When we bought this care from a private party, it hadn't been well cared for. It wasn't garaged and it had some body rust on the roof. Within a year it required a 'mini- overhaul' at about $4,000. But, we loved how it drove and the power was good for the size of the car. Since that first repair, we've only had one other incident: the guides and pulleys for the engine belt assembly failed and shredded the belt on a trip. Fortunately, Mazda engines shut down when that happens (some don't and the engine is destroyed). We had the roof replaced, the exterior completely repaired and we repainted it the original 'sand mica'. The engine runs strong. We're keeping it!
I have had over 40 cars and never thought I would end up with a van. It just has become comfortable like an old pair of shoes. Reliable, rattle free and cozy. Transmission is the worst. 3 in 134,000 mi. Oh how I wish I had bought a 5 speed. They are near impossible to find but if I do...
Bought the '90 MPV in '94 with 94,000 miles on it. It now has 203,000 with very few issues. I've had some really odd problems that were fairly easy to fix. 1. Lost all coolant once, (bad hose). 2. Snapped a timing belt just after replacement (tensioner pulley went south). 3. Distributer "module" died while traveling 65 mph. All issues after 150,000 miles. All of these were no big deal really. I wish they would have continued this style of MPV - I'd keep buying them without hesitation.
by glorric on Nov 16, 2005 Vehicle: 1990 Mazda MPV
For its age and size, the Mazda MPV is a great little car. Depending upon how well maintained it is, the vehicle can get up to 18mpg while holding 7 passengers. A reliable car, however it is terrible to work on. At least on the V6 model, even changing the spark plugs requires several extensions on your ratchets. All things considered, it holds up better than an Aerostar, and looks nicer too. It's good in a crash for the people inside, but even a small collision will total this vehicle. Strengths: holds 7 passengers comfortably, safe, compact, easy to drive. Weaknesses: sluggish acceleration, difficult to work on, handles poorly in snow (for RWD models).
by karll22 on Nov 27, 2004 Vehicle: 1990 Mazda MPV
260,000 plus miles. Bought it new. 4cylinder automatic. No problems I couldn't fix myself, although I'm a mechanical engineer by training. Hasn't been babied, but never abused, either. Used as a daily driver to ferry kids and cargo, and commute. Little rust for its age. Interior, except for stained floormats, is almost as new. Everything still works. Tires, belts, hoses, plugs/wires, shocks/struts, brakes, and battery have been replaced. An ignition module and radiator were the only significant failures. Hoping to find a late model "tall wagon" as a replacement that'll give as good of service.
Reliable to a fault,(I like to tinker), the light bulbs don't even burn out! This 4X4 is as solid as new and has turned out to be a good fiend. Now for the "but"...the MPG SUCKS!!! and I live in So. Cal so it hurts.