I bought my MPV from an elderly couple when she was already 9 years old. People scoffed at me for doing so. I am laughing all the way to the bank. I had a tune up and timing belt replacement done initially and new tires - expensive, but worth every penny. She's been on a cross country trip and has transported many heavy things, many times. Everytime I think she's a geeky vehicle, I am reminded how roomy and comfy she is again and again. Almost 12 years old now and never had a mechanical problem yet (or an interior problem). Paint is in very good condition too, still glistens with a wax. Best road trip vehicle I've ever had. Great in wet weather too.
The boxy trunk - you will be amazed at what you can fit into this compartment. The 4 captains chairs are also very comfy for passengers too. It's the only suv that I don't feel sick in while sitting in the back seat. Great visibility.
Gas mileage, but hey, this is not a compact car, so you shouldn't be surprised by this.
I bought our '96 Mazda MPV in Sept. 2003 with 145,000 miles on it. Today it has 202,000 and is still going strong. I have only had to replace the starter, spark plug wires, belt tensioner and just recently the radiator. That's it. It runs like a clock. It is quite comfortable. I drive it for 10-12 hours at a stretch and have no problems. I saw the identical vehicle in a parking lot today and sought out the owner to see if he was interested in selling. I would buy another today if I had the chance.
Overall quality of construction. A solid, reliable, comfortable, economical vehicle. It just ... runs!
Make third seat fold to the floor, make it easily removable, or something. It is fine as a third row seat, but is cumbersome and difficult to contend with if you want to load anything in the back of the vehicle. Practically NO room behind 3rd seat for luggage or anything else. Small matter to me!