2003 Mazda Premacy GSi 2.0 16v petrol from UK and Ireland
Solid, stylish, spacious, comfortable family car with good economy
Bought as a cheap replacement for a 2008 car, costing only £2000 for an immaculate 70k mile, full history, one owner, good spec model with new MOT.
The car overall impresses with the fact everything works as it should, and it all feels tight and solid.
OS mirror previously hit - spring not holding mirror in place so folds in at higher speeds. Now discreetly wedged with a plastic piece!
Deep scratch in windscreen from faulty wiper.
Various steering, tracking, vibration issues:
On purchase the car pulled to the left if you let go of the wheel, and started vibrating strongly between 74-78mph.
I took the car in to be checked at tyre place, and they swapped tyres around, adjusted the tracking by 3mm, and balanced all the wheels.
The car then vibrated at 55-58mph, and the steering centred too harshly, making it tiring to drive along twisty roads.
Back in again, and now vibrates at 38-42mph and 55-60mph, still centring harshly.
The tyre place have offered to do it as many times as needed for no extra charge, but I am now thinking there is a more profound reason than just balancing, radial pull, tracking or pressures. Perhaps one tyre is misshapen or the body is out of line?
I will update if I get an answer, but please post if you think you can help with a solution!
Electric sunroof was greased as a precaution but now struggles occasionally - should have left it alone.
Gear knob has lost top H pattern logo.
Dash top rattle when cold solved in seconds by wedging a small piece of foam between the dash and the screen in the centre - otherwise absolutely creak and rattle free, which is impressive for a 6 year old 70k people carrier.
Very impressed with engineering and build quality - everything works well and nothing rattles.
After much research into the purchase, this was chosen for the low price and impeccable history as the family car. I checked with Mazda - the service record was genuine, and they confirmed the car had been religiously maintained on the dot, and had recently had brake work and a cambelt change.
After looking at numerous Premacys, I wanted to get this newer, facelifted version as I preferred the modern front end and much better interior trim. I looked at a few diesels, but they were noisy and more expensive, plus the price of diesel did not justify the compromise of the old tech diesel engine in the Premacy. (I am a diesel fan usually).
This particular car is the GSi spec, which I found to be the most attractive as it has a high spec including climate control and electric sunroof, plus seatback tables etc - this spec is not available in diesel either.
The GXi spec is good, but misses some things, and the higher Sport trim has a body kit, which would have looked great in 2003, but now dates the car badly as it makes it more boxy looking. Hence the GSi choice.
I am impressed with this, my first Mazda, as it feels like it is newer and lower mileage than it is - it has worn well, and this gives me confidence in the brand. As a family car it has many good attributes, and is quiet, refined, durable and comfortable.
We particularly like the seats, boot size, ISOFIX, stereo quality, styling and the Starry Blue paint colour.
Not much to complain about other than the lack of 2009 equipment - this is a great alternative to a new car at a fraction of the cost, and comes with reasonable safety kit for a £2000 car:- front and side 'bags, traction, ABS/EBD, ISOFIX, plus it drives well and has good visibility all round, including the curved/convex mirror end on the drivers side covering the blind spot.
We were on a very tight budget after having to sell our new cars (to release capital to renovate our house) and replace them with cheap cars. The Premacy exceeds all of my expectations, and I am confident I have provided as safe and reliable a car as possible to transport our family around in for the price.
Costs to date: car £2000, 6 months tax £110, meddling with steering etc £46, Halfords colour matched paint touch in £6.99, grease £4.99, number plate bolts £2, piece of plastic for mirror free.
Total: under £2200 on the road for a car that looks like a £5000 car and runs like new - pleased with this!
I have obsessively calculated fuel cost as this (along with road tax and costly repairs) was my worry about buying the car. I divide litres drawn to brim the tank by 4.5 to get gallons, then divide trip mileage since last fill by the result. So far on mixed use we are getting 36-39mpg using premium 98 octane fuel, which is laudable for an old-tech petrol family car - and justifies our much debated decision to buy the petrol over the diesel.
It drives so much better than the diesel, and the initial purchase price was about £750 less for the same age/mileage (plus diesel not available in higher grade GSi trim). It seems that so many buyers do not do the maths with the road tax/fuel price/economy/purchase price, and all ignore the petrols to buy the diesel, which results in the prices differing. We are very happy that the 2.0 petrol was the best option for us.
One downside to our purchase was the previous owner did not forward the spare keys/remotes, so we had to do some legwork, an HPI report, history checking and get written confirmation off the dealer that nothing was amiss. We contacted the previous owner who promised to forward them to me if they turned up - I would have walked away if I did not think this was a genuine situation - the previous owner had the car as the second/Nanny car, and lived in a prestigious area and appeared totally genuine as they had part-exed it for a new Toyota. If these do not surface, we are left with just one key and the cost to replace two keys/remotes and code them at Mazda is a starchy £250. Eek. Anyone know of a cheaper way of doing this near Hereford?
So overall, a nice practical, attractive family car, which looks nice and does the job well. At the price the petrol versions come at now, they are a steal, and Mazdas are well known for strong reliability, so hopefully should prove cheap to own.
I spent some time looking into the idea of buying a Premacy, so if buying one, this may help:
Trim levels GXi, GSi, Sport for 5 seat versions, and GXE and GSE for 7 seat versions, which command a high premium over the 5 seat versions. Atlantis is a special edition based on GXi.
Diesel only available in base trim, and most road tests advise buying petrol unless doing high mileage, as it is a better unit.
Facelifted in 2002 with different front end, trim and details. Gained ISOFIX. NCAP tested in 2001, apparently old model was criticised for certain items and gained 3* score, but issues addressed on facelift - unfortunately not tested.
Replaced 2005 by Mazda5 in UK, but the still badged as Premacy instead of 5 elsewhere.
For us, the proof of the pudding will be sorting out the steering issue and keys, and how much it costs to keep it on the road. We had a budget of £2500 for the family car, so if it all sorts for under this, and keeps going without issues, we will be well pleased indeed.
My wife loves it, and prefers it to the 2008 car we sold!
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 23rd March, 2009
Update: had tyres looked at again and it seemed two are very slightly out of shape, but have loads of tread, so will live with slight vibration at certain speed for now.
Our Premacy is nearly seven years old with 73,000 miles and is running like new. It averaged 34 mpg (standard supermarket fuel) on a 180 mile rushed airport run with 500kg passenger/baggage payload, and started instantly after being left for 16 days in the airport car park. Bless it! Using it around town and on A roads we average 36-39mpg using 97/98RON super fuel.
So far, very impressed with the quality and comfort, just wish I could sort the missing remote keys out!
As every month goes by, my wife and I get more impressed by this Premacy and could now highly recommend one as a great alternative to the less reliable (yet pricier) Zafira of the same age.
On a 7 year old car we only have a misshapen tyre as a fault - shows how well they were made. I dread to think what a non-Japanese car at £2000 would have wrong with it...
We sold this car at a profit after 6 months for £2400 as the deal suited us; we had done a good (free!) mileage without any further costs, and the time felt right.
After a few cars in-between, we are now looking for another; preferably a 7 seat GSE; but only if we can find the perfect car at the right price.
An excellent, modern looking and under-rated people carrier, which is a quarter of the hassle of the unreliable Zafira, but still much cheaper. One for those in the know!