1996 Mazda MPV

  • 1996 Mazda MPV Base Passenger Minivan

    Base Passenger Minivan

    • MAX MPG
    • SEATS
    • ENGINE
      3.0L V6
    • MSRP
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1996 Mazda MPV Review

A unique family minivan.

Reviewed by Automotive on


The 1996 Mazda MPV is a rear-drive passenger minivan that comes in three models and is designed primarily as a family van with extra safety features. All models are designed to ride like a sedan with standard front MacPherson struts and stabilizer bars on the front and back. The standard three-liter V-6 engine is capable but not flashy with a power that is somewhat compromised by four-wheel drive in the ES model. It's clear that the automaker is targeting the family who is mostly interested in safety over performance.

The 1996 Mazda MPV is somewhat reasonably priced but extra comfort items such as standard bucket seats come at an extra cost. The higher-end LX and ES provide the option of captain's chairs and a number of other luxury features. This is the choice for soccer moms and people taking long trips. All models also feature four doors, making it even more family friendly.

The Range

Body Styles: minivan
Engines: 3.0-liter V-6
Transmissions: four-speed automatic
Models: Mazda MPV DX, Mazda MPV LX, Mazda MPV ES

What's New

The 1996 Mazda MPV sports a revised instrument panel and dual airbags. The styling up front is also new and a fourth door is added on the driver's side.


The 1996 Mazda MPV is a four-door minivan that lacks the style of the previous year; it's more bulky than sleek and is made to look more like an SUV. It's also heavier, and the ES has four-wheel drive while the previous year's version was more fun with rear drive. For that reason, consideration should be given to the DX and LX models, which remain rear-wheel drive. A rear window defroster is an excellent safety feature as is a rear window wiper. Power exterior windows are yet another excellent safety feature making this a wonderful choice for a family vehicle.


The 1996 Mazda MPV sports a much more contemporary instrument panel and dual airbags. Seeing the road is easy with plenty of room in the comfortable cabin. A large glove box and deep bins on each of the door panels offer extra storage space. The ES features leather seats and automatic load leveling with four-wheel drive. Standard features on all three models include power steering and a tilt steering wheel. Seating for five adults and power brakes are also standard equipment as is tinted glass.

Performance & Handling

The 1996 Mazda MPV features a three-liter V-6 engine with an automatic four-speed transmission and is not made for performance by any means, but it's adequate. It rides very comfortably but is awkward on roads with many curves. This is a vehicle for family road trips down the highway; it performs on turns as expected from a minivan and has good stopping power with four-wheel anti-lock brakes.


The 1996 Mazda MPV has standard four-wheel anti-lock brakes and standard driver and passenger front airbags. It also comes standard with power steering, a rear window defroster, and power brakes.

EPA Fuel Economy

Mazda MPV 15/19 mpg city/highway

You'll Like

  • Comfortable ride
  • Plenty of room in the front and back

You Won't Like

  • Poor gas mileage
  • High price compared to similar models
  • No sliding door

Sum Up

A unique family minivan.

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