NRMA original car review

Mazda Eunos 800 Mazda Eunos 800

2.3 L V6 Miller Cycle Automatic Sedan

Test Date: June 1999

 

At a glance


Best Features Smooth, strong performance
Impeccable standards of finish
Well equipped
Worst Features No driver's heel wear mat
PULP fuel requirement
Limited rear head room
Price of tested vehicle $74,150
Average fuel use 11.5 litres/100km
Acceleration (0-100km/h) 9.3
Warranty Three years, unlimited km
NRMA Security Rating
0-110(high score best)
40

 

Review


Mazda has freshened its Eunos 800 flagship with a range of cosmetic changes and extra convenience features.

Outside, the 800 gets newly designed alloy wheels, a revised grille and some extra chrome trim. Two-tone exterior colour schemes are also now available.

Internally, the use of chrome and wood panelling has been extended, and polished scuff plates have been added to the door sills.

Other changes include illumination of the window switches on the driver's door, external mirrors with a wider angle of rear view and access to the boot through the rear armrest to allow items such as skis to be carried.

Mechanically, the Eunos 800 is unchanged. The 2.3 litre V6 Miller Cycle (supercharged) engine provides very good performance and combines nicely with the four speed electronic control automatic transmission.

The 800 continues with four-wheel steering and also features traction control, vehicle speed-sensitive power steering and anti-lock brakes.

Dual front airbags and seat belt pre-tensioners are fitted, while comfort and convenience features include automatic air conditioning, an electrically operated glass sunroof, electrically-adjustable front seats, leather upholstery, cruise control, remote keyless entry with an alarm, and power windows, mirrors and door locks.

The 800's sound system is a high quality Bose unit that features five speakers and two CD players (a single in-dash player and a six-stack changer in the boot).

With the deletion of the non-supercharged 800 from the Eunos line-up, there's just one model now and it's priced at $74,150. This is nearly $5,000 less than it cost when we first tested the 800M in 1994. In 1995 and 1996 it was retailing at over $85,000.

Quality rates highly in the Eunos 800, with the test car being completely free of any visible blemishes, or ill fitting panels or trims. However, in common with several other Japanese makers, the Eunos doesn't provide a rubber wear mat under the driver's heel. Protective mats will be needed to avoid carpet damage.

The Eunos 800 doesn't offer the stretch-out space of a Ford LTD or a Holden Caprice, but it can readily accommodate four adults of average size. A limitation for taller occupants riding in the rear may be the restricted headroom.

The boot compartment isn't particularly deep (the CD stacker on the left side is a further restriction) but it's wide and long. The new ski hatch behind the centre arm rest adds versatility.

The layout of controls and instruments is generally user-friendly, though I'd like to see an extra automatic indicator in the dash as the handbrake lever can block the driver's view of the console indicator.

Top marks to the Bose sound system. Not only does it provide excellent sound, it fits a tape deck, radio and a CD player into one neat unit, and it has commendably clear and easy-to-use controls.

One of the benefits of the Eunos's four-wheel steering is that the car has one of the most compact turning circles in its class.

The Eunos 800's supercharged V6 engine provides strong, responsive performance and at the same time, is delightfully smooth. Acceleration times recorded under test were competitive with many larger engine cars.

Under firm acceleration, supercharger whine is obvious, but I didn't find the sound unpleasant or too intrusive. When cruising, the 800 glides along quietly in a very relaxed fashion.

In fact, cruising is what the Eunos 800 does best. It wasn't quite at home being hurried around our closed test track, with some body roll and lurching. But for all normal road use, the handling rates as very sure-footed and capable.

The four-wheel steering control module is interfaced with both the ABS and traction control systems to react to just about every possible driving situation in the desired manner.

Braking is first class. Powerful emergency stops are available with only moderate pedal effort and resistance to fade is very good.
 

Summary


Though the changes to this latest version of the Eunos 800 are mostly just cosmetic, the car still rates very well in comparison to other similarly priced luxury models.

The Miller cycle engine provides performance beyond what would normally be expected from a 2.3 litre V6 and the technology featured in the steering, braking, suspension and driveline systems ensures a superior on-road performance.

Combine this with the Eunos 800's style, comfort, luxury and high standards of finish and you have quite a desirable package that's worthy of consideration by anyone shopping in the upper luxury car segment.

Test vehicle supplied by Mazda Australia Pty Limited