I bought my Mazda Mpv Sport 5 years ago and since has been a very dependable vehicle. The car is quite heavy, weighing about 3,500 lbs, however I have never been able to get the car stuck. The powertrain is pretty much bullet proof, with two solid axles connected by two drivelines. The power is dispersed at the rear of the transmission and the transfer case is gear meshed. With a 3.0 L 6 cylinder engine the van does reasonably well on fuel and plenty of power when needed. I used my van once for towing, and easily dragged a truck up an icy slope with its brakes locked. My only complaint is how packed the mechanical components are. Few repairs are a quick and easy fix, I personally work on it myself, but would recommend taking it to a shop if you don't have a lot of experience working on cars. I like how fast and easy the third row seat is to remove or fold down. This makes a big difference in space and I have used the van for hauling all kinds of things, from treadmills to couches. For 97 technology the van had it all, from the 6 disc cd changer to the electronic controls, but don't forget to grease the door locks and handles (I use white lithium grease). Overall I have been happy with the performance and comfort of my Minivan and would recommend this car to anyone looking for a good vehicle to drive through icy conditions. I live in Alaska and this is one of the best vehicles I have ever driven on the road. My wife loves it and I trust she will be getting to work safe and on time.
I LOVE my MPV. I wish they still made them like this (and not like the minivan they changed into in 1999 and on). I'd get a newer one if I could. I like that it's compact but can haul 8 people, it has 4WD, and it's high enough off the ground so you don't scrape. EVER. I like just about everything about this vehicle!! For hauling 8 people, it's pretty nice. With the middle row on the middle setting, you have adequate legroom. I sat in the rear seat and had enough leg room for a few hours of driving (I'm about 5'8"). The back row is exactly the same width as my Chevy Suburban's 3rd row. It handles great in the snow, but it does turn like a truck. My only cons are the gas mileage is a little low for a car this size (but not too far off the comparable vans of the day), not a lot of storage space in the trunk (also similar to vans in the lat 1990s and early 2000s), and the 3rd row is a bit tricky to access if you have car seats in the middle row and can't fold it forward. It's basically a 1990s crossover vehicle! We've got 145K on it and plan on going lots more!
We've owned our '97 MPV since it was new. It's been a very reliable vehicle, and we've had no major tranny, engine or front-end repairs in almost 12 years (but we do follow the service manual). It can hold a lot of stuff, and makes for an excellent passenger and moving van. The only negatives are its weight, which leads to mediocre fuel economy and premature tire wear. Strange lean to the right as well, which I've noticed on other MPV's. A very solid machine that's taken a fair bit of abuse and kept on driving smoothly.
-very reliable and roomy; smooth drive
-better fuel economy and guts up the hill would be nice; buying cheap tires at this point - the fancy ones seem to wear out at the same rate as the bargain ones
Great vehicle. Mazda had a great thing going, and now suvs became this type of vehicle. Wish they never changed the design, or change back and put in newer components and engines. This is a great style. Rear seats don't have much leg room, but when your kids start to get cramped back there, it means soon enough they won't want to be in the same car with you anyway, LOL. So good, I have been looking for another one and getting rid of my car.
4WD. It's awesome in the snow. Play time baby!
Maybe uses a little more torque and acceleration, otherwise, its as good as perfect. Very durable machine!
I have had a Toyota Land Cruiser, and compared to that it is agile and very fuel efficient. I used to get 8 MPG in city and 13 Mpg in highway with the Land Cruiser. The 4X4 MPV gets 14 MPG in city and 21 Highway. I have climbed off road areas that my brother with a 4WD Suburban could not keep up. Thanks to MPV's differential lock. This SUV/MINIVAN was never tasted good to car magazines' subjective taste without objective reasons. It is an outstanding low priced 4 wheel drive van with 4 doors.