If there was ever such a thing as the invisible car, the Mazda MPV would be a pretty good contender for the crown. Few could visualise the shape, fewer still would know what the asking price was or how good, bad or average it is. The name said it all. Mazda MPV - shorthand for generic, unexceptional Japanese product. It's an endearing image to picture a bunch of disillusioned Mazda marketing executives charged with naming their new MPV. It's Friday night, the pachinko parlours and karaoke dens are calling and under the heading 'MPV' is a blank flip chart page where the creatives should be brainstorming names. Inspiration is not forthcoming. Leaving it until Monday is opted for, whereupon the boss has popped in and thought, "Mazda MPV - what a masterstroke" and had the promo material printed.
It probably didn't happen like that, but it has served to sell the Mazda somewhat short. As long as you can live with the underpowered 2.0 engine, the Mazda MPV is a thoroughly thought through method of transporting seven in reasonable comfort. It's certainly not the laughing stock its somewhat Vauxhall Sintra-like looks may suggest. With the Mazda's residuals not holding up as well as its more successful rivals, a low-mileage MPV represents something of a bargain in a market where asking prices are usually pretty stratospheric.