Used 1996 Mazda 626 Sedan Consumer Reviews
2.0L I4, 5sp trans, 221k miles. Only problems I have had were wear/tear items (rotten plug wires, oil sending unit failure, vacuum hose leak, drive axles at 120k, struts at 120k). Don't know where people are having the problems with the trans, as I am still on my original clutch. Purchased this car w/32k miles in 2000, and heavy mix of city & hwy driving, have had no major problems. Not a speed demon of a vehicle, but gets me from A to B safely and comfortably (and I'm 6'4"!).
This is not an exciting car. It does its job fine and I am realizing it is getting near time to replace it (Looking at the Mazda 3, the 6 is too big now) No big problems in the years (10+) I have owned it. Gets out of alignment and shaky but it can be counted on. We get rough weather here in New England and it makes it through the snow no problem. Usually get 32 mpg commuting. Roomy enough for our family of 4 now. Small things starting to go. Drivers side door lock is busted from outside. Shaky, getting old, but not bad for the $6000 I spent over a decade ago! The 5 speed manual is the way to go!
I use this car to commute to work and the miles on it are highway miles only. I've liked the car for commuting but I'm on my third transmission. Someone reading this might think I'm hard on transmissions but I've owned lots of vehicles(currently own 4)and I've never had a problem with transmissions going out on me. The car has been an average car for me and if the transmissions had not gone out, I'd be really happy with the car. The mechanics that worked on my car told me transmissions always go out on the Mazda 626.
This was my first Mazda and I have been impressed with its performance and reliability. It's fun to drive. Great for a non-boring A-to-B commute.
Replaced two engines (one rebuilt) and one transmission, 2 air sensors and the entire exhaust way too soon. Turned the car in with it's third catastrophic power train failure with only 90,000 miles. Very disappointed.