Kelley Blue Book ® - 2004 Mazda MPV Overview

Vehicle Overview from Kelley Blue Book

KBB.com 2004 Mazda MPV Overview

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The Best Little Minivan in Town

The Mazda MPV is one of the last true minivans sold in America. Its tidy size coupled with its racy exterior make it the perfect vehicle for those who need the room and utility of a minivan but not the soccer-mom stereotype that goes along with it.

Though it has been around for a few years, the MPV is still ahead of its time in many respects. Newer minivans are just now catching up to the MPV by offering such features as roll-down rear windows, a flush-folding third-row seat and sideways-sliding mid-row seats—all of which have been part of the MPV's makeup for years.

From the outside, the MPV strikes a stylish pose that fits part and parcel with the rest of the Mazda line. We particularly like the sporty five-spoke alloy rims and the integrated front chin spoiler available on the top-of-the-line ES. For 2004, the MPV receives a major facelift, with a new grille and headlight design, new front fenders and hood and larger side skirts. Along with its new look, the MPV gets a few new standard features such as a rear air conditioner and four-wheel disc brakes. Despite the numerous improvements, the MPV sees only a slight jump in its base price that starts at just $23,780.

Power for the MPV comes from a single engine: the 3.0-liter V6 rated at 200 horsepower. Not only does this engine have more than enough horses to haul a fully-loaded MPV, it features terrific reserves of low-end torque—an all-important factor in moving heavy loads. Helping to get the most from the V6 is a standard five-speed automatic transmission that is programmed to hold its gearshifts longer under hard acceleration and minimize the engine's fuel consumption when cruising along at a steady speed. With EPA fuel mileage figures of 18-mpg city and 25-mpg highway, it's clear to see the effectiveness of the MPV's engine/transmission combo.

Beyond its brisk acceleration, the MPV will further delight you with its unexpectedly agile handling. We've never driven anything with two sliding side doors that can move through a slalom course quite like the MPV. You can thank Mazda's use of thicker stabilizer bars, recalibrated spring settings and larger anti-lock brakes for the MPV's stellar road manners.

Inside, the MPV offers all the creature comforts one could ask in a family vehicle and does so with the fit and finish of a premium luxury car. Not only are the materials used of the highest quality, they are bolted together in such a way as not to produce a single squeak or rattle.

Up front, the driver and passenger are treated to a comfortable set of captain's chairs separated by a wide center console storage unit complete with rear seat cup holder. The MPV features two mid-row captain's chairs that can be slid together to form a two-person bench seat, leaving a wide passage for the third-row seat occupants to enter and exit. The third-row bench seat can comfortably fit two persons and when not in use, folds flush into the rear access well to create a perfectly flat cargo floor. Removing the mid-row captain's chairs gets you additional storage space, but hoisting them from their moorings requires a bit of muscle on your part.

Safety is also first and foremost on the minds of Mazda's engineers, so the MPV comes standard with a long line of safety and security features including ABS brakes with EBD (Electronic Brake force Distribution), three point safety belts at all positions and driver and passenger front airbags. Optional on the LX and standard on the ES are front side-impact airbags and electronic traction control.

The LX comes standard with a long list of impressive features including air conditioning, dual sliding-side doors, rear defroster, illuminated entry, dual power mirrors, AM/FM stereo with CD, power windows, power door locks, cruise control, tilt steering wheel with touch controls, front and rear folding side tables, alloy wheels and intermittent wipers. The plush ES adds leather seats, power sliding-side doors, fog lights, six-disc CD changer and a leather-wrapped steering wheel. Options include a DVD-based entertainment system and power glass sunroof.

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