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Mazda MPV: Should I Buy One?

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  • d5ad5a Posts: 64
    Been looking for the past two months at getting a larger car. Keep coming back to the Mazda brand. Have a dealer offering me a new 2006 MPV LX-SV with a MSRP of 23,710 out the door for 17,500. The MPV has a few options like rear air, Cargo net and roof rack and floor mates but i would have to add privacy tint to the rear glass. Also have another Mazda Dealer offering me a 2007 Mazda 5 touring with a sticker of 20,695 on the road for 20,880. The 5 has a sunroof and automatic air, rear bumper guard and floor mates also. I cant decided which car will be the best one over the long haul. Should I save the money and go with the MPV and hope its a good van, but fear taking a loss on the resale value due to it being an older model, or should I pay more and get a newer style Mazda 5. Each car has its pros and cons just trying to figure out which one will be best for the next 5 or so years. I'm worry the MPV may not be as reliable due to having a ford engine but not sure if the 5 is any better with it being a new model. Any words of wisdom would greatly be apprecaited. Also please tell me your thought on the prices I have been offered. Thanks everyone for your help!
  • Hello-
    I am new to this forum and have gained alot of insight into the MPV through reading the posts on here.
    I have a few questions though if you guys are willing to help me out.

    First, I am a 29 year old Guy in Baltimore looking to buy a van for my wife. We have a 7 month old daughter, so the ease and convenience of a Mini Van is what we are looking for. I have looked at the Odyssey and the Sienna, but find myself drawn to the MPV. I think because of the sleek looks, smaller size and affordablity.
    As I said, the car will be for my wife, who currently drives a '98 Civic. She works in city as a social worker, so I think the smaller size will be better fit for driving around the city streets. Plus, she tends to run into a lot of things, so driving the smaller van may help her to avoid these things. wink.gif

    So on to my questions.
    Is Traction Control standard on the ES models? How does the MPV handle in the rain and snow?
    How reliable are the MPVs? Is there a particular year to avoid?
    How's the drive? Are the seats comfortable?
    Are side airbags standard?

    Mainly, what I want is a SAFE, Reliable vehicle for my wife and daughter to ride in.

    My mother in law has a friend whom they have bought about 5 cars from. He regularly goes to the Mannheim auto auction.
    He will help us out and buy us what we want. The only thing about doing it this way is that we don't really get to see or test drive the car before he buys it. We just say "Look for an 05 MPV, preferably a dark color, Leather interior, Under 40K and we don't want to go over $14K"

    So we may get something, or we may not.

    Any help or tips would be appreciated.

    thanks-
    Eric
  • d5ad5a Posts: 64
    Hi from Ellicott City here. I purchased a MPV the day after Xmas. I have a 2006 LX MPV only have 2,000 miles on it. Bought the van for the same reasons your looking to buy one. We needed more space for kids. We fought the idea of a van but the sliding doors seem to work the best when you have kids. I didn't even think of the MPV when we started looking. We looked at the Honda, Toyota and Hyundai vans at first. I'm a car freak and was giving up a BMW but we decided to go to a one income family so we were looking for something Cheap/base and room so the BMW had to go :cry: . Test drove every van out there and nothing seemed to hit me. Friends had a toyota and like it but when we test drove one it seemed cheap. And now our friends are having nothing but issues with theirs. The Toyota was 24,500 with nothing on it. The transmission on the toyota drove us both crazy. It didn't change gears very well. IT waited and hunted back and forth for the gear. We test drove many toyotas and each one did that. We also test drove a used toyota a 2005 and it was falling apart. So I was questioning toyotas build quitaly. I think they have gotten to big to keep an eye on build issues. I've read reviews on toyota boards stating alot of issues. Glad we didn't do toyota.

    We looked at the Honda and it was nice but road hard. The price was way to high for nothing on it. I know they keep there value and I really thought it was the best as far as resale but to take on a payment that large for a van that didn't wow me wasn't what we wanted to do. One thing that bothered me was when we drove the honda (we did many times) each one had a ton of rattles and they were all new vans. I cant stand rattles it makes me feel like the car is cheap so we decided not to buy the honda.

    Next was Hyundai. I was impressed. They seemed willing to deal more then the others on price but we started seeing that all of the vans just seemed to big. they Hyundai is the lowest one out there. We have one child and are planning on more but how much room do you really need? So we decided the vans were to big. Each handled well but it seemed like you could get tired of driving and steering something so big all the time. Backing these things up would be an issue most of the time. I know a ton of Soccer moms who have damaged the rear of there vans backing up just out of the garage.

    Any ways one day we decided to take a look at the toyota van again. Koons Toyota in Westimister was having a end of year sale on the sennia with zero finance, so we drove up just to look. We got there and noticed that they also sold Mazdas. We happened to see the mazda 5 sitting out front. We thought we had found the perfect car. We drove it. It was nice. Easy to get in and out of but it was slow. Also the one thing that turned us off was now it seemed to small now. Most vans were to big now this one was to small. With the rear seats up you have no cargo room. That wouldn't work for us. We need the seating and the cargo not one or the other. So after thinking nothing would work our sales lady said we have two Mazdas Vans that are no longer going to be made. The MPV has been replaced by the Mazda 5. Turns out they had two new ones that had not sold yet. They had a black fully loaded with everything for $30,000. We drove it and fell in love. It seemed prefect. At the time I new nothing about them so we decided to go home look them up on Edmunds and KBB and see the reviews and check out pricing. I never buy a car unless I'm looked up pricing on KBB and edmunds.

    Most MPV owners love them as you can see from this board. So after hearing all the great things people had to say we decided to go back and make an offer on the black MPV. At the time Mazda had 3,500 rebate on them. I was looking for 26,000 on the road. We went back to the dealership and the black one was sold. They had sold it earlier that day. They still had a dark green but it was base with just a roof rack and rear air. No power doors or leather. The one thing I worried about the leather in the MPV was they do not offer heated seats. Ok Maryland gets cold and I really don't want to sit on leather seats that don't heat. Any ways The price on the green MPV LX was 24,750. I thought it was to much for what you got. I could get a toyota for that and felt toyota may have better resale. We left the dealership. I went home started looking at all Mazda dealers in Maryland for MPVs. Russel Mazda had one. Silver loaded LX with power doors. Emailed them, made an offer over email and the expected for 24,000 on the road. They next day went down to Russel and the van was gone. Needless to say I feel Russel sold the van out from under us. The 24,000 was a great deal on a 28,000 van so I'm sure they suckard someone else for a better price. Lets just say Russel heard from us. We had bought many cars from them but they didn't have any MPV left to work with us on. Went back to looking. All Mazda dealers in MD. DC and VA seemed to be sold out. We found one or two that had been used as service shuttles but they had tons of miles on them and the dealers (Darcars to name one) didn't not seem helpful or want to move on the price. They played to many games. After going to see a few they seemed base or to damaged for the price they wanted. We decided to give up. We waited a few weeks then around Christmas I looked on Koons website and noticed they still had the green one. I also had heard that Mazda was giving $6,000 off to get rid of them. So I called Koons Mazda talked to the sales lady and offered her a price of $17,000 on the road. That price including tax, tags and title, for the green one they had for 24,750. She said I'll get back to you. I waited for a call saying no. An hour later she called and said ok, 17k. At that price I couldn't say no. We drove up, it was in perfect condition only had 8 miles on it and they through in all weather floor mates and a rear bumper guard. Needless to say it took about 30 min. We left brought it home and have been impressed ever since. We added rear privacy glass (I never thought I do something like that) but it looks great and you cant tell it was even added. It looks like an ES model now.

    The Van has been great. Handles well and almost every time I drive it I say I cant imagine what it would have been like to drive one of the larger vans we had looked at. This thing is the prefect size. Easy to back up and turn. Seems like a small SUV when you drive it not like a huge van I.E. honda and toyota. The third seat is just as rommie as the other vans. Mazda has made the cargo well deep so the rear seat back sit over it but your not lacking in cargo room even with the MPV being short. Its been great in the snow. We live on a hill and its made it up. No traction control but have not slipped once. The ES does have standard trac. The transmmsion has been great. Most automatics drive me crazy. This one hasn't at all. It takes off also. Very peppy. Seats are comfortab
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,628
    The third seat is just as rommie as the other vans.

    Sorry, I have to disagree with you on that one (I have a 2002 MPV LX). Before the MPV we had a '99 Grand Caravan, and its third seat was much more roomy and comfortable (esp. for adults) than the MPV's seat. You can put three kids in the MPV's 3rd seat, for a time, if they aren't too big. But not three adults, as is possible with the GC. And even two adults will be uncomfortable back there for any length of time, since the cushion is low to the floor. I tried the new GC before buying the MPV (used), and I think the GC has the most comfortable rear seat of any current minivan--mainly because the cushion provides good thigh support. Most 3rd seats are too close to the floor.

    I am surprised you didn't try the Nissan or DCX minivans. I thought the Quest was pretty nice when I tried it. I was put off by the weird dash, but that's been changed for '07. And I think the DCX vans are the best values available in a full-sized van--a loaded GC SXT for $20k, when I was looking last spring (about $21k now).

    But like you, we really liked the size of the MPV, so that's what we got last April--a 2002 with 45k miles that looked like new. My wife was always backing into things in parking lots, or parking too close to other cars/carts and getting damage on the sides, with the GC. That isn't a problem with the MPV. It's perfect for around town and even did a good job on a 2500 mile round trip over the holidays with five of us. But it was packed to the gills and was not as comfy for those in back as the old GC. If I did a lot of road trips with the family, I'd probably get a GC or maybe the Hyundai or Kia van (the Sedona and Entourage are twins, as you may know). But for what we use it for, the MPV is perfect for us.
  • jipsterjipster Posts: 5,345
    Yes, traction control is standard on the ES.

    The MPV handles well in the rain... and only so so in the snow IMO. The OEM Dunlop tires are a high performance tire, so handling on dry roads is very good.

    I believe MPV's to be reliable. No paticular model year to avoid.

    The drive is great...one of the best handling minivans. Easy to manuvuer and park. The seats are comfortable, though a tad bit firm on long trips.

    Side airbags are standard on ES model. Must be purchased as option(about $400)on LX models.

    The MPV does not have the side curtain airbags, but overall safety is rated excellent.

    We considered the MPV, Ody, Sienna and the Quest back in 2004 when we were in the market. We preferred the MPV, and haven't regretted our decision a bit. Good luck.
  • ericajericaj Posts: 1
    I am looking at MPVs for our nanny to drive. She'll drive about 100 miles a week, mix of highway and street. We don't want to spend more than about $6K, so that means looking at MPVs that are about 10 years old and with over 100K miles. Any pitfalls I should be looking out for? I've been looking only at private sales, so no warranty. Thanks in advance for any good advice, we're new to Mazda.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,628
    If you can get a 2000, it's a newer design than the pre-2000 MPVs, much more modern and versatile with its fold-in-the-floor rear seat and sliding side doors.

    FWIW, since you are looking at small vans for under $6k, you might also look at the Dodge Caravan and Plymouth Voyager (later Chrysler Town & Country) short vans. You might be able to get a fairly low-miles van for your price range, and they are pretty nice too except they don't have the fold-in-the-floor rear seat like the MPV.
  • We are looking at 2003 MPV DX (101,000 km) in London, Ontario, Canada. We hope to get this van for $8,000 and a three year engine/transmission/power train/AC warranty for $1,000.00 to go with this van (by the way we drive a 1998 Ford Windstar minivan).

    I am worried about the long term reliability of this van , especially after 175,000 km and the cost of the replacement parts.

    I would appreciate your comments whether it is worthwhile to buy this van.

    Cheers, Sri.
  • my 2001 mpv had the same coil problem..no warranty. then when traveling on a highway the engine overheated and the radiator was replaced $1400. then at 53000 Miles the engine just die..total loss $12000.

    Horrilble car.
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