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Mazda MPV: Should I Buy One?

igloomasterigloomaster Posts: 249
edited March 11 in Mazda
Hi -
My Dad is in his mid-60s and doesn't want to keep a car longer than 3 years. This weekend he went out and bought a Toyota Sienna mini-van. He told me he was willing to sell me his 2003 MPV LX for what they would give him in a trade, which is $8000. It only has 47,000 miles on it. I've driven it a few times... seems like a nice vehicle, and it will be perfect for lugging around my music equipment.

I think $8k for a 3 year old vehicle with only 47k on it is a great deal, especially since I know my Dad's 'old lady' driving style. Do others agree that this is a good deal? But I've never owned a Mazda minivan before, and certainly never owned a vehicle with a Ford V6 engine. I've always been a Honda guy, and the Hondas I've owned alwasy run forever with little trouble.

Love to get some feedback from anybody who is willing.



  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,681
    I agree that $8k for a 2003 MPV with 47k miles is a great deal. Last spring I paid about $11k for a 2002 MPV with 44k miles and thought I got a great deal. Assuming your dad takes good care of his cars, all maintenance is up to date etc., and you like how it drives, I would grab it if I were you.

    P.S. Ask him if he's had any problems with the transmission, e.g. hard shifts.
  • My Dad has done the oil changes every 3000 to 3500 miles. I asked him about the transmission, and he said he's never had a problem with it at all. The times I've driven it, it's been smooth. I've been reading some of the posts on this forum about it, and it looks like some have indeed had transmission issues. So that has me worried a bit. Is there something I should do in anticipation of a potential tranny problem?
  • guestguest Posts: 774
    Don't worry about the transmission igloo. If there hasn't been a problem with it by now, it should be gold. The MPV is one of the best minivans IMHO, your dad is being very genorous with letting you have it for 8k.

    The Ford Duratec V6 in the MPV is one of Fords best and most reliable. The MPV is made in Japan, and the overall quality and fit and finish are excellent.
  • guestguest Posts: 774
    Don't worry about the transmission igloo. If there hasn't been a problem with it by now, it should be gold. The MPV is one of the best minivans IMHO, your dad is being very genorous with letting you have it for 8k.

    The Ford Duratec V6 in the MPV is one of Fords best and most reliable. The MPV is made in Japan, and the overall quality and fit and finish are excellent.
  • jipsterjipster Posts: 5,345
    by: Jipster

    Sorry about the double posts... my computer is going schizoid.
  • cool. so those who've had tranny issues had them prior to 47k? perhaps this was an issue that Ford/Mazda addressed & corrected prior to the '03 production run? seems like most of the posts i've seen regarding tranny issues involve models 00 - 02....
  • subearusubearu Posts: 3,613
    The '00 and '01 had a 4sp AT that didn't use all the fancy learning technology (it's more of a basic mechanical automatic). The '02+ has the 5sp AT, electronically controlled. There was a few iterations of reprogramming that they did to help the shift flare issues in the '02-'04 models. In '05, they redesigned some internals as well as changed the computers.

  • jipsterjipster Posts: 5,345
    From I've read most of the tranny issues(software problem) initially occured within the first several thousand miles.
    The people who had this problem would take their MPV into the dealership to have the transmission reprogrammed(reflash) to shift smoother. The vast majority of owners who needed this minor procedure done had no further problems with their shifting.

    So, there ya go. Enjoy that MPV and rock on. ;)
  • dtownfbdtownfb Posts: 2,915
    I would say buy it since it is such a good price. The first maintenance item i would do is change the Transmision fluid. this should ease your mind.
  • My 2002 MPV's tranny just went at 68,000 miles. Repair estimate is $3,500. Yes that is correct, $3,500. I called Mazda for help. They indicated car was over warranty and they would not help. Had a $500 repair at 60,000 miles and a $500 repair at 55,000 miles ( plugs and coils). I would avoid this vehicle at all costs.
  • Any advice on which of these you would choose for a family of five? Two big kids and one smaller one in a car seat.

    We are considering the 2006 MPV ES since we like the power sliding doors and the kids like the DVD and the sliding 2nd row. The negative is that it is a VAN, 2nd row seats don't slide backwards or forwards and the only colors available are green, white and silver.

    If anyone has any advice on the ES, I have a really LONG post in the "prices paid" section and would appreciate the help.

    As for the Mazda 5, there aren't very many here in Hawaii. Most dealers have only 1 or 2 so they are asking way over MSRP. It seem standard for the Mazda dealers here in Hawaii to tack on an additional fee of $3000-$6000 on all their vehicles (it's supposed to cover shipping costs which is BS). It has the sliding doors, lots of storage cubbies and cup holders plus the price is about $10,000 less than the MPV ES. The negatives are the doors aren't power, there is no DVD and my husband said it felt "cheapy" inside.

    There are lots of 2006 Highlanders in stock on the island but there is only one company that owns all the dealerships so you can't play anyone off each other (they all use the same inventory list). Prices are still somewhat high - about $1500-$2000 over Edmunds. Lots of colors available but 3rd row is tight.

    We are trading in our 1999 Lexus RX300. Had a major problem with Lexus charging us for repairs that weren't done and other seemingly deceptive practices (again, unfortunately, the same company that owns Toyota owns Lexus) but that's another story.
  • Hi all ,
    So I'm about to buy a 2006 MPV LX Plus ... so how has the MPV been to you current owners? I currently have a 1990 Audi's ... so electrical problems I have experienced many times ...
    Thanks for you response!
  • Just completed my 1st week of driving the 2003 MPV LX I bought from my Dad.

    So far, so good!

    Drove 335 miles on 1 tank of gas, so it's not that great on fuel (compared to my old Honda Civic) but it's not bad either. I estimated an average of 20mpg, and that's with it loaded with music equipment, and a combination of highway and city driving.
  • jipsterjipster Posts: 5,345
    The second row seats do move fore and aft.
  • bob57bob57 Posts: 302
    I was going to say I just turned 100,000 miles but went out and looked to be sure - it's 100,526 now. Time and miles fly when you're having fun...
    Out of more than 10 automobiles I've owned this has been the best one. Well, ok, the battery died at 60,000 :))
  • Hello everyone,

    My wife,and I are contemplating getting a mini-van,and we have test driven two so far,and the mazda is NOT one of them yet.I have been a Mazda guy for years,and own a couple of 70's vintage Madza's.we also owned a 2000 Protege ES,and a 04 RX-8 in the past.

    We have a 2005 Subaru forester now,and we love it,but with 2 kids in car seats it is a bit snug.We went by the local Dodge/Chrysler dealer,and test drove a new 07 Grand caravan,and we liked it,but it seemed a bit cheap.We went there because I have had good luck with Dodge's in the past(235K miles on my 92 D250),and i get an associates discount on Chrysler products.The problem is to get new even with my rebate,and the current $4k rebate dodge is giving it still puts the van we test drove,and liked the equipment on at $22k which is a great deal,but we would like to stay in the $350-$375 a month range(I know that is a lot to ask for).

    The dealer also offered us a used 06 Town&Country with more equipment(DVD,rear power liftgate,Traction control) at $18k w/20k miles,but it is a color we don't care for too much(silver),and its a former rental :surprise:

    We went out last night,and test drove a used 04 Honda Odyssey,and I liked the ride of it better,and the headroom was better as well.I think my wife is a bit indifferent,and could care less between the 2,but she thinks the Chrysler had more bang for the buck with equipment,and its newer.Both are silver,and we are not married to either one,so we can take it or leave it.

    To get on point.I always liked the look of the MPV because it looked sportier than most vans,and also it looks a bit smaller.I need decent headroom in a vehicle on the passengers side as I am 6'-1" ,and I like leg room with my long legs.The biggest thing is I hate when my son kicks the back of the seat in our Suby.So far both the Dodge,and Honda we drove had about the same legroom up front with the Homnda maybe a little more comfortable,and in both my son could kick the front seat,but I am convinced there isn't a mini van on this planet that he can't kick the front seat of if he wants to.Bottom line,is the car reliable,and would you buy another?

    I am wondering is the MPV way smaller than the others,and will it fit our family of 4 comfortably? Will a used 05 LX w/8k miles be reliable?Have the tranny issues been sorted out?Is $18900 for a 05 LX with traction control,rear air,side bags,and the awesome Whitewater pearl paint a good deal?WIll we regret not getting a larger van?

    On a side note we test drove a mazda5 a few weeks ack,and loved it,but thought maybe we would be better with a larger van.Any thoughts on this novel I have written would be appreciated,and thanks in advance.

    aka Mazdax605 on the mazda chat
  • jipsterjipster Posts: 5,345
    Hi Mazdax60. Our 2004 MPV LX, with 24k miles, has been very reliable(knock on wood). Would I buy another?... in a heartbeat. The quality and fit and finish on the van are second to none.

    It is the perfect size for my family of 4. It's size makes it easier to handle and park. The "tranny issue" was sorted out on the post March 2004 MPV's...the easy fix was reprogramming of the software. So, I think an 05 will be reliable. Personally, If I were spending 18k, I would go ahead and buy new. But, no... $18,900 for a 05 LX is not a good deal, off the top of my head $15,500-$16,500. You could buy new for just a couple hundred more.

    Will you regret not buying a bigger van? That's your decision. We have not regretted buying a bigger van. Thourghly test drive the MPV and if it suits your needs, I think it an excellent van at a great price. Good luck and keep in touch.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,681
    Reliability of a specific car is always a crap shoot. A friend's Ody's transmission just died. Fortunately for him he had an extended warranty. You can buy piece of mind by getting an extended warranty. I did on a '02 MPV I bought earlier this year; a 5-year, 100k (total miles) bumper-to-bumper warranty with 0 deductible was about $1200. So far no problems on the '02 MPV, which has just over 50k miles now.

    In my area, new 2006 MPV LXes are going for advertised prices of around $16,800, I suppose w/o side bags and special paint. So I don't think $19k for a used (?) '05 is a good deal.
  • Thanks for the input so far.I really like the pearl white,and it seems this LX is a bit more optioned than some others I have found,and is the right color.I also just found a WAY lrftover 05 LX in galaxy grey at a local dealer for $17999,but it doesn't have the side bags,and a few of the other options.I looked up the value of the white 05 on edmunds,and kbb,and it seems to valued at more than the posted price.I am not sure if we could get the price down more,but it is worth a shot.The white one is in CT,and is pretty far awat from us,but if we can swing the right deal I would drive to look at it,and buy it.The mileage is low as well whuch makes it a better option.Keep the input coming. Thanks.

  • jipsterjipster Posts: 5,345
    Oh, you can get the price down more. How are your negotiation skills? Dealerships typically inflate their used car prices 20-40%. They probably paid 14k for that MPV they are asking 18k for. Try to get the price at or below Edmunds private party sell. Some Edmunds members advocate trying to get the Edmunds dealer trade in price...but I think that is pushing it a bit.

    Check out the "Smart Shoppers" board for ideas on negotiation strategy and buying tips.

    Sounds like you really like the pearl white, don't let the salesperson or dealership know how much... could end up costing you more.
This discussion has been closed.