For a v4 this car has some kick to it. Coming out of 1st and 2nd gear is pretty fast, but 3rd gear seems kind of sluggish. Overall this car has given me no problems besides the replacements of motor mounts upon purchasing the car and the transmission seems a little sketchy sometimes. Ironamicall the transmission is the only American part on this car so that'll tell you something about Japanese quality.
I bought my Mazda 626 2002 used in 2003 with 1500 miles, ran the heck out of it from state to state for three years with no problems what so ever.
It was such a great car that when my daughter needed a safe car I gave her my Mazda because it was safe, reliable and perfect for her.
She is still driving it today with no problems other than regular maint.
It has well over 100,000 and will likely last another ten years. I have looked and looked to purchase another one for myself and can not find one for sale (I suspect they have stayed in families, just like mine.) Excellent car!
FYI mine was not a manual
This car was highly recommended by a consumer publication in Canada provided it did not come with the automatic transmission. My car is a 2002 with the 4 Ė cylinder and manual transmission. The engine is definitely underpowered but if you donít mind shifting down and revving a bit, you can use the ample torque at about 3000 rpm to supply a fun driving experience. The car currently has 200,000 km (120,000 mi) on it. I keep it very well maintained, even changing the shocks and springs which give it a better ride than when new. This also helped preserve the suspension components, which take a pounding on the winter-ravaged streets in Montreal.
4-cylinder engine is a sweet little power plant that never seems to want to quit. There is a nice punch to it in the higher torque range. The car has great value.
Rear trunk leaks, road noise is excessive, rear trapezoidal links prone to early wear
I like driving Mazda 626 and the dealer was good to deal with. This car has a zippy 4 cyl. engine and is good on gas. The car is comfortable and has some nice extras like the headlights turn off automatically. The engine is a bit loud for a sporty effect and I replaced the radio because the display wasn't work most of the time but the radio I put in it has a I-pod jack. I have 98,000 miles on her as is still running good. I hope to have this car for a while.
Door lights, Storage compartments and headlights turn off on a timer.
Timing chain instead of a timing belt on the 4 cyl.
I have absolutely no problems with this car. I follow the maintenance schedule faithfully. I have read reviews that say the manual transmission is no good. I find it shifts like a dream. My car has +100 000 miles on it and it runs perfectly. The clutch has absolutely no wear on it. If you maintain these cars they will be dependable and very economical. I would advise staying away from the automatic transmission. This is a Ford product. The car is fun to drive, has responsive steering and connects the driver well to the road.
motor, manual transmission, steering feel, economy, low purchase price, availability of cheap parts
headrests too short; bushings for rear trapezoidal links wear quickly and are noisy; high depreciation rate; some interior buzzing