I started out loathing all mom-mobile minivans but this Mazda MPV ES has changed all that. Quick, nimble, comfortable and economical (29-30mpg @ 60mph), I don't really miss my Mercedes. The ES model is comfortable to drive on long trips and the upscale radio pulls in more stations than my Mercedes ever did. The power sliding doors and fold-under 3rd seat are extremely convenient, as are the slide-together 2nd row seats (make them a single bench or 2 buckets). There's always enough power on tap, especially off the line, and passing power seems more than adequate. It's size makes it ideal for fitting in a garage with room to spare. All-in-all, I'd buy it again.
Power sliding doors (both sides), leather seats, upscale radio with CD and cassette player, tumble-under 3rd row seats, slide-together 2nd row seats, moderate size that does a lot of things well without being too big or feeling like you're driving the Queen Mary.
Power door lock switch on front passenger arm rest, shift lever that doesn't block the A/C control.
Has been reliable and fun to drive. The five speed transmission sometimes bangs audibly between 1->2 and 2->3, especially after braking and then accelerating. I'm worried about what this might mean we keep it past the warranty period. The rotors went at 18,000 km but replaced under warranty. The Dunlop tires it came with wore out way too fast - before 48,000 km for the first set and the second set almost done at 56,000 km now. Dealership would not compensate, Dunlop would not answer my emails to discuss. Otherwise service very good at Mazda dealers - due to job changes and moves I've used three different ones regularly.
Air conditioning powerful and quiet. Very quiet and solid ride. The 3.0 L engine is really gutsy compared to the 2.6 we had in the previous 2000 MPV. The back folding seat very nice.
Front seat needs to go back further. Our "economy" version has no passenger side armrest while the 2000 "economy" MPV we had before did. They need to put better tires on these - both the Yokohama's on the 2000 MPV and the Dunlop's on the 2002 wore out prematurely. We live in the country not city.
I purchased an '02 ES model used late in '03. This seemed like the best used buy if you are not too concerned with interior space, because it is smaller than most. Has the most bang for the buck for a highly rated import with power sliding doors. Drives and handles superb for a minivan. Seats seem a little narrow, but I got used to them. Unfortunately the ignition coil went out twice on different cylinders while under warranty, so the dealer replaced the coils and plugs on all 6 cylinders. That was in March '04, no other problems. Stock tires seem to wear quickly, as I noticed on most other used MPVs. I just replaced mine at 58k with Michelin Hydroedge. Very limited choice on this size tire.
Only 2 vans in '02 had third row folding seats; the other was the Honda which priced much higher used. Sliding doors are great. Second row seats are adjustable without removing. This makes up for the smaller size. Great power and handling. Overall great design.
Seats could be more comfortable. No switch on the console to turn on all interior dome lights; only the interior map light can be turned on by the driver. More standard wheel size. Naturally the ignition coil problem should not have happened.
I bought an 02 MPV and I thouroughly
love it. Very nice styling,it is just
the right size for kids. It drives and
feels like a car, and is much more
responsive than dodge,ford, chevrolet.
It also is a good used deal, not as
expensive as the pricier Honda, and
Toyota with comparible options. The
optional sliding doors have been
perfect and very convient. The ES is
nice with leather. I was most impressed
with the second row seating options. I
never thought I would enjoy a minvan
however, I love this one.
Second Row bucket, or slide togther
option. Foldable 3rd Row and
Purchased fully loaded and with ground
effects package. True to the
advertising, the MPV is FUN to drive
with quick acceleration and excellent
cornering. Plus, for a mini-van this
just looks great! Great compromise
between sporty car and mini-van.
Drinks A LOT of fuel but I knew that
beforehand based on MPG ratings.
Smaller size makes it easy to park and
u-turn; however, interior gets tight
very quickly for people over 5'10"
tall! Definitely NOT roomy..
especially if add a baby seat.
Overall, I would definitely buy it