I had a 1996 Rav 4 prior to buying my 2000 Mazda MPV. Even though the RAV 4 was a good car, it was too hard for me to get my daughter in and out of the back seat. I am tall and it wasn't working for m...
I had a 1996 Rav 4 prior to buying my 2000 Mazda MPV. Even though the RAV 4 was a good car, it was too hard for me to get my daughter in and out of the back seat. I am tall and it wasn't working for me. I broke down and decided I had to buy a mini-van. The Honda Oddessy and Toyota Sienna were grossly over priced for what you get. I know Honda and Toyota make faster vans, but, come on mini-vans are utilitarian vehicles and are not the most stylish vehicle to drive. So, who needs to go fast in them? Most of the American mini-vans had bad reliability ratings. I'm sorry to say I also heard some nightmare stories of people who owned an American made mini-van. Therefore, I steered clear of the American made mini-vans. That left me the Mazda MPV. It was priced the same as a used American mini-van but the reliability was that of a Toyota or Honda, according to consumer reports. It also received a 5 star crash rating. With kids, a good crash-rating is everything.
I bought my Mazda used in 2007 with 60,000 miles for $8,000. I am now pushing 100,000 miles and have not had any problems with this van aside from general maintenance (brakes, oil changes and new tires).
However, I have experienced some glichy things like moisture getting in the door latches (mainly the sliding side doors). Not sure how this happens but it can be kind of a pain in very cold days in the winter. I have to let the car heat up inside the cabin and then I can open the back doors. I needed to replace the back door latch to the hatch because it got stuck and I could not open it. The cost was about $100 to replace the latch on the hatch door.
But, if that's the worst for a used $8,000 van and putting almost 40,000 miles on it since, I'll take it!!!
Keep in mind, there is no perfect car. If you're going to buy this car check the history to make sure it was not in an accident. Vehicles will have problems, but the Mazda is a good deal for the money. I think you will find it will require little maintenance if you keep up on the regular maintenance issues. For someone who didn't want a mini-van, I am very pleased with the reliability and comfortable, quiet ride this van has given me.