Discontinued in 2016, the Mazda Premacy was also known outside its Japanese home market as the Mazda5. The compact MPV was first shown at the 1999 Geneva Motor Show, going on sale the next month as a cut-price seven-seat van built on Mazda’s CP platform.
Mazda Australia released this first model in Australia as the Premacy. Priced around $30,000 it was only available as a 1.8-litre four-cylinder front-wheel-drive model, in automatic or manual. Overseas the Premacy was also available as an all-wheel-drive model, with a range of engine options.
Australia’s Premacy was updated to a 2.0-litre engine in 2002 when the Series 2 model launched, again available with a five-speed manual or four-speed automatic transmissions. Since the end of production for the first-generation model Mazda Australia hasn’t imported the Premacy due to sluggish sales.
A wholly updated second-generation model launched internationally in December 2004, running until April 2010. The new model moved to the new Mazda model naming convention as the Mazda5, built on the BK platform shared with the new Mazda3, Volvo S40, and Ford Focus and C-MAX.
It was replaced by the third-generation Premacy in 2010, based on the CW platform. However, as Mazda shifted focus to crossover vehicles like their volume-selling CX-3, CX-5, and CX-9, the mini-van-style Mazda5 dropped out of favour, culminating with the model being discontinued in March 2016.
Today one of the early Premacy models originally sold in Australia will set you back less than $5000. While they’re not currently eligible for importation to Australia, the impending change to the import laws means we might see the compact mini-van on sale Down Under, though the cost to ship and compliance them (estimated to be over $7,000) will likely set you back more than the cost of the car itself.
Would you have a Mazda5 over a CX-5 SUV? Let us know in the comments.