This is a question that is often asked. Many people join the Bongo owners groups on facebook and see comments about things going wrong. However, this isn’t because all Bongos go wrong, but because when they do, people find the support they receive, from fellow Bongonauts, invaluable in sorting out their issues.
If you are a member of the biggest group, Mazda Bongo Owners Club, go to their homepage and follow the instructions, below:
Enter this search in the box: convince me I should still buy a Bongo
The relevant thread should then be found.
Bongos weigh just over 2 tons and can be quite thirsty on fuel, if you start comparing mpg to your average car. 2L and V6 petrol models can range between about 20 and 25 mpg and diesels between 26 and 30 mpg. This is of course affected by personal driving style, too. Bongo owner and frequent traveller, Geoff Mather, has kindly supplied the following information, with links to a couple of his dynamic graphs, which he adds to over time:
You could buy a petrol Bongo with LPG (Liquid Petroleum Gas) conversion (Prinz or BRC are the recommended systems), or have a system fitted – if you want to outlay around £1,200 to £1,500. This won’t improve your mpg but it will be cheaper to travel the same distance, since LPG is usually just over half the price of petrol. If you run a diesel Bongo, you can also use cheap vegetable oil from the supermarket.
BSB APPS – Fuel Consumption Calculators – view and download.
Geoff also offers some general advice on making your choice, when it comes to considering Bongo ownership:
It depends on how you intend to use it and if costs of maintenance and fuel worry you:
- Diesel – 25-30 mpg, only one that might have AWD, prone to coolant maintenance and overheat problems.
- V6 – 20-25 mpg, only 2WD auto, less prone to coolant overheating problems, cam belt change costs are higher due to access problems.
- 2L – 25-30 mpg, only 2WD auto, least powerful engine, easier to bleed, less prone to overheat problems.
Here’s a video by YouTube user, savedpurplecat, about owning a Diesel Bongo.