Mazda Motors entered the automotive industry in 1960 with the Mazda R360 kei car. The R360 was a beautiful car in an era when kei cars were required to have engines of 360 cc or less. The R360 offered a better gearbox and suspension than other kei cars of the period and Mazda soon dominated the kei car market.
By the late 1950s, Mazda began to look for ways to separate itself from the narrow kei car market and differentiate itself from the larger Japanese automakers. The company found a great deal of inspiration from the sporty styling and Wankel rotary engine of the NSU Ro 80. That led to the production of the Mazda Cosmo Sport in 1967. Mazda’s effort to standout from other Japanese manufacturers was successful, rapidly leading to the export of Mazda cars for the first time. The main impetus for Mazda’s growing sales was the use of rotary engines that could produce the same amount power as heavier V6 and V8 models, creating powerful, lightweight vehicles that were fast and nimble.
In 2016, Mazda was the fifteenth largest global automaker with a sales volume of more than 1.5 million vehicles. The company now has several models that are fun to drive. That is why we thought it would be interesting to feature four Mazda vehicles that are easy to love.
The Mazda Verisa debuted for the 2004 model year and is only available in the Japanese home market, but can be exported. The Verisa is hard to categorize. Is it a tall hatchback or is it a short mini MPV? No matter how you define it, the Verisa offers interesting styling and a fun driving experience.
Under the bonnet, there is a single engine option. The 1,490 cc I4 is capable of 111 bhp and 140 N-m of torque; more than enough power for a car that only weighs 1,100 kg! The Mazda Verisa is available with FWD or electronic four-wheel drive (e4WD). The sole gearbox option is a four-speed automatic.
The appointments of the Verisa are minimal, but can include air-conditioning, full power accessories, a tilt steering wheel, a six-speaker sound system with a CD player and an auxiliary input jack, foglamps, chrome exhaust tips, a leather-wrapped steering wheel with audio controls, a trip computer, and cruise control. The main points for a buyer to keep in mind with the Mazda Verisa are its sporty handling, cheerful styling, simple-to-operate controls, and affordable price.
The Mazda Premacy is a compact MPV that debuted for the 1999 model year. After the 2003 Model year, the Premacy was sold as the Mazda5 in some markets. The Mazda Premacy will be discontinued after the 2017 model year. Over its eighteen year production run, the Premacy went through three generations. The majority of the models currently available for export are part of the second generation built between 2004 and 2010, so we will concentrate on information from that generation.
The second generation of the Mazda Premacy can be powered by four engines, three petrol and a single diesel offering. The petrol engines are anchored by a 1,798 cc I4 that is capable of 125 bhp and 165 N-m of torque. In the middle is a 1,999 cc I4 that creates 148 bhp and 187 N-m of torque. At the top of the petrol line is a 2,261 cc that offers 164 bhp and 195 N-m of torque. The turbodiesel option is capable of 119 bhp and 320 N-m of torque. The gearbox options are four and five-speed automatics along with five or six-speed manuals.
The standard equipment for the Mazda Premacy includes: cruise control, full power accessories, keyless entry, automatic climate control, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, driver seat height adjustment, and a six-speaker stereo with auxiliary audio jack and steering-wheel controls. Optional equipment includes: foglamps, a sunroof, LED taillamps, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, a six-CD changer, automatic xenon headlights, automatic wipers, leather upholstery, heated front seats, satellite radio, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, a rear entertainment system, and a touchscreen navigation system.
Mazda Familia Van
The Mazda Familia Van was introduced to the Mazda Familia line of compact cars for the 2000 model year. Production continued for 14 model years over two generations. The majority of the Familia Vans available for export are from the later generation, so we will give you information related to the second generation vans.
Under the bonnet, the second generation Mazda Familia Van can be powered by any of three petrol I4 engines. The first is a 1,290 cc capable of 87 bhp and 109 N-m of torque. Next up is a 1,498 cc that offers 118 bhp and 132 N-m of torque. On the top end is a 1,597 cc that creates 116 bhp and 136 N-m of torque. The gearbox options are a four-speed automatic or a five-speed manual.
The Mazda Familia Van offers many of the same options as the Mazda Premacy. Those options can include: cruise control, full power accessories, keyless entry, a tilt and telescoping steering wheel, a six-speaker stereo with auxiliary audio jack and steering-wheel controls, foglamps, LED taillamps, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, a six-CD changer, leather upholstery, heated front seats, satellite radio, a rear entertainment system, and a touchscreen navigation system.
Mazda Axela Sport
The Mazda Axela Sport was introduced for the 2004 model year to replace the aging Familia line of compact cars. In some markets, the Axela Sport is marketed as the Mazda3. By whatever name, the Axela Sport can offer one of the most fun driving experiences you will ever have in a compact car.
While the Mazda Axela Sport is currently in its third generation, the majority of the cars available for export are from the second generation, so we will look at the specs for that group. Under the bonnet of a second generation Mazda Axela Sport you can find any of six powerplants: three petrol and three diesel. The petrol offerings include a 1,597 cc I4 capable of 122 bhp and 186 N-m of torque; a 1,997 cc I4 capable of 148 bhp and 200 N-m of torque; and a 2,350 cc that offers 167 bhp and 226 N-m of torque. The diesel options have the same displacement and very similar power figures. The gearbox options are four, five, and six-speed automatics. Five and six-speed manuals are also offered.
Depending on the model year and trim level selected, you can find a Mazda Axela Sport equipped with a 60/40 fold-down rear seatback, tilt-and-telescoping steering column, power windows locks and mirrors, a six-speaker stereo with a CD player auxiliary audio jack and steering-wheel controls, air-conditioning, remote keyless entry, cruise control, Bluetooth phone and audio connection, foglamps, dual exhaust, rear lip spoiler, leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, automatic bi-xenon headlamps, heated side mirrors, dual-zone automatic climate control, leather upholstery, satellite radio, and a navigation system.
While we think these are four of the best Mazda offerings on the used car market today, you may have other thoughts. You can view our entire inventory to find the best car for you. If you do not see what you want, send us an inquiry and we will help you find the perfect car for you.