1996 Mazda Millenia Review

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$483 - $1,165

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Vehicle overview

By 1990, Honda, Toyota and Nissan all had luxury divisions that offered superbly engineered cars at prices that rivaled American and European brands. Mazda was a bit slow to react, but soon had its own luxury channel planned. To be called Amati, Mazda began developing two sedans to sell through the division when it debuted in the mid-nineties.

The rising yen and softening sales in the luxury car segment made it clear to Mazda that Amati would be nothing more than a money pit. The project was cancelled, but one of the sedans in development was nearly ready for production. Rather than consign that sedan to a future of write-ups in "Cars Japan Never Built" books, they decided to sell it as a Mazda. They named it Millenia, and priced it, in base trim, to compete with entry-level BMWs, the Nissan Maxima, and even top-of-the-line Toyota Camrys.

The Millenia is an interesting looking car, unless you're viewing it from the side or rear. The S version is powered by the only Miller-cycle engine in production, a 2.3-liter unit equipped with a supercharger and good for 210 horsepower. Millenia sports a distinctive look up front, but the rest is generic Japanese sedan, which is not a bad thing if you value quality and efficient design over individuality. In contrast to the dowdy sheetmetal, the interior is quite distinctive, in the Mazda tradition of providing excellent controls wrapped in interestingly flowing shapes.

Competition in the Millenia's price range is stout, but this car has what it takes to go up against the likes of the Volvo 850, Lexus ES300, and C-Class Mercedes, to name a few. If it only had something other than the Miller-cycle engine to distinguish it, like the personality most other Mazdas exhibit, we could wholeheartedly recommend it.

1996 Highlights

The Millenia S gets revised bright-finish alloy wheels.

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the Used 1996 Mazda Millenia.

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Most helpful consumer reviews

Great, underrecognized car
Ken F.,11/17/2003
S 4dr Sedan
Miller cycle engine of this car is world class, puts out more horsepower per liter than a Corvette engine. Engine never seems to be straining or overly loud under strong acceleration. Bought car used for less than 9K. Came with every option available. Handling and brakes are very good. The only weak spot is the automatic transmission which shifts rough under hard acceleration. No trouble with the car that I could not fix myself in 15 minutes. Biggest disappointment, Ford no longer makes this engine.
Great Car
james brownlee,05/16/2003
L 4dr Sedan
We have this car for 5 yrs. and have not had any repairs other than, one set of brak pads, oil changes,and tires! (144K+miles} Drives Great! Looks Great! Gets good gas millage! Fun to Drive!
Fun to drive Expensive to fix
S 4dr Sedan
This is a great car to drive. Very quiet Bose sound and supercharged. Just hope you don't have to fix it. Waterpump and timing belt cost 1800.00 vacuum leaks $200. Used tensioner for AC Belt 175.00 Nice to drive just be prepared to crack that wallet open when it needs fixing
Best car I ever owned
4dr Sedan
I bought my millenia used, with just under 100k miles on it. I have had it for almost 10 years and I can honestly say it is the best car I have ever owned, and the one I have loved most. I have only had to replace the timing belt/water pump and a few hoses and that is it. this car is So fun to drive and I have driven it hard, in the city daily, with a lot of stop and go. It developed a oil leak a few days ago, and I drove it anyway, stupidly, but I had no choice and it ran dry and caused severe damage to the radiator and hoses. it will not be worth it to fix, as I cant be assured the engine hasn't suffered damage as well. I am so sad to let this car go.


NHTSA Overall Rating

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.
  • Frontal Barrier Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    Driver4 / 5
    Passenger5 / 5
  • Side Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
  • Side Barrier Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    DriverNot Rated
    PassengerNot Rated
  • Combined Side Barrier & Pole Ratings
    Front SeatNot Rated
    Back SeatNot Rated
  • Rollover
    RolloverNot Rated
    Dynamic Test ResultNo Tip
    Risk Of RolloverNot Rated
IIHS Rating
The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety uses extensive crash tests to determine car safety.
  • Side Impact Test
    Not Tested
  • Roof Strength Test
    Not Tested
  • Rear Crash Protection / Head Restraint
    Not Tested
  • IIHS Small Overlap Front Test
    Not Tested
  • Moderate Overlap Front Test

More about the 1996 Mazda Millenia

Used 1996 Mazda Millenia Overview

The Used 1996 Mazda Millenia is offered in the following submodels: Millenia Sedan. Available styles include L 4dr Sedan, S 4dr Sedan, and 4dr Sedan.

What's a good price on a Used 1996 Mazda Millenia?

Shop with Edmunds for perks and special offers on used cars, trucks, and SUVs near Ashburn, VA. Doing so could save you hundreds or thousands of dollars. Edmunds also provides consumer-driven dealership sales and service reviews to help you make informed decisions about what cars to buy and where to buy them.

Which used 1996 Mazda Millenias are available in my area?

Shop Edmunds' car, SUV, and truck listings of over 6 million vehicles to find a cheap new, used, or certified pre-owned (CPO) 1996 Mazda Millenia for sale near. Simply research the type of car you're interested in and then select a used car from our massive database to find cheap prew-owned vehicles for sale near you. Once you have identified a used vehicle you're interested in, check the AutoCheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the Used 1996 Mazda Millenia.

Can't find a used 1996 Mazda Millenias you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

Find a used Mazda Millenia for sale - 10 great deals out of 10 listings starting at $11,536.

Find a used Mazda for sale - 9 great deals out of 16 listings starting at $15,998.

Find a used certified pre-owned Mazda Millenia for sale - 12 great deals out of 24 listings starting at $7,520.

Find a used certified pre-owned Mazda for sale - 5 great deals out of 16 listings starting at $17,524.

Should I lease or buy a 1996 Mazda Millenia?

Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.

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