I noticed most of these reviews are older and mostly new car purchases. Reviews have nonetheless been very helpful in our decision. Like most family van purchasers, we compared with used Sienna's and Odyssey's. In the end, the MPV was such a better value as they seem to depreciate at a faster rate. My wife it the primary driver for this car, so the smaller exterior size was easier for her to drive. Handling is substantially better as it is shorter and narrower. Parking and general driving was much easier. Of course with better handling comes at a cost, because you need to sacrifice interior space. As a family 4, this was not a factor at all, so this was by far the best fit.
Spent a lot of time researching for our first minivan since baby no. 3 is on the way and I abhor the idea of being a minivan owner. Looked at everything, but had to go with something small enough to fit down my ridiculously narrow drive way. Ended up looking for a MPV ES used since they stopped making them with the '06s. We're not the biggest people and our kids are all small at this point so this van is just the right size for us. Only had it a couple weeks but it really works well for us. It handles great, rides like a car and has sporty looks. Friend of mine just bought an '04 Honda Odyssey EX cloth seats and 35000 miles and paid the same that I did for my 05 MPV ES that's loaded.
I bought this a few months ago with 53,000 miles on it. Except for a vacuum hose which was expensive, it is serving us well. The vehicle is easy to handle because it is smaller but easy to adjust for different uses. Rear seat folds down into floor or you can flip it back for tailgating. Has a/c vents front and rear, seats 7 and is easy getting in and out. Have driven it back and forth across west Texas twice now and did what I asked it to do.
I decided to sell my MPV just 5 years after I bought it because it was rusting so badly at the base of both the passenger and driver doors as well as on all 4 wheel wells. In this day and age you don't expect a vehicle to rust before it's even 10 years old and this car began rusting when it was just 3 years old. When I brought the problem up to Mazda they were only willing to go by the book: The rust warranty only kicks in when the rust has perforated the metal. Well it's perforated now--now that the warranty has expired. Between fixing the rust and some other scheduled maintenance I was going to be spending more on the car than it was worth. So I cut my losses and sold the car.
The Mazda MPV is an excellent value. All the latest features like power doors, dvd player, power sunroof and seats are all optional but the LX with the sports package is loaded! Great features such as fold away third row seat, captains chairs, rear air and heat, tinted windows, roof rack and a wonderful stereo system.