This car is my 2nd 626 and 3rd Mazda. The others were turbo 4 cylinders which are still lasting longer than I imagined. My current 6's V6 is fun to drive and makes great high revving sounds, but is a bit low on torque. What I have found quality-wise leads me to believe it will not hold together like my circa 80's cars did. So far the coolant expansion tank has sprung a leak, so it was replaced. The driver's door power lock motor ate itself making a horribly loud noise while operating. Both are common issues for this model, and it did help that both parts were acquired from the dealer for around $50. I refuse to blame these quirks on US assembly, as my previous ones were both US & Japanese made and both were excellent.
Smooth running, with 7k RPM redline. Decent fuel economy (about 22 avg.), handles well for size and comfort level. Space utilization, rear seat room and general seat comfort. Split folding rear. 4 wheel disc brakes. Slightly better than completely bland styling. Excellent pre-owned value.
Quality of certain auxiliary parts. Stay away from FoMoCo supplied parts in the future please Mazda. Body hardware and trim could be attached better. Another 1/2 liter for the V6 engine, which was done on the later 6 courtesy of Ford. A 6th gear or taller ratios to aid highway comfort and economy.
I bought my 2000 626 July of 2004, and it has been a good car. I get 31 MPG on each tank so that is nice with gas prices on the rise. The only issue we have had is with the brakes wearing out too quickly, and the shop replaced them for free so that could have been the mechanic's error. Overall a great car. I had the 2000 Toyota Camry and the 626 isn't too far off. The 4 cylinder is a little weak on the pick up, but the gas mileage makes up for it a bit.
I agree, I bought my car just by the look and test drive. I should have known that when I drove off the lot after signing papers something would go wrong. Since March last year I have had my car in the shop about 7 times, all to get the transmission replaced. When I bought the car I did not know about this site. I have finally gotten my car fixed right and it's wonderful.
I love the slick luxurious style, although very sporty.
I purchased my Mazda 626 back in Oct. 2001. I really wanted a 2000 Dodge Intrepid but was not pleased with the cornering of the vehicle (it leaned while turning corners). I drove the Mazda 626 and was impressed with its performance. About 70,000 miles later my tranny failed. At 89,000 it failed again. After intense investigations, I found out the trannys all overheated. Mazda did not install transmission coolers in these cars. ALL CARS HAVE THEM, EXCEPT THESE. I installed a $25 tranny cooler myself in about 15 minutes. This cooler could've saved me $4400. My Mazda has over 140k miles and runs like new. Why didn't the repair shop detect the root of the problem?
I found that it is a great, reliable car as long as you keep up with oil changes and tune-ups. It's not fancy, but if you're looking for a comfortable car for your passengers, it's nice and roomy. It doesn't get as good of gas mileage as I hoped but it's not as bad as my Bronco was. It's a great family sedan.