1 Feb 2001
MAZDA’S Premacy “space hatch” was the Ford-owned Japanese company’s answer to the Renault Scenic and Holden Zafira ‘mini MPVs’ that have taken Europe by storm since pioneering Renault’s 1996 launch.
Based on the 1998-2003 BJ-series 323, the Premacy is in fact an Astina that’s pulled and stretched into a shape that falls between a hatchback and people mover.
The resulting larger body means more space, augmented by a longer wheelbase and extra height.
Three rear chairs individually fold, tumble and remove to increase the (already vast) luggage area available while the left front seatback tilts forward for 2.6m-long objects to fit inside.
Power comes from the same 1.8-litre twin-cam 16-valve four-cylinder engine found in some 323 models. It produces 92kW at 6000rpm and 153Nm of torque at 4000rpm.
All cars feature air-conditioning, anti-lock brakes with electronic brake-force distribution, remote locking, dual airbags, roof rails, CD audio, electric mirrors and windows, a rear blind and power outlet, and headrests for all.
For cruise control, alloy wheels, rear disc brakes and traction control – as well as significantly more power – you must upgrade to the Series II.