A Brief Look at the Mazda Navajo

Mazda Navajo Picture

The Mazda Navajo: A Comprehensive Overview of Its History and Evolution

The Mazda Navajo was one of the top-rated sports utility vehicles (SUVs) on the market in the 1990s. The unique blend of sportiness and functionality made it a hot favorite among car enthusiasts. Over the years, Mazda introduced several variations to the original Navajo model. In this article, we take a close look at the history and evolution of the Mazda Navajo.

The First Generation Mazda Navajo (1990-1994)

The first Mazda Navajo was introduced in 1990 as a two-door, four-wheel drive model. The Navajo shared the same platform with the Ford Explorer, which was also introduced around the same time. This model featured a 4.0-liter V6 engine that produced 160 horsepower and a torque of 220 lb-ft.

The base model Navajo came with standard features such as air conditioning, power windows, power door locks, and a premium sound system. Mazda also offered other optional features such as leather seats, power moonroof, and a towing package.

The first generation Navajo underwent minor changes before it was discontinued in 1994. Some of the notable upgrades included a new Sport trim level, which came with a more powerful 4.0-liter engine, upgraded suspension, and premium audio system. Other notable upgrades included a driver-side airbag, an updated grille, and a standard four-speed automatic transmission.

The Second Generation Mazda Navajo (1995-1997)

The second generation Navajo was introduced in 1995 and featured several improvements over its predecessor. The most significant upgrade was the introduction of a four-door version, which offered more passenger room and cargo space. Mazda also made several style upgrades, including a new front fascia, updated wheels, and new interior features.

Under the hood, the second generation Navajo retained the same 4.0-liter V6 engine from the previous model. However, Mazda made some minor tweaks that resulted in an increase in horsepower to 165 and an increase in torque to 233 lb-ft.

Other notable features that came with the second generation Navajo included dual front airbags, an anti-lock braking system, a CD player, and improved suspension. Mazda also offered several optional features such as a rearview camera, power-adjustable seats, and automatic climate control.

The Third Generation Mazda Navajo (1998-2001)

The third generation Navajo was introduced in 1998 and underwent several significant changes. This model was released after Mazda discontinued its partnership with Ford, which meant that the Navajo was no longer based on the Explorer platform. The new Navajo was built on the same platform as the Mazda B-series pickup truck.

The third generation Navajo featured a new design that was more rounded and aerodynamic. The 4.0-liter V6 engine remained the same as the previous model. However, Mazda introduced some minor tweaks that resulted in an increase in horsepower to 170 and torque to 223 lb-ft.

Mazda also introduced several new features with the third generation Navajo. These included an optional rear-wheel drive, a five-speed manual transmission, and an updated sound system. Other features included cruise control, power windows, and air conditioning.

The Fourth Generation Mazda Navajo (2002-2009)

The fourth generation Navajo was introduced in 2002 and marked a significant departure from its predecessors. This model featured a completely new design that was more refined and upscale than previous models.

The fourth generation Navajo came with a choice of two engines: a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine or a 3.0-liter V6 engine. The four-cylinder engine produced 130 horsepower and 135 lb-ft of torque, while the V6 engine produced 200 horsepower and 193 lb-ft of torque.

Mazda made several upgrades to the interior of the Navajo in the fourth generation. These included leather seats, a premium sound system, and an optional navigation system. Other features included a power moonroof, automatic climate control, and power-adjustable seats.

The Fifth Generation Mazda Navajo (2010-Present)

The current generation Navajo was introduced in 2010 and underwent several significant changes. This model features a refreshed exterior design that is more refined and elegant than previous models.

Under the hood, the current Navajo comes with a choice of two engines: a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine or a 3.7-liter V6 engine. The four-cylinder engine produces 163 horsepower and 154 lb-ft of torque, while the V6 engine produces 275 horsepower and 266 lb-ft of torque.

Inside, the current Navajo features a premium interior that includes leather seats, a Bose sound system, and a touchscreen infotainment system. Other features included automatic climate control, a power liftgate, and a rearview camera.


The Mazda Navajo has seen significant changes and improvements over the years. From its humble beginnings as a two-door SUV, the Navajo has evolved into a refined and upscale SUV that has won over many car enthusiasts. With each new generation, Mazda has introduced new features and improvements that have kept the Navajo relevant in an ever-changing automobile market. Today, the Navajo remains a popular choice for those seeking a SUV that combines sportiness, functionality, and luxury.


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