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.
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 have had no significant problems with our MPV over the years. Heard of transmission problems in other vehicles but none in ours yet. Nuisance check engine light goes on and off occasionally, but mechanic has found no problems. Speedo error can be caused by different size tires, stock tires can be very difficult to find and if you can find them you won't want to pay for them. I am encouraged by the number of older style MPVs (3 doors) still running the road that make ours look new. Although the van has been very reliable, I would not give 5 cents for the maintenance department of the dealer where we bought.
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.
Bought it with load and people in mind. That's all I got.Constant rear passenger door locking problem, it locks when it shouldn't. In winter, all locks go screwy. I NEVER asked if it was front wheel drive when I bought it. Japanese DON'T make rear wheel drive anything anymore, right? WRONG! New winter tires on, it handles worse than my old GMC vandura! No confidence in this vehicle whatsoever. Even the Big 3 make front wheel drive minivans! What happened to these guys on this one? The fuel economy is aweful, I can't wait to change it! I think a Sante Fe will be better than this. What a shame!