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Thursday, March 06, 2008

FULL REVIEW: Mazda Premacy 2.0GSi

FULL REVIEW: Mazda Premacy 2.0GXi. 2001-2005

Mazda Premacy, I just seen 2 of them today on the road. Man, they still look great today (Especially in Mica Blue colour with Bodykit). Based on Mazda 323 (2001), the Premacy was imported into Malaysia in Limited Numbers in 2003 and was priced at RM132,000 initially. One year later, price dropped to RM118,000. As I do not have a Premacy to test drive, again, I dished out 2 articles on the car.

USED PRICING IN MALAYSIA: Recently, A 2004 model’s up for RM74,000 while a 2003 model’s up for 69,000. On 6/3/08 The Star Metro Classifieds (Today’s paper) however, a 2004 model’s priced at RM71,800.

Article 1, A SUPER TEST from Go Auto Australia (back in 2001) while Article 2 is from The Star Motoring (back in 2005). In addition, I’ll also feature some Owners review (Coming soon).

Here’s Article 1: Enjoy:

Article 1: SUPER TEST. Source:

Model release dates: February 2001 - June 2005


UNDETERRED by a lack of buyer interest in flexible, tall-roof hatches offered to date by its Korean rivals, Mazda has pushed ahead with its stylish, five-seater Premacy. Essentially a 323 Astina pulled and stretched into a shape that bridges the gap between traditional hatch and people-mover, the Premacy offers clever seating arrangements, excellent ergonomics and extremely useful - and versatile - luggage space. Although rear seat room could be better, the biggest drawback comes from a lack of performance from the 1.8-litre engine.

NOTE: However, in 2004 Mazda addressed the issue by introducing the 2.0i engine with 99kw.


MAZDA used a theme called "Contrast in Harmony" in the development of its Premacy, creating a formal appearance designed to blend into the urban environment. With a pentagon at the centre grille as the focal point from the front, the overall body forms a strong wedge shape from the front to the sides, then up to the roof. At the rear, large combination lamps are used, while a V-shaped rear window aims to maximise driver visibility. Based on a combination of 626 and 323 components, the Premacy has a body length (4295mm) and width (1705mm) similar to that of a small-medium car, despite a relatively long (2670mm) wheelbase.

The Car - Seat Plan

ALL five seats of the Premacy, two at the front and three at the rear, are independent to provide good comfort and seating flexibility. Each also has a three-point seatbelt and head restraint. The rear seats can double-fold and - at no more than 13kg - be removed easily, while the front passenger seat also tilts forward. A high seating position and enormous windscreen help with driver visibility. The Premacy is designed so that even people of small stature can keep their heels firmly on the ground in a seated position when exiting the vehicle.

The Car - Seats

WITH velour seat trim standard and a soft urethane cushion adopted exclusively on Premacy's five individual seats, the Mazda mini-people-mover sets out to offer a high level of comfort for all occupants. There's no lumbar adjustment to be found, although the driver can alter the height and angle of the seat cushion. Velour trim is also used on the front and rear door panels. An armrest is provided for the driver. The rear seat back can be placed in one of two positions.

Note: IN MALAYSIA, THE PREMACY’s CLOTHED with 2 TONED LEATHER and came with 7 Seats as seen in picture above which makes it a 5+2 seats.

The Car - Luggage

MAZDA claims the luggage area of the Premacy secures enough space to carry three large (750mm Samsonite-type) suitcases upright. The maximum cargo room height measures 989mm, while the maximum cargo room width is 1330mm. Usable width space is another matter, however, with suspension intrusion reducing rear width to 990mm. The distance from tailgate to seatback (when upright) measures 965mm, while cargo volume is 370 litres. A full size spare is provided, though by doing so Mazda has foregone the ability to offer a completely flat floor. There isn't an abundance of cargo storage facilities, but luggage tie-down hooks and a power outlet are provided.

The Car - Dash

THE Premacy instrument panel is shaped in a gentle curve from the centre towards both sides and to the front - the aim being to create a feeling of spaciousness. A light-grey two-tone colour scheme is used. Three gauges are incorporated into the analogue instrument display, with oversized alphanumerics used for good legibility and easier recognition at a glance.

The Car - Controls

ALL controls are conveniently located for the driver and lights are installed in the power window switches, ignition key cylinder and glovebox for good visibility and easy operation during night-time driving. The steering wheel is tilt-adjustable and has audio controls attached for easy operation when driving. There's also a fuel cap release lever provided for the driver. The one constant source of frustration for anyone who's used to driving Mazdas - or other Japanese vehicles - is that the indicator stalk is on the left-hand side. Variable intermittent wipers also fail to get a look in.

The Car - Wheels/tyres

PREMACY rides on 15-inch steel rims with 195/55 Toyo tyres. Full-size plastic wheel covers are provided, as is a full-size spare wheel found underneath the cargo floor. Alloy wheels are available as an option.
IN MALAYSIA, the tyre size’s the same except it’s fitted with 15” Alloy rims.

The Car - Stand out features

THOUGH not the first mini-people-mover onto the market in Australia, at its launch in February 2001 the five-seater Premacy became the first to offer excellent seating versatility along with acres of interior space. The three individual rear seats each fold, tumble and are light enough for easy removal. The front passenger seat also tilts forward. Driver ergonomics are outstanding, and Mazda has found a good blend of safety equipment and creature comforts to justify the additional expense over its Korean rivals in particular.

The Car - Climate control

AIR-CONDITIONING is standard on Premacy. The heating and air-conditioning system is operated manually using a combination of three rotary dials (for air distribution, fan speed and temperature), buttons (for rear demist and air-con on/off) and a horizontal slider (for recirculation). Rear heater ducts are provided, along with a cabin air filter located at the air intake (upstream of the evaporator) which Mazda claims is 10 times more effective at eliminating toxins that its major rivals.

The Car - Sound system

A NEATLY integrated AM/FM radio with single-slot CD player and four speakers is provided on the Premacy. The controls on the head unit are large and easy to operate, while switches are also attached to the steering column for even easier operation. This latter lever can adjust the volume, radio frequency and swap between the AM and FM band. The audio unit matches the design of the instrument panel and has a flush surface, melding smoothly into the interior design.

The Car - Security

REMOTE central locking is standard on Premacy and is linked with the standard engine immobiliser system to alter the ID code each time the transmitter is operated. Any attempt to use a key other than a Mazda-supplied electromagnetic key disables the fuel and ignition systems, making it virtually impossible to start the engine. This prevents the vehicle being stolen with a duplicate key. The Premacy locks also deadlocks when the remote keypad's locking button is pressed twice or the key cylinder on the driver's door is turned twice in the locking direction. Premacy also features a steering shaft declutching device to prevent thieves from breaking the steering lock.

We LIKE: Style, versatility, ergonomics, equipment
WE DON”T LIKE: Engine performance, rear seat room


By TERRY MARTIN 5/3/2001

THE small four-wheel drive insurgence might be in full swing - but a counter-revolution is just around the corner.
It will come when the rank and file finally realise that what they've actually been fighting for these past few years is a clever vehicle that suits their suburban, not mountain climbing, needs.

Helped along by queer import rules for four-wheel drives, recreational vehicles as we currently know them have sated the Australian appetite for tall, compact, versatile, spacious and, most importantly, visually appealing transport.
But we now have the Mazda Premacy, a fine example of the new breed of RVs that satisfy all those requirements - and more - without the butch and bush pretentiousness.

While a couple of pre-emptive Korean strikes have failed to make an impact, pennies are about to start dropping and loyalties dividing as the Premacy and forthcoming rivals like the Holden Zafira and Renault Scenic mount their respective campaigns.
Priced from less than $28,000 at launch, the Premacy is essentially a 323 Astina 1.8 pulled and stretched into a shape that bridges the gap between traditional hatch and people-mover.

The result is a (shock, horror) stylish little five-seater harbouring loads of interior space, great ergonomics and clever seating arrangements, thanks in no small part to a long 2670mm wheelbase, a tall 1570mm overall height and a heritage in both driver-friendly and family-friendly interior design.
Cruise control didn't make it into the package, nor did alloy wheels or intermittent wipers. Yet Mazda has typically found a good blend of safety and attention-grabbing features to give the Premacy package widespread appeal.

Air-conditioning, anti-lock brakes with electronic brake-force distribution, remote locking, dual airbags, roof rails, single-slot CD stereo, electric mirrors and windows, rear security blind and power socket, velour seat trim, and headrests and three-point seatbelts for all occupants made the cut.
But what separates the Premacy from traditional hatches and wagons is its terrific use of space and versatility.

Instead of a standard rear bench seat, the Premacy has lightweight, individual pews that neatly fold, tumble and are easily removed to significantly increase upon the (already palatial) luggage space.

The front passenger seatback also tilts forward, enabling items of up to 2.6 metres in length to fit inside, and the high roofline allows tall objects such as bicycles to slot in from the large rear tailgate aperture.

The interior doesn't come without its limitations. With the (1705mm) overall width kept to 323 proportions, rear shoulder room becomes restrictive when all three seats are occupied and burly passengers will find the 435mm (outboard) seat width too narrow and the doors too close for comfort.

The centre rear seat is even tighter at 390mm and blighted by an awkward key-release seatbelt mechanism, while the absence of rear seat fore/aft adjustment means legroom will be a problem for many adults.

Other disappointments include the lack of a genuine walk-though from the front seats, the room taken up by the rear suspension (maximum cargo width drops from 1330mm to 960mm) and the failure to provide a flat floor when the rear seats are removed. Mazda Australia lost the latter feature when it specified a full-size spare wheel (a seven-seat version is available in other markets, however).

None of the above is terribly troubling from the driver's seat, where huge glass areas ensure good driver visibility, major controls are large in size and well presented, seats are comfortable (though lacking support) and storage facilities, including a deep centre console bin and a tray under the front passenger seat, arereadily found.

The stereo in particular is a model for user-friendliness and a stalk attached to the steering column makes for even easier audio operation.
On the flipside, Premacy is the first Mazda in living memory with a left-hand indicator - and that can be annoying.

Output isn't a problem on the 323, but the Premacy is forced to shift more than 1300kg in five-speed manual transmission form and performance slips from okay to average to poor as each additional passenger is bundled in.

With a small family on-board, the Premacy frequently calls upon the driver to use the light manual gearshift and keep the engine spinning well above 3000rpm. Fuel economy and interior refinement suffer as a result, but if ignored the engine will struggle under the weight, especially when travelling uphill.

Otherwise, the Premacy drive is a largely enjoyable one. The lightweight steering and useful 10.8-metre turning circle make for easy manoeuvring around the 'burbs, though the steering lacks feedback and precision at higher speeds and will throw up kickback through the wheel if the vehicle encounters ripples mid-corner.
Such conditions will also expose a degree of bodyroll and a lack of grip from the standard 15-inch Toyo tyres, while the open road reveals an inordinate amount of tyre and wind noise. Yet we'd never expect driving dynamics to be the highlight of the Premacy package.

More to the point, this flexible new-age wagon is cute, clever, clearly defined and a product of our times. The first step toward the imminent counter-revolution.

END OF OPINION by Terry Martin.

Mechanical - Engine

THE Premacy is powered by same 1.8-litre DOHC 16-valve four-cylinder engine found in 323 Astina and Protégé models. It produces 92kW of power at 6000rpm and 163Nm of torque (or pulling power) at 4000rpm. Claimed fuel economy figures for the manual point to 10.0 litres per 100km on the city cycle and 7.2L/100km on the highway - the automatic is slightly higher at 10.5 and 7.2L/100km city/highway. Normal unleaded fuel is used.

NOTE: IN MALAYSIA, the Premacy’s powered by 2.0i DOHC 16v i4 found in Mazda 626 with 99kw and 174Nm of torque.

Mechanical - Suspension

PREMACY uses independent MacPherson struts front and rear. The front is a lightweight, space-efficient configuration featuring vertically aligned bushings on the lower arms to enhance the rigidity of the suspension attachment for improved handling and stability - and reduced road noise. The rear suspension system features Mazda's traditional twin-trapezoidal link strut arrangement consisting of dual lateral links and a trailing link, providing long wheel travel for good roadholding and ride comfort.

Mechanical - Transmission

TWO types of transmissions are available on Premacy - a five-speed manual and an electronically controlled four-speed automatic. The final gear ratio for the manual and automatic is a low 4.105 and 4.147 respect

Mechanical - Brakes

A COMBINATION of power-assisted ventilated discs (front) and drums (rear) are used on the Premacy. The front discs measure 24mm thickness and 258mm in external diameter, while the rear drums measure 42mm x 228.6mm in internal diameter. Anti-lock brakes (ABS) with electronic brake-force distribution (EBD) is standard. The ABS system uses a wheel-speed sensor at each corner to detect difference in revolution, and three channels to control the front brakes individually and the rear brakes as a pair.

Did you know?
An anti-lock braking system prevents the wheels from locking and thereby maintains directional stability. EBD varies the amount of rear braking force depending on vehicle load to achieve optimal stopping performance

Mechanical - Steering

PREMACY uses an engine speed-sensitive power-assisted rack-and-pinion steering system. The gear ratio of the system is set at 15:1, which Mazda claims enables agile manoeuvrability and good handling. The support structure of the steering assembly has been changed to a bushing mounted arrangement to improve mounting support rigidity and better response to steering inputs. A sheetmetal support yoke is used on the steering gear mechanism to reduce friction and obtain more precise gearing. The turning circle is 10.8 metres.


DUAL airbags (45 litres capacity for the driver and 110 litres for the front passenger) are standard on Premacy, along with anti-lock brakes with electronic brake-force distribution. Designed in accordance with the Mazda Advanced Impact-energy Distribution and Absorption System (MAIDAS), Premacy is claimed to attain one of the highest levels of safety in any vehicle segment. The company claims it has performed well in (in-house) frontal, side-on, rear-end and pole crash tests. Pedestrian safety was also a high priority, with a good distance between bonnet and engine (to minimise head injuries when colliding with the car) and impact-absorbing bumpers (to protect the legs).


* Three-year/100,000km
* Major service intervals: 10,000km

* 1.839-litre DOHC 16-valve front-mounted transverse inline four-cylinder (1991cc DOHC 16-valve, inline 4 cylinder)
* Power: 92kW @ 6000rpm (99kw@6000rpm)
* Torque: 163Nm @ 4000rpm (174Nm@4500rpm)
* Compression ratio: 9.1:1 (NA)
* Bore x stroke: 83mm x 84mm (83 x 84mm)

* Five-speed manual or four-speed automatic

* Front: independent by MacPherson struts, coil springs, anti-roll bar
* Rear: independent by MacPherson struts and trapezoidal links, coil springs, anti-roll bar

* Power-assisted engine revolution-sensing rack-and-pinion
* Turning circle: 10.8 metres
* Turns lock to lock: 3.1

* Length: 4295mm
* Width: 1705mm
* Height: 1600mm
* Wheelbase: 2670mm
* Front track: 1465mm
* Rear track: 1470mm
* Kerb weight: 1308kg
*Towing Capacity 1200kg

Average: 9.4km/litre (2.0i model)

Top Speed: 190km/h (2.0i Auto)
0-100km/h: 11 seconds (2.0i Auto)

* Air-conditioning
* Remote central locking
* Power mirrors
* Power windows
* Anti-lock brakes
* Dual airbags
* Roof rails
* Four-speaker CD stereo
* Tilt-adjustable steering
* Leather seat trim
* Driver's armrest
* Individual double-folding and removable rear seats
* Rear power socket
* Halogen headlights
* Large Electric Sun/Moonroof

Did you know?

1) The current Mazda logo is a development of the previous "M" and was developed by Rei Yoshimura, a noted corporate identification artist. The "V" in the centre of the new symbol spreads out like an opening fan, representing creativity, a sense of mission, the gentleness and flexibility, the resoluteness and vitality that Mazda likes to think it represents

2) The size and shape of the Premacy's door openings, high hip points of the seats and sedan-like floor height are designed to enable a person of any stature to enter and exit easily with minimum change in posture

3) The Premacy's seats are designed to minimise fatigue on long drives and to equalise the body pressure distribution corresponding to changes in the occupant's posture

4) The fuel gauge has a fuel sensor mechanism automatically adjusted by a microprocessor for an accurate reading at all times

5) Premacy is the first Mazda vehicle in living memory that has a left-hand indicator stalk

6) All of Mazda's car manufacturing facilities throughout the world feature "mixed model" production capability

7) The position of the rear security blind can be adjusted in three stages depending on the reclined angle of the rear seats

8) Mazda Motor Corporation is based in Hiroshima, Japan

9) Mazda cars and trucks are assembled in more than 20 countries around the world

10) Mazda has a global R&D network with operations in Japan (Hiroshima and Yokohama), the United States (Irvine, California and Ann Arbor, Michigan), and Germany (Oberursel)

ARTICLE 2 from The Star Motoring Online:

Sunday October 2, 2005

Premier power

THOUGH I don’t foresee getting one myself, MPVs are seen as functional vehicles, more so in Asia where families are fond of cruising together; granny, teddy and all. Fortunately I was handed a pseudo-MPV – the Mazda Premacy with 130hp under the hood.

Looking more like a sports hatchback than an MPV, the Premacy’s award-winning design suits younger drivers (as well as those coerced into getting a seven-seater by granny).

The vehicle is wrapped all-round with a sporty skirting, making it look lower-set and a little more menacing than other MPVs around. There’s also a pair of spotlights integrated into the body kit, plus a spoiler on the rear roof.

However, it’s not just for the un-MPV look that the Premacy stands out. It packs a 2.0 litre, 16-valve engine that does 0-100km/h under 11 seconds (I know that's not wild but we’re talking about an MPV here).

Mazda Premacy

The bullet-shaped body definitely looks like an efficient wind-cutter, and stability is apparent.

It runs on a four-speed auto gearbox, which is responsive and smooth. A microprocessor is responsible for controlling the gear changes, clutches and fluid pressure according to the engine torque and load conditions.

The vehicle was pushed and stretched on windy roads; its handling is excellent, without a trace of instability or uncertainty, even with a load of five occupants. The suspension employs an independent configuration, and ride comfort is exceptional.
The portable fridge for a road-trip was plugged into the 12V socket located at the second row. This section seats three, with both ends having the option of large armrests. The last row is a tight two-seater. The kids will have to settle for this section – the bonus is they’ll be well boxed-in!

Air-conditioning vents are limited to the front only. Oh yes – the cabin has a nice final touch – a sunroof. It can be tilted or slid back at the touch of buttons.
When fully-loaded with seven passengers, luggage space is limited. However, the seat system is multi-functional. There are many variants depending on need.

The third row seats can be removed altogether; the centre seat (“jump seat”) in the second row can be removed, creating room and an aisle access to the back; or the second row seats can be double-folded forward.

If needed, two mountain bikes can be stowed. In other words, large or bulky items can be loaded with some adjustments. Luggage hooks are located in the four corners of the floor of the luggage space, and a convenient box is positioned below the luggage space for stowing large objects.

Dashboard and instrumentations are nothing striking; pretty standard design and layout. The auto gear shift is located at the steering wheel, which is something that really requires getting used to, especially during hard driving when gear-shifting is needed.

Storage facilities include a glove box in the dashboard, in-panel side pocket, door pockets and a centre console with CD storage space.

Safety aspects include driver and passenger airbags, plus an impact-distribution and absorption system. The four-wheel ABS helps in stopping, combined with an electronic brake-force distribution (EBD) system, which matches braking performance to the weight of passengers and luggage.

Premacy’s Clarion sound system with a psychedelic display packs a decent bass, with speakers in the front and last rows. Seats are leather, while the alarm system comes with an immobiliser.

This stylish set of wheels is imported CBU, and goes for RM135,708 (on-the-road) but there are promotions at various dealers, with prices about RM124,000.

OWNER REVIEWS: (All sourced from


For whooping 13 owner's reviews...

END OF REVIEW: Once again, Thanks for having the patience to finish reading this Full review.


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