Mazda was founded in 1920, but back then the company was called the Toyo Cork Kogyo Co and specialised in cork substitutes. The company shifted to mechanics and the Mazda name first appeared in 1931 on the Mazda-Go, a motorised three-wheel truck. The name originates from Ahura Mazda, the god of light, wisdom, intelligence and harmony. The name also derives from the company’s founder, Matsuda, which is pronounced Mazda in Japanese. It was not until 1984 that Toyo Kogyo was renamed to Mazda Motor Corporation.
More than one hundred years on and Mazda now produce a range of vehicles that incorporate the Mazda design language “Kodo: Soul of Motion”. Kodo Design captures the instant energy becomes motion and it’s a fusion of functionality and beauty. The Mazda CX-3 100 year Anniversary Special Edition has been released to celebrate this significant milestone in the company’s history.
The new CX-3 is the smallest SUV in the Mazda model line-up and is built on the same platform found under the Mazda2. This would account for the amount of room in the rear seats, which are a bit tight for adults for both head and leg room. The 100 year anniversary special edition is based on the Akari front-wheel drive, 6-speed automatic variant in the CX-3 model line-up. This gives you features like LED daytime running lamps, LED front fog-lamps and LED tail-lamps and on the interior you get a sunroof, rear-view mirror with auto dimming function and advanced keyless entry.
The CX-3 is powered by a 2.0 litre, 4-cylinder petrol engine that produces 110kW and 195Nm of torque. Mazda recommends the use of 91RON fuel and the official combined fuel efficiency for this CX-3 is 6.3L/100km and for my week I used 7.1L/100km. You can to engage ‘Sport’ mode, but to be honest there really was not a lot of power from the engine and I found Sport mode was just annoying as it simply held the gear longer at higher revs. I also thought the ride was a bit jiggly over the bumps in the road.
I did feel the Kodo Design principles in the cabin, particularly with the easy to use rotary controller for the 7-inch infotainment screen. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are available to connect your smart phone to the system and there is a deep storage area at the front of the centre console for your phone. In this cubby there are two USB ports, one 12V outlet, one AUX port and an SD car slot for the sat nav. Other media options available include AM/FM, DAB+, Bluetooth, USB, aha and stitcher.
The seat material used in my 100 year special edition CX-3 was burgundy leather and the driver’s seat had powered adjustment for forward/back, height, recline and 2-way lumbar adjustment with two memory positions. The passenger seat only has manual adjustment for forward/back, recline and height adjustment, but both front seats are heated.
I also liked the cup holders in the CX-3 as there was one standard holder and the second one could either hold a cup or be made deeper for a drink bottle. The drink bottle cubby in the front doors is also a good size too. The elements of the cabin that I was less keen on included the rotary controllers for temp, speed and mode of the climate control and the burgundy coloured floor mats.
From a technology stand point the head-up display is only a basic flip-up screen in front of the driver and taller people would not be able to view the information at all on the screen. This CX-3 does have voice control and this worked okay for making calls, but is not available to set a destination on the sat nav. The button for the voice control on the leather wrapped steering wheel has a masculine-looking silhouette on it, which is similar to the image used by many other car manufacturers.
There two ISOFIX/three rear tether child seat restraint points, however the width of the CX-3 would limit you to using only two of these. The centre seat does fold down as an arm rest with two cup holders. There are no central rear air vents (something my children always complain about) and no USB ports for rear seat passengers.
The boot has a manual open and close boot lid and a nifty false floor that can be completely removed to give you some extra depth and under the boot floor itself is a temporary use spare tyre. There are four tie down points and a light in the boot and the rear seat has a 60/40 split folding functionality for greater storage space if needed.
A 5-star ANCAP (2015) safety rating applies to all CX-3 models and they all have dual frontal, side chest and side head airbags (curtains) as standard. On the CX-3 I drove there was a large amount of safety tech including smart brake support, smart city brake support (forward & rear), forward obstruction warning, blind spot monitoring, lane departure warning, adaptive cruise control and a 360o rear view camera with front and rear sensors. In addition you get the convenience of auto lights and auto wipers.
All new Mazda vehicles are backed by a five year, unlimited kilometre warranty plus five year’s Mazda Premium Roadside Assistance. The service intervals for the CX-3 are every 12 months or 10,000kms, whichever comes first. Using the Mazda website I calculated the cost for the first five basic services on the CX-3 would be $1,775.
Over the past 100 years Mazda have delivered innovation in the automotive industry and desirability for the models they have produced. The CX-3 would make a great car for city driving due to its size and the level of driver safety aids that are available. Prices for the CX-3 100 year Anniversary Special Edition start at $37,690 excluding on-road costs and as tested with floor mats ($169) the CX-3 I drove was priced at $37,859 plus on-roads. Visit your preferred Mazda dealer to experience the Soul of Motion for yourself.
|The driver safety technology fitted||Limited head and leg room in rear seats|
|91RON petrol recommended||The head-up display|
|Heated front seats||No central rear air vents|
Photographs by Driven Women Magazine.