Mazda MPV


Jan 15th, 2020

Mazda MPV

When it was first released, the Mazda MPV (Multi-Purpose Vehicle) was a front-engine, rear-wheel-drive vehicle with selectable 4WD offered as an option. It was developed using the Luce platform and categorised as a minivan.

First Generation MPV (LV), 1988-1999

The first-generation Mazda MPV was introduced in 1988 for the 1989 model year. It used the large LV platform which allowed the use of larger V6 engines and with options for selectable 4WD. This feature set it apart from other minivans that had full-time AWD, which allowed the driver to disengage the system when not needed and when on dry roads. 

The MPV was sold as a 3-door with a fourth door added on the driver’s side in 1996. The 4WD versions were slightly longer and wider than the 2WD. It was configured as an 8-seater as opposed to most minivans during the era that only had the capacity for seven people. The interior was modestly appointed to make its price highly competitive, in keeping with Mazda's marketing theme of providing affordable cars. In 1996, the front styling was updated together with a revised instrument panel and the addition of dual airbags.

A 2.6L diesel G6 inline-4 (90 kW/ 202 Nm) was available from 1988-1996. Another option was the 3.0L JE V6 (112 kW/ 223 Nm) which was available from 1988-1999 and was the only engine option for Australia and several other countries. From 1995-1999, a 2.5L diesel G5 inline-4 (85 kW/ 277 Nm) became available.

Second Generation MPV (LW), 1999-2006

In 1999, the MPV was released as an entirely new model and used the front-wheel-drive LW platform, which was a large platform from Mazda for large sedans but did not share any components from the earlier LV platform. The 4WD was discontinued for most world markets and replaced with an all-wheel-drive option.

The exterior was completely redesigned and now had a sporty appearance and chassis which set it apart from other minivans during this time. Dual sliding rear doors added to the ease of entry into the rear cabin. The interior was a significant improvement from the previous, a further adherence to Mazda’s concept of a minivan with the comforts and drivability of a sedan.

Worldwide, several engines were adopted depending on the year, trim levels and territory.

  • 2.0L FS-DE I4 (97 kW/ 183 Nm), 1999-2002
  • 2.3L FS-VE I4 (122 kW/ 195 Nm), 2002-2005
  • 2.5L GY-DE V6 (129 kW/ 227 Nm), 1999-2001
  • 2.5L AJ V6 (127 kW/ 224 Nm), 1999-2002
  • 3.0L AJ V6 (152 kW/ 271 Nm), 2002-2006
  • 2.0L Diesel RF MZR common-rail turbodiesel (89 kW/ 320 Nm), 2002-2005

An option to power the side doors were introduced in 2003. In 2004, the MPV received updates, including ABS, bumper air dam, enhanced taillights, rear air conditioner, and a moonroof, among the notable changes and additions to the earlier equipment.

Third Generation MPV (LY), 2006-2016

Upon the release of this generation, it was only available in Japan, China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia and New Zealand. The 4WD version was now only available in Japan with the rest of the world only receiving the FWD versions. In some markets, the Mazda MPV was replaced by the new CX-9 and the Mazda Premacy (Mazda 5).

Power was provided by a 2.3L L3-VE (122 kW/ 195 Nm) and a 2.3L L3-VDT Turbo (196 kW/ 380 Nm) with the latter available only in Japan. A 2.5L option was sold in Malaysia in 2010.

Although only sold new in select countries, a large number of these third-generation MPVs were later exported and sold in different parts of the world for their used car markets.

MPV in the Used Car Market

The MPV has always found a place for those looking for a practical minivan, with dependability and affordability that has become the mark of Mazda. The second-generation models are sportier looking and initially marketed as more expensive than their competitors. However, they are now becoming more affordable.

If you want to explore the market for used Mazda MPVs or its auto parts, we invite you to visit us at You may view our current listing of used cars and car parts here!

Fred Cajulis