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.
† Edmunds.com received the highest numerical score in the proprietary J.D. Power 2014 Third-Party Automotive Website Evaluation Study℠. Results based on responses from 3,381 responses, measuring 14 companies and measures third-party automotive website usefulness among new and used vehicle shoppers. Proprietary study results are based on experiences and perceptions of owners surveyed from January 2014. Your experiences may vary. Visit jdpower.com.