This has been a great car for 11 years (2001 model), and still going. I have been holding off getting a new car hoping that Mazda will come back with a real minivan- the 5 is too small. I have over 200,000 miles now, and it's still going without any major issues. Been thinking about getting something new, but can't justify because this baby keeps on chugging away. It has done the full gamut of use- toting loads of kids to practices and activities, towing my 15 foot sailboat, vacation trips, hauling junk in the cargo zone, canoe on the roof, etc. What a versatile vehicle, and 20 miles per gallon.
I worried about the small v6 engine and the reveiws, but I don't see the issue. Looks great! Drives Excellently! The leather seats are really comfortable. I'm just back from a 17 hour 1100 mile trip and not once did my back feel it. In addition, I drove it in the mountains of Tennesee & Kentucky with little effort on the engine. It is NOT under powered at all. The interior style is very up scale compared to many of the "BEST" rated vans especially the Honda. With the CReports ratings at very high. Buy a ES MPV with no worries. You are smart to do so, and will get the best van on the road period.
We've owned this van since it was new 8 years ago and its still going strong. Its at 110K miles and while its now been demoted to my "work" vehicle and replaced by an '07 Honda Odyssey, its still earning its keep. Its more nimble than the Honda, just not big enough any more for the two much larger teenagers. Great van for a young family or couples that need a multi-purpose vehicle.
Bought my MPV new and it has lived up to its billing. Nice ride, comfortable seating. Just change oil, brakes, and other routine maintenance and the van does the rest. Drives more like a car than a van. Easy to configure seats and take out and out back seats for hauling stuff. Wife and daughter can drive it as its not "boaty". The only thing that has broken is the cable for the spare tire. If you buy one make sure to learn how to get it at the spare.
I used this van to haul a lot of equipment as well as two infants. The van suited us very well, as it had 40000 miles on it when I bought it. Around 65000 I started having issues with the engine light coming on and it missing, and replaced starter sensor, but they never were able to completely fix the problem. The value for the price of this van was excellent, and it was a very good deal considering other cars that I had reviewed. I especially liked the way that I could haul a lot of inventory. It was much easier to use then my Explorer or Surbuban. I recently bought a Town and Country at a much higher price and love that vehicle as it's easier with auto doors and the tvs for the kids.