1997 Mazda MPV LX from North America


It kept chugging, but not well


The anti-lock brake light went on at about 70,000 miles, and no one could figure out whether it was a computer glitch or we'd really lost the ABS system.

Air conditioning quit at about 80,000 miles. The dealer quoted $1,500 to repair and we felt the car was not worth it.

Small plastic things started breaking in the car after we'd had it less than two weeks. The cup holder. Little pieces of plastic to hide the wrench.

At about 60,000 miles, we started having problems with the driver's side automatic window, which would rattle when it went down and then sometimes get stuck.

Fuel economy was significantly worse than EPA rating.

General Comments:

After owning and loving a Mazda GLC wagon, the MPV wagon was a disappointment to us. It wasn't a lemon, but more things went wrong with it than I expected from a Mazda.

I will give the engine credit--the van does keep on running and never left us stranded on the side of the road--but other aspects--broken plastic, air conditioning, cooling system, ABS system--were troublesome enough that we were glad to let go of it.

The new MPV has been selling very cheaply around here, thousands less than the Toyota. But when we went to check it out, it seemed to be built worse than the old one. Thin plastic covers for storage areas that creaked open and seemed ready to break off. Thin plastic door sills that were not flush with the opening. We opted to spend the thousands more for the Toyota, which also came standard with side-curtain air bags.

The trade-in value for the Mazda was very low, thousands of dollars lower than for a Honda Odyssey of comparable year. That tells you something.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 15th March, 2006

10th Oct 2006, 01:54

Trade in value on most cars is low, that's how dealers rip off consumers. You're better off selling your car in the classifieds than trading it in to a dealer.

15th Feb 2011, 21:47

I bought a 1997 MPV to use as a camper. The car has 130K on it. I paid $2,700 for it in 2011. It came from Tucson so was rust free.

It runs nicely, but shifted somewhat sluggishly. I had the transmission flushed and the fluid replaced and now it shifts perfectly and gets about 20-24 MPG.

I removed the seats and built a wooden platform for a bed. There is plenty of storage room. The van is quiet, comfortable, and dependable. The build quality of the Mazda is easily equal to the Camry we had, if not better than the Camry, and the reliability rating is higher than the Camry.

I was very surprised to read of the original poster's dissatisfaction with the MPV, since I am so delighted with mine.