Redesigned for 2000, Mazdas front-drive minivan gains a few equipment items for 2001. Mazda offered a previous MPV with rear-wheel drive in the 1990s, but the current front-drive edition is considerably different. Three versions are offered: the base DX, midrange LX and top-of-the-line ES. Sales more than doubled during 2001, but the MPV still ranks among the moderately popular minivans.
The LX model gains remote keyless entry for 2001, as well as a three-in-one audio system that includes cassette and CD players. All models add child-safety seat tether anchors.
Mazdas minivan is smaller than those of most rivals comparable to a regular-length Chevrolet Venture partly because its sold globally. The wheelbase is 111.8 inches, and the MPV measures 187 inches long overall. A sporty GFX appearance package that includes aero body components, spoilers and fog lights is available for the LX and ES.
Seating for seven is standard. Second-row bucket seats may be slid together to form a two-passenger bench or removed from the vehicle altogether. A tumble-under three-person bench in the third row folds right into the floor when its not needed, or it can be flipped rearward to serve as a tailgate seat for picnics and outdoor events.
Leather upholstery is standard in the ES and unavailable in the other models. Extra features in the LX include power windows and locks, heated power mirrors, privacy glass and antilock brakes. The ES version has leather seating surfaces, premium nine-speaker audio, an ignition-immobilizing system, 16-inch alloy wheels and seat-mounted side-impact airbags.
Under the Hood
All MPV models come with a 2.5-liter dual overhead cam V-6 engine with 170 horsepower and a four-speed-automatic transmission. The engine stems from a design by Ford, which is Mazdas parent company.