Minivan; Built in Japan
  • 4-door van
  • transverse front-engine/front-wheel drive
Good condition price range: $2,300 – $8,800*


2000 Mazda MPV LX


2000 Mazda MPV ES


2000 Mazda MPV interior


2001 Mazda MPV LS


2002 Mazda MPV

Pros:
  • Cargo room
  • Handling/roadholding
  • Instruments/controls
  • Passenger room
Cons:
  • Acceleration (2000-01)
  • Automatic-transmission performance

Although the small 2000-01 engine is easily overtaxed, the MPV does an admirable job of packaging people and cargo, while delivering sporty handling. Still, a Caravan or Odyssey is roomier and more powerful.

Overview

Built in Japan, Mazda’s minivan earned its first redesign since the vehicle appeared back in 1989. Sliding rear side doors replaced the previous swing-out doors. Instead of rear-wheel drive, the 2000 model had front-wheel drive.

Base DX, upscale LX and luxury-oriented ES versions went on sale. All used a 2.5-liter, dual-overhead-cam V6 engine, based on a Ford design. (Ford was Mazda’s parent company.) A four-speed automatic was the sole transmission.

Antilock braking was standard on LX and ES models, but not available at all on the DX. Dual sliding side doors contained roll-down windows, which ranked as a minivan “first.” Power door operation was not available.

All MPVs seated seven. Second-row buckets could slide together to create a two-passenger bench. The three-place, third-row bench seat folded flat into the floor. The midrange LX minivan had cruise control, power windows, and power door locks. Mazda’s ES minivan added front side airbags, leather upholstery, and rear air conditioning. Rivals included the Dodge Caravan, Honda Odyssey, and Toyota Sienna.

Yearly Updates

2001 MPV
No change was evident for 2001. A sporty optional appearance package for LX and ES models included fog lights and aero body add-ons. Leather upholstery remained exclusive to the ES minivan.
2002 MPV
Mazda extended the 2001 model year into early 2002, awaiting the arrival of a revamped MPV. On sale by spring, the new model had a more powerful (200-horsepower) V6 engine driving a five-speed automatic transmission, power sliding side doors, revised suspension settings, and 17-inch alloy wheels.
2003 MPV
A low-cost LX-SV was added midyear and power operation for the side doors was made optional on both the ES and LX.
2004 MPV
Mazda’s minivan gets exterior front and rear styling changes for 2004. Inside, the van received a new steering wheel, gauge surrounds, and a spring assist designed to help the 3rd-row seats fold into the floor this year.
2005 MPV
For 2005, rear air conditioning moves from standard on LX to optional; it remains standard on ES.
2006 MPV
For 2006, a base LX-SV model joins LX and top-shelf ES versions.

Engines

transverse front-engine/front-wheel drive

Mazda’s dual-overhead-cam, 2.5-liter V6 engine developed 170 horsepower, working with a four-speed automatic transmission. A 3.0-liter V6 and five-speed automatic replaced the previous engine as part of the mid 2002 revamping.

dohc V6
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 2.5/152
Engine HP 170
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 165
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
4-speed automatic

18/23

dohc V6
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 3.0/182
Engine HP 200
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 200
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
5-speed automatic

Road Test

Because the MPV serves Mazda globally, exterior dimensions aim mainly at European and Asian use. Therefore, it’s smaller than American minivan buyers might prefer.

Trimmer size brings performance benefits, however, led by good handling. With 16-inch wheels, an MPV carves corners with outstanding balance and grip. Close-quarters maneuverability also is impressive. Steering is faithful and communicative, antilock braking is linear and strong, the ride is flat, and bumps are absorbed capably.

On the downside, until the 3.0-liter V6 arrived for 2002, the vehicle was simply too heavy for its engine. Progress is okay from a standing start and in flatland cruising, but the early MPV feels underpowered in hilly terrain and when passing. In addition, its automatic transmission tends to settle into the least-optimal gear, then downshifts too late to be of much value. The 2.5-liter V6 also emits a coarse growl under even moderate throttle, though other sound levels are pleasantly low.

Despite its relative compactness, the MPV doesn’t feel cramped. Front seating is spacious. Front- and second-row cushions are comfortably thick and supportive, though the third-row bench is flat and hard. The sliding second-row arrangement is useful, but exposed floor tracks may collect debris. Second- and third-row knee clearance is adequate for 6-footers.

Mazda’s clever “tumble-under” rear bench, like that in Honda’s Odyssey, flips to create rear-facing tailgate-party seating. It folds with little effort, and easily removable second-row seats weigh just 37 pounds each.

Attractive, readable gauges and simple controls are pleasing, though the gear selector blocks some radio buttons. Entry/exit isn’t so convenient because side doors don’t open far.

Performance definitely improved (though not dramatically so) with the bigger 2002 engine, though air-conditioner output is modest.

Ratings

Model Tested: 2001 Mazda MPV LX

Ratings values are on a 1-10 scale, with 10 being the best. With the exception of Value, these numbers reflect how the vehicle compares against the universe of vehicles, not just against rivals in its class.

Performance

Acceleration - 2
20%
Fuel Economy - 5
50%
Ride Quality - 5
50%
Steering/Handling - 5
50%
Quietness - 5
50%

Accommodations

Controls/Materials - 6
60%
Room/Comfort Front - 7
70%
Room/Comfort Rear - 6
60%
Cargo Room - 9
90%

Other

Value - 6
60%

Total: 56

Specifications

4-door van
Wheelbase (in.) Length (in.) Width (in.) Height (in.) Weight (lbs)
111.8 187.0 72.1 68.7
Cargo Volume (cu/ft) Payload Capacity (cu/ft) Fuel Capacity (gal.) Seating Capacity
127.0 18.5 7
Headroom Legroom
Front Rear Front Rear
41.0 39.3 40.8 37.0
Safety Ratings

Model Tested: N/A

NHTSA

(5 is the highest rating)

Front Impact Test

Driver Injury - N/A
N/A0%
Front Passenger Injury - N/A
N/A0%

Side Impact Test

Driver Injury - N/A
N/A0%
Rear Passenger Injury - N/A
N/A0%

HLDI

(A score of 100 is average. Lower is better)

Collision N/A
Injury N/A
Theft N/A

Trouble Spots

Dashboard lights
Description: On early production vehicles, the check-engine light may come on reporting a problem with the oxygen sensors which are not the problem, but the powertrain-control module is misprogrammed. (2000)
Information stickers/paperwork
Description: A recall was issued because the tire-specifications label on the door and in the owner’s manual was incorrect. Owners were sent stickers to update the information which buyers should look for to avoid replacing the tires with the wrong size. (2000)
Paint/body
Description: As a result of crash tests done by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, the carmaker will install front bumper supports at no cost. (2000)

Recall History

2000
Description: Fuel injectors were not properly matched to the lower intake manifold and may allow fuel leakage.
2000
Description: Rear doors may not lock completely when the childproof locking system is engaged due to accumulation of dust in the locking mechanism.
2000-01
Description: Due to inappropriate brake-pipe layout, some vehicles do not meet the brake stopping-distance requirements of the standard.
2001
Description: Some passenger-airbag modules were not properly welded and may not deploy in a collision.
2001-02
Description: A defective cruise control cable may break and cause the cruise control to malfunction. Dealers will inspect and replace affected parts.
2001-02
Description: Cruise-control actuator cable may be broken and out of position, which could interfere with operation of accelerator cable; some 2000 models that have had cruise control repaired may also be affected.
2002
Description: The gross axle-weight rating (GAWR) is listed incorrectly on the certification label.
2002-03
Description: Improper wiring of front fog lights on certain vehicles may cause a fire. Dealer will inspect and replace affected parts.
2003-04
Description: Tire inflation pressure indicated vehicle identification label is incorrect.
2004
Description: The front passenger air bag may have incorrect wiring, resulting in non-deployment in a crash. Dealers will inspect and replace affected parts.

Equipment Lists

Equipment lists are only viewable on larger screen sizes.

Pricing

Used-car pricing varies widely depending on local market conditions. Therefore, we recommend visiting websites that list used cars for sale to get a better idea of what a specific model is selling for in your area.