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?).

General Comments:

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

2001 Mazda MPV LX from North America




Alternator went out 120,000 miles.

"Pig tail" connection to the alternator went bad in 2010.

In 2010 I was told by Mazda that they do not sell individual parts (the pig tail). Was told that I had to have an entire new engine harness ($1300 for that part alone).

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 22nd July, 2010

2001 Mazda MPV from North America


Fun car to drive and haul things around. Rent a more comfortable car for long trips


My catalytic converter was replaced by the dealer at ~ 105,000 miles, $1500.00. Engine light gave ample warning.

The door handle on driver side sliding door broke at ~ 107,500. Safety issue that I still need to get to fixing.

Alternator and belts were replaced at 110,000 for $600 by a local garage. Battery light and terrible plastic burning smell gave immediate warning. Had to take it to the garage on a weekend for an emergency fix. Garage replaced OE with a refurbished alternator.

One week later, the car died in the middle of a busy intersection. Towed back to the garage and determined the alternator was a bad one. Replaced with another refurbished alternator (no charge). During process of the second replacement, a brake tube to the caliper connector was damaged: Garage accessed the alternator by removing the right brake drum (maybe even had to remove the axle - I don't know). In the process, they damaged the brake system. In the following week, the brake fluid rapidly leaked out. By end of week, the brake had to be fully depressed to get any braking power. Garage replaced the brake fluid and reconnected the tube to the caliper connector. No charge.

General Comments:

I had no problems with this car until it turned over 100,000 miles. I am hoping this car will last another 5 years so I can give to my son, who starts driving in 2 years.

This is a fun car to drive, but not comfortable for long trips (and I am only 5'-8", 180 lbs). Middle and back seats are not meant for adults.

My mountain and road bikes fit into the back with no need to take off wheels. Big plus.

Poor gas mileage: ~20 mpg.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 15th May, 2010

16th May 2010, 14:17

I really miss the old days when cars were simple to work on, and you didn't have to dismantle the BRAKES to get to an alternator. Seems like these days they're designing cars to have to go to the dealership for every little thing rather than doing it yourself.