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I've got my eye on a cheap 2001 MPV with 100k miles. It should be ideal for bike trips out of town but how are they to live with? This one is the 2.5l V6. I'm downsizing from a Lincoln Navigator (which is for sale BTW) but anxious to keep some room for my family of 3 with #4 on the way. How do you like yours?
 

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The picture is mixed. I have an '04. MPG ok, esp. highway. Pretty versatile interior, tho' I'd prefer the middle row of seats fit 3 rather than 2. Bad news if the alternator goes out; a dockyard job involving lifting the engine, etc. On my year, the coils (one per cyl) go bad; maybe they're ok after they are all replaced, I don't know, probably won't find out(2 to go, they wouldn't do the last one under warranty even tho they know there's a problem). Really liked being able to carry 2 bikers and all 3 of our bikes inside. Next vehicle probably will be smaller with some kind of hitch rack. You could do worse, maybe better. With 3 kids, tho', it's hard to beat a minivan for general everyday usefulness.
 

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Go for it!

My family and I are what you call Mazda-aholics. Its the only vehicle we buy and drive. The MPV is a great mini-van. Gas milage is ok, but the 2.5L DOHC V6 is a BOMB-PROFF and a fast motor!!! Its one of the best motors mazda and ford used. We had one in our old Mazda 626 and current Ford Contour. (we bought a ford because it is basically a mazda 626). Plus, you'll be surprised on how well the MPV handles the curves for a mini-van.

Here is the Car and driver review, video quality is bad, but you get the idea
 

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HLA problems were somewhat common with the first gen Ford Probe and MX-6 (2.5L DOHC V6), but with the newer motors, I wouldn't make this the deciding issue whether to buy one or not. I haven't heard as many to any major HLA problems with the MPV, but I could be wrong.
 

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Have a '03 MPV

Have a 2003 MPV.

The good - fits bikes inside, rear seats fold flat, front seats are easy to remove. Feels a bit sporty for the type of vehicle that it is. Can tow to a rated 3000 lbs.

The bad - gas mileage isn't spectacular. Engine works harder to get up and go (compared to our car, within 10hp, but 1000 pounds less). Roof rack needs to run with the roof rails (or a good chance to have it leak). A few known problems - if you have the rear heat/ac - check the radiator hose pipes that go to the controls in the back! They tend to rust out on cars exposed to winter & salt. There is a extended warranty to fix it, but I had to find it, the dealer(s) never told me when I took it in for service.

The transmission can occasionally shift hard between gears.

Would I buy another? Maybe. When I look at Toyota's and their current issues, and the transmission problems with the Odyssey, it doesn't look like a bad bet. It's a bit smaller than the other vans, but it has fit my needs for a family of 5, travelling for rides, and towing a U-Haul for 1000+ miles.

Good luck,

JmZ
 

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CRXPilot said:
I've got my eye on a cheap 2001 MPV with 100k miles...This one is the 2.5l V6.
vfrrider17 said:
HLA problems were somewhat common with the first gen Ford Probe and MX-6 (2.5L DOHC V6), but with the newer motors, I wouldn't make this the deciding issue whether to buy one or not. I haven't heard as many to any major HLA problems with the MPV, but I could be wrong.
I've seen MPV HLA failures.
 

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I had a 2003 w/ the 3.0L V6 and really liked it.

The seat versatility was great, 2nd row bench or slide them apart for captain chairs, fold flat 3rd seat and the rear windows were big advantages. It did handle smoothly and I loaded it up regularly.

Bought it new, traded it in 07 with 110k I believe. No major issues but I always was leary of the transmission. I think I had one or 2 coils go but they were easy fixes being they were on the front cylinders. Sold it for a Mazda 6s Hatch. Same engine but a manual tranny.

Mileage wise I got 18-22 again usually loaded with a cargo box and a mix of highway and city.

 

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CRXPilot said:
I've got my eye on a cheap 2001 MPV with 100k miles. It should be ideal for bike trips out of town but how are they to live with? This one is the 2.5l V6. I'm downsizing from a Lincoln Navigator (which is for sale BTW) but anxious to keep some room for my family of 3 with #4 on the way. How do you like yours?
I bought a new '03 and it currently has 115K. It has the larger motor and the 5sp which are nice upgrades over the previous generation. It has never let us down and obviously sees a lot of use. Lots of camping and road trips. The only thing outside of regular maintenance was one of the rear coils failing. I should have done like I was told and replaced the back three when I did the plugs.
 

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We are on our 2nd MPV lost the first one to an accident and we loved it so much we bought another one. My sons grew up in this van, took them to all their schools sports etc. Now they are all in college and I would not like to sell the van. Can I fit my 29er MTB without taking the MTB apart? I wish this van had a tow hitch.
 

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We had it's baby brother the Mazda 5, and it was an awesome little car. I think the MPV is a great rig for road trips. At this point, get what you can that fits your needs. Pay as little as you can and drive the wheels off it. I, for a long time had tons of disposable income. I bought cars trucks and stuff like it was candy. Guess what, It was all a huge waste of money. I now have a 2015 jeep patriot we have purchased new in 2016. We are keeping it until it rusts. Then we are buying another used rig. I have a 2003 audi A4 cabrio that never sees winter so that is good for a lifetime. Grabbing a deal on a 3 or 4 thousand dollar rig and driving it until it dies is satisfying for sure!
 
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