The 626 has decent handling and good road feel for a midsize. Steering is
crisp and braking excellent. The six cylinder is not exactly powerful, but
adequate for passing trucks at highway speeds without shifting out of
overdrive. You can get onto the highway and up to traffic speed safely. The
transmission, however, is truly diappointing. It shifts rough through every
gear, and the shift from first to second in stop-and-go traffic is jarring. It's
been back to the shop 8 times for this, but I was told it was operating within
specs! Worst shifting car I have ever driven. Because of this, I won't buy
Styling and handling. It securely maneuvers like a much lighter car, at least
in dry weather. It's actually fun on windy roads. (I guess this is where the
"zoom zoom" comes in.) Great value for the long list of standard features.
The OEM tires are designed to last, but tires with more wet traction are
definitely needed. With original equipment, drop your speed by 20% or
more compared to dry pavement or risk sliding. Especially in the snow.
Whoever designed this 4 speed automatic for Mazda needs to be replaced.