle and Driver, such that the driver can maintain positive expectancy with respect to vehicle performance and the vehicle can quantitatively summarize needed output in order to meet that objective. The fact that Mazda is seriously engaged in this kind of Engineering approach is very pleasing to know, as an Engineer myself.

    LOL, and believe it or not - I actually thought the steering wheel heating was a joke until I began using it this winter. It is actually a very nice to have - except that it should encompass the entire steering wheel and not just the 3-9 o'clock portions of the wheel itself. I don't always handle the wheel at 3-9 o'clock.

    So, I think we made the right move this time.

    Dave Coleman Explains G-Vectoring:
    Last edited by Guest2017; 12-14-2017 at 05:58 PM.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by CJ4 View Post
    The financial aspects were not a factor. We cared a bit more about getting the right Signature for us. The 2018's seat adjustments were a significant (overlooked by Mazda in 2016/2017) factor in reducing lower back stress and providing better over the hood visibility for the passenger. The heated second row is no small gain either on long drives will a full cabin. And, the G-Vectoring can already be felt and experienced in the improved handling and performance.

    If you go see what Mazda Engineer Dave Coleman, has to say about the evolution of iSkyActiv within all Mazda products and focus in on what he said specifically about G-Vectoring and its introduction into the CX-9, you will come away with a significant improvement over the first production year 2016 in terms of lateral handling dynamics relative to power output at the wheels. Though out where I live there are no serious wet road conditions to explore, I am expecting (and have good reason to expect) improved handling on wet roads where hydroplaning as a probability begins to increase (I don't drive in snow).

    I went out and replicated (as much as I could) the G-Vectoring Control set-ups that Dave, talked about in the video below during the iSkyActiv Driving Academy introduced to the Media in Monterey, California, back in 2016. I felt exactly what he refers to in the video. It is one thing to hear him talk about it, or read an editor at a Car Magazine who writes about it - but it is a completely different thing to understand the technology, how it was mechanically and logically integrated, as well as what it actually should feel like when driving the CX-9.

    The "intuitive" optimization that Mazda intended to dial-into the CX-9 via G-Vectoring is but one of many iSkyActiv implementations. iSkyActiv is an Engineering Philosophy predicated on dissimilar I/O Integration from throughout the vehicle leading to a predictable and fun driving experience within a specific safety envelop. This Engineering Philosophy is actually not new. It actually began in the Aerospace/Aeronautical Industry. The idea is to use input/out throughout many sub-components of the vehicle in combination with Human Factors Science, to bring about a synergy between Vehicle and Driver, such that the driver can maintain positive expectancy with respect to vehicle performance and the vehicle can quantitatively summarize needed output in order to meet that objective. The fact that Mazda is seriously engaged in this kind of Engineering approach is very pleasing to know, as an Engineer myself.

    LOL, and believe it or not - I actually thought the steering wheel heating was a joke until I began using it this winter. It is actually a very nice to have - except that it should encompass the entire steering wheel and not just the 3-9 o'clock portions of the wheel itself. I don't always handle the wheel at 3-9 o'clock.

    So, I think we made the right move this time.
    I agree the heated steering wheel should be entire wheel and not just the 3-9 positions...Volvo and other manufacturers heat the entire wheel. If there's any consolation, Toyota and Lexus use the same (3-9 positions) which are found in a lot more vehicles than Mazda just by sheer sales volume. Hopefully more manufacturers including Mazda upgrade to full heated wheel function in future.

  11. #11
    Guest2017
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    Quote Originally Posted by Srad600 View Post
    First off, congratulations! Sounds like you're already loving the new car. When I was test driving cars, the dealer told me the same thing, no significant differences between the '17 and '18, they kept trying to sell me on the '17. I'm glad I had access to both so I could see/feel for myself that I preferred the '18.
    Yes. Having driven both does matter! You can definitely feel the difference between the two. It is not an off the charts dramatic delta, but the dynamic delta is there nonetheless.


    Quote Originally Posted by Srad600 View Post
    The CX-9 is no sportscar...but it is quite capable of running at some hair raising speeds if you can manage the weight.
    Maybe I just caught a novice rider, but my last time out, I left behind a motorcycle who seemed to be having a ton of fun when I caught up to him in the canyons. The turns were so overlapping and steep with elevation changes that he had problems shifting his weight and therefore rolling his bike from one turn to the next. He pulled over at a turn-out and waved me by. I tucked in and I began focusing on hitting apexes as close to perfect as possible. He caught up during long sweeping turns with a nice bank for him to lean into. But, when we hit the forest again and things began overlapping with subtle elevation changes in the radius, he could not keep up. I thought he was just playing with me until we got to the end of the "run" and pulled over at restaurant. He said, "What did you do to your SUV!" I said, what do you mean. He said, "you take a bunch of small turns like a car. What is that?" I said, its a CX-9. He said, "Zoom Zoom, huh!" I said, yep.

    I'm just now getting around to playing with throttle settings into and out of turns relative to the new G-Vectoring algo. If you look at Dave Coleman's G-Force pictorials and what he's talking about when he says, "Lateral Jerk Moment" relative to entering the turn while coming off the throttle, you can see what Mazda has done with this new set of algos. He's talking about "intent" and "expectation" of the driver vs that which the driver never anticipated, never wanted and had to recover from. From a purely technical standpoint, I don't think most CX-9 drivers appreciate what Mazda has done, here. I'm going to have fun trying to optimize my expectations.

    Dave Coleman Explains G-Vectoring:



    Quote Originally Posted by Srad600 View Post
    Yep. Mine was pretty good, yet and still, they did some silly things. They messed up the calculations on my contract, so I had to go back and sign again. Even now I still haven't received my plates and it's been about six weeks since I bought it? The dealer network really could use some client retention training. I was really honest in the "assessment survey" I just received yesterday.
    It is a very sad state of affairs, the current Dealer Sales Model. I am pressing for a Direct to Manufacturing Sales Model with Direct OEM Service & Maintenance, but there are many here who don't like when I start talking like that. As Customers, we deserve better.

  12. #12
    Registered Member CrazyBiker's Avatar

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    Kia Hyundai heats the entire wheel

  13. #13
    Guest2017
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    Quote Originally Posted by CrazyBiker View Post
    Kia Hyundai heats the entire wheel

    Saw the Kia SUV line-up at the San Francisco International Auto Show in November of this year. Also, saw the new Hyundai SUVs as well. I don't think they have comparable styling either on the interior or exterior. I am almost 100% certain they don't have the same pure Engineering focus that Mazda has with respect to engine/transmission integration and driving dynamics optimization.

    I feel confident in saying that Mazda is a Technical cut above Kia and Hyundai, for certain.

    Having said that, I also spent time with the 2018 Audi Q5 and was blown away at how Mazda's CX- Signature was either equal to or better than that vehicle in its overall cabin (materials, comfort, use of internal space, overall design esthetic). Did the same with Volkswagen's Atlas and came away feeling no different. It was not until I got over to the Volvo, Mercedes and Porsche exhibitions that I felt that I was in a "superior" built SUV. You could feel it in your bones.

    The fact that you have to step up that high on the price ladder to get the feeling that your extra $10k to $80k was spent wisely, says a lot about what Mazda has done with the CX-9 Signature. It truly is in a class all by itself right now, but its a Mazda - so people have a hard time coming to grips with that fact until they spend time driving it.

    It is not a "typical" Mazda. This one is a bit different.

  14. #14
    Grand Poobah tex2670's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by tekbis View Post
    I agree the heated steering wheel should be entire wheel and not just the 3-9 positions...Volvo and other manufacturers heat the entire wheel. If there's any consolation, Toyota and Lexus use the same (3-9 positions) which are found in a lot more vehicles than Mazda just by sheer sales volume. Hopefully more manufacturers including Mazda upgrade to full heated wheel function in future.
    I agree the entire wheel should be heated, but Volvo is not the proper comparison. This is:
    Quote Originally Posted by CrazyBiker View Post
    Kia Hyundai heats the entire wheel

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by tex2670 View Post
    I agree the entire wheel should be heated, but Volvo is not the proper comparison. This is:
    Was not comparing prem/luxury models to mainstream brands...simply stating which brands are using that type of heated steering wheel. Reason I simply mentioned Volvo was because I was aware of it having test driven a Volvo last year with full heated steering wheel same as with BMW. I know these brands are NOT a proper comparison to Mazda but again that wasn't my basis for comparison.

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