Mazda Carol

Last updated
Mazda Carol
Autozam Carol
Mazda Carol 603.JPG
Manufacturer Mazda (1962–1970)
Suzuki (1989–present)
Body and chassis
Class Kei car
Body style 2/4-door sedan (1962–1970)
3-door hatchback (1989–1998)
5-door hatchback (1998–present)
Layout Rear-engine, rear-wheel-drive (1962–1970)
Front-engine, front-wheel-drive or four-wheel-drive (1989–present)

The Mazda Carol is a kei car manufactured by Mazda from 1962 until 1970. The Carol name was revived again with Mazda's 1989 re-entry into the kei car class with the Autozam brand. Since 1989, the Carol has been a rebadged model manufactured by Suzuki for Mazda, based on the Japanese Suzuki Alto. The first two generations of the modern era Carols received unique bodywork, but since late 1998 the nameplate has been strictly a badging exercise.


First generation (1962)

First generation (KPDA)
Mazda carol360.jpg
Also calledMazda P360
ProductionFebruary 1962–August 1970
AssemblyJapan: Hiroshima (Hiroshima Assembly)
Body and chassis
Body style 2/4-door sedan
Layout Rear-engine, rear-wheel-drive
Related Mazda R360
Engine 358 cc DA OHV I4
Wheelbase 1,930 mm (76.0 in) [1]
Length2,990 mm (117.7 in) [1]
Width1,295 mm (51.0 in) [1]
Height1,320 mm (52.0 in) [1]
Successor Mazda Chantez

The Mazda R360 was complemented by the more grown-up 2-door sedan Mazda P360 Carol in February 1962, the company's first 4-passenger car, and complemented the three-wheeled Mazda Mazdago. [2] It was more substantial than the R360: although its total length of 2,980 mm (117.3 in) was the same, its 1,930 mm (76.0 in) wheelbase was considerably longer. The Carol weighed in at 525 kg (1,157 lb), versus 380 kg (838 lb) for the diminutive R360. [3] It used the DA , a 18 PS (13 kW), rear-mounted water-cooled 358 cc 4-cylinder OHV engine. This is one of the smallest four-cylinder automobile engines in history, only Honda's 356 cc DOHC alloy inline-four unit (used in the T360 truck) was smaller. The four-speed gearbox was synchronized only on the top three gears.

Rear view of a two-door Carol 360 Mazda Carol 360 rear.jpg
Rear view of a two-door Carol 360

The Carol was perhaps overengineered: it had a very strong monocoque body, a four-cylinder four-stroke engine with a five-bearing crankshaft and four-wheel independent suspension by torsion bars, [4] but this led to high production costs, comparably high weight, and its very comfortable ride was offset by cramped accommodation. Nonetheless, the Carol was an incredible success in the marketplace, capturing 67% of the Kei market in its first year. [5] A better equipped DeLuxe version was added in May 1962, along with a changed angle of the rear window to help it stay clean. [2] In September 1963, shortly after a reshaped combustion head and upgrade to 20 PS (15 kW), a four-door version appeared. [6]

In October 1966 a minor facelift took place. The car was lightened somewhat, new bumpers were mounted, and the spare tire was moved from the front to the engine room, freeing up scarce luggage space. Also, the gearbox was now fully synchronized. [7] The last modification took place in 1969, when in response to stricter safety standards a driver's side headrest and provisions for seatbelts were fitted. Production continued until August 1970, by which time 265,226 Carol 360s had been built. [8] Mazda did not offer a Kei class passenger car for two years, until the 1972 introduction of the Chantez.

Carol 600 (1962–1964)

Mazda Carol 600
Also calledMazda P600
ProductionNovember 1962–1964
Engine 586 cc RA OHV I4
Wheelbase 1,930 mm (76.0 in) [9]
Length3,200 mm (126.0 in) [9]
Width1,325 mm (52.2 in) [9]
Height1,340 mm (52.8 in) [9]
Curb weight 585 kg (1,289.7 lb) [9]
Mazda Carol P600 (1962) MHV Mazda Carol P600 1962 01.jpg
Mazda Carol P600 (1962)

The Carol 600 appeared in the fall of 1962 with a larger 586 cc RA OHV engine and longer at 3,200 mm. The extra length was due to more prominent bumpers, passenger space was as restricted as in the 360. Weight ranged from 560 to 585 kg (1,235 to 1,290 lb). It was also available as a four-door sedan, ahead of the lesser Carol 360. The car was called the "600" or "P600" in export markets. At home, there was a Standard two-door, and DeLuxe two- or four-door versions. Production ended in November 1964, after the introduction of the more spacious Mazda Familia 800 sedan version. Around 8,800 Carol 600s were built. [7]

Second generation (1989)

Second generation (AA5XA/AA6XA)
Mazda Carol 001.JPG
Facelift model (1990-1994)
ProductionOctober 1989–1994
Body and chassis
Body style 3-door hatchback
Layout Front-engine, front-wheel-drive
Front-engine, four-wheel-drive
Related Suzuki Alto
Curb weight 580–630 kg (1,279–1,389 lb)

With the revival of the Kei class in the late eighties, Mazda revived the Carol name in October 1989 for the Autozam Carol. The recently introduced Autozam was to be Mazda's youthful brand and was used on Mazda's kei cars for some time. The Carol was produced for Mazda by Suzuki, and while it used the Suzuki Alto's platform and mechanicals, its interior and boldly curved exterior were largely unique. [10] Its round headlights and cute appearance were very much a product of its time and followed upon the heels of similar designs such as Nissan's Be-1 and Pao. It was either front (AA5PA) or all-wheel drive (AA5RA) and its SOHC 547 cc 3-cylinder Suzuki F5B engine produced 40 PS (29 kW) at 7,500 rpm. The Carol had a 2,335 mm (92 in) wheelbase for a total length of 3,190 mm (126 in) and was 1,295 mm (51 in) wide. Brakes were discs up front and drums in rear. [11]

Equipment levels were e, f (also 4WD), and the top g version. The g featured a Canvas Top. Four-wheel drives received a five-speed gearbox, while the front-wheel drive versions received a four- or five-speed manual or a three-speed auto. 550 cc Carols are rare, as production ended after only four months. New Kei car regulations for 1990 allowed manufacturers a bigger engine and an extra 10 cm of body length, and Mazda quickly brought out an updated Carol.

Facelift (1990–1994)

Autozam Carol "Me Lady" special edition (AA6PA) Mazda Carol 208.JPG
Autozam Carol "Me Lady" special edition (AA6PA)

New regulations brought about the replacement of the 1989 Carol within 4 months, as the larger AA6 Carol was presented in February 1990. The new car was 6 cm longer and used a larger 657 cc Suzuki F6A engine with 52 PS (38 kW). The car is easy to tell from its predecessor by its clear headlight covers. In 1991, Mazda offered a 61 PS (45 kW) turbocharged engine, and the car was further lengthened to 329 cm in 1992.

Third generation (1995)

Third generation (AC6)
Mazda Carol 1995.jpg
Body and chassis
Related Suzuki Alto
Autozam Carol rear Autozam CAROL (AC6P) rear.JPG
Autozam Carol rear
Autozam Carol front Autozam CAROL (AC6P) front.JPG
Autozam Carol front

An updated Autozam Carol came out in October 1995 as a 1996 model. Again, it was front or all-wheel drive and still sharing its platform with the Suzuki Alto. This generation also received model-specific bodywork, and was also only available as a three-door hatchback with a vestigial notchback design. A turbocharged SOHC version was available, although it was marketed without any sporting pretensions and did not even have a rev counter. Mazda also developed two retro-styled versions as a wave of such models flooded the Kei car market at the time; these were called the Carol Custom and the Carol Classic.

During 1998, the model's name was changed to "Mazda Carol" as the Autozam badge was being discontinued.

Fourth generation (1998)

Fourth generation (HB12/22/23)
Mazda CAROL SG (HB12S) front.JPG
Body and chassis
Related Mazda AZ-Offroad
Mazda AZ-Wagon
Suzuki Alto

An entirely new Carol appeared in October 1998 as a 1999 model, this time with the Mazda brand name. Unlike previous Carols, this model was similar to the Suzuki Alto. This Carol was available with either front or all-wheel drive and used the old 657 cc F6A engine or a new 658 cc DOHC unit. It was closely related to the AZ-Offroad and AZ-Wagon introduced at the same time.

Mazda Carol rear Mazda CAROL SG (HB12S) rear.JPG
Mazda Carol rear
Facelift model (2001-2003) 4thCAROL.JPG
Facelift model (2001-2003)

The Carol was updated with a new look in December 2000, featuring Mazda's new five-point grille design. Safety and emissions were also improved, thanks to new variants of the K-series family of engines with available variable valve timing. The earlier F6A was no longer available.

Fifth generation (2004)

Fifth generation (HB24)
Body and chassis
Related Nissan Pino
Suzuki Alto
Mazda Carol rear Mazda Carol G II (DBA-HB24S) rear.jpg
Mazda Carol rear

As Suzuki released a replacement for the Suzuki Alto, the rebadged Mazda Carol was also replaced.

Sixth generation (2010)

Sixth generation (HB25/35)
Mazda Carol 603.JPG
Body and chassis
Related Suzuki Alto
Engine 658 cc K6A I3 [12]
Wheelbase 2,400 mm (94.5 in) [12]
Length3,395 mm (133.7 in) [12]
Width1,475 mm (58.1 in) [12]
Height1,535 mm (60.4 in) [12]
Curb weight 740 kg (1,631.4 lb) [12]
Mazda Carol rear Mazda Carol 602.JPG
Mazda Carol rear

Mazda has launched a new Carol in December 2009, as 2010 model, [13] which was first revealed at the 2009 Tokyo Motor Show. The Carol has been updated alongside its sister, the Suzuki Alto. Like the Alto, the Carol is available with AWD and CVT.

Seventh generation (2014)

Seventh generation (HB36)
Mazda CAROL GX (DBA-HB36S) front.jpg
Body and chassis
Layout Front-engine, front-wheel-drive
Front-engine, four-wheel-drive
Related Suzuki Alto
Engine 658 cc R06A I3 VVT
Mazda Carol rear Mazda CAROL GX (DBA-HB36S) rear.jpg
Mazda Carol rear

As Suzuki released a replacement for the Suzuki Alto, the rebadged Mazda Carol was also replaced.

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  6. Nippon Kei Car Memorial, p. 61.
  7. 1 2 "Encyclopedia of Carol". Mazda Carol-360 Page. Retrieved 2010-10-05.
  8. Car Graphic: Car Archives Vol. 5, '70s Japanese Cars. Tokyo: Nigensha. 2007. p. 89. ISBN   978-4-544-09175-5.
  9. 1 2 3 4 5 "1963 Mazda Carol 600 specifications & performance data review". Automobile Catalog. Retrieved 2013-12-03.
  10. Rees, pp. 80–81
  11. "Mazda Carol (1989.10-1990.02) Catalog" (in Japanese). CarSensor Lab. Retrieved 2010-10-07.
  12. 1 2 3 4 5 6 "Mazda Carol GS AT 0.66 (2010)". Tradecarview. Retrieved 2013-12-03.
  13. "Mazda Carol|Price. Reviews. Specifications.|TCV(former tradecarview)|Japanese used cars online market".