Cons: "MPGs aren't very great, little storage space"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8
"This car doesn't really feel like a van, nor does it look like a typical min-van (many friends were surprised it hauled so many people!). We have the 8-seater version and have loved it since we bought it. It is fun to drive, nice and compact, and fits a lot of people easily. The 4WD option for a van is great, too! It handles just fine in ice and snow. The middle row in the middle setting fits average sized adults just fine, and even leaves room in the back row for more people. The middle seat folds down for easy access to the rear row, unless you have kids and have carseats so you can't fold it down. My kids have squeezed in the back seat just fine, though.
The few negatives are the gas mileage isn't so great for a car that size, the trunk is pretty small (so you can't fit much if you have a carload of people), and it's a bit gutless on hills. If you have the middle row all the way back (like when we had a rear-facing carseat), the back row has no leg room AND is hard to access.
Mostly, though, it's a great van."
"This is my 4th Mazda MPV, A 1989-1998 the last 4x4 mazda made. In 1999 no vans were made so in 2000 the Mazda Allsport was replaced with caravan ,with no 4x4. I found this out & in 97, I paid $30,000 for a 1997 Mazda Allsport 4x4 and have been happy with it everyday. And I have a 1998 as well. IN short if you want a nice SUV and can find one, GET IT !!!"
"We bought this used to carry foster kids in. It seats everyone in comfort. I wanted a Japanese van, either a Toyota, Honda or Mazda. The 2 other brands were overpriced for the condition they were in. Every one I looked at had so many miles you wondered if they would make it home. Not this Mazda. It had lower miles than anything else."
Cons: "engine problems for this model see consumer repts."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 5
"This was the first car I ever bought. It only had 98k miles and I got it for $3000. Seemed like a deal. However, for my first lesson on how to deal with a used car, I was swindled by a mechanic. I unfortunately lacked the reasoning skills, technical know how, and savvy to be spared several visits and $1100. I must have blindly followed him long enough because he bought a new piece of shop equipment that told him a rubber air intake boot had enough cracks and wear to stifle the air/fuel mix. During these visits to the mechanic I discovered that the previous owner was quite the tinkerer. The previous owner had told me he got his start in telecommunications. Incidentally most of the 'modifications' he made were electrical and carried out in a "DIY" fashion. I remember finding loose wiring, a loose rotary switch that were shaken to failure, and a battery of insufficient capacity. After those items were fixed the MPV ran for a couple years before I had to have (the dealership this time) replace the oil pan gasket. I should have sold it instead. I learned that when you buy a used car it's a toss up. In this case that rubber air intake boot could have been reasonable used car maintenance but it totalled the cost of a major overhaul so I it was time to cut my losses."
Cons: "they're just getting old and few are kept in shape"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 7
"My parents bought one of these brand new and at the time it was the top minivan to have. Obviously I spent a lot of time around it from riding in the back to eventually the driver's seat when I turned 16 and was handed the keys to a car that by the was about a decade old.
For a first car, and thinking about for anyone else who had it when new, I couldn't imagine a much better choice... as far as for a van. (At 16 I maybe would've chosen something else if had the choice, but this was still really good)
The design is the only reason I considered even being seen in it, it's a minivan... but it has the sport look that's much 'cooler' than just most vans. The design on the inside is just as great and extremely practical thinking back to when I rode in the back it is by the far the easier car to get to the rear seats than any vehicle I have ever seen since.
Driving was amazing, I never looked up how much the car weighed, but it felt very light driving, the car could turn on a dime and had a very tight steering (if you barely turned the wheel, it started turning immediately)
The gas was normal, maybe a little better than other vans. I have since sold the car to a friend who is driving it now in my town, and as far as I know he likes it and it hasn't given him troubles. If you are looking at buying one now I would admit you probably have to be select, it is about 15 years old so any car isn't going to be the same as new by then. But I had little trouble with mine (after about 10 years the rear air controller broke, so people in the back couldn't change the air on their own it had to be done from the front- and maybe a one other minor thing such as that went wrong) Still for many, many miles (including one trip when I was young that we took it to Yellowstone, plus the everyday driving since then mine ran great since it was cared for. I you find one that has been kept up I think you'll be glad to own and drive it."