I replaced this van at this time first of all because of the CARS program. Secondly 3 of the 4 kids are now on their own so it's bigger than I need and it's Momma's turn. : ) Otherwise this van served my family well for 7 years. We put over 130,000 miles on the van with minimal problems towards the end. And this last winter was the first real midwest winter since I've owned it -- the smaller tires on the larger vehicle had me in the ditch twice. Despite that I still recommend it to families with children.
The fold down 3rd row for football equipment, bulk groceries and Drive-in movies. :) And EVERYONE liked the fact that the windows roll down for the middle seats.
Yes the gear shifter is in the way a little of the radio but you get used to it. My only complaint is that you had to have the side doors shut in order to lock it and to roll the windows up or down.
This is my 3rd Mazda. First was B2200, then 99 MPV an now 2001 MPV. Our only complaint is that it hummed in the winter. I drive it approx. 40+miles 5 days a week and everywhere on the weekends. It's roomy and fun to be in. As you can see by the miles, we're always on the road. I thought about Cash for Clunkers, but why get rid of a gold mine.
The sliding seats and ease of moving the seats in and out.
Bought my MPV new and it has lived up to its billing. Nice ride, comfortable seating. Just change oil, brakes, and other routine maintenance and the van does the rest. Drives more like a car than a van. Easy to configure seats and take out and out back seats for hauling stuff. Wife and daughter can drive it as its not "boaty". The only thing that has broken is the cable for the spare tire. If you buy one make sure to learn how to get it at the spare.
Steady, quiet ride on highway. Handling is great for a van.
Visuals in interior to get to spare tire under the carpeting. In fact a better system to get at the tire would be an improvement
Mazda MPV was $10k cheaper then Honda. We bought it and never regret it. Oil, brakes, battery and tires those are four things I ever touched. Never failed. Nothing. Nada. Just put a gas and drive. 120k miles and still driving like it just been taken from a dealer's lot. We raised 2 of our kids with this car. We have been to 14 states with our MPV. Best minivan ever.
Engine 2.5 is a bit weak for this car, but on other hand it is not a sport car
I used this van to haul a lot of equipment as well as two infants. The van suited us very well, as it had 40000 miles on it when I bought it. Around 65000 I started having issues with the engine light coming on and it missing, and replaced starter sensor, but they never were able to completely fix the problem. The value for the price of this van was excellent, and it was a very good deal considering other cars that I had reviewed. I especially liked the way that I could haul a lot of inventory. It was much easier to use then my Explorer or Surbuban. I recently bought a Town and Country at a much higher price and love that vehicle as it's easier with auto doors and the tvs for the kids.
Ease of seats folding down, lots of room for hauling. Suspension held up despite continuous overloading.
Increase payload capacity (weight) by optional hauling suspension to be added. Braking is slow, so better brakes would make this a safer vehicle. My rating for driving experience is not a ding against Mazda, but it is a minivan after all.