Last post on Jan 06, 2013 at 9:24 PM
You are in the Mazda Millenia
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Mazda Millenia, Sedan
#1873 of 4030 Just Bought My First Mazda
Jun 26, 2002 (6:10 pm)
After many loyal years with General Motors, I bought a new 2002 Mazda Millenia P Special Edition today. My GM cars have always been good running, dependable vehicles (Pontiac, Chevy, GMC truck), but the deal I got on this Millenia was just too good to be true. I passed on the super charged Miller 2.3 Special Edition. The 2.5 6 cyl seemed to have enough power for my needs. I tested both, but "settled" for the 2.5 with 170 hp. I could feel a difference with the 2.3 SC engine, but not enough of difference to make me spend the extra 2 grand. The sticker on my purchase was $31520 and I paid $23500 + $149 documentaion fee + tax + title fee. Basically, $8020 off sticker !!! I tried to work the dealer (in Tennessee) a little lower, but this seemed to be the best he could do. I know that this is the last year for the Millenia, so now is the time to make a deal if you're in the market for one. I opted for the special edition package because I liked the 17" titanium finish wheels and ivory leather interior. Black wasn't my first choice in exterior colors, but since the special edition models only come in black, that's what I got. In addition to the standard features that come with the special edition, I also got the moonroof deflector, auto dimming mirror with compass, cargo net, in dash 6 disc cd changer, 4 seasons package, and Bose sound system with 9 speakers. I'm not buying into the extended warranties. I'm hoping that Mazda reliability will at least be as good as the GMs I've dealt with.
Jun 27, 2002 (4:23 am)
I've had my '01 P through a lot of mudpuddles, and a few driving rains in it's first 6300 miles. Totally water tight, and rock steady in those conditions.
The SE is beautiful, but I don't envy keeping that shiny black paint looking good.
A couple of notes to help you get off to a good start. You have already stated your acceptance of the 170 HP, and I too find it plenty. The other thing is that the transmission shifts much differently than those GM cars. GM has the smoothness down pat, but expect some shifting in the Millenia when you are not expecting it. At least until you become accustomed to it. This is completely normal from my experience, and from many posts and tests I have read. It is apparently harmless, as Millenia does enjoy a huge reliability advantage over those GM's you have had. And if you park the MM next to a GM and compare fit, finish and overall quality, it is no contest in favor of the MM.
My other car is a '95 Olds 88. It has been always garaged, and had excellent care. But has had MANY problems. Comparing it's assembly to my MM startles me at times.
Enjoy your new SE. You got a great car, at an excellent price (compared to CamCords etc)and the MM is in a class above those.
Jun 28, 2002 (6:03 am)
I looked at everything before I bought the Millenia...Accord EX, XG350 (Hyundai), Impala, Grand Prix GTP/GT, Altima 3.5SE, Diamante, etc. I didn't even look at the Camry. Toyota dealers in my area are very hard to deal with. There's an attitude associated with selling Toyotas, and I've never been comfortable dealing with them. The Accord has the HP, but the Millenia has standard equipment not even available as options on the Accord. The XG350 was considered, but the nearest dealer is 30 miles away. I'm not sure Hyundai has achieved long term quality levels yet either. The Altima still has the cheap looking interior .... especially the interior door panels ....terrible. Nissan puts emphasis on HP and very little on comfort. Anyway, I read through the Millenia manual last night and I was surprised to see that premium gas is "preferred" in even the 2.5. It mentioned that regular is Ok, but to obtain max power, use premium. This is something I'll be experimenting with. I plan on changing my own oil in the Millenia after I get the first complimentary change from the dealer. I found the oil filter last night when I slid under the car. It looks like it will be a fairly easy task. I'll probably use Mobil 1 10w30 in summer and 5w30 in winter. I was glad to see that 5w20, which is used in other models , isn't the preferred weight for the Millenia. I noticed that the Millenia 2.5 6 cyl has 2 belts, not one serpentine belt, for the alt, ps, water pump, etc. The only thing that puzzles me about the Mazda 2.5 6 cyl is the lack of a timing chain. Does anyone know why they use a belt(which should be changed at 60K miles)? This is the first 6 cyl that I've owned that has a timing belt. I know that a lot of 4 cyls have the belts. That's my only complaint so far.
Jun 28, 2002 (6:16 am)
Many foreign cars use timing belts even on V6's. I have had Accords, Legends and currently have an Acura RL with V6's and timing belts. Over the years Honda has extended the change duration from 60k to 90k to 105k. I think the Millenia P is also up in that category. The S requires it at 60k.
Jun 28, 2002 (6:49 am)
phild_mason is correct in saying the timing belt on the P does not require replacement until 105000 miles. That is in the maintenance section of your owners manual, and in the Gates belt replacement guide on their web site. The reason for a belt instead of chain is it is quiet. No mechanical noise from it.
I have run 87 octane in my P since new, except for one tank of 89 and one of 93 (original dealer fill). I see absolutely no difference in either performance or fuel milage. I think you will get the same results.
I bought an adjustable oil filter removing tool from Discount Auto Parts that has a 3/8 inch square hole for a ratchet. That along with an 8 inch extension makes filter removal downright easy. It also fits the slightly larger filter on my Oldsmobile. Sorry, I threw the package away, and don't see a name on the tool. It is black, has a lightweight spring across the inside, and on the back says "Made in USA--Caution Wear Gloves". I also installed a Fram SureDrain valve in place of the oil drain plug. You will be amazed at how easy these two tools make an oil change. I use a high quality floor jack under the left front wishbone to raise the car enough to comfortably reach the filter and drain valve.
My experience with the Toyota dealers was that they are arrogant. They simply couldn't believe I had the nerve to try to pay less than MSRP for their product. Toyota also has a nasty habit of making you buy $3000 worth of unwanted add-on's to get a 30 dollar option you want. No thanks.
#1878 of 4030 Rear-dash glare in Rear Window
Jun 30, 2002 (4:06 pm)
I know I read posts among these 1800 messages, but because there is no "Search" feature I have to bring this up again:
I purchased an '02 P model yesterday (color: two-toned pearl white/sand) and I love it! However, there is a problem with glare of the rear "dash" (for lack of a better word to call it) in the rear window, which is kind of aggravating. Does anyone recall the solution to the problem from the previous posts? Or, is there a solution? Any suggestions?
#1879 of 4030 truthmatters
Jul 05, 2002 (3:33 pm)
I am at a loss as to what you mean by a glare of the rear dash. The only thing I can think or is the highmount brake light causing a red glare in the rear glass. That is common to just about all cars with inside mounted highmount brake lights.
If that is the problem, and it is objectionable to you, I would suggest getting some thin foam weatherstripping without any adhesive on it, and push it into place around the perimeter of the brakelight cover. I'm sure it would not stop it completely, but it might cut it down. Both my Millenia and Olds do that, but it has not bothered me enough to try to stop it.
Jul 05, 2002 (10:44 pm)
The 2.5 runs fine on regular (87 octane)? I would like to know since I'm weighing the costs of several models and I don't want to damage the car by not using what the manufacturer "recommends" for this engine. Has anyone basically used regular exclusively?
Fwatson, as I said on the other discussion, I did go to Courtesy in Brandon, only browsing. The sales lady wasn't too pushy and very accomidating. Did you go to Tampa or Brandon? She quoted me $309 with $2k down for a 36 month lease including TT&T with a good credit rating.
What color is yours? I'm leaning toward the Emerald green (too bad there is no navy) but I like the way the gray interior looks, which would limit me to black or silver. Current car is black, so I'm inclined to take a break from that!
BTW, sat in a loaded 626 and it was nice, but the Millenia P deal was only $1,000 more! There's a no brainer! Afterward, ran over to reexamine the interior of the Toyota Solara and Camry, and I already have a fair idea about their prices and how low they could go. There was no need to hang around!
#1881 of 4030 by mustangdrew
Jul 06, 2002 (4:30 am)
I bought my Platinum Silver w/Gray interior P from Courtesy in Tampa. It is next to I-275 on an access road by the Courtesy Pontiac dealership. I am from Avon Park, so I am not sure offhand what the cross street is. I did stop at both Courtesy Mazda and Courtesy Toyota in Brandon, and both were very courteous as their name implied. On the other hand NOB was very curt and uncooperative about negotiating on price. I walked off on them as I did the Clearwater Mazda dealer.
I have never leased, so I don't know what your figures work out to in cash. Mine was a cash/no trade deal. My salesman sent me a card that he has gone to another dealership, or I would recommend him to you.
Now, for my Millenia experience. I bought it new, just off the truck (3 miles on the odometer) in early Sept of 2001. Actually the week before the Trade Tower crashes, so the price was not influenced by that. I drove both a P and S, and the S did have a little more acceleration, but I was leary of the additional complexity of the Miller Cycle engine and supercharger, and their required maintenance schedules. Plus the price was in excess of $3000 more than than the P. The S also has 17 inch wheels which would probably give you a harsher and noisier ride due to the skinny rubber between you and the road. It also REQUIRES premium fuel.
The MSRP + the dealer add-on of $995 for a stripe and sealant (wax job) brought their sticker bottom line price to over $29600. My car has no dealer installed stripe, because I refused to pay that $995 for a $30 stripe and $25 wax job. My final bottom line price after very little discussion came to $21680. They offered me an identical car w/6 disk changer in dash for just $200 more, but I did not need that.
I have driven the car 6700 trouble free miles almost entirely on 87 octane gasoline. The dealer originally filled it with 93 octane, and one time just to see if it made any difference, at about 3000 miles I filled it with 89 octane. I can tell absolutely NO difference which grade of fuel is in it. There is no sign of ignition knock or ping, and the car runs flawlessly on 87. The ECM automatically adjusts for octane, and some feel that by changing the timing to do that it will deteriorate the performance and fuel milage. If it does, it is so minute as to be practically non-existance. I will continue to run 87 octane unless/until I see there is a problem, which I expect to be never. There are debates in some threads about whether premium fuel has better cleaners than regular. From all I can tell, all grades have all the cleaners needed to keep your injectors in good shape, and all you gain by buying premium is a lighter wallet, and resistance to knock, which the MM-P apparently does not need. Perhaps if you are a leadfoot, the tiny timing change might be noticable, but then I would go for the S model, or other higher performance car.
The P is an outstanding highway cruiser. It is as happy at 100 mph as at 60. And while a 3.5L Nissan of any model might blow it's doors off in a drag race, it is far from being slow off the line. Fuel milage for me has been almost exactly as shown on the window sticker, with mine being 20 city, 28 highway, and a little over 22 overall mixed driving. The ride has some road feel, but it is very well damped. There are probably some much more expensive cars with less tire noise intrusion, but that is also minor in the MM. The V rated tires are probably partly responsible for what noise you do hear. At any rate, the sound system at normal levels easily negates any other sound. But I drive with the excellent audio system off most of the time, so I am more apt to notice exterior sounds. Any wind noise is extremely minor, so as to be very hushed.
There is some complaint about the way the transmission shifts, which is not as smooth as say, a large GM car such as a Buick. GM has that down to a science. While a MM does occasionally shift a little abruptly, it must be harmless, because both models of MM enjoy outstanding reliability, better than most other cars in the industry.
The only major problem I know of with the 626 is the transmission in some older 4 cylinder models. That has no effect on the cars you are considering.
The Millenia has amazingly flawless fit, finish and assembly.
That's about all I can tell you offhand. Hopefully an old timer or two will come on and give you the benefit of their experiences with their MM's. Good luck.
Jul 06, 2002 (5:03 am)
Courtesy Mazda Tampa is at the corner of Dale Mabry and Hillsborough.