Testing the 2020 Mazda3 Sportback edition100: Beauty beyond measure

Before you move on to read about what I think about the limited-run Mazda3 Sportback edition100, let it be known that I am completely enamored with the Mazda3 lineup, no matter which variant it comes in. 

But that doesn’t mean that I’ll be biased in this review – far from it. You see, healthy fandom does come with the acceptance of faults and shortcomings, and that’s what I’m going to share with you dear reader.

So with only 50 units available in Mazda dealers, is the additional P20,000 on top of the top-spec Speed variant worth the money? Yes and no.


While the other edition100 test unit that I saw from my colleagues come in Snowflake White Pearl, I was lucky enough to receive the Soul Red Crystal version. Lucky, for I seriously love this color since I first took a gander at it with the second-generation CX-5.

Picking up from the critically-acclaimed design execution of the Sportback – the main reason why the edition100 was created – this hatchback is pretty much like the Speed variant, but with a sinister twist.

Now, what separates the edition100 from the Sportback Speed? The relocated license plates upfront, which exposes the huge black grille, and the set of noir 18-inch alloys with red brake calipers. They aren’t much but paired with the body kits, ensembles of LEDs, the round taillights that stare into your soul, the whole thing emanates a diabolical aura to the Mazda3

Then again, not even these things supersede my notion that this car’s C-pillars look disproportioned in some angles, but maybe that’s just me.


The ungodly aura continues in the dark-themed, with red leather trimmings that are hard to miss. While red leather doesn’t always work in favor of some cars, such as in the case of the Coolray Sport, it’s a bit more acceptable in the Mazda3 since it matches squarely with its devilish appeal.

Space isn’t really the Mazda3 Sportback’s selling point, and that still holds true with the edition100. Average-sized drivers won’t have a problem upfront, but the rear cabin’s a bit cramped vertically. Good thing there are air-conditioning vents at the rear, so it still going to be a cozy ride for two people.

Overall, Mazda’s chase for premium-ness can be felt in the cabin. From the choice of materials down to the very sound of turn signals – everything’s carefully curated to satisfy the senses. 

Well, almost everything, if not for the shiny plastics on the center console that scratch easily.

Technology & Safety

As the special version of the top-spec variant, techie buyers will enjoy the bevy of features found in the 3 Sportback edition100. I will not list them all here because that’s going to be cumbersome to read. But most notable and useful for me was the 10-way electronic seating adjustment with memory function and the radar-based adaptive cruise control with a lane-keeping function that relinquishes fatigue during long highway drives.

And oh, the most logical tech feature here is the intelligent 360-degree cameras that activate via sensors. They intuitively keep this low-slung car safe from scratches.

Driving & Handling

While most car manufacturers have already gone for DCTs and CVTs for their newer cars, Mazda keeps faith with its six-speed SkyActiv-Drive torque converter automatic transmission. That move pays off for the Japanese marque as it effectively transfers the juice from the 2.0-liter powerhouse down to the road. Mind you, this naturally-aspirated engine only makes 152hp and 200Nm of torque – not the class topper but there was never a time when the power felt lacking during my tests.

The excellent power delivery comes paired with impeccable handling, which sums up the overall enthused feeling to drive this car. Jinbai Ittai isn’t just a Japanese phrase that Mazda uses to confuse probable buyers. It’s real and I dare you to test one out yourself to experience it yourself.

Fuel Efficiency

The Mazda3 in its Sportback body is efficient in burning fuel. Spending some time stuck on a traffic-laden EDSA yielded 7.7 km/l, while driving on better days clocked in 13 km/l at an average speed of 40 km/h. On the highway, at speeds maintained close to 90 km/h, the car registered 21.8 km/l. It’s not as economical as small hatchbacks but when compared to other compacts, the Mazda3 definitely stands out.


The Mazda3 Sportback isn’t a perfect compact car, but it aims to do so, shortcomings aside. It isn’t a car that will impress you at first glance; you need to ride in one and spend valuable time behind its steering wheel to appreciate its beauty – a beauty beyond measure.

With the edition100 – priced at P1,610,000 – that extra money gives you a slight edge over “normal” Speed trim. If you like the overall look, that money’s going to pay for its worth, so we recommend that you go for it.

But then again, you’ll pretty much get the same noteworthy experience from the Speed and Premium variants without the edition100 monicker; they’re still a Mazda3 anyway.

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