Last post on Jan 06, 2013 at 9:24 PM
You are in the Mazda Millenia
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Mazda Millenia, Sedan
#936 of 4030 First 3700 Miles
Oct 13, 2001 (12:26 pm)
I just got back from a 2900 mile vacation trip, mostly interstate, running at 70 to 80 MPH. Before leaving, I put 800 local miles on my new 2001 Millenia P to get it broken in before subjecting it to that much highway running.
My old car is a 1995 Olds 88, and there is a noticably firmer ride with the Mazda, but it is pleasant, very well damped, and quieter than the Olds. It is also far more pleasant to drive with one exception. The automatic transmission on the Olds is totally flawless, where the Mazda has noticable shifting, sometime hunting a little under some circumstances. Is this also the experience of other Millenia owners?
Other than the transmission, the performance is flawless, as is the fit and finish. It drew many admiring comments from others, and my sister wanted to take it from me.
My low gasoline milage was 21.7 in combination city/local highway driving, with a high of 27.5 on one interstate run. Overall, I averaged 26.3 over the entire trip. I find that very acceptable. It used 1/2 quart of oil in the first 2300 miles. After topping the oil off, it appears to have used no more than 1/8 quart in the last 1400 miles. No problem there. I have run 87 octane (regular unleaded) gasoline from day one, with no problem of any kind. No ping, and I do not feel there was any decrease in performance from the 93 octane the dealer had put in it. At least I couldn't detect any.
There has been some discussion about the possible lack of power with the 2.5 liter V/6 engine, but it has very acceptable performance compared to the 3.8 V/6 in my Olds, with only needing to apply a little extra throttle under especially trying conditions. It is far from a slouch in the power department. The torque is less than the Olds from a standing start, but very acceptable. Passing at any speed was very good.
I bought this car for $21680, the price of a low line Camcord. There is absolutely no camparison to them. This is obviously a vastly superior car overall.
Well, this isn't a road test forum, so I will cut off there.
If any of you can fill me in on the transmission shifting situation, I will appreciate that. From what I have read, it is a Jatco, the same as Camry, Accord and possibly Maxima and other Japanese brands use. If the shifting is normal, I am fine with that. I just need to know if it is something that needs checked.
One more comment. The Michelin MXV4 tires were somewhat noisy for about 2000 miles, but have quieted down to a decent level.
#937 of 4030 Transmission on the P
Oct 13, 2001 (2:13 pm)
Only the S version gets the Jatco (which doesn't go into any Hondas, but which has been used in Nissan Maximas). The P version uses Mazda's own GF4A-EL, which appears also in the MPV and the V6 version of the 626, and which behaves the same in those applications as well; I had one in a '93 626 (the only year they put the GF in a four-cylinder), and it did likewise. It's not a bad little tranny, but it was overly complicated when it was introduced in 1993, and it's probably behind the times now.
#938 of 4030 ATX Shifting continued
Oct 16, 2001 (3:49 am)
Thank you windowphobe6, for your comprehensive response to my above question concerning the shifting patterns of the Millenia "P". Other research I have done seems to confirm your explanation of the actual transmissions used in the "P" and "S" models, including one site that seems to be yours.
However, I have come across other messages, such as the following that concerns the "S" models shifting.
"So, there is nothing we can do about the strange shifting habbits of Millenia S other than use the hold button and manually run it via all the gears?
The slugishness I get sometimes on the car drives me crazy. I have use the K/N drop in filter and noticed a nice little boost in performance.
Anyone have a shopping list of performance mods they have done. I know for this car they are very hard to come buy.
This would indicate to me, that the unusual shifting is NOT confined to the "P" model. And due to the fact that the "P" and "S" seem to use different ATX's, would cause me to believe the shifting is caused by the computerized electronic control system, not the transmissions themselves.
I think I know the answer before asking this, but can the shifting pattern be reprogrammed, or a different "brain" be installed to change the feel of these transmissions?
Thanks in advance.
Oct 16, 2001 (4:36 am)
It's not at all confined to the P. Almost every Mazda automatic in the last 15 years has drawn fire from the automotive press for various shifting weirdness. I suspect (though I can't prove it at this point) that Mazda optimizes the electronics for the manuals and lets the automatics fall where they may.
A number of aftermarket firms offer "shift kits" for various cars that, by changing some of the moving parts, reputedly improve the shift action. And there are custom computer chips available for some models. Whether any of this can be had for the S, I'm not sure.
#940 of 4030 S shifting
Oct 16, 2001 (10:00 am)
I believe the shift patterns have been recalibrated in 2001 for quicker downshift and better accelleration. The only gripe I have with my S auto tranny is that when I leave my house in the morning I have to go up a small hill, and - when cold - the transmission won't shift into 3rd until past 3500 RPM. I think it lets the engine rev too high. So at 3000 rpm I just press the hold button (when in Drive) and it'll shift after 2 second or so delay...
Other than that I'd say that my S shifts very well under medium to hard acceleration. It's not the best in stop-and-go 'indecisive' traffic, when you go from 0 to 20 to 5 to 40 to 10 to 0 and so on. It's not bad, it's just not Lexus (or Chevy Venture) smooth. Again, I've read that pre-2001 vere much worse, and actually I remember reading a review talking about much better calibration for 2001. I'm not sure if the P model got recalibrated for 2001...
just my $0.02
#941 of 4030 Re. S shifting by tomekk
Oct 16, 2001 (11:17 am)
Quote:"It's not the best in stop-and-go 'indecisive' traffic, when you go from 0 to 20 to 5 to 40 to 10 to 0 and so on. It's not bad, it's just not Lexus (or Chevy Venture) smooth."
This is where I experience the indecisiveness too. Under other conditions, the shifts are very good. It does have a tendency to downshift at highway speeds, when the "Resume" on the cruise control is engaged, but I figure that is to compensate for the relativly small engine. That causes me no problem. Highway passing is very good. I am getting the impression the shifting is normal for the Mazda's. And as both Carpoint and Consumer Reports show the Millenia transmissions to be top rated in reliability in all recent years, I can live with the slight quirkiness.
Other than this one question, I have found my new "P" to be flawless, and after owning many cars in my 60 years, will say this is by far the most beautifully assembled and executed of them all.
Thanks to both of you for your help and opinions on the subject.
#942 of 4030 fwatson, the "downshift at highway speeds"...
Oct 16, 2001 (4:50 pm)
is probably disengagement of the torque converter and not shifting to 3rd. It happens with my Millenia S, it happens with Chevy Venture (my wife's van) which has incredibly smooth shifting tranny (like most of GM V6 egined vehicles).
I have to say that I like my Millenia the best over 80mph (yesterday I had it up to 110 on an empty highway - smooooooth...)
#943 of 4030 Replacement Tires for 2000 S Millenia Edition
Oct 16, 2001 (6:04 pm)
It's getting close to tire replacement time on my 2000 Millenia Edition and would like some comments on replacement tires.
There is very little in the way of alternatives from the stock Michelins in the 215/50/17 size, www.tirerack.com lists 10.
If I look at 225/45/17, there's a much larger selection, 51 to be exact.
My question is this:
Can a 225/45/17 tire fit on to the stock rims properly, I have the chrome 17"?
Like I said, the selection at 225/45/17 is much greater and the prices are also better.
Thanks in advance and I love the car.
Oct 17, 2001 (2:31 am)
"I have to say that I like my Millenia the best over 80mph (yesterday I had it up to 110 on an empty highway - smooooooth...)
While 100mph or so may seem crazy to some people here. There were several times on my recent vacation, that I found myself in that 100+ range. I agree with tomekk, that this car is incredibly smooth and happy at that speed. And the V rated Michelin's are rated at sustained 149, so obviously the car was designed for these speeds. On the other hand, my '95 Olds 88 gets nervous (slight vibration with tires recently balanced, and new brakes) at speeds of about 55, and anything above 75mph. The Millenia is totally smooth at high speed, but slightly jittery on a bumpy surface, at low speeds. Well damped, but noticable. They have totally different suspension tuning, and the Mazda's drivetrain is vastly superior in smoothness overall.
Oct 17, 2001 (9:01 am)
I recently became a member here, but the sad news is I will be leaving soon.The lease on my 99 millenia P will be up in a few months and I am not going to re-lease another Millenia.
Guys/Gals don't get me wrong,there is nothing wrong with the Millenia,I am just stepping into a bigger car.Here are the few that I test drove-
Jaguar S type 3.0 (jaguar went overboard on price)
Please help me out with the choices here-(NO BIAS COMMENTS PLEASE).
Coming back to the MILLENIA-personnally I think Mazda got left behind in terms of technology.When I was these dealerships and saw the Millenias competitons I really felt dissappointed that Mazda did not do anything to improve the car.
Here is the list of some of the features that the Millienia is lacking because of its out of date platform-
More wood and leather:)
MORE HORSE POWER (IMAGINE A 2002 NISSAN ALTIMA 4CYLINDERS OUT RACING A MILLENIA P- THATS VERY BAD)
The list goes on, remember guys/gals I am not disrespecting the MILLENIA,the exterior looks will beat any of its competition,all I am saying is, Mazda has to get up to speed the Automotive World.