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Mazda MPV



  • maltbmaltb Posts: 3,572
    My 6 did better in the snow than our MPV. I made a hill and the wife didn't. I had to go back down, put on cable chains and drive it up for her. That was after my attempt to drive it up the same hill my 6 made without a problem.
  • My wife and I have twin infant boys so we are looking to upgrade from our Accord to a Minivan. We are looking at the Honda Odyssey and the MPV. Right now we can get a used 2002 MPV LX with 10k miles for under 19,000 but....

    It only has rear A/C and no other add-ons. We were wondering how important people feel the traction control is? It's standard on the Odyssey LX (our other option) and an add-on for the MPV LX. We live in Denver and can see heading up the mountains for some skiing once the boys get a bit older. Plus, Denver doesn't believe in plowing since the snow melts within 2 days. My wife is worried about getting a car without traction control since we have heard minivans don't handle great in the snow. (Relative to other cars)

    When you get done with all the option add-ons like the all weather package, the rear A/C, the traction control, the price difference between the two cars narrows. Honda's done much better about getting the Ody's to you quickly and there seem to be more available. We love both the Ody and the MPV and see reasons for both. Right now, the used MPV looks like a great deal, except for the traction control. Otherwise, a new Ody or MPV (LX version of each) seem like a toss - up. Any thoughts on the traction control and the choices?
  • scott31scott31 Posts: 280
    On the MPV, Tract control and side airbags are a package.

    If you live in Denver, this is a no brainer. Get the traction control. There are two types of traction control, good and crappy. The MPV has the good type (it also retards the engine to prevent wheel slip). Crappy systems only use the brakes to control the slipping wheel(s) and basically with that system the engine and the brakes battle it out with you in the middle.


    Just my $0.02 :-)
  • bsvollerbsvoller Posts: 528
    I also live in Denver. Traction control might be a bit oversold, here's why.

    God's sake notwithstanding, how does your Accord handle in the snow ? If you're basically pleased with the front-wheel drive of the Accord, then you'll probably find the MPV not too different. Your Accord weighs nearly as much, and has a similar wheel base and track width. The amount of weight over the drive wheels is also pretty close. I would not expect a huge difference in handling under slippery conditions, all else being equal.

    Traction control is not AWD. It only works at very slow speeds (<15 mph I believe), like when you're just pulling away from a light. Going up a slick hill, slowly, as in the final mile to your destination in the mountains, sure. Going up I-70 at 30-40 mph in the slick, no.

    An investment in high-grade tires, perhaps a second set of dedicated winter tires for those snowy trips into the hills when the time comes, will have a far larger impact on your driving safety in winter than traction control ever will. Note that numerous independent tests have even shown that front-wheel drive cars equipped with dedicated snow tires outperform AWD cars equipped with all-seasons. Tires are a critical, and often overlooked part of the equation.

    The savings you see buying used will easily pay for a second set of tires, and rims to mount them on (so that you can easily switch without mounting and unmounting the tires to the rims).

    That said, would I personally get traction control on my MPV if money were no object ? Yes. Is it a deal killer ? That depends.

    A lot of considerations flow into the decision to buy a vehicle. Both the Ody and MPV are great vans, each with their strengths and weaknesses. I would do exactly what you've apparently been doing: think hard about how you think you will use the van, how long you will have it, what features you value most, and then buy the van that fits you best. There a lot of other extras on your list of "desirables" that the used unit doesn't have.

    I personally would not buy an Ody because it is simply too big. I don't like the ride or the handling as much. The MPV is "tossable", the Ody is a bus, but that's what it's supposed to be. It just depends on your needs.

    Hope this helps,

  • bsvollerbsvoller Posts: 528
    I just compared the spec's of several Accord model years with the '02 MPV. It seems the Accord is lighter than I thought (~500#), and has a shorter wheelbase than the MPV as well, although the overall length and width is nearly the same.

    The longer wheelbase on the MPV will act to reduce the load on the front wheels (reducing traction), but increase the resistance to spinning out (swapping ends if the tail comes out in a turn). Since the Accord is lighter overall (reducing its traction too), it's hard to say without comparing actual axle weight ratings (available on the door tire sticker if you're so inclined).

    Take a test drive into the mountains with a traction control equipped MPV, find a slippery stretch of road, and try it out. You can turn the traction control on and off (dashboard switch) to compare.

    Everything else I said about traction control above still applies.

    Hope this helps,

  • rutger3rutger3 Posts: 361
    My two cents on this issue. Both vans are very nice. The MPV handles better due to smaller size and IMO looks better. You can also get a better deal on the MPV than the ODy which is still in high demand. The major difference is resale value. The ODy will retain much more of it. ALso if you need the size for say carrying 4x8' sheets of wood then the ODy is the one. If you hate dealers with an attitude then the MPV is the one to get. Of course with the price of gas going up maybe any van purchase needs to be reconsidered now. As far as traction control,I live in New Jersey get about 25" of snow a year and have never needed anything other than fwd. If it is a low cost option then it is worth it,if not then unless you do alot of driving in snow, forget it and invest in good tires instead.
  • Thanks to everyone for replying. BrianV your input was especially appreciated. I did not know that TC was only for low speeds. I had decided to go ahead and invest in four other rims and some winter tires and swap 'em myself round Octoberish when we get our first snows. You convinced me.

    We went out this morning and bought the 02 MPV. It's a really good deal over a new Ody or MPV though it is modestly equipped --but it suits our needs to a T. We test drove the Ody last night and the MPV this morning (2nd test for us on the MPV) and my wife agrees with you. The Ody is a bus. Tons of room for long drives and relatives who are large-ish, but the MPV handles very nicely and nimbly. Much more like a car. We love it and think we will be very happy.

    One last question. The '02 came with 15" wheels standard and the 16" were upgrades. The '03s have the 16" standard and allow you to upgrade to 17". How important is tire size and why do people swap up? Is safety an issue? The one we got has the 15" wheels and we will likely keep 'em unless someone makes a compelling agrument I have so far missed.

    Thanks again for all your help!
  • bsvollerbsvoller Posts: 528
    Glad to help.

    As to tire size, no it's not a safety issue, it's a handling issue. I suppose you could make a case for the handling prowess being a safety issue, but only if you drive near the limits regularly.

    The overall diameter of the tire (rim + sidewall height) is normally kept the same on any vehicle (the MPV is an exception, more on that in a moment). Changing from 15" rims to 16" rims therefore implies reducing the sidewall height, which is called "profile" by the industry. Low-profile tires (on bigger rims) have shorter, stiffer sidewalls, which improves handling, but makes for a stiffer ride. The stiff sidewalls absorb less of the shock when you roll over a bump.

    Low-profile tires are usually wider, which contributes to better handling as well. The wider tires look sportier too.

    Wider tires offer more traction on dry roads, but potentially less traction on wet roads (hydroplaning risk - tread design and depth will have a decisive impact) or on snowy roads (float). Many folks with low-profile summer tires go with a downsized rim (15" instead of 16") with a narrower tire for their dedicated winter tires. The narrow tires tend to sink down through deep snow and grip better.

    The MPV ES is unusual in that it uses the same profile spec on the 17" rims as it does on the 16" rims. This means that the speedometer has to have 2 program settings to accomodate the difference in tire circumference. If you price tires for 17" rims, you will discover that tires in those sizes are harder to find (less choice) and significantly more expensive.

    You might consider keeping the 15's for your winter tires and buying a set of 16's for your 3-season tires when you're ready to switch. Then you'd have the best of both worlds.

  • bottgersbottgers Posts: 2,028
    .........the $1500 cash back on new MPV's? I was told the incentives go on a month by month basis.
  • scott31scott31 Posts: 280
    I can't speak for the MPV (I haven't researched it yet) but not ALL traction control systems are low speed only.

    My 1995 Legend LS Coupe had all speed traction control, my 1999 STS had all speed, and if I remember correctly, my 03 TL-S has all speed.
  • bsvollerbsvoller Posts: 528
    Scott - You make a good point. All of the examples you mentioned are well upscale of the MPV, and as you mentioned, are sold as "all speed" traction control.

    I called Mazda's hotline.

    The MPV traction control system cuts out at 30 mph, so I was off a bit. My apologies to everybody - I should have looked it up.

  • We bought our MPV fon 02/08 and took the $2,000 rebate. Bought the shimmering sand ES and so far (ok it's only been a few days) LOVE IT! ZOOM ZOOM - from my 5 & 6 year olds!

    I'd also like to thank everyone for answering the tons of questions I had over the last few months. Forums such as this from "real owners" and much more valid for me than any auto magazine.

  • I am buying a MPV Lx 03 for $24600 including Tax title and license fees.
    along with Lx, i have added the following options
    1. roof rack
    2. power moonroof
    3. power sliding doors
    4. side air bags and traction control
    5. 4 seasons package
    6. GFX sport package
    7. Rear a/c and Rear Stepping plate.
    8. Wheel lock.

    is this a good deal for the price?
    please post reply or email to
  • hello lyndamarie
    what price did u pay for ur MPV?
  • bottgersbottgers Posts: 2,028
    So the rebate has gone up to $2000? It was $1500.
  • bottgersbottgers Posts: 2,028
    .....between the 2002 and 2003 MPV's. Do both have the 200 hp Duratec engine and 5 speed tranny? One of our local dealers has new 2002's with $5500 cash back.
  • scott31scott31 Posts: 280
    If you are taking the 0% financing, then grab that deal with both hands.

    Otherwise, I'd need to know the tax rate in your state in order to fully answer the question.
  • Hey scott31,
    Going for Finance 4.15% apr from CREDIT union for 5 years. bcos 4 years is too much for us to pay. But still applied for Ford Credit and will take if it is below 4.15% over 5 yrs

  • tax rate is 7.25 % for my state.
  • At our local auto show for some reason we compared prices and features on minivans and mid-size size sedans and the 6 and MPV came out on top. Since then we have thought very highly of Mazda.
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