The Mazda Millenia is a luxury sedan that was introduced in 1993 and was originally designed for the planned Amati luxury line. Amati was going to be Mazda’s attempt to compete with the luxury divisions of Toyota, Honda, and Nissan. But the Amati luxury line was scrapped due to softening sales and financial despair. By this time, the design concept that was about to become the Millenia was nearly ready for production. It seemed wasteful to scrap the work that had already gone into the car. It was instead tagged as the Mazda Millenia and introduced to the market.
Body Styles: four-door sedan
Engines: 2.5-liter V-6, 2.3-liter V-6
Transmissions: four-speed automatic
Models: Mazda Millenia, Mazda Millenia L, Mazda Millenia S
The 1997 Mazda Millenia L and S gets am upgrade with 16-inch alloy wheels, an eight way power adjustable passenger seat, and revisions to the final drive ratio to improve low end response. Every model goes into 1997 with a revised center console, Michelin tires, a diversity antenna mounted to the rear window, and a new audio system with CD player.
The 1997 Mazda Millenia’s exterior look exudes class and quality, but some buyers take issue with the bland exterior paint colors. Meanwhile, it rides a 108-inch wheelbase and is 189.8 inches long, 69.7 inches wide, and 54.9 inches tall. All models have standard equipment such as fog lights, alloy wheels, and a keyless entry system. The base model comes standard with 15-inch tires, while the L and S models have standard 16-inch tires. All models have a four-wheel independent suspension for agile cornering and a European-style ride. The standard alloy wheels also contribute greatly to the ride’s responsiveness.
The 1997 Mazda Millenia’s interior is spacious and comfortable and can accommodate five people. It has power everything with power windows, locks, and seats. The interior look is quite unique with controls wrapped in amusing flowing shapes. A revised center console gives a user-friendlier cup holder, a small tray for sunglasses, and a pen holder. Beige interiors now have a darker colored instrument panel to minimize glare. The interior seems durable and doesn’t seem to wear or tear easily.
The 1997 Mazda Millenia receives standard that includes air-conditioning, automatic temperature control, power front windows, tilt steering wheel, an AM/FM radio with CD player, tachometer, variably intermittent wipers, power adjustable driver and front passenger seats, front bucket seats, rear bench seats, and a leather steering wheel. Furthermore, heated front seats are optional.
Performance & Handling
The 1997 Mazda Millenia is a solid performer with a quiet engine. The S utilizes the Miller-cycle engine, which is a 2.3-liter, V-6 engine that gets more power with the use of delayed-intake-valve timing and the Lysholm Compressor. In this instance, the compressor acts similarly to a supercharger and fills up the engine with more fuel and air than it can naturally take, thus generating greater power more efficiently. The base and L models have a 2.5-liter, V-6 engine with 170 horsepower. The power is far from overwhelming but more than sufficient when needed, and the transmission shifts smoothly. It handles amazingly well, and the steering is very responsive, while the suspension is rigid and firm but not harsh or rough. While it has an overall smooth, pleasant ride, very little rattles or squeaks are apparent and wind and engine noise is minimal.
The 1997 Mazda Millenia comes standard with four-wheel anti-lock brakes, anti-theft alarm system, and driver and passenger front airbags. NHTSA crash tests awarded five stars for passenger safety and four stars for driver safety in frontal impact crashes.
EPA Fuel Economy
Mazda Millenia: 18/28 mpg city/highway
- Great looking
- Ergonomic interior
- Pleasure to drive
- Luxury for less
- Solidly built, well-engineered
You Won't Like
- Front-wheel drive
- Small interior
- Limited color choice
- Confusing climate controls
- Lacks personality of other Mazda cars
Luxury at a great price.
If You Like This Vehicle
- Acura TL
- BMW 328
- Infiniti I30