Premium midsize car; Built in Japan
  • 4-door sedan
  • transverse front-engine/front-wheel drive
Good condition price range: $1,400 – $4,800*

1996 Mazda Millenia

1995 Mazda Millenia

1995 Mazda Millenia

1995 Mazda Millenia interior

1995 Mazda Millenia

  • Acceleration (S)
  • Antilock brakes
  • Quietness
  • Steering/handling
  • Automatic-transmission performance
  • Rear visibility

A base-model Millenia delivers plenty of luxury at a lower price than most rivals, but cannot match their performance. The costlier Millenia S has that attribute in abundance, serving as a sporty alternative to an ES 300.


Millenia went on sale in spring of 1994 as an early 1995 model. Sized and priced between the Mazda 626 family sedan and 929 luxury sedan, Millenias came in three versions: base, base with leather interior, and top-line S. Base models held a 170-horsepower 2.5-liter V6 engine. The Millenia S carried a supercharged 210-horsepower 2.3-liter V6. A 4-speed automatic transmission was standard. No manual-shift Millenias were available. Dual airbags, antilock brakes, and automatic climate control were standard. The Millenia S added traction control and 16-inch tires.

Yearly Updates

1996 Millenia
Changes to the Millenia were minor in the model’s second season.
1997 Millenia
New reflector headlights were said to provide broader, brighter coverage. Base and L models got numerically higher final-drive gearing, for improved low-end performance.
1998 Millenia
Millenia returned as a virtual rerun for ’98.
1999 Millenia
The big change for ’99 was a hefty $2500-$5500 price cut, but that had little effect on used-car prices. Other changes included revised grille and tail appearances, new wood and chrome trim inside, and one-inch larger wheels.
2000 Millenia
Remote keyless entry became standard for 2000. A lighted ignition switch was installed, and steering-gear revisions aimed to improve handling stability.
2001 Millenia
Prime additions for 2001 were standard front side airbags and altered front and rear styling. Power-lumbar driver’s seat, leather-wrapped shift knob, new center console, and 2-tone trim were also new this year.
2002 Millenia
There were no significant changes in Millenia’s final year.


transverse front-engine/front-wheel drive

Though smaller in displacement, the Miller-cycle V6 engine installed in the Millenia S sedan produces 40 more horsepower than its base-car counterpart, and 50 more pound-feet of torque. Both engines use a dual-cam configuration, but the base engine measures 2.5-liters, versus the Miller-cycle’s 2.3-liters. Sole transmission in all Millenias is a 4-speed automatic.

dohc V6
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches)2.5/152
Engine HP170
Engine Torque (lb-ft)160
Avail. Trans.EPA MPG (city/hwy)MPG avg. as tested
4-speed automatic



Supercharged dohc V6
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches)2.3/138
Engine HP210
Engine Torque (lb-ft)210
Avail. Trans.EPA MPG (city/hwy)MPG avg. as tested
4-speed automatic



Road Test

The sedan rides smoothly on the highway and rather nicely in the city. Braking is excellent. Handling is responsive and surefooted, with little body lean and firm steering that has ample feedback. Tire noise is moderate, and engine sounds are barely noticed.

The base Millenia provides adequate acceleration, capable of reaching 60 mph in 9.4 seconds. By contrast, an S model took just 7.8 seconds to 60 mph and felt much stronger, especially in midrange passing sprints. Although the automatic transmission in both models is generally smooth and responsive, flooring the throttle can result in harsh, abrupt downshifts. Both models have returned similar gas mileage: 21.8 mpg for the S and 21.4 for the base.

Space is adequate for four adults, and the dashboard is convenient and attractive. Rearward visibility is not so good, because wide roof pillars block the over-the-shoulder view. Also, the sedan’s high tail makes parallel parking something of a challenge. In addition to a huge trunk, you get closed storage boxes in front doors, a rather small glovebox, and a console storage box.


Model Tested: 2001 Mazda Millenia S

Ratings values are on a 1-10 scale, with 10 being the best. With the exception of Value, these numbers reflect how the vehicle compares against the universe of vehicles, not just against rivals in its class.


Acceleration - 6
Fuel Economy - 5
Ride Quality - 5
Steering/Handling - 7
Quietness - 6


Controls/Materials - 7
Room/Comfort Front - 6
Room/Comfort Rear - 4
Cargo Room - 3


Value - 3

Total: 52


4-door sedan
Wheelbase (in.)Length (in.)Width (in.)Height (in.)Weight (lbs)
Cargo Volume (cu/ft)Payload Capacity (cu/ft)Fuel Capacity (gal.)Seating Capacity
Safety Ratings

Model Tested: 1999 Millenia 4-door sedan


(5 is the highest rating)

Front Impact Test

Driver Injury - 4
Front Passenger Injury - 5

Side Impact Test

Driver Injury - N/A
Rear Passenger Injury - N/A


(A score of 100 is average. Lower is better)


Trouble Spots

Engine noise
Description: Some engines make a metallic tapping noise requiring a new friction-gear spring on the camshaft. (1995)
Description: It may be hard to turn the ignition key because the steering shaft is not positioned correctly. (1995)
Steering problems
Description: The steering wheel may be off center requiring adjustment of the tie rods. (1995)
Description: The headlight drain hoses can get kinked by the aiming screws causing fogging. (1995-96)
Check-engine light
Description: Check engine light comes on due to carbon buildup on the exhaust valves of 2.5L engine. (1995-02)

Recall History

Equipment Lists

Equipment lists are only viewable on larger screen sizes.


Used-car pricing varies widely depending on local market conditions. Therefore, we recommend visiting websites that list used cars for sale to get a better idea of what a specific model is selling for in your area.

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