When we finally decided that we needed a minivan we decided to purchase a MPV. We had a positive rental experience with the Mazda on a trip to DC. My wife loves the size. I like the way it drives. Not to mention that we paid less than $21k for a LX with rear air, 6 disc changer and roof rack. We have put 70k miles on the van and we bought it new 4/02. The only trips to the dealer was for the check engine light (wife left the gas cap off). No transmission problems here. We have taken the MPV on several 8 to 11 hour trips to the beach with all of our gear with no complaints about comfort. We are currently kicking around the idea of buying another MPV from the same dealer this spring.
Price and size. We bought our MPV about 2 weeks after a buddy of mine bought a Honda with the same equipment. He said I can't believe you wouldn't spend a couple thousand extra and get the bigger Honda. Price difference $6,000. His wife backed their "bigger" van into a pole a week later.
Our only beef is with the shifter blocking the radio controls.