By Gabriel on
2004 Mazda MPV LX 4dr Minivan (3.0L 6cyl 5A)
We bought this van after we drove a Ford Windstar, Toyota Highlander, a few other SUVs and visited the annual L.A. Auto show. Has good power, expected interior size and folding chairs. On a tight budget so we ended with the MPV in the garage for $18,000 (including taxes). Feels slow when stepped on the gas (comparing to my 87' T-bird), but braking is good. Has the largest turning of any car I ever drove - U-turn is a problem. The gear shifter is - dumb - placed across the AC and radio controls. Cheap arm rests. Shortly after purchase, the water pump was leaking coolant on the hot engine, fumes were coming in the inside. Fixed on warranty. A bumper crash in the rear made a $3200 damage.
Good power for a minivan, sportier than other minivans. Keeps the gear down for uphill power. Two sliding doors, power windows on the sliding doors. Folding rear seat. Good warranty.
Dumb placement of the gear shifter across the AC and radio controls. Worst turning circle. Poor fuel economy (18 mpg average) and fumes from the engine in the cabin.