|Mazda Eunos 800 `Miller Cycle' - style, comfort and an engine|
|The cabin is a pleasant environment with all the
plushness expected in this price category, and the driver is particularly well catered for
with all controls ideally located and a leather-wrapped steering wheel that is both tilt
and reach adjustable, plus a good range of adjustments in the power assisted seats.
Nighttime reveals that its interior light has a comfortably long delay, and night driving is most enjoyable thanks to its rather impressive headlights. The test car had one of the best low-beam settings I have encountered, and a high beam that lit up country roads perfectly.
Low NVH levels are a strength of the 800 with insulation that mutes even the rumble of the coarsest chip bitumen to an acceptable murmer, a subtle rustle of wind around the exterior mirrors - and the engine might scarcely exist in terms of noise, leaving occupants to enjoy the CD stacker and Bose stereo.
But that piece of technological advancement under the hood does make its presence known if prodded vigorously - though even then you may not notice it.
Rather, there is a subtle change in the purring sound from under the hood as the transmission changes down a slot (watching the tachometer helps awareness of it) and the Miller Cycle engine starts to behave like an engine of much larger capacity.
Its peak power and torque arrive at reasonably high rpm, but generous servings of both are available throughout the lower rev range as well, and it surges forward from any speed with an eagerness which at first seems quite unexpected.
But never with the snarl that might be anticipated, just that same silky-smooth purr. Just as well it has cruise control, because it might otherwise endanger your licence. (Seriously - this car has a tendency to creep up to speeds which are definitely frowned on by the constabulary!)
While its luxury saloon aspirations are aimed more at comfort than eyeball-widening pace in corners, the 800M's 4 wheel steering endows it with an agility that makes it easy to control both in city traffic and on the open road, with steering power assistance that retains good `feel at higher speeds.
The Eunos 800 is a satisfying car to drive, even in its less costly 2.5 litre V6 form without 4WS, but when powered by the Miller Cycle engine it becomes a bit mystifying - the real mystery is why Mazda has not yet applied it to other engines.
But I can fearlessly reveal that the Eunos 800 Miller Cycle has one drawback - I can't afford one.