Fleet News

Mazda Premacy 1.8 GSi 5dr auto

Mazda

Review

EVERY new recruit to the growing multi-purpose hatchback army has to offer something extra special to stand a chance of competing with the Renault Scenic. Like its bigger brother Espace before it, the Megane-based five-seater had the luxury of getting established in a niche virtually of its own while other manufacturers scrambled to play catch-up. To the surprise of those who recalled previous mini-MPV efforts from the likes of Nissan and Mitsubishi, the Scenic concept of high roof and multiple seating variations was an instant fleet hit.

In the first six months from launch in June, 1997, 13,717 Scenics were sold in the UK. Another 35,090 were registered in 1998, and year-to-date sales are approaching 24,000. And where there's demand there's competition - eventually. One of the latest is Mazda's five-door Premacy, built on the 323 platform, but taller in the body and slightly longer. It's a five-seater. Mazda's message to those who want seven is 'buy our new MPV'. That's due to go on sale here on January 1, 2000.

The Premacy line-up has just GXi and GSi trims and three 16-valve engines - 1.8-litre 100bhp petrol, 1.8-litre 115bhp petrol and 90bhp 2.0-litre direct injection diesel, the latter available from January. Prices begin at ú14,375 on the road for the 1.8 GXi. Our test car, the range-topping 1.8 GSi with automatic transmission, costs ú17,220 delivered and comes with an impressive standard specification list.

And this Mazda's multi-purpose credentials include 100 different seating configurations, obligatory cup-holders, storage boxes and cubby holes, as well as the ability to accept loads up to 2.6 metres long, should drivers ever feel the urge to haul an 8ft 6in pole with the doors closed.

CO2 emissions and fuel consumption data correct at time of writing. The latest figures are available in the Fleet News fuel cost calculator and the company car tax calculator.

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