The Eunos brand was conceived by Mazda as part of a marketing experiment, and the luxury Eunos 800 sedan was released in 1994 as the flagship model of the Eunos marque. This experiment was not entirely successful, and in August 1996, the model was rebadged as the Mazda Eunos 800 until 2000, when the model was finally renamed as the Mazda Millenia.
Two four-door sedan models were made available upon introduction, both of which share the same sleek body styling yet have different engines. The base model, named simply the Eunos 800, has an aspirated 2.5 V6 and uses a front-wheel drive configuration. The higher-end model, the Eunos 800 M, is powered by a supercharged Miller-Cycle 2.3L engine and uses a four-wheel steering configuration.
The base model was discontinued in 1999, leaving only the supercharged Mazda Eunos 800 model available. Any changes that were made were mostly cosmetic during the lifespan of the 800, because as a luxury vehicle, it was very well-equipped in terms of standard kit and safety features.
The Eunos 800 has largely been forgotten , yet these cars remain extremely well-built luxury vehicles with smooth handling; they are simply a pleasure to drive.
The 2.5L engine – used to power the base 800 model until it was discontinued in 1999 – uses a normally aspirated multi-point fuel injection system that produced 122kW of power output at 6000rpm and a torque of 215Nm at 4800rpm.
In terms of fuel consumption, the base model was said to use 11L/100km in an urban environment and 7.2L/100km in an extra urban environment, with a combined fuel economy of 8.6L/100km.
The best engine in the range and arguably the jewel in the Eunos 800’s crown is the supercharged 24V quad- Miller-Cycle engine, equipped with a quad-camshaft, with supercharging capabilities provided courtesy of its Lysholm compressor. This 2.3L engine has a power output of 147kW at 5500rpm and a torque of 282Nm at 4000rpm; this is, equal to many 3.0Lengines, but it maintains a combined fuel consumption of the average 2.0L engine – 8.6L/100km, to be exact.
Behind the wheel, the Eunos 800 is a pleasure to drive. The power-assisted steering is precise, and it is aided by a multi-adjustable driver’s seat and an adjustable steering column. Visibility is a great in all directions. The four-wheel steering of the Eunos 800 M gives this high-end model a delightfully compact turning circle, which is great for fitting into those tight parking spots.
The 800 is also very smooth and quiet at speed. It has none of the lurch that is evident in some turbocharged vehicles, with performance remaining quiet and progressive throughout the rev range. Under hard acceleration, there is a slight whine to be heard, but compared to many other similarly powered cars, this is negligible.
In terms of braking, the anti-lock brakes are also excellent, facilitating powerful and prompt emergency stops with only a moderate amount of pressure applied to the pedal.
Standard features include automatic climate control and air-conditioning, electric sunroof, leather trim, power windows in the front and rear, electric mirrors, and central locking. A BOSE 5-speaker sound system, which includes a 6-stack CD changer mounted in the boot, is of excellent quality and very much in keeping with the luxurious nature of this car.
In terms of safety features, anti-lock brakes are standard, as are twin airbags – impressive for 1994. Upgrades apparent on the 800 M model include electronic traction control as well the aforementioned four-wheel steering which is interfaced with the ABS computer.
The standard of the finishes on all models is impeccable, with not a blemish or flaw in sight. The Eunos 800 is notable for having been produced using technology that – new at the time – ensures future corrosion occurs at a minimum.
Boot space leaves room for mild criticism as it is not very deep, and it is minimised by the inclusion of the CD changer. In addition, the car does not have as much foldout space as some of its competitors.
Contemporary rivals came in the shape of the Lexus ES300 and Honda Legend, as well as the Ford LTD and Holden Caprice. While the Eunos 800 might not hold its resale value like the Lexus or Honda, or have the stretch-out space of the Ford or Holden, the 800 outclasses these vehicles in terms of performance and in retail price.
Though not terribly popular, the Eunos 800 is an outstanding car and can be found for bargain prices on the used market.