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Mazda MPV, Van
#2763 of 8223 Need Pre-Purchase Advice
Mar 26, 2002 (11:12 am)
My wife and I have a 1992 Mazda Protege LX with 156K miles on it. It would probably make it to the 200K mark, but our family has grown with the addition of our first child. This dictates the purchase of a new vehicle since while the baby is small, all the accessories are not (stroller, pac n play, etc). Our other car is a 1997 Honda Accord.
We recently visited the Pittsburgh Auto show and looked at three vehicles: Honda Odyssey, Mazda MPV and VW Passat wagon (well, there actually wasn't one to try out, but we did look hard at the sedan). Each of these vehicles has it own charms, and each would probably work well for us, in perhaps slightly different ways. I'm also involved in amateur astronomy, and all of these vehicles would swallow all of my stuff with ease (if only I could keep my eyes open since the baby came).
I have some questions for you all:
1) Am I the only one who's a little queasy about the Ford powerplant under the hood?
2) 5W20 engine oil recommendation...gosh, that seems awfully thin. Is any other multigrade oil allowed? As you can see above, we buy new, keep'em till they're dead (sometimes even on life support) and then donate them to the Kidney Foundation . I have concerns about longevity with 5w20. I do my own oil changes and most routine maintenance.
3) Air conditioning: One of the few things we found wanting on our Protege was a marginal heating and air conditioning system. Our Honda will give you frostbite in summer and melt your boots in winter. The Protege often required the a/c on 'recirculate' during the summer. Is the additional heater/rear a/c a necessity on the MPV? Summers can be hot and humid here.
We liked the hideaway third seat and the roll-down windows in the sliding doors. The overall size of the vehicle seems okay for us. I haven't visited the show room yet to see how these are coming equipped, thinking that I would get some answers here first.
Our Mazda has been a good car, as has our Honda. So we have no axes to grind either way. Our sales experience with the Honda was "here it is, here's our price; interested or not?" Last August, when we wanted to look at the Odyssey while in for inspection, they didn't have one to even sit in. Despite our clear interest in the minivan, the sales guy kept coming up with, "maybe you are not minivan people." If we are not, then who is? He obviously was trying to steer us towards the CR-V or the Passport.
Our servicing dealer for the Mazda has one great service write up person, one fair one, and one that I'll never use again (what a zipperhead).
The Honda has never had a service issue, other than usual maintenance (filters, fluids and Mobil 1 oil).
We owned a 87 Golf which served us very well but was involved in two accidents which really seemed to ruin it. So we understand the VW way, too.
Any answers to my above questions would be appreciated. Any comments are welcome, too.
#2764 of 8223 RE: Need Pre-Purchase Advice by altair4
Mar 26, 2002 (11:38 am)
Altair, I have owned VW Passat 99 and I traded in for 02 Mazda MPV ES. I can tell you that Passat was an excellent car. One of the best I have ever had. I traded it in for Mazda because I needed more space. Honda was out of question because neither I nor my wife liked it the way it looked like. We have nothing against Honda and our second car in fact is Acura TL 01 (the best car we have ever owned)
We have owned Fords before and the engine (120 000 miles on 3.8L) shouldn't be a problem. Most of the time those little things go bad in Fords and especially AC. From this board you can see that Mazda MPV has very few problems. When we switched from Passat to MPV we noticed very few differences. Acceleration is similar if not better in Mazda. Mazda is as quiet as VW. Fuel usage: Mixed city 80% - Hwy 20% Mazda 20 MPG, VW 21-22 MPG. On hwy Mazda 24MPG, VW 30MPG. The major difference we noticed is the cooling capability. We noticed that in Mazda we need to run AC much harder (we live in Florida) than in a Passat. But again you have to remember that windshield in Mazda is twice as big as in the Passat. Also if you are going to use minivan in hot climate I would advise you to definitely get rear AC. Hope this helps a little.
Mar 26, 2002 (12:32 pm)
My feelings about the Ody are fairly well known here. I sort of fell into the MPV last year. Opportunity knocked and I opened the door! I had actually given up on a van altogether mainly due to the same reason you described in dealing with the Honda folks. We I did look at the MPV, I had the same uneasiness about the Ford engine, not so much because it was a Ford, but rather the poor performance reviews the MPV was getting using the 2.5 liter. Of course, that's not an issue now due to the improved power of the 3.0 liter this year. After buying the MPV and joining Town Hall, I discovered that the Duratec, whether 2.5 or 3.0, was touted as a very reliable motor. I'm not very motor head technical <g>!, but I'm sure TBoner or javadoc could post some interesting links to back up the engine's performance record.
I agree with mazda_guy on the rear AC. We live in SoFla too, in fact it's been 90' here the past two days <phew!>. With both units cranked, the MPV cools down fast. Put them on recirculate and youíll get the frostbite. Remember, it also has the roll-down rear windows to help. If your climate is cold enough, you may want to consider the 4-Seasons package, but it requires either the Luxury or Security package first and I donít think it includes rear AC.
Hope it helps!
#2766 of 8223 Re: altair4's questions
Mar 26, 2002 (12:52 pm)
Oooo, I'm glad I don't have your problem there altair4... Passat Wagon or MPV (sorry guys!). The Passat is a super car, as is the MPV, and the Passat comes with awd if you want it. The MPV will give you more room than the Passat, and I'd imagine maintenance costs would be similar down the road, given VW's and Mazda's reliability records, imo. MB's right, I wouldn't have concens about the MPV's engine, esp since you seem to be the type of person that keeps up w/maintenance.
It looks like you put some decent miles on your vehicles. IIRC, Mazda used the 5/20 weight oils to lower emissions. I run 5/30 Amsoil synthetic in my MPV and it loves it year round.
A/C... I can't comment as our temps rarely exceed 80F. The heater is really good w/the 4Seasons tho.
p.s. Steve, were users having trouble w/topic titles?
Mar 26, 2002 (12:59 pm)
2 topics please
and <--1998 There was no 1999.
Mar 26, 2002 (1:04 pm)
heh.. too true Malt. I've got a bridge to sell you along w/my 1999 MPV Allsport!
Mar 26, 2002 (1:49 pm)
Man, you guys are sticklers for detail.
And yeah, newbies couldn't find "MY 2000+" as easily as they'll be able to find "Madza MPV". We should be at 6,000 posts in here easily
I assume you regulars are using the Message Center anyway? Reading Subscriptions is the easy way to keep up in here.
SUVs, Vans and Aftermarket & Accessories Message Boards
Mar 26, 2002 (3:42 pm)
I notice that you're from the Pgh. area. Whereabouts? I'm in South Park [86 the snide comments, gang, we were here before the TV show], from which I commute daily in my [reqcon] van, "The MPV President McKinley."
If you do get the Mazda--and I can recommend it, especially with the 3.0L engine--make it a point to get the rear AC. It does a terrific job of cooling the car. Last summer, even on the hottest days, I'd use it to quickly cool down a hot van, then turn it off and just run the front AC, usually at 1 or 2.
The rear heat certainly won't hurt, but I don't have it on my 01 LS and didn't miss it. The back heats up--a little more slowly than the front, but just fine. There is a heater vent under the front seat that blows to the back. Never carried anyone in the third seat this winter, so I can't comment on what it felt like back there.
#2771 of 8223 Rear Heat........
Mar 26, 2002 (4:44 pm)
works so well, my 9 year old keeps adjusting the rear controls to cool the back down. As some have stated earlier, it's a shame you need a HIGH priced pkg. to have rear heat. Although, I'm glad to have the Security Pkg. I feel much better knowing my Wife has the side airbags for extra protection, also prefer alloys to wheel covers. Rear air is essential, even in Ohio. I drove the MPV today, mulch run, and the ABS kicked on quite a few times on the snowy roads, no comments S.Cali MaltB:). I know Java has no sympathy for us down south:) Glad to have the ABS it really helps control the van.
Hey MaltB: I installed 400 sq.ft. of Pergo in our kitchen last summer. I felt like I was back in preschool with the Elmer's...hehehe. With 2 kids and a dog, Pergo is the way to go.
Mar 26, 2002 (5:18 pm)
You are correct, I have no pity for you Suther-nerds, lol. My six-y.o. is always wanting the rear heat "on," but I'm sure it's just because the dials are something she can control.
The Side airbags and ABS are "must haves" in my book. The CD Changer, plood dash treatment (I still like the plood...call me a redneck), bigger wheels etc are nice to have w/the Luxury too.