Mazda MX-Flexa / Mazda5

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  • carguy58carguy58 Member Posts: 2,303
    Its a nice package I'll admit but it looks of it just me bug me a little bit. I like the looks of the 03 Sienna better than the 04 one. The 03 was bland an inoffensive looking. The 04 is kinda strange looking. It looks Toyota over did it a little bit in the styling department.

    I hope Mazda doesn't send out two mini-vans to NA to cater to their audience. You are already putting out the Mazda 6 hatch which is for smaller famalies. The next generation MPV should be maybe a lttle bit bigger than the current one but Mazda shouldn't overdo it. Mazda is known for selling cars on exterior styling as part of a deal breaker to take sales away from Honda and Toyota. To make the MPV grow that much bigger it would suck sportiness right out of the exterior styling.
  • jchan2jchan2 Member Posts: 4,956
    was the Mazda/Ford 626 really a sporty looking car?
  • carguy58carguy58 Member Posts: 2,303
    well the early to mid 90's one(93-97) was sportier looking than a Camry(92-96)on the outside. It was equal looking to the mid 90's Accord(that was the one time Honda took a chance with the exterior styling on the Accord and everybody complained.) For the Ford Part of the discussion that was the infamous Ford tranny with the 4 cyl auto which goes down as a low point in Mazda's automotive hisory. The 98 626 was too bland on the exterior for their core buyer. The 98 626 didn't offer anything over a Camry and Accord to stick out in the family sedan market. It was an alright car though.
  • jchan2jchan2 Member Posts: 4,956
    I loved how mine looked, especially with the Special Edition version wheels and the exclusive San Marino Red paint. Sold that car for a more common beige Odyssey EX, but I needed a minivan.
  • carguy58carguy58 Member Posts: 2,303
    97 Accord too. One of my favorite cars of the 90's actually.
  • jchan2jchan2 Member Posts: 4,956
    I didn't like the 1995 as much as I do the 96-97 models. Musta been that Special Edition model that hooked me.
  • carguy58carguy58 Member Posts: 2,303
    I liked it when it came out and still do. Looks pretty good to this day but the 96 just actually had a little more pizzaz in the styling to it than the 95 had. Just hard to explain.

    I look at the Mazda 6 like I do the 96-97 Accord's. Both the 6 and the mid 90's Accord have that flare to them. Also like the 02-04 VW Passats's. Way better looking than the 98-01 Passats.
  • jchan2jchan2 Member Posts: 4,956
    I like the 96-97 Accords, the new 6, the 98-01 Passat, all mainly because they had more flair in some way than the versions that came before them. (The 6 was waaaaaay better than the Ford 626!)
  • carguy58carguy58 Member Posts: 2,303
    Passat we disagree with. Oh well. Sounds you didn't have very much love for the 626. I used to have a 1998 626 LX on a lease purchase. I actually liked the exterior styling at that time. The interior was pretty nice. Nice for a first car but your right the 6 makes the 626 look kinda old and yesterday's news.
  • jchan2jchan2 Member Posts: 4,956
    it seemed that I'm with the majority of the people not liking the Ford 626 as sales tanked after the redesign.
  • carguy58carguy58 Member Posts: 2,303
    What did they do to the front of it? They made it look like a 3. I don't like this new family resemblance Mazda is doing now with their line-up with front ends of their cars. Mazda had a pretty good string of exterior styled cars going: 99 Protege, 00 MPV, 02 Pro 5, 03 6, and 04 RX-8. I'm really lukewarm to the new Mazda 3 and the refresh of the MPV. The Mazda 3 looks like something that would suit the car market in Europe not in the US.
  • jchan2jchan2 Member Posts: 4,956
    some of us like the Japanese/European blend!
  • rctennis3811rctennis3811 Member Posts: 1,031
    the new styling too...it reflects the ZOOM-ZOOM personality of Mazda
  • jchan2jchan2 Member Posts: 4,956
    gives some recognition. Nobody could recognize the Ford 626 from down the road. But everybody knows the Mazda 6 is a Mazda, even from down the road.
  • wheelz4wheelz4 Member Posts: 569
    I like the current MPV...it's just at the limit, size-wise, for us.....anything bigger is too big.
    That being said, depite it's more compact size and somewhat more affordable price, it doesn't get any better gas mileage than the big boys (actually gets worse than most of them). To cater to those who need the room, I think Mazda SHOULD grow the MPV for 2006 and, as mentioned above, bring over the Mazda4 for those of us who want something more compact. I would expect the 4 to be roomier and slightly larger than the Premacy it is replacing, just as the 3 is larger and roomier than the Protege. The Mazda4 would be for small families, young & old active couples, grandparents who tote around their grandkids, etc. and the re-sized MPV for those who really need a large minivan. Vehicles like the Mazda6 hatch really don't work for any more than 4 people, as 3-across seating in the back isn't comfortable. A Mazda4 with 3 rows of 2, or 2+3+2 seating would work better. Sure, the last row would be best suited for kids, but that's the point. If you really need to regularly carry 6 or seven adult passengers, then opt for a "plus-size" MPV.
  • jchan2jchan2 Member Posts: 4,956
    opt for the SUPERSIZE Odyssey or Quest.
  • wheelz4wheelz4 Member Posts: 569
    I don't think the MPV is doing too well internationally....British reviews have been generally unfavourable and sales around the world have been lackluster. If the Mazda4 becomes the state-of-the-art compact MPV I hope it will, then they may just discontinue the MPV, or enlarge it and make it a North America only model.
  • jchan2jchan2 Member Posts: 4,956
    they're going to enlarge it for the US Market. The Sienna is just too profitable to ignore competing with.
  • rctennis3811rctennis3811 Member Posts: 1,031
    Sienna is the number one minivan now with great reviews all over. The MPV will definitely have to be enlarged. I wonder if Mazda will use the Freestar platform but use the Mazda 6 engine and sporty suspensions? That'll work for me, as long as no Ford engine is in it!
  • wheelz4wheelz4 Member Posts: 569
    I heard they're going to use the Mazda6 platform.
    Apparently it's very flexible and will be used for the next Freestar as well.
  • carguy58carguy58 Member Posts: 2,303
    with the Sienna or any other Toyota products: the styling is just bland to me. I guess Comfort and Convienence win sales for Toyota more than style does.
  • jchan2jchan2 Member Posts: 4,956
    The Mazda 6 platform is almost like the Accord platform- able to make many cars off of one platform. The Accord spawned the Odyssey, Pilot, MDX, TL, RL, TSX and Prelude. (well, it used to)
  • setzersetzer Member Posts: 127
    i heard people talking about the Washu. Isn't that a character in Tenchi Muyo?
  • jchan2jchan2 Member Posts: 4,956
    it's Mazda van concept shown in Detroit last year.
  • bigdadibigdadi Member Posts: 72
    Want Mazda has Lumbar Support because lots of Americans having back problems.
  • oldmedicoldmedic Member Posts: 78
    Why would anyone want to design a drivers seat that only the seat bottom goes up and down.Duh. Tall drivers suffer with the loss of lumbar support as the bottom departs from the back as you lower the seat. My old Astro was more comfortable.
  • waterbabywaterbaby Member Posts: 9
    STICK SHIFT!!!!! That was the hardest thing we had to deal with in even thinking of a minivan . . . I know Americans are going away from stick shift, but as an option it would be fabulous! Talk about fun to drive. (and there would be no complaints about the auto transmission either.)
  • jchan2jchan2 Member Posts: 4,956
    how about a SHIFTRONIC????
  • asa0526asa0526 Member Posts: 26
    Wish List:
    1. More storage up front (for maps, cellphone etc.)
    2. Move the transmission stick away from the steering column. Move this to the center.
    3. Trip computer showing average mpg, total mpg, miles to go etc.
    4. Spy mirror (to help check up on the kids without using the rear view mirro)
    5. 60/40 3rd row seat configuration
    6. Slightly bigger cargo area (6-10 inches more would be great)
    7. CVT (transmission) and variable valve timing on the engine.
    This is not in any order.
  • 6thbeatle6thbeatle Member Posts: 180
    my request for the MPV is quite a small one, but i would be very pleased if mazda fit the MPV with the same chrome-ringed gauges offered in the tribute. it would make a cool-looking minivan even cooler.
  • wheelz4wheelz4 Member Posts: 569
    ...if there will be no 2006 MPV. In Europe (and I imagine, Japan as well), the upcoming Mazda4 will split the difference between the current Premacy and MPV and will replace both of them. As the MPV, in it's current form, is a fairly small player in North America, Mazda will either kill it completely, or redesign it to compete with the big boys (Odyssey, Sienna, Quest etc.) I hope that opens the door for them to bring us the Mazda4 as well. Anyone who appreciates the compactness of the current MPV would feel right at home in the 4.
    And if they supersize the MPV for North America only, it would satisfy those who feel the 4(and the current MPV) is too small.Here's a link.
    http://www.whatcar.com/News_Article.asp?NA_ID=206710
  • daron1daron1 Member Posts: 18
    I'm not sure what you have North of the Border, but my U.S.'04 MPV has chrome-ringed gauges. It's the LX, w/ the sports package, but I'm pretty sure that the rings are standard on all models. The ES adds some additional titanium-ish dash accents.
  • carguy58carguy58 Member Posts: 2,303
    it has to get off to a quick start(sales wise) like the 3 has. The Oddy and Sienna are very tough competition. I wonder if the Oddy is going to come out at the same time the 06 MPV does.
  • 6thbeatle6thbeatle Member Posts: 180
    hey wheelz thanks for the link. the mazda 4 looks pretty sweet, but i wonder how it would get slotted into the current NA Mazda lineup? wouldn't it take sales away from the 3, the 6 wagon, and the new MPV?
  • wheelz4wheelz4 Member Posts: 569
    the 4(in concept form) seats 6 and in reality, will probably seat 6 or 7 (although the rearmost 2 should probably be kids). The 3 and the 6 wagon seat 5 (4 comfortably) and the 2006 MPV (if they grow it like the Sienna etc.) will probably seat 7-8. There may be some cross-shopping, but for us
    (family of 3 but occasional need to transport 6-7), the 3 hatch is too small, the 6 wagon lacks the flexible seating of the 4 (and will hold only 5 max) and the MPV (epecially if it grows) will be way too large. The 4 would be a perfect fit.
    BTW, the new Odyssey will appear in 2005, a year beofre any new MPV.
  • wheelz4wheelz4 Member Posts: 569
    With the next gen. Freestar to be built off the Mazda6 platform, I think Mazda will get a version of this as well, meaning the MPV will definitely grow. Whether this opens the door for the Mazda4 or not, who knows? I sure hope it does.
  • bigdadibigdadi Member Posts: 72
    I think Mazda produces the Mazda4 to compete Toyota Matrix group
  • oldmedicoldmedic Member Posts: 78
    Oh great Ford screws with the MPV, it gets pregnant and the result is a Mazda van with all of Ford's bad genes. Leave the MPV alone. It fills a niche in the market for people who don't like long akward minivans or need to haul a ton of stuff.
  • wheelz4wheelz4 Member Posts: 569
    Don't like the MPFreestarV?......Then you'd better hope Mazda will bring us the Mazda4.
  • stickguystickguy Member Posts: 42,102
    I think they should bring over both to better cover the market.

    MZ3 hatch on the small end, 4 for the mid range, and people who occassionally need 6 seats, and the new "full size" MPV for the people with too much junk or really big kids.

    2020 Acura RDX tech SH-AWD

  • carguy58carguy58 Member Posts: 2,303
    I don't mid if its based on the Freestar platform. I just don't want a rebadged Mazda which is actually Ford like the 1993+ B-Series. The 1993+ B-Series has a horrible reliability record.
  • stickguystickguy Member Posts: 42,102
    That was AMC/Jeep that had the denim interiors ;-)

    I do agree that using the Freestyle platform and turning it into a Mazda is fine, since it started life out as a Volvo (XC90/S80) derived platform anyway.

    Or, just base it on the 6 platform, since it seems that darn near all future Fords will be based on it (well, maybe not the Econoline van, but at least most of the cars).

    2020 Acura RDX tech SH-AWD

  • rctennis3811rctennis3811 Member Posts: 1,031
    I hope Mazda does use the Freestar platform for the next MPV so that it can compete size-wise with the competition. To improve it, they need to put in bigger anti-roll bars and a sportier suspension. Plus, Mazda needs a new interior to keep its sporty nature. Oh yea! They also need to put in the Duratec 30 w/ VVT (as in the MAZDA6) and, when available, a Duratec 35 w/ VVT.
  • jchan2jchan2 Member Posts: 4,956
    not bad. I'll take a Mazda 6 based minivan with a Ford/Mercury version, but no MPFreestarV. (the Freestar doesn't quite match the Sienna)
  • adambrunetx2eadambrunetx2e Member Posts: 7
    I think that we won't see this cross-over happen somehow. The Mazda Canada website states that -

    "The 2004 Mazda MPV shatters the minivans-are-boring stereotype. Bucking the trend of making minivans as big (and manageable) as tanks, Mazda’s gone in a smarter direction. We’ve optimized interior versatility and functionality and combined it with exceptional maneuverability and performance." (www.mazda.ca)

    I think given the recent trends we are seeing, especially in this country, people are realizing bigger isn't necesarily better. The market seems to be taking on a bit of a European feel with the release of the Chevy Aveo, Toyota Echo Hatchback, the Smartcar by Mercedes, the X-trail by Nissan etc etc. Seeing as how consumer trends are changing, it would be smart on Mazda's part to keep the size they have and keep maximizing the interior space as much as possible like these other manufacturers have done with their new models. Plus, if the Mazda was any bigger, it woudn't fit in my garage...
  • wheelz4wheelz4 Member Posts: 569
    adambrunetx2e.....I agree; of all the minivans currently on the market, the current MPV is one of the only true "mini"vans and is the maximum size I would go to if we end up with this type of vehicle.(Just wish it's appetite for fuel matched it's nimbler size). That being said, they are killing both the MPV and Premacy in Europe and replacing both of them with the Mazda4. While the numbers might be slightly better in Canada, the MPV is pretty much the lowest selling minivan in America. If they are killing it off around the world, would it really make sense for them to keep it for North America only in it's present form? That's why I think they will build the next generation off the 6 platform, as with the next generation of the Freestar, and hopefully offer the Mazda4 for all of us (me included) who appreciate a smarter-sized, sportier minivan. As a bonus, the fuel efficiency of the Mazda4 should be far and away better than the current or any future MPV.
  • oldmedicoldmedic Member Posts: 78
    Applause........applause.............applause!
  • carguy58carguy58 Member Posts: 2,303
    For now it is I mean now SUV's sell better than passenger cars n North America. Cars are getting bigger now. With Toyota leading the wat in Mini-Vans Mazda will be forced to make the MPV larger in terms of interior room. Toyota didn't strike big with the Previa but with the last generation Sirnna(1998-2003) Toyota improved over the Previa model line. With the 04 Sienna Toyota hit a hime run. As a matter of fact I was looking at the Wall Street Joural and the average Sienna last month only spent 15 days on dealers lot.

    I hope the same thing happens with Mazda in the min-van market that Toyota has done. The first generation MPV's were not Dodge Caravan beaters in the early 90's. Mazda did improve on the MPV with the current model. Hopefully with the next one they can hit a home run(ala Toyota.) The Oddesy will be better improved too with the next generation. You don't think Honda is going to down without a fight especially against Toyota do you? No way.
  • adambrunetx2eadambrunetx2e Member Posts: 7
    Wheelz4 - You prove a very valid statement. I didn't know they where ending the MPV model in Europe I should have read a few earlier posts! My bad. I checked out your link though and the Mazda4 is a pretty stylish automobile. It would make sense to replace this vehicle with the MPV and perhaps introduce a larger van for those that need. Europe has seemed to develop a nice niche for vehicles of this size (Mazda4), as I noticed in France last year, something the NA market needs. I just wonder how big these "mini" vans are going to get before they are too big and people start shying away from them and I think Mazda should consider that. Seeing as how this MPV/4/Freestar based model switch over might not occur for another couple of years. I am happy though that manufactures are introducing smaller, cheaper, enviro-friendly vehicles to give us much more selection. It's refreshing to see manufactures leaning away from the "buy big or buy nothing" sort of attitude.
  • steverstever Guest Posts: 52,457
    Don't get over here much, but it would be nice to keep a smallish minivan around.

    Meanwhile, there's a Mazda Mania chat tonight - starts in about one hour and the link is on the left.

    Steve, Host
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