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Mazda MPV



  • javadocjavadoc Posts: 1,167
    ...has anyone test driven the new Mazda Tribute yet? My local wankers (the dealer) don't have any yet, and I was sort of toying with the idea of checking them out as another car to add to the java-stable. Something to romp around in the snow with.


  • Didn't drive one, but did look at one about two weeks ago to see if the engine would fit the Contour/MPV.

    The cylinder head and drive belt setup is identical to the 2.5L in the Contour/MPV (which is a little different from the way the same engine is used in the Taurus/Sable)

    What does all of this mean? It should be much easier that I thought before to put the 3.0L in either the MPV or my Contour.

    I do relish the thought of a sub 3000# car with 200HP and 200ft# torque :)

  • I believe my van was made in september or october of '99. Tell me, why is that relevant? Are early 2000 mpv's reporting worse mileage and if so, perhaps something in the "brain box" could be replaced with current chip or whatever. Fundamentally, I don't think a minivan which is on the smaller side of the spectrum, with a small v-6, should be recording SUV type (explorer, pathfinder, 4runner)mpg. Don't, get me wrong, we like the van a lot, but if other MPV owners are reporting 17-19mpg, city, I'm not just going to get used to it until Mazdza has thoroughly checked over all aspects of vehicle which can affect mpg, including tranny and gearing. Yes, q/c has improved drastically over past years, but mistakes can still occur.
  • It does seem that your gas mileage is a little low for city driving.
    I think the MPV's gas mileage is very sensitive to the way it is driven.
    I tend to baby the throttle - while my wife mashes it.
    I also think that a person's reaction to any given gas mileage number is purely subjective.
    I think our gas mileage is acceptable, my wife thinks its bad; when I told my father-in-law what we were getting he thought it was great. All three reactions were to the same figure.
    Go figure.
  • I test drove an lx last friday. The thing hauls.
    It gets up and goes. I expected good acceleration but it exceeded my expectation. Even felt a little quicker than a sable or taurus with 24valve duratec. If I were in market for an SUV, i would buy it. I test drove it because MPV was in for service so I killed a liitle time.
  • Simply put, If the saleperson or service manager would have told me "yeah, window sticker says 18mpg in city, but don't expect better than 14 or 15", I wouldn't have bought it. Just curious, would anyone else out there have bought your mpv if you knew you were going to get 14 or 15 city? Particularly since gas has gone up about 50 cents per gallon in last 7 months.

    Also, I agree that MPV is a bit more throttle sensitive, and my wife is primary driver, but she drives well and has never had mileage problems before.
  • If I knew I was going to get 14 or 15 mpg city - I probably would have hesitated - but what minivan or SUV gets much better than that in town anyway?
  • from people that I talk to that own both types, SUV's and minivans, most minivans still get 4 to 5 more mpg than SUV, yes, SUV's are still the rage and people will pay whatever price, regardless of mpg to own one, minivans are more practical and do get better mpg than SUV,s, my MPV ES unfortunately, thinks its an SUV. Perhaps the 2.5 duratec is not as fuel efficient as I had hoped, but I certainly will exhaust all avenues with dealer and Mazda before I resolve myself to poor mpg.
  • jb03jb03 Posts: 31
    Just curious, does your city driving include very frequent stop & go with short distances between signal lights? Also, what is your fuel formulation there in Florida? Are they using MTBE's in the fuel?

    Julyar put together a nice summary of fuel mileage from quite a few posters inthis forum back in May or June I think. Mileage varied quite a bit with lower fuel mileage averages typically being caused by gasoline additives. There were other issues such as tire pressure and vehicle production date.

    I believe a recall was issued for early production 2000 MPV's to reprogram the ECM (PCM?). Not sure if this was related to mileage problems or not.

    For what it's worth, I get about 20.0 mpg city and about 22.5 mpg hwy. City driving in the suburbs of Detroit has a bit more distance between lights and moderate to heavy stop and go on freeways during rush hour. The highway numbers were from a recent trip to Ohio with the A/C on.

    Keep hounding the dealer if non of the above fits and/or mileage doesn't improve.

    Julyar--any additional advice from your survey?


  • What do you need to get moving, it is not HP but torque. Our little 2.5L V6 doesn't produce lots of torque. So to get the type of acceleration most Americans like, you gotta mash the pedal.

    I get worse around town mileage with the MPV than we got with the PGV, but we get better highway mileage. The MPV's engine is more efficient at higher RPM's due to the better breathing DOHC engine.

    Heck, my 87 Buick LeSabre at 4000# gets better combined mileage than the MPV which weighs less. I recently got 31MPG on a 65MPH highway run with the Buick. On the return trip I drove 75-80 MPH and the MPG's dropped to 25.

    Fuel economy is really speed dependant. And given the large frontal area of a mini-van, I expect that to be even more the case with the MPV. Doesn't drag increase as a square? I.E. double the speed and you quadruple the drag?


  • Thanks for the comment. I lived in Livonia (five mile and farmington area) during high school days and can only imagine how traffic is now. Tampa driving does involve a lot of stop and go, with mucho breaking. However, if you are around 20 mpg, I can't imagine Tampa traffic resulting in almost 6mpg less per gallon. I've heard about the PCM recall and will follow up. I'm hoping, probably unrealistically, that it's a simple computer type problem with a quick fix. Tires inflated ok 35/36 psi on 16 inch Dunlops, everthing else on van ok. Anyways, thanks again for the info.
  • I test drove a DX (that's all they had left- wanted an ES) and the ride to me felt a little more truck like than I wanted, so I got the 2000 MPV ES instead. I also wasn't willing to pay the price they wanted. I think in several months the deals will be better. I couldn't wait to dump my 626 though. I thought the leather seats in the ES Tribute I got to sit in were more comfortable than the MPV. I like the cargo space in the van over the Tribute, as well as the ability to haul 6 people over 4. For me the choice came down to a smoother ride in the MPV, and the fact that I got more car for the price at the time. It was an agonizing decision however, as I had waited all summer to see the Tributes before making a decision.
  • Karen_SKaren_S Posts: 5,095
    here is a link to the Tribute topic in SUVs.

    Mazda Tribute

    Vans host

    Edmunds Manager UGC Click on my screen name to send a personal message. Need help navigating? Check out Getting Started in Edmunds Forums.
    Need help picking out a make/model, finding inventory, or advice on pricing? Talk to an Edmunds Car Shopping Advisor

  • Does anyone know of the proper tire pressure for the 16" Dunlop tires on the MPV LX? The side of the tire says 52 PSI maximum. Thanks for any help.

    Also, has anyone tried the lubricant X-1R? Does it actually do anything or is it snake oil?

  • javadocjavadoc Posts: 1,167
    Watch out, I just had a quad shot, so you've been warned...

    Here's my take on fuel mileage. I'll probably ramble, so forgive me.

    Tboner and I both have (I had) the 2.5 duratec in Contours. I drove the bejesus out of my Contour with a 5 speed, and always (no, really) got 20 mpg in the city. I figured there were two throttle positions on the car: on and off. (Tb, if you want gobs of power in the duratec, find a Roots blower or Turbonetics T4 turbo, and hang on. It'd probably be cheaper than a 3.0 transplant)

    Since I've owned two cars with the 2.5 engine, I'll try and make a comparison. Gearing, cd (coefficient of drag) figures and weight are the big differences here between the MPV and Contour.

    I think the Contour tips the scales at around 2900lbs, vs the MPV at 3640lbs, so it'll have to work approx. 24% harder. You could say that you should expect 24% lower gas mileage from the engine, all things being equal. That would give you an expected 16mpg (the Contour's rated at 20mpg city).

    I don't think gearing or drag numbers are going to change mpg's for city driving. You spend too much time ac/decelerating, so I guess the differing factor between the two vehicles with the same motor is weight.

    So, last weekend, I observed how Mrs. Javadoc drives the MochaVan. I have to say that she drives it with a heavy right foot. She says the van feels sporty (she's used to driving a long line of sports cars...spoil't) and so she drives it that way. We are seeing 17.5 to 19.5 in town with her leaden foot. She wants another MPV, with awd and the 3.0, btw.

    In contrast, our Volvo 850 Turbo with its 275 hp ( weighs 3100lbs...grinning) inline-5 is rated at 19mpg city, and I have to nurse the thing to get 17 mpg, 14 if I drive it like I drove my Contour. So, that car is definitely sensitive to a heavy foot. Of course, a turbo cramming air/fuel into the combustion chambers does nothing for mileage. It has quite a different torque curve than the MPV, as it has tons of it down low, and you don't have to rev past 2500 rpm, unless you want to get a ticket/go to jail. I consider the added fuel bill a fair trade to the added fun-factor.

    So, what does this all come down to? I doubt the MPV's engine is very sensitive to the manner in which you drive it in-town, except for hills. The motor is pretty small, and can't suck *that* much fuel into it's small combustion chambers. The Volvo's cylinders are larger (each), and suck in more fuel, hence lower observed mileage and the greater variation between my light/heavy foot driving on the Volvo.

    I agree that 15mpg is fairly low for the new MPV. That's worse than we saw last winter with 10% MTBE and warming the van up after work everyday for 15 minutes. Our mileage has increased at certain increments: at 5,000miles and again at 10,000miles. If you've got a van that's well run-in (10k+ miles) and still swilling fuel like an Aussie with two pitchers of Fosters, then something's up. Either it's a fuel additive, or something else. I'd wonder if the CA emission cars have worse mileage, but I don't think so (Julyar?). But, mileage will vary, as they are fond of saying.

  • dunlop 16" : 35psi, according to last MAZDA recall on tire pressure stickers for door jam and owners manual

    JAVADOC: pretty soon I'll quit rambling on fuel mileage, however, reading your last post, it appears that you agree that 14 to 15 mpg is not up to factory specs. My question to you: As I stated earlier, my es was manufactured in sept or oct of 99. Does this make it an early production MPV? If so, I think I'll ask dealer service to check PCM. Thanks
  • To cinka1 on 2001 Engine query. I suspect that it's just wishful thinking on the part of the dealer, but there is some logic behind the 30 more HP engine claim. The Contour SVT has a version of the Duratec 2.5 that gets 200 HP vs. 170 for the standard Contour engine - and also gets slightly better mileage!

    I hope there is some truth to this, as the main thing that has kept me from getting the MPV to date has been the lack of power (without a corresponding increase in gas mileage).

    It looks to me like Mazda - or Ford - decided that they could cut corners and put in an engine that was not well suited for the MPV, and was in good supply, and no one would notice. If you look at most of the reviews, both car buff magazines and consumer oriented magazines and newspapers, they noticed.

    Any car requires compromise to keep cost down, but I feel think the MPV made a few bad decisions. After the 1994 debacle where the MPV was cited by the IIHS for worst performance ever in the bumper test, you'd think they'd have spent a few extra dollars on a functional bumper. While several posters here seem to be more than satisfied with the engine performance, it's taken it's knocks in the automotive press - as painfully slow (for a Minivan, not a hot rod) and mileage isn't so hot either.

    A little more spent on these and a few other things (e.g. driver footwell protection in crash test, 4 wheel discs) and MPV would be selling for healthy premium and not a discount.
  • Has anyone bought the rear spoiler? Did you have it installed after purchase, did you paint it to match, and how much did it cost? The brochure says it keeps the rear window dust free. Is this true? I wash the van, then drive someplace only a few miles away and the rear window is covered with dust. looks pretty cool!
  • ... in your childs college fund, that is my opinion. If you are not careful you will end up with this


    Of course, this is just my opinion :)


  • That you can turn an MPV into a Toyota Sienna with the addition of a spoiler!
  • will move the other side of the car as well :)

  • I switched to Mobil 1 5w30 and had the transmission fluid switched to Mobil 1. Any updates on the K & N filter possibilities? Other fairly simple/reasonably priced modifications that add horsepower/torque? Thanks for any advice based on your experience. Cheers.
  • marcbmarcb Posts: 152
    ..can you give us feedback on the effect of switching to synthetic tranny fluid? altho i said i was planning to do so several posts ago i wasnt thinking of doing it so soon while the original fluid didnt need replacement. but if you think it improves on the shifts i might do it sooner.
  • We opted for an ES a few months ago because it had leather. I have 4 kids, so for me it was a no brainer - it's alot easier to keep clean (IMHO).
  • bill124bill124 Posts: 242
    I have a 6 year old and an 8 month old and my wife drives the van. We have a White LX with the tan cloth that we picked up in February 2000. We first put the plastic runners on the carpeting and later, because my wife couldn't deal with plastic, we went to a second set of rugs. As light as the coloring is, the wife has been successful in not really dirtying the carpeting or the seats. Yes, there are rules about no eating in the car and we try to get the kids to clean their feet but so far, dirt hasn't been an issue.
  • Keep in mind that the MPV has leather *trimmed* seats. Only the center panel is leather. The outer panels are vinyl.

    We have the leather trimmed seats and an 8-year old. So far, we haven't really had to test how well they repelled spills and the like. My car (not the van, but also leather seats) passed the gum test already. I think the leather would be quite nice for your average messes: ketchup, soda, gum, Mocha, crayons, etc... :)
  • I decided to go with the Mobil 1 tranny lubricant because I'm concerned about the longevity of the transmission - it seems a bit strained saddled to the somewhat underpowered 2.5 duratec. Also, we made a big mistake IMHO in not opting for the 4 Seasons package - which with the transmission cooler would provide some additional protection. I honestly believe that the transmission shifts more smoothly since the Mobil 1. I'm also glad to know that, since the Mobil 1 won't get so thick in winter weather (coming soon to central Pennsylvania) the tranny should fare better. Since it cost about $150 to have it done, it's possible that my observations of improvement are simply wishful fantasty. I can tell you this - When I travel on hills (and there are a lot of them around here) the tranny does not shift around as much as it did before. This is a big relief. It could be, however, that as things are really "breaking in" and I'm getting more accustomed to learning the "style" of driving the van, I'm sensing a change that isn't really objectively there or would be there even if I hadn't switched to the Mobil 1. fyi - we currently have 6000 miles on the van. I switched to Mobil 1 in the motor and tranny at about 5700. Hope this helps.
  • marcbmarcb Posts: 152
    ..i went to mobil1 on my engine about 2 months ago when i needed my 1st oil change but stopped short on the tranny. i thought it rather a waste to change when it wasnt on sched. but the engine oil change did seem to make the engine smoother so i was left wondering if i should have gone on with the tranny oil. hmmm.... i might go on with it someday if i can convince myself to shell that much dough.
  • Can't believe I'm gonna do this... I got the financing approved, got an okay offer but lousy trade in. So I am gonna wait for the 2002 MPV with the larger motor. I decided to get an extended warranty on our '95 Windstar - I know - I hear you all laughing out loud now! Haven't had any trouble with it until this summer, blown head gasket, covered in full under Ford's extended warranty but am worried about transmission. I wanted to keep my new MPV for the long haul and knew I should wait for the 3.0 to make it my perfect dream machine, but it was a very hard decision to make. Since we couldn't get a trade in offer that was, IMHO, reasonable, we decided to drive the heck out of the ford. We bought the Windstar during it's debut year in '95 and have regretted it, just can't bring myself to doing that again. See you folks next year. Thanks for all of your comments.
  • Just got my MPV LX. Driving it from stop to 40 mph i feel the transmision revving and not shifting seamlesly. Is this normal for the MPV? Also the engine is a little noisier then I expected. Need advice before running back to dealer.
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