Mazda 929

Carpedia

Jan 29th, 2020

Mazda 929

The Mazda 929 series has been around since 1973 and stayed in the market until 1997. Mazda first used this nameplate for the export version of the Japanese Mazda Luce, with the later generations being rebadged Cosmo and Sentia models. Body styles over the years consisted of a 2-door coupe, 4-door sedan and a 5-door station wagon, all adopting a front-engine rear-wheel-drive layout. Mazda 929 is a full-size car, Mazda's largest passenger vehicle.

Toyo Kogyo Co. Ltd has always used the Mazda name from the first Mazda-Go auto rickshaw and then later on during the 1960s, the R360 and Carol. Their interest in developing the Wankel rotary engine to differentiate itself from other automobile makers was a success in getting Mazda cars recognized the world over. In 1984, the company officially adopted the Mazda name and continued to market a whole range of exceptional and durable vehicles to this day.

First Generation: LA2V 1series (1973-1976)

The first-generation Mazda 929 was a rebadged Luce that Mazda sold in Japan since 1972. A rotary engine initially powered the domestic model. The export-bound Mazda 929, on the other hand, was driven mostly by piston engines. 

In Australia, the 929 arrived in the market as coupes, sedans and wagons, all powered by a 1.8L piston-powered VC inline-4 (59 kW, 132 Nm) petrol engine paired to either a 3-speed automatic or 4-speed manual gearbox. 

The Luce that was powered by a Wankel rotary was available in either the 1.2L 12A (88 kW, 100 Nm) or the 1.3L 13B (82 kW, 159 Nm) unit in the US and other countries. It was also known as the RX-4, with a few units making their way to Australia and NZ. 

Second Generation: LA2V 2series (1976-1977)

The second-generation 929 was a facelifted first generation. The change in chassis designation as an LA3 was brought about by having a shorter front end and with a more squarish design. Engines used were still the same 1.8L piston units.

Third Generation: LA4V & LA4M (1977-1981)

In 1977, the third-generation 929 was the export version of the Luce Legato, which was a large luxury sedan for the 4-door sedan and 5-door wagon. The coupe version came from the Mazda Cosmo CD series that was also based from the Mazda Luce but had a different suspension package.

The Mazda 929 coupe and base sedan (LA4V) were still powered by the 1.8L VC while the wagon and L Deluxe sedan (LA4M) came with the 2.0L F/MA I4 (64 kW, 160 Nm). The 1.2L and 1.3L Wankel rotary engines still powered some variants depending on the region and were marketed as the RX-9.

A facelift in 1979 redesigned the grille and modified the headlight to a more European-inspired design. Some countries received a diesel engine version (LA4S) powered by a 2.2L S2 unit.

Fourth Generation: HB (1982-1986)

Now based on the HB platform both used for Luce and Cosmo in Japan, the fourth-generation Mazda 929 was not sold in the US but was available in most other export markets. The sedan and coupe were still the Luce and the Cosmo with a considerably-changed design. The 929 Coupe now sported a flip-up headlamp with a large-angled rear side window after the B-pillar. The Australian-released 929 Coupe was available in Limited and Luxury trims, while the sedans were sold as Deluxe, Limited or Luxury. The wagon version was available only a base model. 

The 1.8L VC engine remained as a powertrain choice, with a 2.0L F/MA (64 kW, 160 Nm) added to the range. The new engine was available with either a 3-speed (later on a 4-speed) auto or a 5-speed manual gearbox. Elsewhere in the world, other engine options were available. Two versions of the inline 4-cylinder FE engine were offered, one with 74 kW and the other with 87 kW peak output. A turbocharged version FET (89 kW, 203 Nm) engine also became available but was never sold in Europe. 

In some European markets, the 929 was known as the 2000 sedan or 2000E estate. The coupe version was also not offered in some countries. The rotary-powered versions were still sold in Japan and other parts of the world but were the last generation of the Cosmo to be exported. 

Fifth Generation: HC (1986-1991)

The fifth-generation models and more luxurious than its predecessor. Now also available in the US, this was the first Mazda 929 sedan to be powered by a V6 petrol engine. The Australian market continued to sell the previous version up to 1987 but now already offered the fifth generation with the V6 as the sedan-only V6i Luxury and V6i Super Deluxe trims.

The V6 powerplant was the 3.0L JE (118 kW, 234 Nm) with either a 4-speed automatic or a 5-speed manual gearbox. Other markets were offered with the following engine options:

  • 2.0L FE I4 (60 kW, 152 Nm), carburetted
  • 2.0L FE I4 (85 kW, 164 Nm), fuel injected
  • 2.2L F2 I4 (85 kW, 175 Nm), carburetted
  • 2.2L F2 I4 (93 kW, 191 Nm), fuel injected
  • 2.2L F2 I4 (100 kW, 188 Nm), fuel injected
  • 2.0L JF V6 (81 kW, 171 Nm), fuel injected
  • 2.0L JFT V6 (107 kW, 235 Nm), fuel-injected turbocharged (JDM only)
  • 3.0L JE V6 (140 kW, 259 Nm), fuel-injected DOHC

The HC series continued to be produced in Japan until 1996. It was widely used for taxi applications and was in service for quite some time there. 

Sixth Generation: HD (1991-1995)

The sixth-generation Mazda 929 was now called the Mazda Sentia in Japan, a successor to the Luce. Design and development in Japan for a replacement of the Luce started in 1988 and produced a large sedan that was meant to give Mazda its competitor for the large luxury sedan segment. It was now the largest Mazda sedan sold in Japan and worldwide.

The Mazda 929 V6i was powered by a 3.0L JE V6 (118 kW, 245 Nm) but was only offered for a year. The Mazda 929 (4WS) with either the cloth or leather option was powered by the 3.0L JE26 V6 (138 kW, 270 Nm). Standard transmission packaged with the engines was the 4-speed automatic. In other parts of the world, a 2.5L J5 V6 (118 kW) was also an option.

This new generation was now equipped with ABS, cruise control and power sunroof depending on the region and made available as either standard or option depending on trim level. A 4WD version was also available in some countries. The sixth-generation 929 was the last of this series to be sold in the US ending its run in 1995 due to the diminishing popularity of non-luxury cars in this size.

Seventh Generation: HE (1995-1999)

The seventh and last generation of the Mazda 929 was a facelift of the previous generation, which included a larger grille, taller roofline and wood trims. This facelift was part of an effort to make the 929 more luxurious and appealing as Mazda's flagship model. This campaign, however, wasn't particularly successful. The Mazda 929 was eventually removed from Mazda's line-up.

In the international scene, it carried over the engine options from the previous generation but was slowly withdrawn from the market. Production eventually ceased in 1999. 

Mazda 929 in the Used Car Market

The Mazda 929 has been around since the early 1970s up to the 1990s, and numerous models can still be seen around in our roads. The previous generations are now relegated to the enthusiast who is keen on preserving them, but the latter models are still useful as a daily driver.

Are you selling or buying a Mazda 929 of any generation? Visit us at Carpart.com.au, and look into the biggest listing of cars and parts available from sellers all over Australia. Feel free to send us a parts request if there's something you need that is currently not on the list or contact us at hello@carpart.com.au for any questions you might have. 


Fred Cajulis