My aunt passed this car down to me. She bought the car new and the transmission went at 65k, was replaced with a full warranty. Car now has 114k on it and runs smooth. Shifts rough sometimes. I treat the car like a old man so I haven't had any problems yet, "knock on wood." All around it's just a simple car I drive to work and home.
Swinging a/c vents and roomy for a compact 4 door.
Bought it at 50k. The old owner sold it because of trans problems. after several trips to the shop, it was found that the transmission range selector switch was bad. Once fixed it was good for over three years. Now the O/D light blinks I have had trans fluid coming from somewere. Also engine light is on.
Second 626 I've owned. Bought it at 80k, it's at 104k now, and still no major problems. I've traveled across country with this thing and no problems. 2 owners all these years and it's still in immaculate condition. The only things that went wrong with the car were Mitsubishi and Ford components. Top quality that no American company can compare with. FORD was their only mistake. Someone said it before - the transmission needs NO maintenance at all. Do not change fluid or you will cause problems. Tune-ups, filter changes, idle screw adjustment, and chassis bolt tightening is all that needs to be done. Upgrading to a Millenia!
Alloy rims. Beautiful interior - very high quality upholstery that still looks brand new. Fantastic sound system. Keyless entry/trunk and factory alarm. Deep horn on par with a Lincoln. Not cheap and cheesy like Honda or Toyota. Takes turns like a sports car. Lasting paint. Interior.
Mazda needs to Trash Ford for life. Get crummy components out of top quality vehicles. And Ford needs to own up to it. It's not Mazda's fault (I doubt they even knew or they wouldn't have done it). I saw that Ford Sticker on mine and my heart dropped.
Wow! I read the review from rater JSC1525 and saw I wasn't alone. For a car in this price class, I should not need to put a new transmission in the car at 120,000 miles. As with JSC, my check engine light is always on too. The dealer and 2 indepentent shops don't know why. The passenger side airbag gave a warning light indicating it might not deploy at 80,000 miles. One would think a safety part that is never used should have a lifetime waranty on it. The good news - it is very comfortable, looks nice, has adequate power and lots of amenities.
The front seats are best in class. I also use it like a pickup truck with the seats folded down. Location of controls is great. My Grand Marquis is not nearly as well laid out.
A transmission that functions would be nice. Location of oil filter (and size) stink.
We owned our 626 for three years and are so glad we got rid of it. The automatic transmission has been a nightmare and the car was in and out of the shop constantly. It could not even be fixed. In addition the driver seat folds back completely when pressure is applied at a certain point (e.g. picking up a toy from the back floor). Imagine this happening during an accident! Mazda was not helpful with any of the problems. Before you buy this car, search the web with keywords like "1996 Mazda 626 Transmission 0/D Light" etc. You'll find hundreds of people with a bad experience with this car. (Automatic transmission only; manual seems to be fine).
Transmission cooler and sensors that work (and last).