Used 2002 Mazda MPV Consumer Reviews
Purchased my MPV 12/02 after my 2nd child was born for easier entry & exit than my Jeep Cherokee, and more passenger room. After much research on minivans, I decided I wanted (but could not afford) a Honda Odyssey. The MPV ran a close 2nd. The first year of owning it was good. Things went down hill after that. The Dunlop tires that came on it were bald after less than 28K miles. It's been in for mechanical repairs & recalls more than any other vehicle I've ever owned (Chevy, Ford, Jeep). It's in now for another $400-500 repair after I just replaced the tires. After 3 years of ownership, I'm sad to say, it has not been as reliable as I thought it would. Style & comfort good. Reliability, not good.
When we finally decided that we needed a minivan we decided to purchase a MPV. We had a positive rental experience with the Mazda on a trip to DC. My wife loves the size. I like the way it drives. Not to mention that we paid less than $21k for a LX with rear air, 6 disc changer and roof rack. We have put 70k miles on the van and we bought it new 4/02. The only trips to the dealer was for the check engine light (wife left the gas cap off). No transmission problems here. We have taken the MPV on several 8 to 11 hour trips to the beach with all of our gear with no complaints about comfort. We are currently kicking around the idea of buying another MPV from the same dealer this spring.
We have had the van for about 9 months now with no real issues. I was looking more for an SUV but my wife fell in love with the roll down rear passenger windows, and power opening rear passenger doors. Also, it was easy enough to get the overhead DVD system in even with the large moonroof.
In 2002 it was time to trade in the Aerostar. We drove every model of minivan on the market and never considered this one until I got a recommendation from a relative. The biggest selling point: The fold down in the floor rear seat. At the time only Honda had this feature. The arrogance of Honda dealers turned us off. Our Mazda if a high quality vehicle with excellent overall performance. I would definitely recommend this van over any other models. Good fit and finish and ergonomics.
Lack of reliability has been the biggest disappointment with this vehicle. Tires were bald before the warranty expired. Within a year after warranty expired, oxygen sensors had to be replaced ($500) and engine coils had to be replaced (another $500). My sister-in-law has the exact same make/model/year, and she's had the same problems--it's like clockwork. It also emits a stinky sulfur smell immediately after turning off. At least it's purty and comfy and fun to drive.
Have been driving this great little minivan for the last 2.5 yrs. Excellent for kids, roadtrips, hauling stuff. Drives beautifully: smooth, good pick-up (even on steep mountain passes), nice ride, and really can corner on those curves. Plenty of room for 6'4" son and many more. Very dependable mechanically, no big repair disasters like other vehicles I have owned. Probably the nicest car I've ever had.
My MPV was a great van. Alas, I have decided to trade it in for a Mazda Tribute. But, for the two years I had the MPV, it was great. I only decided to trade it in to get lower monthly payments. I knew sticking to a Mazda would be a good deal.
I did extensive research before purchasing my MPV and found the MPV to be the best price with the most standard and unique features. At the time, Odyssey was the only other minivan with tumble flat rear seats, and the MPV had the unique feature of rolldown rear windows. I liked the look (very sporty) and the motto ("body of a minivan, soul of a sports car"). I still love all these things, but have been disappointed with the reliability. I have it serviced regularly at my local dealer, yet it has been in the shop for repairs at least 6 times since I bought it. 3 weeks ago, it left me stranded with my 2 small children in the car. It's also been in for 2 recalls and my tires wore out at 28k miles.
First, the bad news. We had to completely replace the auto transmission within the first year of ownership. Otherwise, this has been a great vehicle for our family of 5. Looks good, drives well, has nice features like sliding middle seat, windows that open, folding rear bench. The size is about right, and the driving experience is car-like.
This is my 2nd MPV in one year! The 1st one was T-boned at 50+ mph on th passenger side where my daughter was sitting. The vehicle that hit us was a Toyota Pickup that had to be towed away. The MPV drove away with all my passengers (4 plus myself alive and well)! This vehicle is the best handing, best braking, best use of space I have seen, plus saved by daughters life. I have looked and driven the others and the MPV feels like I am in a well built car not a Van. Both my wife and I love it.