What's New for 2002
Now that the brilliant 6 sport sedan has been approved for production, the Millenia's days are numbered. Understandably, changes for 2002 barely register on the Richter scale. Are you ready for this? An auto-dimming mirror with compass is standard, and Snow White Pearl paint is changed to Snow Flake White Pearl paint. You can also get a Special Edition with a chrome-finished front grille, a black exterior and a black-and-ivory interior with titanium trim.
The Mazda Millenia leads a dual-purpose life. It comes in two versions: the Millenia and the Millenia S. In terms of price, the base Millenia competes against cars like the Honda Accord EX V6 and the Nissan Maxima, while the Millenia S goes up against sporty entry-level luxury cars like the Audi A4, Acura TL and Lincoln LS.
The Millenia has been around in its current iteration since 1995. To keep the car fresh, Mazda recently updated the car's styling. Never a standout in terms of design, the Millenia's revised hood, fenders, bumper, grille and headlights certainly helped matters. Today's Millenia is an attractive car.
Inside, leather trim is standard equipment. There's also a premium audio system, a center console with dual-level storage, a leather armrest cover, a 12-volt power point and dual covered cupholders. Dressed in a snazzy two-tone interior color scheme, Millenia's cabin boasts a leather-wrapped steering wheel, shift knob and parking brake. Rounding things out are items such as power lumbar support, rear-seat cupholders and retained accessory power. As was the case last year, traction control and heated front seats are part of the Four-Seasons package. The Special Edition package includes a special front grille, black exterior paint and a black-and-ivory trimmed interior.
The main difference between the Millenia and Millenia S is their engines. The base Millenia is powered by a 2.5-liter V6 that makes 170 horsepower at 5,800 rpm and 160 pound-feet of torque at 4,800 rpm. The supercharged 2.3-liter V6 in the Millenia S makes 210 horsepower at 5,300 rpm and 210 pound-feet of torque at 3,500 rpm. Both are equipped with four-speed automatic transmissions. The Millenia's 170 horsepower is a bit wanting, so it's best to step up to the Millenia S, if you're looking for power. Acceleration is strong, as long as summer heat isn't sapping the engine's strength. On the road, the Millenia's suspension does a good job of quelling body roll in turns, but exhibits an excessively floaty ride on the highway. Mazda considers the Nissan Maxima, the Infiniti I35, the Toyota Avalon and the Acura TL to be the Millenia's primary competitors. That's heady company, and given the Mazda's age, basic luxury amenities, interior packaging and dearth of performance capability, the 6 cannot arrive soon enough.