We bought this car when it already over 10 years old and about to crest 150K miles. So far we've replaced the front tires, the negative battery lead, and a headlight bulb. It has incredible pickup and a good, stiff suspension. Body and panels are still tight and well maintained. Last owner obviously took care of it. If you bought a used car that already had damage to it, do you think it will somehow be all better because you own it now? It still has years of abuse, so don't judge it on how the last owner did not maintain it well.
I have mine with all options, Leather, sunroof, power window, central lock, ABS, V6 2.5L, 4 wheel disc brake...and the most important...5 speed manual. This car so much better than Honda Accord. Has a lot of power but still have good MPG. My wife's car is Honda Accord 97. It's an automatic; it seems lame, bored, doesn't have power and has worse MPG even though the Honda has smaller engine (2.2L). This Mazda 626 has better suspension and better build quality compare to Accord. I bought this car based my experience with my previous car, a Mazda Protege LX 1.8L. It has all options. Has more than 200.000 miles but the engine still run like new...bravo Mazda. My next car probably will be a MazdaSpeed 6.
We have had nothing but trouble since we bought this car. First the transmission went. Then it was the water pump. Then all 4 shocks and ball joints needed to be replaced. We only had to replace the front 2 ball joints. The engine in this car feels like a piece of junk. So far it has died twice on the highway and once at home.
A good car overall. Anyone who drives it usually remarks on how smooth and quick the V6 is compared to even new cars. It has gone through 2 water pumps and is starting to get some extra 'old car' noises but it keeps on going. It also tows a 1000lb trailer quite easily and the 'hold' function on the auto tranny is useful for towing. The tranny is starting to shift a bit harshly but still seems robust. We've had other cars that shifted the same way and never failed.