So, what's so special about a Bongo?

Firstly, you may be asking yourself, "Why the Ford badge?"
Well, there are Mazda Bongos and there are Ford Fredas. These vehicles are identical other than badging, Ford having bought a controlling interest in Madza. When talking of Bongos, we include the Ford Freda.

Based on a tough Mazda chassis, this MPV (multi-purpose vehicle) comes with several options:

  • rear wheel drive or permanent 4-wheel drive
  • Petrol or Diesel
  • Automatic or manual gearbox
  • Fixed roof or "Auto Free Top" camper roof
  • Alloy wheels

Standard equipment includes:

  • Air conditioning, air conditioning
  • electric side window blinds (on most models)
  • Electric door mirrors
  • Auto-close sliding door

Mazda Bongos were first introduced into the Japanese domestic market in 1995. They come in 3 engine types;

  • WL-T 2.5 turbo diesel,
  • J5 V6 2.5 litre V-6 petrol,
  • FE 2 litre petrol engine.

All vehicles have front and rear air conditioning as standard and most (but not all) have electrically operated internal, side window blinds and external mirrors. The sliding door is equipped with an auto-close system.

The engine is situated between the front seats, so neither the driver or passenger seats will swivel. In a standard configuration, there is a 3-person adjustable bench seat in the middle of the van, and a further 3 person bench seat at the rear. This rear bench is either on a sliding rail, or will split in two and will swivel up to hook on to the side of the vehicle.

Late 1997 saw some modifications made to the bodywork. These are called "facelift" models.

In February 1999, "New Shape" Bongos started to be produced.