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2002 Mazda MPV

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$1,007 — $4,431 USED
2
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Passenger Van
7 Seats
21 MPG
(Combined)
Key specs of the base trim
 — 
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2002 Mazda MPV Review

from the Cars.com expert editorial team

Vehicle Overview
Mazda has reworked its front-wheel-drive MPV, which went on sale in February 2002. The revised version comes with engine and performance enhancements. The automaker says its “‘right-size’ minivan is reinvigorated with the soul of a sports car.” That’s Mazda’s defining statement these days for every vehicle in its lineup.

The new 3.0-liter V-6 engine generates 200 horsepower, vs. the 170-hp V-6 in the previous MPV. A new five-speed-automatic transmission incorporates “slope control,” which stays in fourth gear to avoid unnecessary shifts during hill climbs. A recalibrated performance-oriented suspension is supposed to reduce body lean without negatively affecting ride comfort. Power sliding doors may be installed, and 17-inch alloy wheels are newly available. Mazda claims the MPV is lighter in weight than its competitors, with a “trimmer exterior” to yield more responsive handling and easier parking.

Two trim levels are available: the base LX and the ES. Front cupholders are said to be larger than before. A newly available foldaway side table between the front seats provides storage for cell phones and other items. The roll-down windows on the side doors are a bonus feature that was carried over from the previous model.

MPV sales in 2001 were respectable, with 32,181 units sold, according to Automotive News. That figure was lower than the 2000 total, but most minivans lost sales during 2001.

Exterior
In external appearance, the MPV hasn’t changed significantly. ...

Vehicle Overview
Mazda has reworked its front-wheel-drive MPV, which went on sale in February 2002. The revised version comes with engine and performance enhancements. The automaker says its “‘right-size’ minivan is reinvigorated with the soul of a sports car.” That’s Mazda’s defining statement these days for every vehicle in its lineup.

The new 3.0-liter V-6 engine generates 200 horsepower, vs. the 170-hp V-6 in the previous MPV. A new five-speed-automatic transmission incorporates “slope control,” which stays in fourth gear to avoid unnecessary shifts during hill climbs. A recalibrated performance-oriented suspension is supposed to reduce body lean without negatively affecting ride comfort. Power sliding doors may be installed, and 17-inch alloy wheels are newly available. Mazda claims the MPV is lighter in weight than its competitors, with a “trimmer exterior” to yield more responsive handling and easier parking.

Two trim levels are available: the base LX and the ES. Front cupholders are said to be larger than before. A newly available foldaway side table between the front seats provides storage for cell phones and other items. The roll-down windows on the side doors are a bonus feature that was carried over from the previous model.

MPV sales in 2001 were respectable, with 32,181 units sold, according to Automotive News. That figure was lower than the 2000 total, but most minivans lost sales during 2001.

Exterior
In external appearance, the MPV hasn’t changed significantly. It rides a 111.8-inch wheelbase, stretches to 187.8 inches long overall (slightly shorter than the Dodge Caravan) and stands 69 inches tall. The MPV LX rides 15-inch alloy wheels, and 16-inch tires are included in a luxury package. Moving up to the ES model brings 17-inch alloy wheels and power-sliding side doors. A power glass moonroof is optional.

Interior
Seating is provided for seven occupants, with bucket seats in the front and middle rows. Second-row Side-by-Slide buckets not only slide fore and aft but also together, to create the equivalent of a bench seat. The MPV’s Tumble-Under third-row seat folds completely into the floor or can be flipped rearward when the liftgate is open for use at picnics or tailgate parties. With the second-row seats removed and the third-row seat folded into the floor, cargo capacity amounts to 127 cubic feet, or 124.5 cubic feet if the minivan is fitted with a moonroof.

Dual-sliding side doors are standard, and power operation for those doors is optional. Windows in the sliding doors can be lowered — a feature found in the previous MPV but not available in competitive minivans. Assist grips on the backs of the front seats include hooks for purses or grocery bags. Larger hooks and a 12-volt power outlet are installed in the cargo area.

Standard equipment includes air conditioning, power windows and door locks, a remote entry system, cruise control and rear privacy glass. The LX is equipped with a CD player and cloth interior. The ES adds leather-trimmed seats, rear air conditioning, side-impact airbags and a cassette/CD audio system. Fingertip controls on the steering wheel can operate the audio and climate systems. An eight-way power driver’s seat, an in-dash six-CD changer and a rear-seat video entertainment system are optional.

Under the Hood
The MPV’s lone powertrain is a 200-hp, 3.0-liter, dual-overhead-cam V-6 engine, which mates with a five-speed-automatic transmission. The V-6 produces 200 pounds-feet of torque and earns an EPA-estimated gas mileage of 18 mpg in the city and 24 mpg on the highway.

Safety
Antilock brakes with electronic brake-force distribution are standard. Side-impact airbags and traction control are optional in the LX but standard in the ES. Front seat belts include pretensioners, and child safety-seat tethers are installed.

Driving Impressions
The new MPV definitely exhibits more strength than the old model. This minivan still slows down quite a bit on steep upgrades, but engine noise is modest. The new automatic transmission tries hard and reacts promptly, considering numerous downshifts are necessary in mountain driving. Significantly more oomph is evident on more gradual inclines or level ground, but the MPV doesn’t feel power-packed.

Handling is superb and is the MPV’s foremost virtue. This minivan whips through curves like a capable sedan, and it remains impressively flat. Top-notch steering response is precise and confident. But after driving around several tight curves, you realize that this vehicle lacks the handling prowess of a sports car. The MPV has great agility and outhandles nearly every rival. The appealing roll-down windows in the second row are about the only feature that makes this minivan excel over others in the market.

Ride comfort is especially good and exceptionally well controlled. It’s easy to feel the results of a taut suspension, but passengers won’t experience much roughness or harshness.

The MPV is quiet but not silent, and you can hear road noise and some engine growl when the gas pedal is pushed hard. It’s far quieter than the previous generation, but wind noise can get bothersome.

The seats are appealing and feature comfortable cushioning and very good thigh and back support, as well as a good amount of side bolstering. The controls are adequate. The glove box is large but sits low, and the handy center storage tray is a bit shallow.

 

Reported by Jim Flammang  for cars.com
From the cars.com 2002 Buying Guide

Consumer Reviews

What drivers are saying

4.2
13 reviews — Read All reviews
Exterior Styling
(4.0)
Performance
(4.0)
Interior Design
(4.1)
Comfort
(4.2)
Reliability
(3.9)
Value For The Money
(4.2)

Read reviews that mention:

(5.0)

Mazda mpv

by Shaungilmore from cornwall ont on August 5, 2019

its a great van ive owned it for 5 years and payed $250 bucks for it lol it needed a gas tank and what not. it loves to rust i cut it out and use bondo to fix it it still looks better then when i got ... Read full review

(4.0)

It is reliable, but needs little work.

by Jay, the salesman. from Charlotte, NC on July 2, 2018

This car meets family needs. Family has purchased another vehicle. It is a great day in the Carolinas. Come and see Charlotte, the Queen City. Read full review

Safety

Recalls and crash tests

Recalls

The 2002 Mazda MPV currently has 0 recalls


Crash and Rollover Test Ratings

The 2002 Mazda MPV has not been tested.

Latest 2002 MPV Stories

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Cars.com Car Seat Check

Certified child passenger safety technicians conduct hands-on tests of a car’s Latch system and check the vehicle’s ability to accommodate different types of car seats. The MPV received the following grades on a scale of A-F.*
* This score may not apply to all trims, especially for vehicles with multiple body styles that affect the space and design of the seating.

Warranty FAQs

What is a Bumper-to-Bumper warranty?

Often called a basic warranty or new-vehicle warranty, a bumper-to-bumper policy covers components like air conditioning, audio systems, vehicle sensors, fuel systems and major electrical components. Most policies exclude regular maintenance like fluid top offs and oil changes, but a few brands have separate free-maintenance provisions, and those that do offer them is slowly rising. Bumper-to-bumper warranties typically expire faster than powertrain warranties.

What is a Powertrain warranty?

Don't be misled a 10-year or 100,000-mile powertrain warranty doesn't promise a decade of free repairs for your car. It typically covers just the engine and transmission, along with any other moving parts that lead to the wheels, like the driveshaft and constant velocity joints. Some automakers also bundle seat belts and airbags into their powertrain warranties. With a few exceptions, powertrain warranties don't cover regular maintenance like engine tuneups and tire rotations.

What is included in Roadside Assistance?

Some automakers include roadside assistance with their bumper-to-bumper or powertrain warranties, while others have separate policies. These programs cover anything from flat-tire changes and locksmith services to jump-starts and towing. Few reimburse incidental costs like motel rooms (if you have to wait for repairs).

What other services could be included in a warranty?

Some automakers include free scheduled maintenance for items such as oil changes, air filters and tire rotations. Some include consumables including brake pads and windshield wipers; others do not. They are typically for the first couple of years of ownership of a new car.

What does CPO mean?

A certified pre-owned or CPO car has been inspected to meet minimum quality standards and typically includes some type of warranty. While dealers and third parties certify cars, the gold standard is an automaker-certified vehicle that provides a factory-backed warranty, often extending the original coverage. Vehicles must be in excellent condition and have low miles and wear to be certified, which is why off-lease vehicles feed many CPO programs.

See also the latest CPO incentives by automaker

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