We bought this car out of the Hertz fleet with 26K on the clock. It was reliable early on, needing only a plug wire set and fuel pump (both replaced under warranty). Now at 100K mi the transmission failed to the tune of $2000, even though I have had it flushed twice and have been running Amsoil synthetic ATF since about 50K mi. Perhaps it would have failed sooner if I hadn't been proactive about the service and premium ATF. It is a Ford CD4E trans and is infamous for failing in this car. Mazda is apparently not standing behind it; there are no recalls and of course now it is out of warranty. The engine has been reliable but due to the trans failure Mazda has lost a customer forever.
Roomy and handles relatively well though I would not describe it as "fun to drive". The 4-cyl engine is noisy and lacks torque, but gets reasonable fuel economy. Nice looking body style still holds up.
Why list any? They don't make the 626 any more. We just bought a Honda. Now that I have paid to have the Mazda trans repaired it will be my daily driver and I will run the sucker into the ground, then junk it.
This is my 2nd 626. I sold my 1998 626 in 2002, and bought a truck. Sold the truck to get higher MPG going back and forth to work. Pros: MPG (29 highway, 24 all-around), dependable, reliable, no problems to date even with 80K miles (had 59K when I bought it). Cons: Ride quality decent, pick-up and transmission aren't the greatest (but to be expected with a 4 cylinder); AC isn't strong when idling (again, 4 cylinder issue). I'm very happy with this car. It's not fancy, gives a decent ride, has good gas mileage, is dependable, and I can take the family (including 15 and 8 year old) on 4 hours trips with no leg room complaints. It won't create envy of others, but gets you there.
First off this car will not beat too many vehicles on the road. It will get you where you want to go but speed is not what my car is about. I can't speak for the V6 models but my 4 banger is definitely missing the VROOM VROOM. But I haven't had 1 problem with the car yet so its reliability for me is outstanding and gets a 10 thus far. Car has no thrills and is nothing impressive. It just does the job its meant to do and does it well. I think it would be a good car to give to a high school kid or a family. But I wouldn't want to go hit the town in it.
Gas mileage (26-31). Nice size trunk. Price.
Cant change the radio! Pretty much a vanilla car. No thrills, no excitement.
This car might have been better as a 5 speed manual. I personally would never build a 4 cylinder car with an automatic transmission. It was underpowered and noisy from the beginning. At about 59,000 miles I needed a major tune up and now it has a broken boot and front drive axle and the car has only little more than 70,000. The handling in any weather conditions is sleepy at best. It may be a front drive car but it should be able to control its back end a bit better.
Swing mode on the vents. Roomy backseat for a compact.
No more automatics on 4 cylinders to start with. Better handling and smoother ride.
2001 Mazda 626 Sedan LX-V6 4dr Sedan (2.5L 6cyl 5M)
Other than the nice features below, the leather seats are really comfortable. It has a very smooth drive, but the V6 has plenty of pick up and go when I need it. I am 6 foot 2, and the Hondas and Toyotas I tried are not comfortable. The Mazda has a great roomy interior with a real professional feel, easy to get in and out.
Leather seats, oscillating center fan, several storage locations.