I recently acquired this 1993 Mazda 929. I never see these on the road anymore but I’ve always thought they were a sadly overlooked luxury offering from a great styling era for Mazda.
The styling is cohesive and understated with classy rounded lines on every panel. This has allowed it to age gracefully with only the wheels and subtle two tone body cladding looking a bit dated. The large greenhouse appears even bigger with the small blacked out B-pillar and frameless windows.
Under the hood is a 3.0 liter variable intake V-6 rated at 205 horsepower. This doesn’t provide many straight line thrills in such a large car but it feels more than adequate in daily driving. The engine is front-midship mounted and the fuel tank over the rear axle to keep the handling surprisingly neutral and responsive when pushed. Steering feedback is better than you’d expect suggesting Mazda focused on driving fun even a luxury liner. The only things putting a damper on the fun are the slow steering ratio, soft suspension, and large flat leather seats that leave you bracing against the door on corners. The only transmission is a four speed automatic that really needs another gear on the freeway. It does have an easy to use “hold” feature to keep it in one gear on hills. She’s no sport sedan but still rewarding enough to drive.
Inside is a comfortable place with wide and soft heated leather front seats that are power adjustable. The understated round lines continue on the dash with numerous vents that are a bit oddly arranged. The car came with steering wheel mounted radio buttons and an automatic climate control system with a well thought out control computer.
Gauges are simple and clean with a classy matte silver bezel and polished indexes around the dials. Other nice details include a cute miniature sun-visor that folds down to block light above the rear-view mirror and an elegant looking analog clock.
With all this attention to detail there are a few things that are oddly overlooked. There is no tilt function on the steering column, no glovebox, and no cup-holders. The trunk is surprisingly small for such a large car with the fuel tank and stereo equipment preventing a pass-through. These are minor complaints about an otherwise beautiful and forgotten gem from Mazda’s brilliant past. I love the car and already have a road trip planned.
Just look at that clock!