2001 Mazda MPV LX from North America
Good, but a little irritating
Silly things that show it was made cheaply.
Arm rest falls off driver side (but easy enough to reattach, which has to happen every month, since I only hand tighten it).
Seat belt does not retract consistently.
Glove "box" is broken (cheap plastic?).
Unlike the bigger vans, this one drives and stops like a car. The quick braking was paramount for my nightly country driving (critter avoidance). All but Sienna vans flunked this test, so I was ready to take on some less than desirable features in exchange for safety.
Higher than normal clearance for back country roads was another requirement, which this year's MPV has lost, but better than the Odyssey and Caravan.
I love the fold-in seat... even forgot it was there when I had to pick up an extra kid yesterday! Oops, still getting use to this wonderful idea.
I wanted to sleep at trailheads, so the roll down windows are a blessing! It was silly to ever expect back seat sitters to not be able to open windows (Caravans) to get air in when parked. I can throw up screens to keep bugs out and get good ventilation.
I have not dealt with any engine problems, but it seems geared high and it sounds worrisome. Dealership says it is normal. Sometimes it stutters, and sometimes the car hesitates like it is not in gear, but it is rare enough that it is too soon to ask a mechanic.
It is easy to put car in wrong gear, and between gears. I find it hard to see the gear identification, so it is still an effort to make sure I am in D.
It is a van, so I cannot complain about gas mileage, but why can't it be better? I hear the older ones were better.
The seats are NOT comfortable to anyone I have talked to. Front seats are stiff and not shaped well. The back seats are even worse and miserable on trips for anyone except little kids (maybe). Even more unforgivable, the manual shows you how you can remove headrests and recline each seat to make a sleeping platform. I did not expect this feature, so I was not disappointed. This idea was outrageous and the neighborhood had a good laugh. The manuals diagram even showed the correct, far from flat final result. (They did not risk showing how a person could possibly use the end results) It would be more comfortable to sleep sitting up!
I guess I have big feet (size 12). They sometimes hit something getting to the gas pedal. This is not unusual, but a surprise in an American car.
The stereo is thoughtlessly designed and situated. Probably not safe to do anything with it while driving. Some controls are hidden behind gear shift lever, and nothing can be done by touch except change volume.
Heater blows hot, but is hard to get where it is best used. I like warm feet and a cool face. Sometimes my hands are cold. But I never want it drying out my eyes. I seem to have no choice except badly positioned hand warming that will also hit my face.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know
Review Date: 14th December, 2010