By Simphiwe Malenga


After Spending  a week in the Mazda 3,Not the normal one but the 100th Anniversary special Edition, I have to say Mazda is one of those cars you wouldn’t look at the first time but once you see it you won’t let it go.


Probably you’re asking yourself if Mazda has been making cars of the past 100 years? The answer is  no. This centenary is actually celebrating the birth of the company that would eventually become known as Mazda. way back in 1920, Jujiro Matsuda took over the Toyo Kogyo company and its manufacturing of industrial cork. He then oversaw its shift to the production of strange three-wheeled tuk-tuks like the 1931 Mazda-Go, before a brief break to supply rifles to the Japanese military in World War II.The other question would be is there a difference between the Standard mazda and the 100th edition model.The lovely colours! That bright exterior white is known as ‘Snowflake White’ and the interior is a lovely mix of burgundy for the seats and carpets, ivory on the dash and doors and black leather for the steering wheel and centre console. The colours are pretty much it, though. Well, other than some special edition badging and a ‘bespoke key presentation box’.



When it comes to the exterior design, The Mazda 3s is definitely a looker, smooth and classy bodylines with its glossy black grille that flows with the LED headlights and gives the car a more sleek and sportier look.

The special edition features the 100th years logo (1920-2020) on both fenders and black alloy wheels with the 100th years logo with a red outer line on the centre caps.


The Mazda 3 Astina comes fitted with 18-inch black metallic alloy wheels (Hatch Only), black side skirt, black front splitter, and black rear diffuser which blends perfectly with the dual tips exhaust.


Stepping into the Mazda 3, you are greeted with its beautiful and eye-catching two-toned leather interior. A combination of high quality black and white leather trim covering the dashboard and side door panels.

beautifully designed and laid out projecting a very comforting and classy feel. Black leather-wrapped multifunction steering wheel with paddle shifter and black leather center console.

Most of the controls inside the cabin have been kept analog to minimize distraction whilst driving, and they are laid out within an easy reach of the driver and are quite easy to remember where they are located. the instrument cluster is also analog but with a small screen in the middle. the cabin also features an 8,8inch infotainment screen with an integrated reverse camera. compatible with Apple carplay and Android Auto .

The special 100 years edition interior stands out from the standard Mazda 3 with its burgundy red leather seats with the embossed logo on the headrest of both front seats.100th year’s badge on the burgundy red floor carpets.

  • Cruise control
  • Auto-dimming rear-view mirror
  • Leather-wrapped steering wheel
  • Leather-wrapped gear shift knob
  • Rear centre seat armrest with cup holders



The Mazda 3 Astina features quite a number of advanced tech features with makes it an ideal daily driver such as:

  • 12 Speaker BOSE® sound system with subwoofer
  • i-Stop
  • Heads-up display
  • Headlamps – Auto on/off
  • Smart advanced keyless entry with push start
  • Auto fold mirrors
  • Dual-zone climate control Air-conditioning
  • Frameless Auto-dimming rear-view mirror
  • 7-inch TFT LCD Digital Meter
  • Fully electric 10-Way adjustable driver seat with adjustable lumbar support
  • Adaptive LED Headlamps



The new Mazda 3 comes packed with a number of safety features such as:

  • G-Vectoring Control Plus (GVC Plus)
  • Blind Spot Monitoring (BSM)
  • Hill Launch Assist (HLA)
  • Emergency Brake Assist (EBA)
  • Rear Cross-Traffic Alert (RCTA)
  • Rear Parking sensors
  • Electronic Parking Brake (EPB)


The Drive

The Mazda 3 Astina has proven to be an awesome daily driver. With just enough luxury, comfort, and performance. Very smooth and comfortable ride quality, the steering wheel is perfectly balanced and gives a very confident handling feel.

When it comes to practically the Mazda 3 is fairly practical. Very comfortable sitting, thanks to the sporty leather seats that also comes with integrated side-airbags and ISOFIX Child seat mounts at the back.


The rear is fairly spacious but a bit small for adults, as it lacks a bit of head room and reduces blind spot visibility due to the hatchback curve and wider C-pillars.

This specific model, the Mazda 3 Astina Auto, top of the range is powered by a 2.0L Skyactiv-G four-cylinder naturally aspirated petrol engine, pushing an output power of 121 kW and 213 Nm of torque, mated to a six-speed automatic gearbox.

The car could definitely use a little more engine power I would admit, but 121kW feels just powerful enough. As for the six-speed automatic transmission, the shifts are smooth and barely noticeable. Although the Mazda 3 could use a little more power in the future, the engine gets a little more responsive and the power delivery becomes more instant when in sport mode and produces quite a good exhaust sound which makes the drive a little more fun.

After a good long week of driving both in city and highway, we have managed an average of 8.4 L /100 Km.



Is the Mazda 3 worth recommending?

Yes, absolutely. the Mazda 3 ticks a lot of boxes. from the design, interior quality, and practicality which makes it a very good considerable vehicle that many consumers should consider adding to their wish list.


This specific model is unfortunately not available for the public here in SA, however, the Mazda3 2.0L Astina Auto Hatch is priced at R474 000. As for the rest of the range, they are priced as follow:

Mazda3 1.5L Active Manual Hatch R359900

Mazda3 1.5L Active Manual Sedan R357 000

Mazda3 1.5L Dynamic Manual Hatch R374 200

Mazda3 1.5L Dynamic Manual Sedan R371 300

Mazda3 1.5L Dynamic Auto Hatch R387 000

Mazda3 1.5L Dynamic Auto Sedan R384 100

Mazda3 1.5L Individual Manual Hatch R421 900

Mazda3 1.5L Individual Manual Sedan R418 800

Mazda3 1.5L Individual Automatic Hatch R434 700

Mazda3 1.5L Individual Automatic Sedan R431 600

Mazda3 2.0L Astina Auto Sedan R470 800