1998 LX 4wd with 175km(109mi) and new transmission
written on 10-12-2012
I recently bought a 1998 LX 4wd with optional load levelers and mid row captains chairs. It has 175k KM or 109k MILES on original engine and a rebuilt transmission. IMPORTANT for purchase decision * the previous owners were families with 2 children (softly driven/usually up to date maintenance). THE GOOD = capabilities for entire family fun. THE KINDA BAD = fuel economy (but that's the price to have a 4wd 7 passenger Mini Van. Overall I like it - the bones are there its up to " the owner " to buy right and take care of it. NOW personally I have a ticking in my valve lifters and it was suggested by MAZDA to add a heavier oil next oil change so it causes the lifters to quiet.. LOL sounds good.
I have owned two MPV minivan "trucks". The first one bought in 1990 was driven over 200,000 miles. It was sold in 2003 unsolicited to a total stranger right off the street who pleaded to buy it. Earlier, I continued to drive the 1990 model 5 more years after we purchased the 1998 MPV. I think Mazda should have stuck with the '98 "All Sport" concept, rather than making the fatal mistake of changing designs. However, nearly 10 years later the newer crossovers seem to come close. The '98 MPV is awesome and in my opinion the best "truck" Mazda ever built. I would buy another one if they built another 4WD All Sport MPV like the 1998 model.
I bought this truck for my wife after a decade of minivan ownership because she wanted something "different" and this definitely is that! It's been reliable affordable transportation and made me a die hard Mazda fan after many years of dodge ownership. I wish Mazda had continued to progress with this body style rather that succumbing to the "euro" styling trend that took over in the late 90's. Very fun vehicle to own and it looks like nothing else out there even after all this time, even today the styling doesn't scream "I'm 12 yrs old!"
This vehicle was purchased because of its potential in comparison to the current suv's. After owning and driving it for 2 years and finding the depreciation very deflating, I also find the vehicle to be very disappointing. While the room that it boasts of is indeed at first a seller, when you actually utilize it you see that it is more of a mirage. The rear seat does come out easily for extra room but when it comes to folding it down for the space it is bulky. Would I purchase this vehicle again? Not likely. I would probably spend the extra money on the real deal instead of putting good money down the drain.