Review: 2020 Mazda 3 2.0L Sportback Premium edition100

Are trim packages worth the price?
by Jason Tulio | Sep 9, 2020
PHOTO: Jason Tulio
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Despite all that’s been happening in the world, 2020 has proven to be a busy time for Mazda. This year, after all, marks 100 years since the entity then known as the Toyo Cork Cogyo Co., Ltd, first began manufacturing cork out of Hiroshima, Japan. That company, of course, would go on to be rebranded as the Mazda Motor Corporation, along the way creating some of the most iconic cars of all time. 

And what exactly does a carmaker’s centennial celebration mean for customers? Why, limited-edition variants and trim packages, of course! Here we have the Mazda 3 2.0L Sportback Premium with edition100 trim package, which adds P100,000 to the compact hatchback’s price tag. Is the upgrade worth it? Let’s find out.

Styling

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The Mazda 3 recently won the World Car Design of the Year Award, and for good reason. The unique look uses reflections rather than lines to give the car its contours and curves, meaning its appearance can change depending on where you’re standing. In this hatchback form, it blends sports-car athleticism and grand-tourer elegance to suit whatever mood and setting you might be. The edition100 additions include 18-inch Midnight Black alloy wheels, Soul Red calipers, and the license plate has a new place just below the grille. 

This edition100 trim package is available in three color options: Soul Red, Jet Black, and Snowflake White Pearl. And to be honest, the Snowflake White Pearl is probably my least favorite of the bunch. In Soul Red, the edition100 accents look striking in a contrasting black shade. In Jet Black, the car takes on a badass redback spider-like appearance with the opposing Soul Red bits. In this trim, however, the mix of white, black, and red looks too busy and doesn’t mesh quite as seamlessly. 

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Interior

The edition100 package includes red leather seats and accents along the dash. Not that there is anything wrong with the regular 3’s interior—its dark and sleek but simple layout is one you won’t get tired of looking at, which is a bonus in terms of long-term car ownership. I don’t know if the same holds true for this red-accented version, but the muted hue is, at the very least, soothing to the eyes.

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The edition100 3 includes all the tech from the regular Sportback Premium, including: the i-Activsense suite of safety features, 12-speaker Bose sound system, 8.8-inch infotainment display, power-adjustable driver’s seat with memory function, and driver’s side heads-up display. 

Engine performance

No engine modifications here, so the edition100 still runs on the same 2.0-liter SkyActiv gasoline, with 152hp and 200Nm available, as the other Premium variants. What this engine lacks in turbocharged excitement, it makes up for with reasonable power delivery when you put your foot down and the old-school thrill of hearing a naturally aspirated engine make its steady climb. Our drive within the city netted us 8km/L on average. 

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Ride and handling

Mazda has never claimed that this fourth-generation 3 was a car built for performance, but it does boast perhaps the best driving dynamics in its class. True to the jinba ittai philosophy, the 3 offers a stable ride that makes you feel truly connected to the asphalt underneath. The steering is weighted just right as you hardly notice the car’s movements from within the cabin. Even while braking, the car barely lurches forward, providing you with the feeling of being in total control at all times. 

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Extra features

It’s already been mentioned, but we just have to give another shout out to the red calipers nestled behind the black wheels. It’s a small touch, but one that truly makes the variant stand out from its brothers in the lineup. 

Verdict

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How much are aesthetics and standing out worth to you? Your answer will determine whether or not the extra P100,000 for this trim is a deserving purchase. On the one hand, the edition100 does offer a unique look that represents a milestone in Mazda’s history. But the standard top-of-the-line 3 offers the same goodies for less money. There’s no right answer here, but one thing does ring true regardless of which option you choose: you’ll be getting a great car. 

SPECS: 2020 Mazda 3 Sportback Premium edition100

Price: P1,610,000
Engine: 2.0-liter gasoline I4
Power: 152hp @ 6,000rpm
Torque: 200Nm @ 4,000rpm
Transmission: 6-speed automatic
Drive layout: FWD
Seating: 5
Score: 18/20

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PHOTO: Jason Tulio
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