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Mazda MPV



  • The DW and I noticed this set up when we had the MPV home for the first night a few weeks ago. It sure would have been nice when our children were that age. All those endless sessions pulling and pushing on belts. Plus those darn belt clips! ARGHHHH! They were a pain in the you know what.

  • tccmn1tccmn1 Posts: 278
    Has anyone test driven both models to tell if there is much difference in the handling?
    I know the option and standard differences...I'm just wondering if the 17" vs 16" wheels make THAT much difference in the handling. Isn't the suspension the same in both for 2003?

    Thank you.
  • bean3422bean3422 Posts: 183
    That was one of the main selling points for me (among many others). The MPV is the only van on the market with this feature...I had already purchased the latch belts when I picked up my MPV in May. I have a 3 yr old and 10 month old both in car seats. With all the other vans, if you have captains chairs, you are screwed. If you have a bench, then there is a tendancy for fighting over toys, etc.(Nah, not my angels!) Even in the Odyssey, once the car seat is installed, you still have to leave it in one position or the other, since it only slides while tilting.

    This one feature has proven more useful than any of the others...we can still separate the kids, and have people access the rear seat. You should see our other friends faces who own minivans when they see that...
  • IMO only from my test drives I felt the 17" rims created a ride in which the small road imperfections were more noticeable. Did not notice a difference in lane changes etc... There was a huge difference between the old 15" and the 16". I'm sure that contributed to their demise in the 03's.

  • pieracpierac Posts: 43
    I noticed you could also remove the captain chairs completely and still keep the child seat attached. I still can't believe I didn't know about the system. My wife and I still talk about how nice this van is. It fits our needs/garage perfectly.
  • I pulled the captain chair seat out of the van to install the LATCH car seat. It allowed me to stand in the seat to ensure a tight fit (instead of just kneeling). Of course, the seat is in so tight, now I don't know if I'll ever be able to get it out without cutting the LATCH belts ;) I also wish there were LATCH in the 3rd row....
  • dapontdapont Posts: 21
    Here's a realistic review of our favorite van with decent accompanying photos:

    To take the MPV down Highway 1 between Monterey and Big Sur on a sunny day with light traffic would be the closest thing to heaven on earth.
  • tccmn1tccmn1 Posts: 278
    Does anyone know what the diameter is for the Mazda 'factory' hitch? I know the unit can tow 3,000lbs with the 4 Season package, but I was wondering what the size of the tongue would be. I have a Dra-Tite 1.25" slide in ball now and would like to stay with that size.

  • m1tommym1tommy Posts: 29
    I appreciate the reply, and will likely go that route. I think I'll dip them in some "Plasticote" tol handle coating, to lessen marking my rails.
  • m1tommym1tommy Posts: 29
    About your, "...Cassette with CD changer; is it true that it will cost me additional $400 for replacing the 6CD changer with a single CD and Cassette unit? Seems they could just switch and net the difference...maybe $400 is the net diff.??.."

    We bought a 2002 LX in late May this year. I asked the dealer about the same thing and received the exact same answere and price. We're in SE Texas, BTW. Most of the munchkins' new music is on CD nowadays, so it's not a biggie, except that there are tooooo mannnnnyyyyyy "Toddler Tunes" on a single CD!

    I would have liked the leather seating. My dealer gave me a certificate for a "leather upholstering job" from a local shop for $800, should I ever convince the wife.....

  • tbonertboner Posts: 402
    You could buy a lot of computer hardware and rip your own cassettes to CD

  • scannerscanner Posts: 295
    Tccmn1 could buy/install a better aftermarket radio with CD and cassette, plus get to keep the original radio.
  • I guess I should introduce myself. I'm planning on buying a 2002 loaded ES very soon. It's a leftover and Mazda is offering a 2k rebate.

    As a background, I started looking at Minivans about six months ago. We were originally going to buy used (let someone else take the initial depreciation) and go with a fully loaded Odyssey or Sienna for about 18k. Then we looked at the Sedona and really liked it. For only about 4k more we would have a new Minivan.

    I started lurking around the Kia boards, then started to contribute to some of the discussions to get some opinions. I was pretty sure we were going with the Kia because we liked the interior more then the other minivans (still Love the gear shifter on the dash instead of the steering column).

    To make a long story short (is it too late for that?) I stumbled across the MPV and really liked what I saw. Although the Kia has a more heavy ride, we like the power doors, power windows, magic seat, and especially the sliding second row. Also, because of the rebate and the fact that the dealer is coming down to invoice, the van will only be about 2k more then the Kia.

    I am now trying to catch up on some of the older posts in this thread (and I haven't even started looking at the problems thread).

    Some quick questions:
    1) I know this is very general, but how have the 2002's been holding up? Has anyone had any problems with the new engine? I'm not a huge Ford fan, so it's the one area I'm a little leery about. My understanding is it's one of Ford's better engines.

    2) I saw some threads about the rotten egg smell in the 2002 ES. Is this pervasive, or just a few Vans that have it? For those that had it and switched brads of gas until it went away, did it stay away or did it come back?

    3) I'm aware ofo the 2k cash back on the 2002's. Does anyone know if there are any other incentives being offered?

    Thanks for any responses. Like I said, the MPV wasn't even a consideration two weeks ago, and I'm kind of playing catch up now.
  • bob57bob57 Posts: 302
    I've had two "Ferds" in the last 25 years and they both gave me problems LONG before my present '01 MPV hit 34K miles. I can only vouch for the smaller engine version as compared to the '02. I'm about to run out of warranty but at the same time I never had a problem (ashtray too small... :)).
    As far as the "rotten egg" smell, it seems to be a hit or miss. My '01 never had it.
    At any rate, I'm sure the '02 will (does) stand up against any other van out there today. Plus, it's more fun to drive than those other, vans.
  • tbonertboner Posts: 402
    rotten egg smell. I don't think anyone (or very few if some did) claimed you can smell it inside the vehicle.

    I suspect most smelled it from pulling into the garage, then getting out of the van.

    Our '00 was a bit smelly when new.

    At 25K on the clock now, either we don't notice it anymore, or the catalytic converter is finally broken in and efficiently converts the nasties in the exhaust.

    One other "theory" that comes to mind is most modern OBD-II controlled vehicles have a drive cycle where they learn how to control the engine. It is possible that the computer is still doing the fine tuning of its knowledge about your driving habits and how the engine and its control systems are working in your car.

    I'd be interested in learning about people who have over 5K miles and still have a very stinky exhaust.

    Doesn't mind the smell of diesel
  • mazda_guymazda_guy Posts: 183
    Tboner made a good point. The smell maybe more noticeable for those who keep their van in a garage. I bought my ES 02 in February and I have little over 10,000 miles. I park my van outside and most of the time I don't smell anything. Only occasionally I can still get a sniff of HS2 but if I had to pick a van now I would pick MPV.

  • prlamzprlamz Posts: 78
    We drive a 2002 LX with now over 16K miles. So far, we have not had the slightest problem with it, nothing. I am familiar enough with the H2S to recognize its smell; around our MPV, we never had as much as a hint of it. As for the engine, it's also a non-issue; the block is Ford but that's about it. The Tribute/Escape who have been using the same engine longer seem to hold up fine.
    Like you we took a very good look at the KIA, but decided against it. The space behind the 3rd row is too small for us. The interior, especially with the EX, was unappealing with the fake wood and chromed plastic.
    Overall, despite it owners raves, The Sedona is more trouble prone than the MPV (I've kept lurking on the Sedona board). It carries a lot of extra weight because they cut cost by using cast iron where all the other manufacturers use alloys. Still they are worse vans out there, for more money.
    If you decide to go with the MPV, for resale value reason, I would get the 2003 with rebate, unless you can get a great deal; to gage that, just check back here. :-)
  • 1) The 02's are fine. Some early vehicles required a re-flash of the transmission fuzzy logic do to a program error causing rough shifting at times. Very small number of vehicles. I believe there was one recall for a GVW label that had incorrect information on it. The 3.0 Duratec is bullet proof if maintained properly. No it's not as smooth as a Nissan 3.5, but under 4,500 I find it very smooth. We get around 21.5-22.0mpg in combined C/H. The transmission is a JATCO unit which has a strong record. It's used in Nissan, Jaguar, and Rover applications as well as others. I find it's operation to be very smooth.

    2) We have not noticed any HS2 odor from our 02.

    3) $2,000 cash back is it on 02's as far as cash to dealer.

    We spent 3 months trying to find the replacement for our 97 Quest. In the end it came down to the Ody or the MPV. The MPV was so much nicer to drive, and park. It is very well designed, has a lot of unique features, is a great value and IMO very attractive. It is just as reliable as any other van out there. Actually it is better than most. Everyone has different needs. We thought we could never live with a van this size, but now we could never drive one of those large tanks again. Good luck.

    Mark. : )
  • rutger3rutger3 Posts: 361
    The MPV is a fine choice, We have an 01 LX with 25k. No problems,very reliable. The 01 had a small engine 2.5 Ford Duratec, good engine but underpowered. This was corrected on the 02 models. Good handling, nice ride, 3rd seat is convienent,roll down windows in 2nd row great, excellent sound system, best looking minivan, nicely designed,reasonable mileage. Now for the other side of the coin which I am known for. Please keep in mind that some of these items may have been corrected on the 2002 model.
    -the transmission is not the smoothest,seems to always search for the right gear.
    -minor items;on the 01, no power seats;or power lock control on the passenger side.
    -3rd seat not real comfortable especially for adults,also no middle headrest.
    -headrests not adjustable fore and aft.
    -large dashboard intrudes some especially on passenger side
    -gear shifter blocks out a coupl radio controls
    -My favorite, Resale value. Compared to the ODY is not that good. Then again, the ODY is legendary for its incredible high resale values.The Sienna is also higher.
    Good luck on your decision. IF you are not too critical like me, you will be happy with the MPV.
  • audia8qaudia8q Posts: 3,138
    Effective today.....

    All 2003 Mazda's get a 4 year / 50K bumper to bumper warranty!!!!

    If you already purchased a 2003 you will get the warranty also

  • bill124bill124 Posts: 242
    I have a 2000 lx, with moonroof, etc. Been relatively happy with it (no major problems but had the clickling in the brakes, problem with light, and other minor annoyances). I know some of you have traded in your older MPVs for the newer ones. How bad are you being treated on the trade-ins? I'm in very good condition, no dents, 28K miles. I'm thinking of this principally because of the expiration of the warranty. I guess I could buy an extended warranty but I'd appreciate any thoughts.
  • javadocjavadoc Posts: 1,167
    Hey, that's GREAT news, Rich!!! We had very few problems in the 3.25 yrs of owning our MPV, but having another year of warranty would be outstanding.

    Rutger, now that there is additional Ody production capacity, coupled with the continuing problems that the Ody has, I'm skeptical about the projected resale value gap. There are lots of people that have noticed that Honda is not building to the quality standards they did in the early and mid 1990s. But, this isn't the 'vs' thread. ;)
  • I just found this discussion board ... thank gd! So glad to find a forum where solid info (i.e. non-dealer) can be obtained. So, a couple of questions for all of you experienced Mazda buyers and owners out there...

    1) Are there currently any rebates being offered on 2002 or 2003 MPV's?

    2) If you were wanting to locate a 2002 with low miles, what is the best way to locate one without actually calling a hundred dealers and dealing with salesperson hype?

    3) What would be a "good price" for a new MPV LX?
    (Our local dealer has a 2003 MPV LX stickered at $25K)

    Any opinions/advice would be appreciated!
  • maltbmaltb Posts: 3,572
    So glad to find a forum where solid info (i.e. non-dealer) can be obtained.

    We are all dealers. When are you looking to buy and what will you be trading in?

    :-) sorry, couldn't resist.

    #s 1 & 2 sound like dealer questions to me.
    #3 Edmunds TMV is usually pretty accurate. Just look up the optioned vehicle under the new vehicle section.
  • bob57bob57 Posts: 302
    You're bad....!

    But then again, half of us act like salesmen the way we slobber over this van!
  • bob57bob57 Posts: 302
    You might need that extended warranty - or more insurance - if you felt that last earthquake up there.
    Did MochaVan rock & roll?
  • owr084owr084 Posts: 46
    You can check dealer inventories by going to Select "Locate A Vehicle" from the menu on the left. A hint - start with you zip code. If you do not find anything, choose the zip code of the furthest dealer in the direction you want to search. For example, I am in Northern VA. I did not find the color I wanted from the dealers in my local area. So, I put in the zipcode for a dealer in Maryland. That gave me a whole new set of dealers to look at and I found my vehicle in Gaithersburg.

  • hues10hues10 Posts: 10
    I did it. Purchased a 2003 Sandstone Colored MPV ES. After two years scouring these boards, it came down to a Rendezvous and the MPV (GM Credit Card rebate). Almost had the underpowered, severly depreciating Buick if I didn't make my wife drive the MPV for a comparison.

    We traded in a '98 Olds Intrigue with only 50k miles which I had already spent $1200 the last 18 months, and felt some transmission, brake, and steering problems coming on. Enough was enough. If worst fears came true, I was facing upwards of $3k of potential repairs.

    The details of my purchase, MPV stickered for exactly $27K. Argued and argued about my Rendezvous deal, 0% financing, etc. Finally ended up at $16.7K before tax (told theme to stick dealer fee out the window). I figure I got $6K for my trade, and $4300 off MSRP, so thought it was a good deal.

    Now - where is this 4 year bumper-to-bumper warranty thing. It was not discussed at the dealer, is not on the Mazda website, or nothing.

    Happy to have a MPV owner after 16 hours.
  • tccmn1tccmn1 Posts: 278
    I ordered a fully loaded MPV LX about 2 weeks ago from a local 'best price' dealer. I have everything coming except leather, 17" wheels,etc of the ES package. My price "Out The Door" with a 7 year/100K extended MAZDA warranty was $27,400 - this included the GFX package, moonrf, rf.rack, 6cd, trailer hitch, 4 seas., pwr.doors, traction control, rear a/c. This included Tax, license, delivery charge.
    Now on extended warranties; there are a variety of extended warranties that take the vehicle past the 3 year 50K mile coverage. My 7/100K cost me $1600. It's a NO DEDUCTABLE at ANY MAZDA DEALER in the US type warranty. Beware of some out there that are extended warranties thru other insurance cos...that are ZERO deductable at the dealer you bought the warranty at, but may be up to $100 deductable if you use it at any other Mazda dealer. This sounds bizarr, but it's true. I know my warranty was listed at over $1900 in their little book, so it was reduced a little. Other's have praised about lower cost than this...but just keep in mind that not all of these extended warranties are the same nor are they valid at other dealerships when you go in and are surprised. This is also true in the Toyota it's not unique to the Mazdas. If you're thinking of waiting on buying the ext.warr. keep in mind it will cost you more to buy the warranty later, i.e.; at the time your Mazda warranty runs out...their reason is that the car is already worn and may have problems ready to happen at that I guess I can understand that to a point.
    Hope this helps. I always get the ext. warr. because I keep my vehicles at least 7 years and have cashed in far more than the expense of the warranty on Toyotas and Chrys. products. A bad A/C conpressor or tranny, etc. adds up fast.
  • javadocjavadoc Posts: 1,167
    Hey bob, haven't seen you in a while. Yes, that quake was interesting, but wasn't anything to write home about (it was a long ways away). Earthquake insurance is insanely expensive... I'm just gonna pass the hat around if my house falls. ;)

    Hues10, welcome also to ownership of an MPV!

    Malt, you have no shame. Although, if I could make the payments right for you, would you take this baby home today?
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