Last post on Dec 14, 2011 at 12:46 PM
You are in the Mazda MPV
What is this discussion about?
Mazda MPV, Van
#5756 of 8223 lsinc/Leslie
Jun 07, 2003 (7:50 pm)
Hi again Leslie and thanks again for your reply. Seat covers almost seem like such a silly topic to keep asking about but the more info (or hints) I can give to my husband, the better (and faster) he can install some. And by-the-way, my husband used that indoor/outdoor type carpet to cover areas in our old van and it really worked out well for us.
As for my not completely loving my MPV, at least not yet. You summed it up correctly, it's not exactly what I wanted but then no one out there makes exactly what I want! Ha, I think I just opened myself up to some comments with that one!
But anyway, I think I'm going through withdrawl in regards to our old van leaving us. Our old van was a 1993 Grand Voyager and even though it was mechanically challenged, I did like some of the features it had, most especially the roominess. (My husband is quite happy to be rid of it....we were on our 3rd transmission and he was beginning to think something was wrong with it again!) But anyway, I think I'm also experiencing some "burn out" due to all the looking and researching we did to find a new van. We looked at Kia and Honda and Toyota (and even Chrysler!) and I was on the internet for HOURS comparing features and ratings etc. I found myself liking something on one van, and then wondering why all the vans couldn't have that same feature. (Very frustrating!)
We've only had the MPV 6 days so I suppose I just need some time to get used to it? I adore that the 2nd row windows go down and in fact that was one of the biggest pluses for me. And I also love that the rear seat hides away in the floor and that it's NOT split, at least not a 50/50 split anyway because that type of seat is too uncomfortable for that 7th person. That rear seat was a huge plus for both of us, but especially my husband since he's the one that had to remove the bench seat from our old van and it was quite heavy!
My husband was especially interested in RELIABILITY and when doing our research, we found the Mazda to be rated quite high and so for him that was the biggest concern. We liked almost everything about the 04 Toyota but just couldn't justify spending so much more for it. And besides, somewhere I read something about transmission problems with that new Toyota and needless to say, with our past problems with transmissions, that's the last thing we wanted to encounter again!
If I was to list my bigger gripes, and some of these may not be fair due to it being a smaller van than I had, I'd have to say the seats are smaller (and having the seatbelt bracket IN the seat just shrinks those seats even more besides making them "lopsided", so-to-speak), the gear shifter is too long and in the way, I wish there were a couple more "cubbies", and that the cupholders were deeper. Gee, in the grand scheme of things I guess that's not a very long list....
Neither of us has ever owned a Mazda before and I think I'm just a little scared at the moment....hoping we made the right decision. We also, like you, plan to keep it forever and we want it to last without a lot of problems. I have to say that reading all of your upbeat comments has helped calm my nerves quite a bit and I'm truly looking forward to getting to know my MPV better and I'll hopefully "fall in love" with it soon!
Thanks for all your insight, and I do have to say, after my errands tonight, "zoom zoom" is quite true!
#5757 of 8223 Small is beautiful?
Jun 07, 2003 (8:08 pm)
I was wondering if the small size of the MPV compared to full-sized vans is a plus in the body-shop-avoidance area. I've owned two Caravans, a '91 Caravan base model and currently a '99 GCS. The '91 got a couple of dings and had one parking lot accident (someone backed into it) in 8 years. The '99 has been in the body shop constantly for various scrapes, bumps, front bumpers pulling off (darn that low front overhang!), damaged wheel covers (those are pricey buggers too), dings etc. I've probably spent over $3000 in various exterior repairs in the past 4 years, and I have numerous assorted work waiting to be done on the front and rear bumpers and on at least 5 body panels. The front bumper and maybe the back bumper will need to be replaced this time. I've never seen a vehicle collect so much incidental damage! I am coming to the conclusion that a main reason for all the damage is the sheer size of the van. It's a foot-and-a-half longer than the '91 van and very wide also. I just think my lovely wife (who drives it 95% of the time) has trouble keeping it out of harm's way. Are there any MPV owners out there who owned a large van prior to the MPV who had a similar experience with their old vans, and found a difference with the MPV?
Jun 08, 2003 (5:13 am)
Before my MPV I owned a Mercury Villager. I bought it used. I purchased it in the Spring of '01 (it was a '95) with 72k on it. When I traded it in in April of '03 it had 103k on it. In two years I put 31k on it. I have to say, I really liked that van. It drove like a car and the seats were comfy. It had very few mechanical issues and never left me stranded. I have to say, when we decided on a new van, I wanted a new Nissan Quest which is the clone to the Villager. After researching and test driving (about 6 months worth) it came down to the Kia Sedona and the MPV.
The Sedona is a very nice van with many options, compfy seats, lot's of room to spread out and lot's of nooks and crannies to stuff things into. The price on a loaded Sedona is excellent. The reported gas mileage is daunting though. The ride was smooth but handling was typical for a larger van. To much body sway for me.
The MPV is smaller then my Villager but actually has more cargo even with the third row seat in place. I think the well that the third row seat folds into gives it more cargo capacity then if you had a flat floor.
It also has the option of not needing to remove the third row seat or seats as in the Sedona. I love being able to drive around with the third seat tucked, giving me all of that extra cargo room, and then when I need the seat, pop it up and off we go.
We have 2 girls and a Golden Retriever. Oh and two house rabbits who travel with us. Our girls are young yet, 10 and 7. They love having their very own seats and the huge bottle holders in the sliders are perfect for them. The fact that the second row seats recline and move forward and back is another plus. If need be we can slide the seats together quite easily. In the Honda Ody you actually have to tilt the seats forward and then slide them together. I didn't care for that.
I could go on and on about why I like the MPV and why we chose it. Bottom line; reliability, safety, price/options, size and fit and finish are what made the MPV the right choice for us. Some folks will come in and argue that if you're going to spend the money for a van you should get the larger vans. i.e. the Ody, Sienna. There is also the argument that the MPV is subpar to both the Ody and Sienna and can't even touch them in sales and reliability. The only thing I can't argue with is sales. I know sales have picked up on the MPV but certainly I don't see one every 2 feet like I do the Ody, Sienna, GM Triplets, and the Chrysler vans. What is going to happen is word is going to get out that the MPV has a new more powerful engine, it has excellent reliability, 5 star safety and is a quality van. This will drive sales up.
For retired couples who go to Florida or Arizona (I hear AZ is becoming quite popular for retired couples) the MPV is perfect. For families like mine with 2 children, again it's perfect.
I think you need to look at the pluses of owning an MPV and realize that no matter what you buy, there is no perfect van that is going to fit every need of your lifestyle.
Just my disertation on owning an MPV. Next I'll write a book. LOL! But in any event, thanks for the tip on the indoor/outdoor carpeting. I think we will go buy some. Barn dirt doesn't come out easily. Yikes! Atleast I have my daughter somewhat trained to remove her boots before getting into the van. I have a carpet in the back of the van that she places her muddy boots on.
Well I am off.
#5759 of 8223 Small is beautiful indeed
Jun 08, 2003 (5:21 am)
The largest van I owned was my Villager. I never bumped it or got bumped. Scratches are unavoidable in any car. What does help with general scratches is a heavy coat of wax. The MPV certainly is easy to park and I find visibility very good. I have had a few close calls but one in particular in a parking lot. I started to pull into a space and the guy driving the pickup next to that space decided that he was going to back out without looking. Needless to say, I stopped and he kept going and cut his wheel to the right a little too quickly and almost took off my right front fender. He even had the ordasity to blame me! I thought he was going to get out of the car and pick a fight with me. I was with my Mother and he was a big guy! Nothing came of it and he didn't hit my van so "All's well that ends well".
I believe that wheeling around in a smaller van is easier then a larger one. You probably will have less damage to the van based on ease of parking. Just my 2 cents.
Jun 08, 2003 (7:29 am)
Just FYI, CR ranked the MPV second (just slightly behind the Sienna), in terms of reliability, and ahead of the Honda and all the rest. So the reliability argument for going with the larger vans isn't valid.
#5761 of 8223 Sales too
Jun 08, 2003 (7:57 am)
I see tons of MPVs in my area--at least as many as I see Siennas (including the first-gens) and not that many fewer than Odys. I've really been noticing them in the past couple of years--no doubt due to the improvement in power in the '02-'03 vans. With local dealers advertising LXes for under $20k on a regular basis, it's no wonder people are flocking to the MPV.
Jun 08, 2003 (8:11 am)
Hi backy! Not that I have much insight yet about the size of the MPV and dings, etc....but I can tell you about my 10 years of driving our Grand Voyager.
Our Voyager ended up with some dings, but they got there mysteriously...along the sides, near the doors.
As for me, the wife, putting any dings in the van, it never happened. (Don't laugh, I'm not lying!) Maybe you guys have just had a lot of bad luck with the whole "ding" thing. I used to think bad luck pretty much followed us around but after reading about all your body work, I guess we were lucky with that stuff. The one thing that did happen to me, now that I think about it more, was the VERY FIRST DAY we had our van (the day after we'd picked it up), I took my son and my parents to one of our local zoos. Traffic was bumper to bumper due to a special exhibit they had at the time and although we were all just creeping along, the idiot behind me rear-ended me! Shook the van quite good! A cop came and didn't see any major damage, and he gave me my first "lesson" in how you can take your foot and push really hard on the bumper and cause the entire vehicle to really jerk...so in other words this guy probably didn't hit me all that hard. My husband took the van to 2 body shops the next day though because there was some sort of dent/scratch and he wanted some estimates and the 2nd place just popped it out and touched it up for free! Wasn't that nice? But again, it wasn't much damage and it wasn't my fault.
I never found myself thinking "Wow, am I ever driving a wide and long van." Maybe because it was our first van I just got used to it, I don't know. Now that I've got the MPV, however, I find myself thinking "Wow, our Voyager sure was a big van!" The MPV handles very car-like and it does seem much easier to get into a parking spot than our old van. I liked the visibility in my Voyager, and I have to say the visibility in the MPV is excellent. (Not sure if that has anything to do with "dings".) I did avoid one thing with the MPV because I thought it would cause me problems when I parked (front-ways) at a curb...I think it was the GFX package? (Help me out lsinc!) We saw a van at the dealer with that package and we felt it added too much lower bumper stuff in the front and it would be susceptible to cracking if I hit a curb or whatever. (I gently pushed on it with my foot and I didn't like the "play" in it.) I've read a lot of reviews, however, and a lot of people really want "that look" so I guess it's a matter of opinion. (Ha, isn't everything?)
I think you'd have better luck with the MPV than you're having with your "big" van. Even though I never had any problems with my Voyager, I have already noticed that the MPV is easier to deal with. Just my opinion.
#5763 of 8223 lsinc/Leslie
Jun 08, 2003 (8:33 am)
Can I buy your book?
Ha, I should talk with the length of my postings!
Good luck with your indoor/outdoor carpet. Sounds like barn dirt is not fun....Something I'll have to remember when I get my son and his friends out for the 1st time to ride at a local stables. I cringe thinking about all these boys in my new MPV when we take our annual trip this fall to a corn maze near our home. (It's 45 minutes away.) If there's been any moisture (dew, rain) within a few days of our visit some of the paths can get a bit mucky...Maybe our corn maze trip will be "theee" trip to break in the interior of the MPV!
Having run my first errands last night with my MPV, I'd have to more than agree with you that that "well" in the back does create more storage than a person may realize. I had large bags full of boxes of Kleenix and plastic boxes and other bags too and it was amazing how nicely things could store in that well. Also, the bags seemed more secure and less tippy, being in the well. And I was just looking at my rough measurements of our old van's "trunk space" and the MPV's "trunk space" (that we took before we got rid of the Voyager) and although the MPV is smaller L-R by about 5 inches, from the back of the seat area to the liftgate it is only about 3 inches smaller. Not bad for a much smaller van! (But then I do have to mention that with my Voyager, if I slid the rear seat forward as far as it would go, I did gain almost 5 more inches....there I go again, missing my Voyager and I really shouldn't since it was such a lousy van!) But anyway, I had "stocked up" at Walmart and Target and I was pleasantly surprised at all the room I had in my MPV "trunk" to hold my purchases. I even used one of those bag hooks...although I don't understand why there aren't more in the MPV...that seemed to be "the thing" with the vans we were looking at. At first I chuckled at the obsurdity of these hooks but then I realized they were a neat idea.
Oh well, I'm off track with my thoughts again?? Today we're going to see which of the various plastic containers I bought last night might fit between the front seats, under that little table, so we can have a bit more storage. (One thing I picked up was some sort of bread container that odd as it sounds, might just be the one that will fit in that space!) And as of tomorrow we'll have had our MPV one full week. Other than our broken radio, so far so good!
Jun 08, 2003 (9:23 am)
Has your dealer fixed that radio problem yet?
#5765 of 8223 bottgers
Jun 08, 2003 (10:58 am)
Hi! Our MPV is going back to the dealership on Monday (tomorrow). (The dealership was trying to work with us late last week but our schedules were too hectic.) Our salesman is going to swing by our house around 9am with a loaner vehicle, take our MPV back to the dealership, and then swing back by our house later in the day to drop it back off. (Pretty nice perk, huh?) It's not as if the dealership is too far for us to drive etc, but there were two additional things to consider along with our radio. One, when we picked up our MPV last Monday it was supposed to have the rearview mirror that shows temp etc. They had failed to install it prior to our picking up the van. We later found out that it's as much as a 3 hour install so where at first we thought, oh, one of us can just drive over there and wait maybe 20 minutes while they "plug it in", it turns out it would be more of a "gee, both of us has to drive over there, drop off the MPV, drive home, go back, etc etc". We were a tad annoyed with that scenario considering we'd already made a special trip back to the dealership the day after we'd signed the preliminary paperwork so that the dealership could have the final paperwork reflect under the month of May. (I'm probably condensing this too much to make complete sense. Sorry!) Add to the "missing" mirror that our radio is now broken, the salesman offered to do the running for us. I actually think he would be doing this even if the radio wasn't broken, again because the mirror install will take so long and the mirror should have been ready-to-go prior to our picking up the van in the first place.
We don't know yet what's wrong with the radio or what they'll do to remedy the situation....I'll let you know later what happens.
We'll be thrilled if this is our only "glitch" with our new van....we were expecting something to happen because that's just the way our luck seems to run.