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Mazda MX-3 1.8l Van (1998) - A True Fake?

By Automobile Guide (Portugese Magazine)

October, 1998

The Mazda MX-3 1.8 Van, it's a typical commercial fake.
It appears in this Van version only for taxes reasons, failing as a job car in loading area, consumption and maintenance.

Good Bad
Gear box
Loading Area

It's not the first time we call your attention to the fact that, our automobile market has many job cars, two seats, with no working capacity. The possibility of having a well diesel motorised car (not this case), and so more economical, and with a auto tax of 20% of the regular car, makes this opportunity excellent for those who won't need the back seats. The expression "Wolf with sheep skin" it's applied literally in almost all commercial models that derived from passengers cars. Even in models with diesel engines, we already find, TDi GT or TDS, all with "sport" equipment, where the exterior looks and performance have nothing to do with a job car. Other sport models are Opel Tigra Sport 1.4 and 1.6, and now MX-3 1.8 Van.

The MX-3 Van is, nothing more nothing less than the passengers V6 version, which was taken the back seat and put a acrylic separator. A transformation that gives the car a lower price, $6200 cheaper, from $27200 it reduce the price to $21000. Outside this Van version has nothing of "Van", because even has 15 inches aluminium rims and painted bumpers.

Inside, MX-3 Van has the same problem that is passengers brother, it has a too dark presence. It could had a better seats comfort, although steering it has a good regulation, it doesn't achieve the perfect driving position. The behind visibility it's tolerable, in part because the reflexive effect of the acrylic, like in almost models. But, in the other side, the quality of the interior and construction it's very good.
The series equipment list it's very complete, it includes ABS, Double airbag, assisted steering, A/C and electric sunroof, and many more elements.

Table 1: [ Maintenance Costs ]

PRICE: $21,000

V6 engine. This 1845cc with 133 hp at 6000rpm make any driver happy, it has nothing to do with a job car, but nothing in this Mazda does. The principal, and only, negative point is that the maximum legal speed is 110 Km/h... The performance table show us a maximum speed of 202 km/h and a acceleration of 8.5 sec to reach 100 km/h.

By the other side, we are in front of a 6 cylinders with 24v, it's important not forget that this car is competing with other job cars. In aspect we have to pay attention to consumption, it goes from 7.5l in at 90km/h, and reach at 11.3l when we drive it in urban circuit at 100km. Discussible numbers when the automobile was homologate as a job car.

The suspension is the same kind as the passengers car, four wheel's independent suspension. In front, it's McPherson type, with helicoidal springs and a stability bar. In the rear, it's use the known system TTL (Twin Trapezoical Link), also with helicoidal springs and a stability bar. The braking system uses a double hydraulic circuit with four disc brake, in front 257mm ventilated and in the rear two solid disc brakes with 251mm.

Table 2: [ Vehicle Specifications ]

Colours available: Red and Black

Area for what? The cargo space deserves some reflection. When we compare the Mazda against the others opponents (except Opel Tigra Van), the MX-3 1.8 Van loses without a chance, for that reason will never be declared a first choice job car.. The access to the trunk it's penalised because the cargo plan is in a too high level (88 cm), and the width of the cargo entrance with a minimum 79.5 cm and maximum of 1.18m. The Length is 1.26m, but the cargo height don't reach the 50 cm, so the transportation of bigger volumes is more difficult. When we look to the width between the suspension towers 99 cm, we see that we can't accommodate no even small volumes.

The MX-3 1.8 Van is in this way a sports car taxes proof, but as a job car, it has a lot of inconveniences, it pays too high Municipal taxes, and with high consumption, low cargo space and a price above the Tdi. This car as a pure job car has too many defects, but to those who won't need the back seats it's a excellent choice.

Table 3: [ Model Comparison ]

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Last modified: October 26 2007

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