Last post on Dec 14, 2011 at 12:46 PM
You are in the Mazda MPV
What is this discussion about?
Mazda MPV, Van
#1821 of 8223 yet even more on mpg.
Jun 28, 2001 (7:54 pm)
Okay,I admit it,I am a bit obsessive when it comes to gas mileage.I dislike spending more than necessary on something which will only be burned up,thats why I always use 87 octane and buy it whereever it is cheapest. Plus,my commute to work and back is 100 miles,so I am always in the gas station even with my 4 cyl. Camry which gets 28-31 mpg. I keep my cars tuned up and check my tire pressure at least every 2 weeks. This vehicle will be for my wife and 2 kids around town,and for family vacations,probably 12-15k/year. I guess what irks me about the Mazda is that they were conned into using the 2.5 duratec by Ford. Probably,the 3.0 liter V6 Nissan built engine in my 1994 Villager is a better engine,and this kind of bums me out when 7 years go by and I feel like I am taking a step backwards at least in the engine.But then I also remind myself about those wonderful automatic seat belts in the Villager,and only 1 airbag,and the 80,000 miles on it,and the broken rear wiper motor. I do like everything else about the MPV,which is a nice vehicle. Now I must decide between the MPV with its great styling,convienent 3rd seat,and financial incentives;or the Highlander and its more efficient and superior 4 cylinder with VVTI,and of course the lack of inventory. I think I may need counseling.
Jun 29, 2001 (4:59 am)
The Duratec engine is an old design - it used in the contour for 4-5yrs, took another 2-3yrs on the drawing board; it is ~7 yrs old! I don't believe there was ongoing enhancements. I agree that it is reliably based on the contour owners, but hardly hitech by today's standard. Look at Chrsyler's new 2.5L pumps out 200hp. It is unfair to compare the MPV to other minis on performance and MPG. All the current minis engines have been updated periodically, this accounts for higher hp and better MPG despite they are all heavier! But there is a price for everything, this shortcoming has been factored in the price.
#1823 of 8223 MPG Discussion
Jun 29, 2001 (7:39 am)
Interesting discussion. I think the bottom line is Mazda really needs to put a larger displacement engine on the MPV. IMHO, the reason why the 2.5L doesn't get better mileage as it's supposed to get is due to the MPV's gearing not because it's "low-tech" or whatever. Mazda's engineers had to use less efficient gearing ratios to get acceptable performance forcing the engine to rev relatively higher (less efficient) compared to it's competition especially at high cruising speeds(70+ mph). The same engine gets 20city/29highway when used in the Mercury Cougar - not the best mileage but pretty decent for sporty coupe with 170hp. And one minor correction, Chrysler's 200hp V6 is a 2.7 not a 2.5.
If the 3.0L Duratec does indeed make it into the 2002 MPV, it'll probably have the same mileage as the 2.5L because it would allow Mazda to use more efficient gearing ratios.
Duratecs are indeed not state of the art designs by todays standards. But they're not low-tech either. In my book, a chain driven-DOHC/24-valve V6/dual length intake runner induction/ distributor-less semi-direct ignition/ 6500rpm redline/ (7500rpm redline in the Contour SVT?) is by any means not low-tech. Small for a minivan? Absolutely! Low-tech? No way. I even read somewhere that when the Duratecs/Zetecs were in the drawing boards, the engineers even made provisions for a possible addition of variable valve timing in the future. I believe that the upcoming Focus SVT (Zetec 2.0L DOHC I4) has some sort of VVT to help it make 170hp - not quite Honda/Toyota/BMW VVT levels of efficiency yet but it's a start.
Jun 29, 2001 (8:49 am)
Was on Wards Auto 10 Best Engines in 1998 and 1999. That to me says regardless of high tech or low tech, it was amongst the "Best Tech" out there.
Of course I'm biased, I have one of those SVT engines :^D
The Zetec has had VCT (Variable cam timing) on the exhaust since 1998 or 1999, but primarily to eliminate the EGR system.
#1825 of 8223 Mileage Report
Jun 29, 2001 (9:25 am)
With 600 miles on my van I am pleased to report 23 mpg from my last tank of 87 octane.
My commute is 18 miles each way with speeds in the 35-50 mph range and maybe 4 red lights. I've been using the a/c about 50% of the time.
Jun 29, 2001 (3:48 pm)
Well, those pics... It took me two hours to get hold of myself again... I strongly not recommend viewing those photos to anyone who has weak nerves (I thought I was good at it
Anyway, it really did make me re-evaluate my driving habits (that's good, anyway). I guess I'll maybe save the pics locally for a day when I begin to belive that nothing bad can ever happen to me...
#1828 of 8223 anyone seen my lunch?
Jun 29, 2001 (3:50 pm)
because I about lost it over those pics.
Jun 29, 2001 (4:08 pm)
Aww, sick! I had to close my eyes and close the window after seeing two pics!