The Millenia gets new front and rear styling and several new interior features as Mazda tries to generate more interest in its slow-selling near-luxury sedan.
When the Millenia was on the drawing board in Mazdas planned luxury division, it was intended to compete with Lexus and Infiniti. By the time the Millenia arrived as a 1995 model, those plans were scrapped and it became the top-of-the-line Mazda model.
New front and rear fascias, hood, front bumper and fenders, headlights and taillights with twin round reflectors give the Millenia a fresh appearance and add nearly 2 inches to the overall length, now 192 inches. The front-drive Millenia is about 5 inches longer than Mazdas 626 sedan and rides a 108-inch wheelbase 3 inches longer than the 626s.
A new electronic gauge cluster provides an entertaining welcome for the driver. When the ignition is turned on, luminescent red needles light up first, followed by white gauge graphics. Other new features include a two-tone color scheme and a new center console with four cupholders and a padded armrest.
The Millenia is a five-passenger sedan, though four will be much more comfortable because the rear seat isnt wide enough to hold three adults. All models come with a long list of standard amenities, including leather upholstery.
Under the Hood
The base model uses the same 170-horsepower 2.5-liter V-6 engine as the 626 sedan, and it wont win many drag races in the larger, heavier Millenia. The S model comes with a supercharged, 2.3-liter V-6, which Mazda calls a Miller-cycle engine. Despite its smaller displacement, this engine packs 210 hp and delivers impressive acceleration.
All models come with a four-speed automatic transmission and antilock brakes. Traction control is optional on the base model and standard on the S. Both models also have standard side-impact airbags for the front seats.